Monday Open Thread [10.29.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on October 29, 2012

The vehemently and severely conservative Chicago Tribune endorses the President, and has a pretty good takedown of Mitt Romney inside. Go over and read the whole thing. Here’s a taste:

Would re-electing Obama bring to Washington, at last, the changed tone he promised four year ago? Barring a reversal that virtually no one expects, Obama again would face strident opposition to his tax priorities from a Republican House.

There is the prospect, though, that both parties would step back from the ugly rancor of national politics and put America — Americans — first. Republicans could no longer focus on the defeat of Barack Obama — he can’t run for a third term.

[...]

Bolstered by his steadiness in office, cognizant of the vast unfinished business before him, we endorse the re-election of Barack Obama.

Want to know who is right about the auto bailout? Let’s go right to the source, Dan Akerson, the CEO and chairman of General Motors:

“Did President Obama save General Motors?” Reynolds asked

“Without the money, without the funding, it would have been very problematic,” said Akerson. “At the risk of alienating a whole lot of potential customers, I would say the Obama administration did a good job.”

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and other critics have argued the bailout was unnecessary, and that the regular bankruptcy process would have made GM and Chrysler stronger companies.

“Would that have happened?” Reynolds asked.

“Not in my opinion,” asked Akerson. “It would have been in bankruptcy for years and I think you could have written off this company, this industry and this country.”

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    So. Apparently the teajhadi outrage du jour is that once Meat Loaf (really? Meat Loaf?) endorsed Rmoney that the NYT did not see fit to refer to him as Mr. Loaf.

    Seriously.

    I’m thinking it is fairly apocalyptic that we have a Presidential campaign that seems so reliant on endorsements by musicians who important pretty much in their own minds.

  2. From Seattle says:

    Why should a dishonest, divisive and incompetent 4 year failure get another chance?

    The knock on Romney is his economic plan just can’t work – well we already have seen what doesn’t work firsthand, and it wasn’t Romney.

    As far as this GM rubbish, facts are facts. The US taxpayer is out some $42B and will never recoup it. A managed bankruptcy court can be fast-tracked with the Fed pushing it. GM and Chrysler could have restructured in bankruptcy and come out stronger without the US taxpayers picking up the bill. Instead BHO broke the law and shafted secured bondholders in favor of union ownership and funded this abomination with our taxes. Goes back to my first comment, dishonest and incompetent.

    From Seattle

  3. AQC says:

    From Seattle, are you asking why Bush got a second term? Because, that would make sense.

  4. Roland D. Lebay says:

    GM and Chrysler could have restructured in bankruptcy and come out stronger without the US taxpayers picking up the bill.

    Please explain how that could have happened. Commercial & private credit wanted nothing to do w/GM or Chrysler at the time.

    The knock on Romney is his economic plan just can’t work – well we already have seen what doesn’t work firsthand, and it wasn’t Romney.

    No, dummy, what hasn’t worked is 30+ years of “trickle down” economics. Romney promises nothing but a rehash of the GWB era. No thanks.

    Please go back to Seattle.

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    Romney’s plan can’t work because we have already seen it in action, from 2001 until 2009 under President Bush. His tax cuts did not create jobs, and the cutting and weakening of regulation led to the Great Recession, all the while exploding the deficit and debt. Romney wants to double and triple down on the Bush plan with another 5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy while he raises taxes on the middle class and the poor.

    And facts are facts: GM has repaid its loan from the federal government and is thriving, once again #1 in the world. Private financing during the height of the Credit Crunch was not available, and the only rescuer was the government, and President Obama deserves credit for saving the auto industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the country in that industry. He was the one that took the risk and it paid off.

    Mitt Romney on the other hand would have, as he said in recorded interviews and in an op ed, let Detroit go bankrupt and said fuck you to those workers. And now he is lying about it repeatedly.

    So, From Seattle, I will thank you to keep your lies in Seattle.

  6. Roland D. Lebay says:

    @From Seattle–

    If you remember, Kirk Kerkorian’s P.E. firm Cerebrus Capital owned 80% of Chrysler when the GFC occurred. Do you not think Cerebrus would have done a managed bankruptcy w/ private or commercial credit if that was a real possibility? They could have broken the union if they’d done so. They didn’t because they couldn’t.

  7. geezer says:

    “shafted secured bondholders in favor of union ownership”

    From our standpoint, the most important thing the unions own are their own legacy costs. If their contracts had expired, the government would be picking up billions in health care and retirement benefits.

