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Obama Uses Auto Bailout Success for Re-election Campaign

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            As the 2012 presidential election draws even closer, dissenting opinions about President Obama resound even louder. In an effort to shed a positive light on his name, Obama drew attention to a decision he made at the beginning of his term – bailing out the auto industry (Nicholas). .
            
“This industry is back on its feet, repaying its debts, gaining ground,” Obama told employees of Chrysler Group. “Because of you, we can once again say the best cars in the world are built right here in the US of A” (Howes). .
            
Before the 2010 midterm elections, many partisan groups were outraged at Obama’s decision to bailout auto companies. In fact, independent voters disdained bailouts, deficits, and stimulus measures. However, the Democratic party, who view government intervention as an important measure to protect both workers and businesses from the shocks of unfettered markets, now use Obama’s bailout to separate themselves from the Republican party (Nicholas). .
            
In the past three years, domestic car companies have risen out of their 2008-09 slump. Just last week, Chrysler repaid $7.6 billion in loans to the U.S. and Canada even though they did not come due until 2017. The company has returned $10.6 billion of the $12.5 billion it received in U.S. aid. These figures were the backbone of Obama’s most recent messages that ran prior to his trip to an Ohio Chrysler plant on June 3rd. In these messages, administration officials portrayed Obama as being able to make “gutsy” decisions that should give voters confidence in uncertain times (Nicholas). .
            
Although the auto industry has made a huge rebound in the past few years, it did come at a cost. Despite the fact that Obama promised the American people that this was simply an “investment” that would cost taxpayers “not a dime,” the bailout cost billions (Graver). An estimated $14 billion of the $80 billion spent by the Obama and Bush administrations will come directly from the taxpayers’ pockets.

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