The latest silly turn in the 2012 presidential campaign regards a Wisconsin plant that GM decided to close back during the Bush Administration days as a form of corporate downsizing and consolidation of manufacturing assets. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan was also responsible for helping to secure $1.6 billion dollars in economic aid for the community where the GM plant closed before the 2008 election as well, yet in a stump speech Ryan blamed the Obama Administration for $4 a gallon gas closing the plant, regardless of the actual time-line of the plant closure or Ryan’s own involvement in securing economic aid for the 750 workers who lost jobs at the closed GM plant well before the 2008 election actually took place.
During the Bush Administration, the closure of the plant was viewed as a normal cost cutting and corporate consolidation means for GM to improve profitability and not even connected to any policies of that administration either.
Last week in a stump speech, Ryan also blamed the Obama Administration for inheriting the economic problems of the Bush Administration, but making the situation worse even though 2.9 million more jobs have been created and the economy continues to witness some slow growth. Both figures are below the true hopes of either the administration or private economists, and certainly not as good as either would like to see, but neither figure is worse economic news as Ryan claimed in the speech. So, it is questionable just what exactly has been made worse by the Obama Administration regarding the economy, although the economy continues to under-perform. Gas prices and inflation have both worsened though. But, these relate to a number of factors such as the worst drought since 1956 for example, driving up food prices. And no president can be blamed for the weather, which they have no control over.
Fact checkers are having a real problem with outright distortions of the truth coming from both campaigns this year. So far, this has rated as one of the worst years on record for outright falsehoods and distortions of the truth for any presidential campaign with both the Obama and Romney campaigns both faulted for falsehoods. Neither campaign is doing any great public service by educating the public about the economy or other important issues because of so many factual distortions. Both campaigns have proven a real willingness to deliberately misinform voters, leaving many voters feeling disgusted.
There is a serious story that GM came close to going out of business, but support by both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration for TARP, which helped to support a form of loan bailout for the auto industry helped to save both GM and Chrysler, and both have paid back funds to the U.S. Treasury Department producing profit income from the interest for the government, as well as saving jobs. Ford wasn’t part of this TARP program, but managed to rescue themselves, and is now turning a $2 billion dollar a year profit in the U.S., but is still losing $1 billion a year in Europe where the economy is much worse than the U.S.