    I realize the the rule of law was not followed; forgive me if I don’t join you in drawing the line here. Once the Fourth Amendment was sacrificed to the drug war, and the previously secret and illegal NSA programs were revealed, endorsed and legalized because, you know, terrorists, again against the Fourth Amendment — those were the places to draw the line. I was a GM stockholder and lost all my money. I knew the risks. So did the bondholders.

    There’s nothing less sympathetic than a gambler who loses his money and complains about it.

  8. From Seattle says:

    Hope you’re all keeping dry…I’ll try to answer all of your comments, but the issue here is facts don’t seem to register, so this may be hard for you to follow.

    1. Roland – look up structured bankruptcy, sport. I am embarrassed for your ignorant post. Commercial and private equity don’t invest in a restructure; the company works with debtors on a plan to repay and forgive debt while restructing the operations with court oversight and mediation. The Fed Gov could have overseen without them spending our tax money to line the UAW pockets.

    2. Roland – ah of course, the blame Bush tactic. Those pesky facts just don’t prove your emotion based rant – during the Bush years the average unemployment rate was 5.2 percent and the economy saw the strongest productivity growth in four decades with nearly 53 consecutive weeks of job growth. You’ll notice that when the Democrats took control of congress that the deficit started to skyrocket. Remember, the House controls the budget. (To be fair – Bush did go against his pro-market beliefs with the $700B bank and Fannie/Fred bailout just before he left…team Obama has made that $700B look like pocket change however).

    3. Delaware – GM owes $28B of a $50B “loan” and ALLY the GM financial arm spinoff owes $14B of a $17B “loan”. GM took out a new line of credit from the Govt and paid off the old one to give the appearance of solvency and fiscal growth. Look it up, champ.

    Bush era – good for everyone. Obama era – good for unions. It all comes full circle back to divisive, dishonest and incompetent. Put your whopping 3 VOTES on BHO, Vegas loves a loser.

    From Seattle

  9. From Seattle says:

    geezer – do you know what a secured bondholder is as compared to a stockholder? They are drastcially different.
    – Stockholder – yes I agree, full gamble with your money.
    – Secured Bondholder – not a gamble. They agree to take a decreased return percentage in return for being placed first in line in the event of a company meltdown. So, they agree to park hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars at GM for them to use for operations for a small BUT safe return.

    So, now you’ll say those greedy rich secured bondholders shouldn’t get that treatment. Guess what, sportsfan, this also includes massive pension fund invenstment for Granny and the likes. BHO broke the law by putting the UAW ahead of the secured bondholders under the premise that he had to save the auto industry.

    If you are a UAW person and happy about the outcome, I can accept that. But don’t pass this B.S. line around that BHO saved the auto industry.

    From Seattle

  10. Rustydils says:

    Delaware dem, go to youtube, and type in JFK vs Obama taxes. You will see a two minute audio/video of JFK explaining his new policy to cut taxes, not to increase the deficit, but to broaden the base, get more people working and paying taxes, there by increasing overall tax revenue. After his death, in 1964, his new tax policy with substanial tax cuts became law, and overall tax revenues increased dramatically over the next five years. So I think comparing Romney’ S tax plan to kennedy’ S would be more accurate. And it sure seems like the Kennedys and the Romneys both knew a thing or two about building wealth

  11. geezer says:

    Uh, sportsfan, what about your BS line that following the law would have led to wonderful things? That’s speculation and if you don’t know it, you’re not a reasoning human but a talking-points fountain. The poor-old-granny line gives the game away. Most of those bonds weren’t held by granny and you know it; those that were are mostly in mutuals, the whole point of which is to spread risk. And a safe bet is still a bet.

    No, I’m not in the UAW. But I’m still better off with a functioning UAW on the hook for its own legacy costs. And so are you, though you might be too partisan to acknowledge it.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    It strikes me that it is For Seattle here who is the purveyors of the ignorant posts.

    Any structured bankruptcy of GM would have needed to supply an immediate inflow of cash of 15-20M just so that they could continue day-to-day operations — including some payments to creditors. Secured bondholders will get their money — that didn’t change. Unsecured bondholders, however, got approx 10 cents on the dollar which they would not have gotten without the Government providing the quick influx of money.

    The UAW is NOT ahead of secured bondholders. Unless you think that still being able to make cars is somehow not in the interest of bondholders.

  13. geezer says:

    “…JFK explaining his new policy to cut taxes, not to increase the deficit, but to broaden the base, get more people working and paying taxes, there by increasing overall tax revenue.”

    Yes, he cut the top marginal rate from 91% to 70%, and the corporate rate from 52% to 48%. If you are saying that should be the top marginal rate again, I agree.

  14. Liberal Elite says:

    @FS “Why should a dishonest, divisive and incompetent 4 year failure get another chance?”

