Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Newest piece at National Review Online: Obama and GM Cook the Books

My newest piece at National Review starts this way

Would you hire President Obama as your financial adviser? Three years ago his administration invested more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to bail out General Motors. On Tuesday, the entire company, not just what the government owns, was worth less than $34 billion. By anyone’s definition, that investment is a glaring failure. Yet over the last few days the Obama campaign, in a $25 million marketing blitz, has flooded the airwaves with ads in battleground states, claiming the bailout should be counted a rousing success.
Unfortunately, assertions that “all loans have been repaid to the federal government,” that the bailout “saved more than one million American jobs,” that “U.S. automakers are hiring hundreds of thousands of new workers,” that GM is again the “number-one automaker” — all are based on creative accounting. . . .

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Media Matters gets it wrong again, John Lott's newest piece at Fox News

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:
Media Matters’ Founder David Brock showed no shame when he was caught illegally using guns for his own personal protection. Indeed, Media Matters’ continues to lash out at others who own guns or support letting individuals use guns for the own protection, even increasing their attacks.
In April alone, Media Matters ran 32 articles attacking the NRA alone. Additional pieces have defended the Obama administration’s Fast & Furious program and dealt with other gun related topics.
Media Matters also attacked me three times over the last two weeks: I had an op-ed in the New York Daily News and an appearance on MSNBC defending Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws and The New York Times actually had the temerity to interview me and refer to me as “a researcher of gun culture who has held teaching or research posts at a number of universities.”
Media Matters wasn’t happy.
In total, since January 2011, they have criticized me in 25 pieces.
With headlines such as “John Lott fudges gun facts again” and “New York Times citing discredited gun researcher John Lott,” Media Matters attempts to thuggishly intimidate both people such as myself and those who talk to me (my response to their piece on the New York Times is available here). Alas, some people, including those in the media, believe Media Matters. . . . .

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "U.S. money give to GM has been a bad investment"

The print version of my new piece starts this way:
If you invested more than $100 in a company, would you be happy if your shares were worth only $35? By anyone’s definition that investment would have been a terrible failure.
Yet, that is how the federal government’s investment in General Motors looks. The federal government has put in well over $100 billion into shoring up General Motors, but the entire company, not just what the government owns, was worth only $35 billion on Friday.
GM sales have bounced around, rising in March and then falling in April, but investors’ best guesses for what future sales will be are already in GM’s stock price. And surprisingly, a recent Rasmussen poll shows that support for the bailout has been rising and now 44 percent of likely voters say that the bailout was good for America.
The money the government spent adds up quickly: $50 billion in TARP bailout funds, a special exemption waiving payment of $45.4 billion in taxes on future profits, an exemption for all product liability on cars sold before the bailout, and $360 million in stimulus funds. Other money of which it is harder to quantify GM’s share includes the $15.2 billion Cash for Clunkers program and the $7,500 tax credit for those who buy the Chevy Volt. And all those costs don’t even include the billions taken from GM’s bondholders by the Obama administration. . . .

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