Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

President Obama Driving?

President Visits GM Auto Plant in Hamtramck Michigan

President Obama samples the electric care of the future, a Chevy Volt.

"The auto industry had lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Sales had gone down by 40 percent. And two of the Big Three, GM and Chrysler, were on the brink of a liquidation bankruptcy", said President Obama during a speech this week at a General Motors plant in Michigan.

The president credits his Administration for turning the auto industry around after bailing out the Big Three auto industries with a $25 billion loan.

"And now here we are a year later. And a year later, GM and Chrysler, along with Ford, are all posting a profit. The U.S. auto industry has hired 55,000 workers, the most job growth in a decade.  And not only that, but you’re producing the cars of the future right here at this plant, producing cars that are going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This car right here doesn’t need a sip of gasoline for 40 miles and then keeps on going after that."

The Administration is also working to bring back made-in-America products, thus putting more Americans back to work in an economy that still has high unemployment rates, especially in Detroit.

"And along with creating these new products, we’ve also started to say, well, why don’t we make the advanced batteries that go into the Volt right here in the United States of America? So we were making 2 percent of the advanced batteries right here in the United States. By 2015, in five years, we will have 40 percent of the market in advanced batteries right here in the United States of America being made by American workers.

The President got to drive the Chevy Volt about 12 inches.  Not very far even for a modest test drive, to say the least.

"Smooth", said President Obama.

The president used the same adjective when describing his own Cadillac that the Secret Service designed for him.

"They don't let me drive much these days. But the Cadillac that I drive in is made right here. I got to admit the Secret Service soups it up a little bit. But it’s a nice ride. It’s very smooth."
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed the President's drive was "a highly unusual, though not unprecedented opportunity for President Obama."

Gibbs said he believes the last time Obama drove was 3-4 months ago, when he drove a Dodge Charger at a Secret Service training facility.

Homeowners Want A Bailout, Too!

While the President was relishing saving the auto industry in Michigan, hundreds of protesters lined up in D.C. outside the Washington Convention Center where the president spoke at a National Urban League event to send a message to the Commander In Chief that homeowners need a bail out, too.

The continued loss of jobs and illegal mortgage practices have left many homeowners fighting to save their homes.   Homeowners and members of NACA have been at the Convention Center for most of last week in an effort to help homeowners modify their existing mortgages.

"We just want to show President Obama that homeowners need help too", said a spokesman for the organization.

"We need a bailout too."

Earlier this year, the adminstration announced adjustments to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs designed to better assist responsible homeowners who have been affected by the economic crisis through no fault of their own.

The Administration’s goal is to promote stability for both the housing market and homeowners. To meet these objectives, the Administration has developed a comprehensive approach using state and local housing agency initiatives, tax credits for homebuyers, neighborhood stabilization and community development programs, mortgage modifications and refinancing, and support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Administration’s efforts for homeowners have focused on giving responsible households an opportunity to remain in their homes when possible while they get back up on their feet, or to relocate to a more sustainable living situation.

Please see the following links for program details and information:  (1), (2), (3), (4).

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