From this morning’s Toledo Blade:
Investment from resurgent American automakers made big news in 2011, with General Motors and Chrysler announcing multiple large projects in Toledo and northwest Ohio that together total nearly $1 billion and should create or help preserve almost 3,400 jobs.
Promise for the future of manufacturing in northwest Ohio was one of the brights spots in a year that saw many changes to the business landscape in the region.
The big bucks in manufacturing are coming from Chrysler Group LLC. The automaker last year committed $500 million to its Toledo Assembly complex. That investment, which will go toward updating the line that ultimately will build Jeep’s new sport utility vehicle in 2013, will add a second shift to the plant, and lead to more than 1,100 jobs. Chrysler also said it planned to invest $72 million in its Toledo Machining Plant.
General Motors Co. announced plans for two investments totaling $343 million in its Toledo Transmission plant for upgrades and a new line for an upcoming eight-speed transmission. It also plans to pump $47 million into its Defiance Powertrain plant.
“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of capital investment in our traditional manufacturing sector around the automotive industry,” said Ford Weber, president and chief executive officer of the Lucas County Improvement Corporation.
In addition to the automakers and other large-scale manufacturers, Mr. Weber noted suppliers are investing in facilities here, and that’s likely to continue, especially with emphasis on just-in-time delivery.
Because it can’t be repeated often enough, here are a conservative and a libertarian boldly planning political strategy, in 2009:
“The pattern here is pretty clear,” House Minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday. “Every time the president makes a so-called tough decision, it’s the American middle class that gets hit the hardest.”
Obama defends his administration as a reluctant and stern savior of an industry that’s vital to the American economy.
Republicans see in GM a chance for their party to come out with a unified message — a confidence grounded in the conservative belief that government involvement in private industry always spells disaster. And GM’s long history of financial problems — even in more prosperous times — also makes Republicans see the company as a big albatross around Obama’s neck.
“This is somewhere in between Baghdad and fixing the flood in Louisiana,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said, comparing the GM decision to major stumbles by former President George W. Bush. Obama “has decided to take this over. He now owns it.”
I’ll just repeat this part, because it’s absolutely key to understanding the (alleged) Conservative Soul:
a confidence grounded in the conservative belief that government involvement in private industry always spells disaster
Not facts or numbers, not a basic working knowledge of the NW Ohio manufacturing scene or the US auto industry or a discussion of the relative merits of several possible extraordinary measures we might have taken after a massive implosion of the economy, but belief.
They may as well have told us they were praying for us, that we were “in their thoughts” during this “difficult time”.