Discussing his economic policies at a fundraiser in Oakland, California, last night, President Obama, told supporters that “we tried our plan — and it worked.”
“We tried that and it didn’t work,” Obama said of Mitt Romney’s proposed tax cuts and spending cuts, which he dismissed as a Bush-style “top down” economic policy. “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked,” he added later in the speech. “That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”
Obama made these comments in Oakland, where the unemployment rate was 13.7 percent in May 2012. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent — up from 8.1 percent in May — for the second straight month.
To prove that his economic plans have “worked,” Obama cited the auto industry bailouts. “I refused to turn my back on a great industry and American workers,” he said. “Three years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.”
Obama’s auto bailouts aren’t the unalloyed success he describes. “President Obama’s auto task force pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost or having a firm idea of the cost savings that would be achieved, an audit of the process has concluded,” The New York Times reported in 2010, based on an audit. “The report … estimated that tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result.”
The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll also observes that Obama bailed out union pensions, while neglecting non-union workers, and decided not to follow the law by paying certain creditors — and still didn’t save money.
“All told Obama’s violations of bankruptcy law made the bailout of GM and Chrysler $26.5 billion more expensive than it had to be,” Carroll explained recently. “And according to Obama’s own Treasury Department, taxpayers stand to lose $23 billion if GM stock were sold today.”
Obama’s view of the economy is not shared by congressional leaders in his own party. “The economy has not recovered,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said in a recent interview. “Some people call it a recession, I think it’s a depression.”
Waxman’s message might not inspire enthusiastic cheers at a campaign rally, but at least he avoided having a Mission Accomplished moment on the economy.