We can not let Fox News forget how much its pundits hated when President Obama saved over a million more jobs than President-elect Trump did.
Eric Boehling, at Media Matters explains the “messiah mode coverage” of the news that Carrier decided not to move about 1,000 jobs to Mexico.
Cheering Trump’s hands-on approach and his commitment to the working class, Fox talkers portrayed the Republican’s maneuver in relentlessly glowing terms. “A Big Win For Donald Trump,” announced Bill O’Reilly’s show last night.
Fox’s Stuart Varney claimed Trump had played hardball with Carrier and won: “He strong-armed them. What’s wrong with that?” (According to reports, it was likely the lure of additional tax incentives that convinced Carrier to keep the jobs in Indiana, not being “strong-armed” by Trump.)
Trump’s cheerleader-in-chief Sean Hannity was just gobsmacked by the whole thing, saying on his radio program that he “can’t think of a time in my lifetime where a president-elect or a president ever” did this.
It’s wonderful news that 1,000 workers got a lovely holiday gift of keeping their jobs. But the deal looks more like another Trump con on the rest of us than a Trump coup on our behalf. From Vanity Fair:
But while Trump took to Twitter to applaud himself for the deal, the president-elect neglected to mention the other reasons Carrier is likely keeping jobs in the country—or the economic fallout that might follow. While Carrier will give up some $65 million that it would have saved by moving production jobs to Mexico, where workers make in a day what the company’s U.S. workers make in an hour, that figure is tiny compared to the lucrative military contract that United Technologies enjoys with the U.S. government, the Times notes. The Pentagon is the American aircraft manufacturer’s single biggest customer, with government contracts accounting for roughly 10 percent of its annual $56 billion in revenue. In that light, Carrier’s decision looks more like the result of a shakedown, or at least a smart political play. In another, it looks like it is the incoming Trump administration that is getting played. In addition to increasing its chances of holding onto its military contract, United Technologies and Carrier get a tax break likely worth millions of dollars, not to mention a massive P.R. win. Should every company expect to get a deal with President Trump?
(Update: In an interview with the Indianapolis Business Journal, former Indiana Lieutenant Governor John Mutz said he didn’t think the incentive package was Carrier’s “major reason” for keeping the jobs in the state, and that United Technologies is “a company that is trying to be competitive and also wants to keep their business with the government.” In a press release issued on Wednesday, Carrier said, “The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration.” But another source, who remained anonymous, told The Indianapolis Star that “Carrier wants to stay in good graces with the federal government” and that “finalizing this deal was a show of good faith.”)
Furthermore, Vanity Fair notes, the deal signals that rather than address the underlying conditions that have caused the U.S. to lose so many manufacturing jobs, Trump has just signaled he’s open to corporate blackmail instead. That’s corporate blackmail paid for with our tax dollars, of course.
Obama’s auto bailout, on the other hand, arguably saved the entire industry, not a sliver of its workforce.
But let’s get into the job-saving time machine and go back to 2009 when President Obama’s efforts, as Boehlert aptly described it “served as a defining line of GOP attack.” In fact, “The bailout symbolized the dangers of Obama’s alleged socialist/gangster leanings,” Boehlert reminds us.
Remember how Varney this week toasted Trump for having “strong-armed” Carrier? Back in 2009, the host was furious that Obama was allegedly trying strong arm the public into buying American cars: “[N]ow you’re in the position where the government somehow has to coerce or force us all into buying the small cars that it insists Detroit puts out.” (Varney routinely whined that Obama was a “bully” to business.)
Hannity himself berated Obama for engaging in what he called a “mission to hijack capitalism.” And in the infamous words of Rush Limbaugh, it was as if General Motors and Chrysler “bent over and grabbed the ankles.” (Limbaugh loves Trump’s Carrier deal, by the way.)
Watch Hannity rail against the auto bailout as “radicalism you can believe in” below, from the March 30, 2009 Hannity show, via Media Matters.
Sorry — I need to make a correction — I just found out on http://www.huffingtonpost.com that Der Fuehrer III was a BONDHOLDER, not a shareholder, in United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier. According to the article, Der Fuehrer III sold this investment before pulling off this GIGANTIC corporate blackmail deal.
“Larry Friggin Kudlow is even praising this. Gushing. “What a great deal maker Trump is”.”
Indeed Bob — but here’s the ONE thing that perennial “born on third base but thinks he hit a triple” supply-side worshipper Larry Kudlow and Der Fuehrer III’s PERENNIAL OBEDIENT LAPDOG KKKlannity will NEVER, EVER mention:
DER FUEHRER III OWNS LOTS OF STOCK in United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier. I just found this out yesterday on a reliable Facebook thread.
Donald Trump on the other hand is a beloved successful titan of business who’s going to get the country back on track and Make America Great Again.
As for North Korea and other international situations, expect a maximum amount of saber rattling as well as at least one demonstration of force against another country to show them Trump means business. Remember that you’re dealing with a bully. And bullies always like to teach the pipsqueaks a public lesson. As Rush Limbaugh put it so well, “Donald Trump doesn’t eat crow. He eats OTHER PEOPLES LUNCH.” Expect a lot of lunch eating and military engagement over the next few years. And a trade war or two to boot.
How long before the Trump administration denounces how Obama and Clinton dealt with North Korea before tucking their tails in and resuming exactly what Obama and Clinton did??
Trial and error is a time consuming way of punching the buttons and trying to figure out what works. If it takes years for Trump to learn this, we can always say, “Hillary knew this stuff on day 1!”.
Carrier saved a thousand jobs for tax breaks worth Lord knows how much. Sweetheart deal. C’mon big business, extort Uncle Sam!!