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Letter to the Editor: Setting record straight on Janesville GM plant issue


Saturday, Sept. 8, your heading of the Letters section cavalierly called a man a liar and followed-up with a letter loaded with unsubstantiated accusations aimed at Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Justice requires setting the record straight.

After contacting General Motors Co. directly, the accurate account is: Barack Obama, campaigning for president in 2008, made the promise that if he were elected the Janesville, Wis., GM plant, which had already downsized, would stay open for 100 years. An empty promise, one among many. The Janesville GM plant (Chevrolet, Cadillac, etc.) closed its doors two weeks after Obama was inaugurated and is still closed. This was accurately reported by Congressman Ryan.

It must be easy to call a man a liar knowing you never have to face him.

Patricia Botts, Fort Valley


Ms Botts is right; justice does require setting the record straight.

A General Motors plant, the lifeblood of his hometown, was set to close. The huge Suburbans and Tahoes from the Janesville production line were no longer in vogue. The aging plant was to stop production by Christmas — unless Ryan and other Wisconsin officials could save it.

Ryan was closely involved in a task force that helped craft two incentive packages with large state tax breaks for GM, and personally lobbied GM executives to accept the bids.

"I would say Congressman Ryan did what a good member of Congress would do for his district," Doyle said. He added that like many other Republicans, Ryan made sure to "complain about the so-called stimulus and bailouts while also lining up to make sure their districts were getting taken care of."

Ryan's record of seeking federal money for his district came under close scrutiny last week after he denied and then acknowledged requesting money available under the $800-billion stimulus bill passed by Congress in 2009. Ryan had voted against the bill, and decried it as wasteful. In a statement Thursday, he said constituents' requests for stimulus funds "should have been handled differently."


In other words, Ms Boggs, as WI's representative, it was the responsibility of Mr. Ryan to save the plant. And when he was not successful, he blames Obama.

Wisconsin cities in Ryan's district and stimulus funds:

among the biggest cities benefiting from stimulus bucks:
Kenosha received 113,000,000 in recovery funds.
Racine ... 58,000,000
Janesville .... 35,000,000 RPT Janesville 35,000,000
Oak Creek... 18,000,000
Burlington... 12,000,000
Caledonia... 21,000,000
Lake Geneva.. 4,000,000

and there are more....

So why didn't R Y A N save the GM plant?

Ms. Botts:
Thanks for yet another case of seeing only what one expects to see and ignoring irrefutable facts. Ryan's performance at the Republican National Convention has now entered our pop culture as a legendary display of mendacity. Bald-faced bearing-false-witness in it's purest form.
You say "It must be easy to call a man a liar knowing you never have to face him ".

My God I'd love the chance to call him what he is to his face, and what he clearly is, is a LIAR

Candidate Obama did make a Janesville stump speech in 2008 saying government backing of a transition to alternative energy manufacturing could save the plant and others like it. He didn’t say it would happen or make the promise as Ryan’s speech suggested. The Detroit Free Press reported that “Any suggestion that Obama had anything to do with the closing of GM Janesville is obviously wrong.” That’s not exactly what Ryan said in his speech. The implication came through load and clear that Obama stood by and did nothing to keep the Plant from closing. The facts are that Ryan rejected the pleas of his own constituents to oppose the trade and economic policies that threatened the closing of GM and Parker Pen plants. Both closed during Ryan’s tenure eliminating thousands of jobs causing pain and suffering to blue collar workers. Not so Ryan, who bought the estate of Parker Pen’s CEO, the most desirable home in town. While his constituents are suffering, Ryan is sitting pretty in the mansion on the hill. So much for empathy for the working class. Expect more of same if elected.

Obama, Feb. 13, 2008: "And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years. The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it’s where it will thrive. I want it to thrive …" (SOURCE: See Factcheck site posted by Katybug for complete details.)

Ms Botts, Your letter reminds me a quote I once heard:

"I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” ~ Unknown

I love seeing that at least there are still some thinking people left in the world and not all sheep. In this political environment everyone should be checking their facts before they repeat the propaganda. Bottom line is if Romney and Ryan get elected it is the definition of insanity " doing the same thing and expecting a different result." The numbers don't add up and history is proof of that. Trickle down economics doesn't work. You can't cut taxes and increase spending. It is time for the top 1% that has made the money off the failing economy to start paying more in taxes. And you can't trust politicians that base their campaign on sound bites and bald face lies.

I agree that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. An example would be re-electing an incompetent and rigidly ideological socialist as the leader of what was the most productive and powerful nation on earth despite of the economy at the time. An economy that was wrecked by the policies put in place by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and the likes of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. The left loves to blame it all on George Bush, and he deserves some of it. He allowed a spendthrift Democratic Congress to run amok after gaining control.
Obama has saddled us with more debt in less than four years than any other president in history. He has presided over two reductions in our once sterling AAA credit rating. His policy of monetary easing caused them along with the huge rises in fuel and food costs. It has put us on a course towards inflation that will make that under Carter seem mild if the policy is not reversed soon.
His world apology tour and unbelievably weak, timid foreign policy has left us with little power and less respect throughout the world, most notably in the Muslim areas where our ambassadors are murdered and our embassies burn while our Fearless Leader decided skipping his daily security briefing and going to Vegas for a fundraiser was more important. And then they try to blame it all on an obscure video when they knew very well the unrest had been talked about and planned for months. Then to top it all off, while the bodies of our dead were being taken from their transport home, Obama's campaign was on Twitter hawking the sale of sweatshirts to fight off the coming chill of fall weather.
Even the one bright spot in Obama's miserable failure of a presidency, the killing of bin Laden, was turned into a disgusting political spectacle, with a "spike the football" tour and leaks of national secrets intended to show us just how fearless our Fearless Leader teuly is. Sounds like something Kim Jong I'll or Hugo Chavez might do. Oh, that's right, Hugo Chavez DID endorse Obama didn't he?
Insanity surely would be re-electing such a galactic failure to another four years of the above.
At least Romney and Ryan have experience in government and business as well as a fundamental understanding of what it means to have both a strong economy and foreign policy. Our current leadership is more concerned with controlling each of of us from cradle to grave than maintaining our economy or our standing in the world. That is if you can MAKE IT to the cradle, something else Obama's brand of socialism endorses.

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