Mitt Romney’s Detroit News op ed piece yesterday once again demonstrated that he is either completely clueless or thoroughly disingenuous, at least when it comes to the auto rescues. The fact is that had the government not stepped in (under both President Bush and President Obama), General Motors and Chrysler would have shut their doors and liquidated, bringing down the entire auto sector with them. With suppliers out of commission, Ford would have had to shut down, at least for a time. More than a million jobs would have been lost. Michigan, and the entire industrial Midwest, would have been devastated.
Romney’s suggestion that private capital could have been found is utterly fantastical. The Auto Task Force spoke diligently to every conceivable provider of funds and at that moment, with the stock market in free fall and the economy shedding 700,000 jobs a month, no one — I repeat, no one — had the slightest interest in funding these companies on any terms. I challenge Romney to produce one single individual, investment fund or other source of money that can demonstrably disprove the conclusion of every member of the Auto Task Force and virtually every independent expert who was consulted.