NTU responds to Obama’s speechWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Unlike the Chrysler employees he was speaking to, not everyone was enamored with President Barack Obama’s speech while in Toledo on June 2.
Amongst that group include the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), a research and educational organization which claims is “dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future.”
“Amidst the chilidogs and the cheers he’s facing a number of difficulties that past president’s have,” NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp said. “He’s trying to walk the line for not accepting too much responsibility for current conditions yet acting like he can some how flip a switch and turn them around.”
One of the biggest issues that Sepp had with Obama’s speech was his declaration that Chrysler had already repaid its loan from the government.
“Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes the American taxpayer from the investment we made during my watch,” Obama said. “And by the way, you guys repaid it six years ahead of schedule. Last night, we reached an agreement to sell the government’s remaining interest in the company. Soon, Chrysler will be 100 percent in private hands.”
The issue remains that although Chrysler had indeed paid the government $11.2 billion off of the original $8.5 billion loan, their debt is not yet wiped clean. The company still owes $1.3 billion from a $4 billion loan from President George W. Bush in his last month of office, a fact concealed in Obama’s speech by the phrase “during my watch.”
As for whether or not taxpayers will ever see that $1.3 billion debt repaid, a recent press release by the U.S. Treasury claimed it “unlikely.”
Obama also failed to mention the new monthly jobs report during his speech, something Sepp and others noted since he typically releases them in the beginning of each month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released later in the day that unemployment had risen to 9.1 percent (up from 7.8 percent when Obama took office) and the U.S. had created the fewest amount of jobs (54,000) in May than it had in the past eight months. An average of 220,000 jobs were created from February through April.
“He’s staked a lot of his reputation as an economic policy change agent through the stimulus package and to a lesser degree in things like the health care bill and those initiatives have come up way short of meeting expectations,” Sepp said. “There’s really no way to put a spin on the stimulus to make it a qualified or unqualified success. About the most supporters can say about it now is ‘Well, maybe it helped to keep a bad situation from getting worse.’ That’s a lot less ambitious from what it was originally touted as being able to do.”
Sepp has said that they are becoming increasingly concerned about the auto industry, as it is shifting pension liabilities to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. He believes that may well be the location of the next federal bailout.
With the economy still struggling, recent polls from ABC and the Washington Post showed that Republican Mitt Romney is quickly becoming a threat to prevent Obama’s re-election. Both candidates received 47 percent of the vote in the survey, while Romney (49 percent) held the edge over Obama (46 percent) among registered party members.
“Obama at least said that its going to take time for the economy to get better but once again as a president who was elected on a ‘change’ platform he overpromised and underdelivered,” Sepp said. “And now he’s stuck with those political consequences.