Black Public Scholars

November 19, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Does Obama Have Bragging Rights with GM IPO?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Staff @ 4:20 pm

US auto industry rebounds with Obama in the driver's seat

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

President Barack Obama gained some bragging rights this week. The emergence of General Motors by way of a$20.1 billion dollar initial public offering (IPO) was a shot heard around the world. The IPO is the largest in American history, and largely unexpected by most of the financial community.

Just a year ago, General Motors found itself suffocating under the stigma of receiving a government bailout, and the Obama administration was heavily criticized for providing $36 billion in taxpayer funds to keep the company afloat. The argument by Obama was that allowing GM to fail would cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs, something that the president wasn’t willing to tolerate. In an uncomfortable spurt of patriotism, the president’s camp took the bold step of bailing out the company that many thought should be allowed to fail.

President Obama certainly has both the right and need to brag about the rise of GM. In the same way Republicans were quick to blame him for allegedly worsening the economic downturn, they must also allow him to soak up the credit when good things happen. Whether we are faced with good or bad economic times, the president is usually given more responsibility than he deserves. Such is the nature of politics.

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