Returning to his home state of Michigan this week, Romney doubled down on his belief that America should have let its auto industry “go bankrupt” in 2009. Slamming the auto rescue once again in an op-ed for The Detroit News today, Romney said:
This was crony capitalism on a grand scale. The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.
Once again, Romney has it completely backwards. President Obama’s decision to save the auto industry didn’t just prevent the death of an American industry—it also saved millions of jobs and put U.S. automakers back on top of the industry. Here are just a few ways things have changed for the better:
The rescue quickly put U.S. auto companies on surer footing, allowing them to repay their outstanding loans from the Obama Administration early. General Motors started paying back its loan only one year after receiving funds. Chrysler was able to fully repay its $7.53 billion loan by 2011.
General Motors’ early turnaround has now turned into record profits, with the company bringing in $8 billion in 2011. Chrysler posted its first net annual profit since 1997. Not only did U.S. automakers sell one million more cars than expected and see “six straight months of year-over-year gains” last year, they once again claimed a larger part of the American auto market than foreign competitors.
The auto rescue put the industry in a position to add more than 200,000 jobs since 2009 and announce plans to hire thousands more in 2012. Indeed, the auto industry expects to add 167,000 jobs by 2015. Here’s what the auto rescue did for American auto jobs:
Uncontrolled bankruptcy, however, would have jeopardized at least 1.4 million jobs in the industry. That’s partly why Michigan’s own Republican Gov. Rick Snyder even warned Romney and other GOP candidates not to “second-guess” the rescue or its success. But as Michigan Rep. Gary Peters put it, Romney prefers to remain “willfully ignorant of the facts.”