Email letters, Aug. 28, 2012

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D.L. Smith’s on-line letter is replete with false facts. 

Obama did not “take over” GM and Chrysler, but added $60 billion to the $17.4 billion in emergency loans initiated by Bush.

“The unions” never owned “a large portion” of either.  CBS News states:
A trust owned by the United Auto Workers - but not directly managed by the union - received a 17.5 percent ownership stake in GM in return for taking over the health care costs of blue-collar retirees.
Smith’s is a “distorted account of complex arrangements by which the companies, unions, government and courts fashioned a plan to lighten staggering health care and pension costs at the heart of the automakers’ decline”.
When Obama appeared in Grand Junction on September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the unemployment rate was 6.1%.  By Election Day, it was 6.8%; by Inauguration Day, it had reached 7.8%—because the Bush economy was hemorrhaging 750,000 jobs monthly.
Unemployment reached 10% in October 2009, but has fallen since the “stimulus”  – to 8.3% in July.
“Obamacare” incorporated provisions initially proposed by Republicans, implemented concepts advocated by the Heritage Foundation, and mirrored “RomneyCare” in most material respects.
Smith’s claim that “the payroll tax withholding reduction” will cause “your benefits to be reduced” is false.  The IRS states: “As before, the lower rate will have no effect on workers’ future Social Security benefits.  The reduction in revenues to the Social Security Trust Fund will be made up by transfers from the General Fund”.
Smith’s assertion that “Obama was elected with the national debt of $7 trillion” is false.  The U.S Treasury reports that it was $10.5 trillion in October 2008, and $10.6 trillion in January 2009.
The national debt has risen to $16 trillion under President Obama – but that is not “more than double what was accumulated in 225 years and under 43 presidents of both parties”.  But, the national debt (as a percentage of GDP) did double under Reagan and Bush I, and rose by another 50% under Bush II.  Under Obama, it has increased only by another 10%

Moreover, the $5.4 trillion increase under President Obama includes $400 billion in annual interest on “Republican debt”, $300 billion for TARP and $800 billion “stimulus” to counteract the economic collapse caused by failed Republican policies, and $2 trillion for unfunded “Supplemental Appropriations” for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.  The “Bush Tax Cuts” cut revenues by $1+ trillion.  That leaves Obama at “a net wash”. 

Therefore, even though virtually every one of his factual assertions is false, Smith and his ilk – by applying his logic to the actual facts—ought to be supporting President Obama!

                Bill Hugenberg

D.L. Smith, you should know that statistics can be twisted in many different ways. For example, unemployment during Mr. Bush’s last year in office increased from 5.5% to 7.8% in January 2009, for an increase of 41%. Unemployment hit its high in October 2009 at 10.1% and decreased to the current rate of 8.3%, an 18% drop. Unemployment is a lagging economic indicator. The US economy as measured by GDP started growing in April 2009 and has grown continously ever since. However, unemployment did not peak until October 2009. The stock market did recover dramatically. The S&P 500 Index hit its low in March 2009 at 666.79. Today it is around 1415, for an increase of about 112%. The wealthy who own stock should be estatic! Bondholders of GM did receive stock in the new GM, and although it did not make them whole it is more than “nothing.” Mr. Hugenberg does an excellent job of giving a different perspective.

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