At a campaign stop in Iowa yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden characterized GOP challenger Mitt Romney as a job killer, noting that he's created jobs... in Singapore. This latest attack continues the Obama campaign's focus on Romney's work with venture firm Bain Capital and its restructuring of many American companies -- many of which went on to prosper, but some of which folded up shop.
I wrote about Obama's attacks on outsourcing last week and how it's important to remember that outsourcing certain jobs is not always necessarily a bad thing. "Bain and their companies made a great deal of money facilitating this outsourcing... but in the process they devastated, they devastated whole American communities," Biden said.
Aside from the point that outsourcing actually helps grow the modern economy, it strikes me as curious that the Obama administration would pick this topic among all others to use against Romney. As a private businessman, Mitt Romney may have helped "facilitate" the outsourcing of some jobs, but as president, Barack Obama gave billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts to help businesses which outsource jobs.
In fact, after receiving billions of dollars from the taxpayers, General Motors thanked them by continuing to shut down American factories and moving thousands of manufacturing jobs to China, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.
In a confidential 12-page presentation to members of Congress, obtained by The Detroit News on Friday, GM said it will boost U.S. sales of vehicles built in those four countries by 98 percent -- or about 365,000 vehicles -- while shrinking production in Canada, Australia and European countries by about 130,000 vehicles.
GM also disclosed it will start importing vehicles made in China in 2011, reaching 51,546 vehicles in 2014. Imports from South Korea to the United States will jump from 36,967 vehicles in 2010 to 157,126 in 2014. ...
GM plans to trim 21,000 hourly workers and close 13 of its 47 U.S. plants by the end of 2010 as part of a tougher recovery plan sought by President Obama's auto task force. It will close three more U.S. plants by 2014.
And despite the Obama administration's and GM's insistence that the federal loans were used to create American jobs and keep the auto industry afloat, one can't help but think that the bailout was meant to do little else than fund UAW pensions. Additionally, GM claimed at the time that none of the $15.4 billion the company received in federal loans would fund its overseas operations, yet here we are -- more factories closed here and more GM cars being imported from overseas.
At the time of the bailout, the UAW even complained about GM's plans to ship jobs overseas:
Unfortunately, the latest restructuring plan put forward by the company calls for the closing of 16 manufacturing facilities in this country, including four assembly plants. This will result in the direct loss of 21,000 jobs.
The ripple effect at suppliers, dealers, and other businesses will cost tens of thousands of additional jobs, devastating numerous communities across the United States.
As did liberal bloggers, including William Greider at The Nation who wrote:
So this is how the auto bailout will work. American taxpayers pump tens of billions into rescuing General Motors from bankruptcy. Then GM pays us back by shipping more jobs overseas--the equivalent of four assembly plants. The federal money will directly subsidize more imports from abroad, enabling GM to double its car production in Mexico, South Korea and China and selling the cars into the US market.
Can someone explain how this is in our national interest? If that is the best deal Obama's auto czars can come up with, then this angry taxpayer says: laissez-faire--let GM go down. Better to settle for bankruptcy court than provide public financing to further the destruction of US manufacturing.
"Let GM go down"? That's an interesting notion that Mitt Romney himself suggested, yet now is being attacked by the Obama administration for it. In attacking Romney, Obama's basically admitting that shipping jobs overseas with the help of taxpayer dollars is A-OK on his watch.
So you decide, voters -- which is worse for the country? Private businesses who use private funding to move unskilled labor jobs overseas, or the federal government using taxpayer dollars to prop up poorly managed businesses who send jobs (and money) overseas?