Obama’s Rescue of the Auto Industry Starts to Pay Off


Speaking of things that President Obama doesn’t get enough credit for:

Total auto sales for the month were just under 1.3 million, 19.9% higher than a year earlier. That would put the annual pace at 14.5 million vehicles, the best of any month since the federal “cash for clunkers” economic stimulus program in August 2009 and a rate 2 million vehicles ahead of August 2011’s.

….Fuel-efficient vehicles were especially good sellers as gas prices neared or crossed $4 a gallon in much of the nation. Sales of Toyota’s Prius hybrid more than doubled to more than 21,000 vehicles….General Motors Co. said its Chevrolet passenger car sales jumped 25%, with gas sippers such as the Spark, Sonic, Cruze and Volt plug-in hybrid all posting their best-ever monthly sales.

I won’t pretend to know whether GM and Chrysler can survive in the long run. Probably not. But then, you know what they say about the long run, don’t you?

Conversely, in the here-and-now, the Obama administration’s surprisingly dextrous rescue of GM and Chrysler saved upwards of a million American jobs and prevented the economy from tumbling even further toward the abyss than it did. Entire regions of the country would probably be in economic devastation today if Obama hadn’t acted as he did.

But he did, against the opposition of nearly the entire Republican Party. The Big Three all have at least a fighting chance at long-term survival, a million workers still have jobs, and the economy is starting to recover. Not bad.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.