We still have three huge automakers that provide 3 million jobs to Americans, and Scott Walker isn't sure that’s a good thing or not?
Scott Walker dodged a question about the federal loans that rescued the U.S. auto industry. "That's a hypothetical question from the past," according to accounts from multiplelocal reporters. "I think what we're going to talk about is the future."
His refusal to give a direct answer is another example of handle-with-care messaging. It also suggests that Walker has shifted his tone on a potentially hot-button issue.
That’s an unforgivable media pass in my opinion. Anyone who’s watched Scott Walker over the years knows a non-answer is very bad news, and yes, he opposed the bailout.
Since GM had no plan to reopen the Janesville plant, Walker believed no one should benefit. Hate to surprise out-of-state Walker supporters, but he’s a petty vindictive double high authoritarian, and that’s not my opinion, that’s the professional conclusion from someone who would know.
In a off moment, one Walker will never let happen again, Rachel Maddow dug a whole lot deeper than most reporters on the auto bailout:
Note: The managed bankruptcy Walker, Ryan and Romney were talking about would have dissolved the automakers, since it became obvious no one would step in and take the risk. They would have been sold for parts. Walker's position was the "do nothing" position most Republicans wanted to take. But here's the happy and profitable end result:
The government ended its $80 billion bailout of the U.S. auto industry on December 18, 2014. That's when the Treasury Department sold its last remaining shares of Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) for $19.6 billion. By selling when the stock market was high, Treasury made a $2.4 billion profit on its $17.2 billion initial investment in GM's former financing arm. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew: “And while the goal was always to stabilize the economy, and not to make a profit, it is important to recognize the return we have earned for taxpayers.”
This is the part Walker would never have agreed to, since he's a devout anti-environmental Republican. Ironically, conservatives blamed the bankruptcies on car makers not becoming more energy efficient (they fought against it for years):
The federal government took advantage of the take-over, setting new auto efficiency standard to force the companies to become more competitive against Japanese and German firms. Congress first explored whether a planned bankruptcy reorganization without a bailout was the best alternative for the companies, but realized that would take too long to implement.