I have written several articles on President Obama. A list of the links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on President Obama’s life.
President Obama despite having both the Senate and the House and the Supreme Court in his pocket still had problems getting bills passed. He resorted to all sorts of hard ball tactics, such as threatening and cajoling businesses and corporations and executive orders, many of which were barely legal to make his agenda a reality. There are so mainly examples of malfeasance during his 2 terms, it is simply beyond the scope of this blog article to discuss and cover them all. I will therefore focus on the auto industry.
On march 30. 2009, President Obama issued an ultimatum to General Motors and Chrysler. He stated that if they hoped to get any bailouts they would have to make radical changes in their structure. He also announced a set of initiatives intended bolster consumer confidence in these companies. One entailed backing All GM and Chrysler warranties if these companies went bankrupt. They received $17.4 Billion in federal aid. President Obama not satisfied with the assertions made by these companies to change their business practices, he formed a Auto Task Force to over see the changes. The task force determined that Chrysler was too small to survive on its own. He told them that they would need to merge with the Italian car maker Fiat. This merger basically caused an American company to relinquish control to another country. Obama forced Chrysler to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, when they couldn’t satisfy all of their creditors. Then he forced them to form a partnership with Fiat. The merger was completed in 2014.
GM was given 60 days to cut cost sharply and to get rid of unprofitable product lines and dealerships. Gm was forced to close thousands of dealerships and a number of plants. They also phased out several brands such as Pontiac. However, on June 1, 2009, GM declared bankruptcy with liabilities of $172.8 billion and assets of $82.3 billion. Making it the 4th biggest U.S. bankruptcy in history. They were able to return to profitability in 2010.
Now the question is, did President Obama overstep his Constitutionally given powers? The simple answer is yes. However, the argument can be made that these companies were just too large to let them fail, because of the major impact that would have on the economy. Our country is based on Capitalism. It is not the government’s job to take these companies over. We are not a communist country. It is the government’s job to help out occasionally when events that are out of control of the companies occur, such as our shutdown R/T the Covid Pandemic. And also to ensure that competition is fair. We have had several monopolies broken up in the last 100 years. I can eventually see Amazon and Walmart going that way eventually. Microsoft is the most recent example. Capitalism is basically survival of the fittest. If a company wants to survive it has to adapt to changing times and markets. Another issue, that has recently arisen is the effects of looting and rioting on businesses. Businesses deserve our protection. We simply can’t allow an unruly mob to destroy someone’s business, livelihood and dreams, just because it suits them.