    That’s what the good people from Massachusetts say about Romney. He NEVER would have won reelection there.

  15. Liberal Elite says:

    @Seattle “The Fed Gov could have overseen without them spending our tax money to line the UAW pockets.”

    Uh. No. That requires money, unless liquidation is your chosen path.
    You are truly ignorant of the situation on the ground.

    @S “ah of course, the blame Bush tactic.”

    But Romney has not given us ANY reason to believe that he will be different than Bush. Many of his advisors are the SAME old neocons who got us into this mess. Things that come out of Romney’s mouth have no apparent connection with truth and reality… why you actually believe any of them is a real mystery. And it was the Bush tax cuts that did the most damage to the deficit. Anyone who is paying attention knows that, …and that makes anything that team Obama spent look like pocket change.

    @S “GM took out a new line of credit from the Govt and paid off the old one to give the appearance of solvency and fiscal growth. Look it up, champ.”

    A line of credit that recent profits have rendered unnecessary. Look that one up, sucker.

    @S “Bush era – good for everyone.”

    What a joke! Bush helped his rich friends a little and screwed everyone else. And if you give Bush “credit” for the first 6 months of the Obama admin, it’s hard to see how anyone can look back and see his administration in a good light.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes and other peoples mistakes. Try to be smart.

  16. From Seattle says:

    Wow…what is in the water out there?

    geezer – you prove my point, you do not understand finance. Secured debt holders would have gotten paid out…putting your money into secured bonds doesn’t mean UAW thugs go to the front of the line becuase it is politically convenient. Go back to your Opra reruns.

    cass – you are wrong. Secured bondholders got shafted. They could have liquidated areas and nuked the union contract to start. Instead, BHO picked dealerships to get whacked as well as any group not union affiliated. BHO could have used the juice he had with the banks we bailed out to back areas that needed it and the court would have assisted in negotiating get well packages for the debt holders.

    lib elite – yes, there should have been strategic liquidization. Spell it with me, strategy. And no, hope is not a strategy.

    GM owes $28B. This is a fact. Your BHO BS doesn’t work when facts are in play, champ.

    If by Bush helping his rich friends you mean the entire US, then you are correct. That is actually true since the average houshold was $4500 richer under Bush than President Downgrade.

    The only smart one in the BHO camp was Rahm, that’s why he bailed.

    From Seattle

  17. geezer says:

    What part of the union still having to pay its own benefits don’t you understand? Go back to whacking off to Ayn Rand.

  18. cassandra_m says:

    Nope, From Seattle, you are just parroting the wingnut narrative without any backup whatsoever. Secured creditors, unsecured bondholders and shareholders of the old General Motors Company find themselves as secured creditors, unsecured bondholders and shareholders of the Motors Liquidation Company. Which is proceding through bankruptcy. Meaning that secured creditors will mostly get their money back, unsecured bondholders won’t get much (they did get a small piece of the new GM though) and the shareholders get nothing.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/10/news/companies/new_gm/?postversion=2009071016

    Your wingnut information sources count on the fact that you don’t know about the Good GM and the Bad GM and that the Bad GM is going through real bankruptcy proceedings. And why should you ever read a real news source? You have no idea what an entertainment your ignorance is.

  19. Liberal Elite says:

    @Seattle “That is actually true since the average houshold was $4500 richer under Bush than President Downgrade.”

    Aren’t you pretending to be the person who understands the economy…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/27/business/rise-in-household-debt-might-be-sign-of-a-strengthening-recovery.html

    And virtually ALL of those true losses were due to Bush’s recession, caused by corruption and reckless fiscal policy. Trying to pin the blame on Obama is like trying to blame a tow truck operator for damage to the car he is hauling out of the ditch, and the body shop for not fixing it quickly enough.

    The simple fact is that Obama is fixing the economy in a direct and productive manner, but none of us have any real clue what Romney will do. And you’re lying if you pretend that you do know.

  20. Rustydils says:

    No geezer, that is not what i am saying, in the 50/s, and 60/s, and into the 70/s, if you wanted to set up shop and manufacturer products, the US was where you set up. So our government could charge higher corporate rates, and the corporations had to pay them. But over the last 30 plus years, we have gradually moved to a global economy. Our government is no longer in a position to dictate to corporations, to high of taxes and the manufacturers will just set up shop in another country with lower taxes, and we will lose all the tax revenue as well as the jobs. The principal is what we are talking about, not the actual rates.

