Ed Driscoll

Promise Meets Expiration Date

“U.S. exits GM stake, taxpayers lose $10.5 billion,” an NBC headline announces in a rare moment of candor concerning Mr. Obama — which is quickly lost starting with the lede of article, which — of course — assumes the premise of one of his surrogates:

The U.S. government ended up losing $10.5 billion on the General Motors bailout, but it says [sic] the alternative would have been far worse.

The Treasury Department sold its final shares of the Detroit auto giant Monday, recovering $39 billion of the $49.5 billion it spent to save the dying automaker at the height of the financial crisis five years ago.

Without the bailout, the country would have lost more than 1 million jobs, and the economy could have slipped from recession into a depression, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said on a conference call with reporters.

“But, we can never really know that, can we?”, Erika Johnsen responds to Lew’s assumption at Hot Air:

gm-logo-3Certainly the implosion of these companies would have caused a lot of very real material pain at the outset, but creative destruction and the opportunity to fail are as much a part of an economy’s long-term success as anything else. The precedent for massive corporate bailouts is now set, and General Motors is the lucky benefactor of competition deliberately denied from other companies, global and domestic, who made better business decisions and/or offered a superior product. Obama’s supporters are quick to point to “the rescue” of the U.S. auto industry as one of his greatest presidential achievements (which, to me, is an indicator of how tough it must be for them to scrape together a list of his presidential achievements, but I digress), but this entire situation is one of the many means through which President Obama has opened the door to Big Business rent-seeking and cronyism capitalism at the expense of both the Little Guy and the American economy at large.

In the meantime, as blogger Yid With Lid asks, “Mr. President—How could you lie to Whoopi Goldberg? And the rest of us too…In 2010 President Obama appeared on The View and promised we would get all of our money back from the auto bailout:”

How could the president lie to Whoopi Goldberg? Quite easily: all of Barack Obama’s promises come with expiration dates, as Jim Geraghty likes to note, and as Victor Davis Hanson has written, “The media, of course, accepts that what Obama says on any given day will contradict what he has said or done earlier, or will be an exaggeration or caricature of his opponents’ position, or simply be detached from reality.” Added together, Obama’s statements “are chaos, and chaos is hard to understand, much less refute:”

In short, whenever the president prefaces a sweeping statement with one of his many emphatics — “make no mistake about it,” “I’m not making this up,” “in point of fact,” “let me be perfectly clear” — we know that the reverse is always true. For Obama, how something is said matters far more than what is said. If he stumbles, as is his wont, through an un-teleprompted remark that on rare occasions can be mostly accurate, that is a serious lapse; if, more frequently, he mellifluously asserts a teleprompted falsehood, there is little worry. The result is not so much untruth, lies, or distortions, as virtual chaos. Is what he says untrue, contradictory of what he said or did earlier, or just nonsensical?

Besides, when you’re running up $25 trillion in federal debt, ten and a half billion dollars is just a rounding error for the most spendthrift administration in history.