Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

December 16, 2013

Editorial roundup, Dec. 16, 2013

Bailout all but forgotten as sales surge

When President Obama orchestrated the multibillion-dollar bailout of the U.S. auto industry in 2009 — GM and Chrysler were headed into bankruptcy, Ford was struggling — his many critics derided it as either a nefarious socialist plot or an attempt to buy the votes of autoworkers about to lose their jobs.

In any event, the government made out like a capitalist when it began to sell its ownership shares in GM and Chrysler and Obama did indeed win, except Indiana, the industrial belt — including Michigan, the home state of Mitt Romney, who despite being the scion of an auto company president, favored letting GM and Chrysler go bankrupt.

Remember Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock of Evansville who fought the bailout, taking the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Mourdock talked principle, but his opponents said if successful, his move would cripple the economy. In the end, Mourdock lost this battle, and his bid for the U.S. Senate.

USA Today, in its dissection of the 2012 presidential election, said, “In the end, there is no overestimating how large of a role that the auto industry bailout played in President Obama’s re-election.”

And, also in 2012, CNNMoney said of the bailout, “The U.S. auto industry’s recovery is one of the biggest success stories of the last four years.”

The Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research believes the massive infusion of taxpayer funds — as much as $60 million on the two companies alone — saved 1.5 million jobs and stopped a wave of bankruptcies from sweeping through the industry’s suppliers.

The American auto industry was caught in a triple whammy — a global economic downturn; a mix of products that ran heavily to high mileage pickups and SUVs just as fuel prices began to soar; and crippling legacy costs from previous union contracts that gave foreign makes, even those produced in the U.S., a cost advantage of $350 to $500 a vehicle.

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Editorials
  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Heroin plague spreads into our city We published a report in Friday’s edition of the Pharos-Tribune that delved into the city’s growing problem with heroin.In that report, Logansport Police Detective 1st Sgt. Dan Frye said he doesn’t know how much more LPD officers will be wrestling wi

    July 20, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Companies enjoying U.S. benefits? Pay U.S. taxes The U.S. Supreme Court keeps telling us that corporations are people, but some of these “people” have a curious sense of patriotism.They enjoy making money in the United States. They have a strong market here in a society where their rights and their

    July 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Loopholes a mile wide At least Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma agrees that it’s time to close the loopholes in the ethics policies for state employees.Just how gaping some of those holes are became clear last week, as the State Ethics Commission sorted through the cases

    July 17, 2014

  • ANOTHER VIEW: Let Indiana's inmates vote Lake County is trying to figure out how to allow incarcerated voters to cast ballots. If you think that’s a bad thing, think again.It’s important to remember that county jails, in many cases, house people awaiting trial. They have the same right to v

    July 17, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Rural fire departments set to make gains Rural fire departments struggle to get by.Faced with increasing costs and limited if not decreasing tax bases, many Indiana departments are merging as a way to share crews and equipment.Many departments have been lucky enough to receive tankers, truc

    July 16, 2014

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