  21. Rustydils says:

    P.s. Dont kid yourself about the chicago tribune. They used to be conservative, but in late 2007 they sold, in 2008 they became much more liberal after the sale, filed bankruptcy, endorsed barack obama in 2008, and 2012. Conservative, Not bloody likely, but feel free to keep lieing to yourself

  22. From Seattle says:

    Thanks to all – I feel better knowing all of the lib morons do not reside on the west coast. So glad you have only 3 votes.

    geezer – do yourself a favor, double your medication. Facts are not your friend.

    cass – seriously…maybe the 3rd or 4th GM entity will pay us back with pixie dust. Or wait is that the 5th GM that is Good or Bad? Do yourself a favor and read something other than the Huff Post.

    Bush started the bridge loan for GM with the req of a major business plan revision – BHO stepped in and protected the UAW interests and effectively stamped out any legit restructure of the biggest drain on GM, the UAW contracts. The bond holders got bumped and strong armed into a take it or leave it from team BHO. Not the way the law works, sweetie pie.

    lib-e – BHO is fixing the economy, you want a take-back? GDP is below 2% and has dropped each year BHO has been in office. No need to talk about the other loser programs – this says it all. This economy is far from improving. “Direct and productive”, oh my, I think Rachel Maddow wants her line back, shooter.

    Not true, but typical lib blubbering. That terrible Bush guy did it. Let’s see…5.2% unemployment avg under Bush, too much debt and spending in his eight years is a negative to be fair, that same amount Bush racked up in 8 is less than BHO has in 4…bottom line is that libs hate Bush and blame him for the shortcomings of the pathetic failure they elected.

    It’s really not BHO’s fault, he just was never qualified for this job and it really shows. Hillary was right. He’ll do well writing more fiction books next year…

    From Seattle

  23. Liberal Elite says:

    LOL Seattle.

    At least we know how Obama will fix the economy… And the recovery numbers look pretty good to me. What did you really expect the recovery would look like from the type of recession Bush left us?? Really… so demanding and so impatient you are (or are you just a tribalistic hack pretending to be impatient??).

    Romney is the nightmare that it looks like we won’t have to endure. Sure he gave us a Halloween scare, but like Halloween it will soon be memories.

    The Sun will shine in November, on our wonderful land and our political landscape.

  24. From Seattle says:

    There are no recovery numbers. GDP has dropped year over year and unemployment is stagnant at best. We KNOW how BHO will fix the economy? Really, I’d like to be enlightened since every program rolled out has failed. Not Shovel Ready Stimulus, Cash for Foreign Clunkers, Green Energy bucks for his pals, Obamacare Tax on everyone – is that the fix? BHO’s biggest problem is he now has a public record, something he avoided his entire life for good reason.

    Romney is a fixer, and this economy needs fixing. Why does BHO deserve 4 more years? Anyone working in a business sees the worthless cleared out – why keep a worthless community organizer at the helm of a job he clearly can’t perform. He has done nothing in four years but create racial, political and economic division.

    This is a close election, Ohio and Michigan now in play. Don’t count your Obama Bucks too soon…

    From Seattle

  25. Liberal Elite says:

    @S “Romney is a fixer,”

    No he’s not. He’s a secretive piece of scum. Bain is a scum company. Romney cheated on his taxes and then he lied about them. Just ask the good folk from Massachusetts. He’s probably hiding more tax cheating. There’s no doubt that he’s avoided paying taxes by moving money offshore.

    And if his plans for fixing America are so solid, then why is he hiding them? Usually the plans that politicians spring after an election are plans you won’t like. Funny how that works…

    He’s a shill for the 1% with apparently no morals and no social conscience. He would make America bleed both economically and in our soldier’s blood. He is not the man for this hour (or any hour).

    BTW, This election really isn’t all that close…

  26. puck says:

    Seattle is lying like his hero Romney.

    GDP has not gone down every year under Obama. GDP dropped like a rock in 2009 because Bush pushed it off the cliff. Since then GDP has returned to positive and is now following a choppy path that is just as weak as the Bush years.

    I don’t know which orifice Seattle pulled this “$4500 lost wealth” from, but if it is even remotely true it is because of pumped-up home values that served to temporarily hide the fact that real incomes have dropped on a steep path since Bush took office.

    The recovery is not satisfying because Obama is still following Bush economic policies. Bush had stimulus and tax cuts for the rich; now Obama has stimulus and tax cuts for the rich. If you follow Bush economic policies then expect Bush economic results.

    The 2001 Bush tax cuts pushed us past some economic tipping point that began hollowing out the middle class. Any thought that these tax cuts produce growth has now been thoroughly discredited. No proper recovery can begin until the Bush tax cuts are gone. The middle class is no longer strong enough to kindle a consumer-led recovery. And we’ve lived under these debilitating tax cuts for three administrations now, with the same crappy economic results.

  27. geezer says:

    Seattle: You got nothin’, and it shows.