"I represent Southern Wisconsin, and one of the towns that I represent is Oak Creek, Wisconsin," Ryan told the crowd of about 800 at a high school here. "Now the reason I mention this is because we used to have two Delphi factories in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I just had the opportunity to sit down with some Delphi employees here, some of the salaried employees here, who are just like the people that I know who are my friends and constituents in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. You see the president likes to go around Ohio talking about how he saved the auto industry … tell you what: he hasn't talked to these Oak Creek salaried employees, he hasn't talked to these Ohio Delphi salaried employees because this is one of those examples of the government picking winners and losers."The majority of salaried workers in the auto industry did not suffer pension cuts; some did, because the federal pension board only guarantees pensions up to a certain level. But UAW members at Delphi had their pensions "topped up" by General Motors as part of an agreement negotiated years earlier as Delphi spun off from GM. To you and me, it is a shame that some 45 percent of salaried workers faced pension cuts. But the idea that Paul Ryan gives a single damn about this as anything other than a cheap political ploy is laughable. (It's a bitter laugh.)
- Mitt Romney didn't want to save the auto industry at all. His plan would have led to liquidation, and the salaried Delphi workers would have lost their jobs and their pensions as would just about everyone else in the auto industry.
- It's kind of rich to have Romney's running mate bemoaning cut pensions when cutting or eliminating pensions is one of the ways Romney made his hundreds of millions. The workers at GST Steel and a lot of other companies could tell you a thing or two about losing the secure retirements they'd worked decades to earn. For that matter, workers at Sensata probably have a thing or two to say on the subject.
- Since the Romney campaign tried to make Delphi pensions an issue back in May, we've learned that Romney himself profited off of what happened at Delphi. Romney had investments in a fund that bought up Delphi stock incredibly cheaply after its 2005 bankruptcy. The hedge funds that had taken Delphi over, the Romney investment among them, then refused a deal that would have saved many American jobs. Mitt Romney is estimated to have made at least $15.3 million from the deal—the source of the pension losses his running mate is now trying to pin on the president.
If Paul Ryan really felt any kind of empathy for the people who'd had their pensions cut, he wouldn't be Mitt Romney's running mate. It's that simple. Once again, the Romney-Ryan campaign is engaging in the most cynical tactics possible.
Please give $3 to help President Barack Obama bring this one home.