Meet the Real Workers Obama Screwed Over
Chutzpah overload in full effect: President Obama’s sleazy super-PAC, run by his former White House spokesman Bill Burton, just released an ad accusing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney of causing the cancer death of a steelworker’s wife.
It’s not just a slanderous and false attack. It’s a foolish attempt to camouflage the administration’s massive jobs death toll, politicized pension plundering and Big Labor bailout cronyism. And it will backfire big time because the thousands and thousands of true victims of Obama’s economic wreckage are speaking up and fighting back.
Let’s dispense with the “Romney = murderer” meme first. The warped Priorities USA ad features the claims of one Joe Soptic, a former employee at the Kansas City-based GST Steel plant. The plant went bankrupt years after Bain Capital acquired it. Soptic blames Romney for the loss of his job and health insurance — and for the subsequent death of his wife a “short time after” the plant’s closure.
But Romney stopped working for Bain in 1999. The plant closed in 2001. And Soptic’s wife died in 2006. Oh, and Soptic admitted to CNN on Tuesday afternoon that the family in fact had health insurance at the time of Soptic’s wife’s death. But it’s still all-powerful, time-traveling, omnipresent Darth Romney’s fault.
Obama flack turned super-PAC slime-master Burton shrugged off the facts and doubled down on the campaign’s class-warfare bloviation. “Families and individuals had to find new jobs, new sources of health insurance and a way to make up for the pensions they lost,” he told Politico. “Mitt Romney has had an enduring impact on the lives of thousands of men and women, and for many of them, that impact has been devastating.”
Yet, the Soptic story is the best they could scrape together? Stamp this one “EPIC FAIL.”
While Team Obama promotes fables to indict Romney, the incontrovertible stories of the current administration’s economic malpractice are finally getting out. In 2010, I first reported on how Obama’s UAW bailout threw tens of thousands of nonunion autoworkers under the bus. It’s the ongoing horror story of some 20,000 white-collar workers at Delphi, a leading auto parts company spun off from GM a decade ago.
As Washington rushed to nationalize the U.S. auto industry with $80 billion in taxpayer “rescue” funds and avoid contested court termination proceedings, the White House auto team and the Treasury Department schemed with Big Labor bosses to preserve UAW members’ costly pension funds by shafting their nonunion counterparts.
In addition, the nonunion pensioners lost all of their health and life insurance benefits. The abused workers — most from hard-hit northeast Ohio, Michigan and neighboring states — had devoted decades of their lives as secretaries, technicians, engineers and sales employees at Delphi/GM. Some workers have watched up to 70 percent of their pensions vanish.
“I worked for 34 years at GM/Delphi Corp. When Delphi went bankrupt, we lost everything,” Dana Strickland of Michigan wrote me. “Because I was salaried (middle management), we lost our pension and health insurance. I did not belong to the union, so GM/Delphi could have cared less. I have never felt so betrayed. We never hear this brought to the public’s attention. People need to know how we were screwed, while the Obama administration kissed up to the union.”
“I’m one of the Delphi Salaried Retirees that lost the health care, life insurance and 67 percent of the pension I was promised in retirement after working hard for 40 years,” Charles Stone of Michigan e-mailed. “Words cannot describe the frustration and let down these events have thrust on my family’s lives, and to have GM’s rescue all sugar-coated in the current political environment is like putting lipstick on a pig. … We will continue to fight to right this grievous wrong.”
Tom Rose of Ohio added: “I am one of the 20,000 salaried retirees that lost all of my health care and — in my case — a 40 percent pension cut. So I am now paying increased health care costs with fewer pension dollars and contributing what is left to our lawsuit to correct this injustice. Meanwhile, the politically connected union has their full pension and 90-plus percent of their health care. You have hit upon the key question: How can our own federal government pick winners and losers amongst its own citizens?”
Through two costly years of litigation and investigation, the Delphi workers have exposed how the stacked White House Auto Task Force schemed with union bosses to “cherry pick” (one Obama official’s own words) which financial obligations the new Government Motors company would assume and which they would abandon based on their political expedience. Obama’s own former auto czar Steve Rattner admitted in his recent memoir that “attacking the union’s sacred cow” could “jeopardize” the auto bailout deal.
In June, 20 months after a federal judge first ordered the government to cooperate, the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association broke through the administration’s information stonewall and dislodged 62,000 pages of documents in their lawsuit to right the administration’s wrongs. As The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday, the documents included “internal government emails (that contradicted) sworn testimony, in federal court and before Congress, given by several Obama administration figures. They also indicate that the administration misled lawmakers and the courts … and that administration figures violated federal law.”
Meanwhile, the Delphi workers who got shafted are getting in the faces of the administration and the public with a new web ad produced by conservative advocacy group Let Freedom Ring. They are asking, “Why, Mr. President? Why?” They — and America — deserve answers and justice, not more Bizarro World smears and fantastical bedtime stories.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is: [email protected].