Payne: Obama’s unfair UAW Bailout
Posted by hpayne on July 12, 2012
This campaign season, the Midwest has become President Obama’s refuge from the wilting economy as he and his Obamedia entourage make frequent trips to Michigan and Ohio touting the auto bailout as his signature economic achievement.
Twenty-two thousand Delphi autoworkers would disagree.
This week, former Obama Auto Task Force members stonewalled before a House subcommittee rather than detail their administration’s shocking mistreatment of Delphi salaried employees even as it rolled out the red carpet for Delphi’s labor unions. The hearing made clear that this was no auto bailout – this was a UAW bailout. Delphi’s white collars have the scars to prove it.
The Delphi scandal is simple: While union workers of the GM-affiliated parts maker had their pensions fully covered by the bailout, Delphi white collars were thrown to the dogs – that is, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), which gutted up to 70 percent of workers’ pensions. Why? They weren’t major donors to the Democratic Party.
The Delphi employees are the most public victims of a rigged bailout that indisputably helped prevent a collapse of the auto sector during the financial crisis of 2009 – but that also ran roughshod over bankruptcy law, knee-capped bondholders, and eviscerated the life-savings of many teachers, firefighters, and other pensioners. Contrary to Obamedia spin, the Delphi workers’ treatment suggests that a proper managed bankruptcy as proposed by Mitt Romney would have been fairer and more transparent. (Not surprisingly, the Delphi hearings got little mention in the MSM.)
Their “stonewalling over the handling of the Delphi pensions exposes the Big Lie in the administration’s claim of transparency,” reports The Detroit News Daniel Howes. “The beneficiaries of taxpayer largesse in an auto bailout running well north of $80 billion was directly proportional to their ideological kinship and political value. ”
The scandal betrays two truths about the self-described “fair” and “transparent” Obama administration: It is neither fair nor transparent.
Task Force member Ron Bloom, for example, refused to answer questions from the House Committee. Matthew Feldman, chief legal adviser to the auto task force, and task force member Harry Wilson also spoke in tongues.
“What’s shocking,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, who chaired the hearing, “is these guys show no sense of obligation to the taxpayers. . . or to the people who have been affected.” Kinda spoils that narrative of a compassionate bailout for the workers, eh? Like Auto Czar Steven Rattner who threatened Wall Street bondholders with White House retribution if they didn’t bow to union ownership of Chrysler, the Delphi trio were just musclemen sent by Obama to look out for his union paymasters.