Remember the near economic collapse that happened in 2008 while George W Bush was president? Yeah, Republicans don't either. They also don't remember that because of the steaming pile of crap of an economy left to him, when President Obama came into office he had to use some emergency measures to minimize the damage done by W and his Republican team. One of those emergency measures was to "bail out" much of the US auto industry. The Obama Administration ended up rescuing GM and Chrysler, and saving millions of jobs in the process.
At the time of the bailouts, the Republicans warned of dire consequences if this industry was saved and people were allowed to keep their jobs. "The end of capitalism!" "Socialism!" "Government takeover!" "Nazis!" Not sure about that last one, but in 2009, every initiative taken by Democrats was compared to the Nazis, so I could still be correct. Either way, two years later, those fear mongering wingnuts have been proven wrong.
ThinkProgress has assembled a list of some of the most ridiculous and wrong statements made by Republicans. Here are some of the best:
“The government has forced taxpayers to buy these failing companies without any plausible plan for profitability.” - Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
“This is an unprecedented takeover from the private sector by this administration…It is totally unconstitutional, it’s totally against freedom, it’s totally unprecedented, and it’s exactly the same thing that Hugo Chávez is doing down in Venezuela.” - Rep. Paul Braun (R-GA)
“We should have let them go into bankruptcy, emerge and become viable corporations again. The unions didn’t want to have their very generous contracts renegotiated, so we put $80 billion into both General Motors and Chrysler, and anybody believes that Chrysler is going to survive, I’d like to meet them.” - Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
The government-led bankruptcy reorganizations of the companies “have been the leading edge of the Obama administration’s war on capitalism.” - Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
When Washington gets involved in a company, “the disaster that follows is predictable.” - Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
“I’m very concerned again about these motor takeovers from the federal government…We have a gangster government when the federal government has set up a new cartel and private businesses now have to go begging with their hand out.” - Rep. Michele Bachmann
Yeah...disaster, against freedom, gangster, no plausible plan for profitability. That's what they said. Here is what actually happened. From The Hill, "Chrysler made a $569 million net profit last year and has $10 billion in hand. It is adding jobs in the U.S...Chrysler has seen nine straight months of year-over-year sales increases, and is tackling its reputation of not introducing new models by bringing 16 new vehicles to the market."
Sounds horrible. $569 million in net profit. Sounds like the end of capitalism to me. The US Treasury also made $12 billion from the bailout of Citibank, and has profited from GM and AIG. I point this out not because I am in favor of government bailouts. I point it out because in an emergency, you need to utilize emergency tactics. Extreme circumstances warranted an extreme response. But rather than doing the responsible thing and contributing to the solution to the problem, Republicans were all too happy to sit back and bitch from the spectator section of the government. Now that their dire predictions have been proven wrong, will even one of them admit it?