-By Warner Todd Huston
Barack Obama released a new video ad featuring former workers of GST Steel of Kansas City who lost their jobs because of Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital — at least according to Obama that’s why they lost their jobs. Unfortunately for team Obama, the truth seems to argue against his campaign lies.
The ad is full of lament about GST workers having lost their jobs, sympathy that is most certainly warranted. But the ad goes on to call Romney an “economic vampire” over the layoffs. Union member Jack Cobb, one of the workers in the ad, says for instance, “It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us.”
The ad goes on to blame Mitt Romney and Bain Capital for that vampirism.
WARNING: This Obama ad is filled with lies!
But there are quite a few problems with all these hoary claims of the evils of Bain Capital. First of all is the fact that every voice in this video is that of a union thug. Most especially a man noted as the lead union negotiator, David Foster. Does anyone think a unionista will tell the truth about what went on with a company they spent decades extorting?
It is never noted in the Obama ad that GST Steel had troubles long, long before Bain Capital bought the company. In fact that Bain bought them in the first place is an obvious indicator that the company was in financial trouble. After all, that is what Bain did, buy troubled companies and try to turn them around or shut them down if that proves impossible.
Along those lines, a former GST worker told the National Review, the unions were the ones bleeding GST dry, not Bain.
I nearly choked on my Cheerios when I read that GST employees were blaming Bain for their downfall. I worked at GST Steel in Kansas City for four months in 1997 immediately after leaving the Navy.
Why only four months? Quickly after I started, I surprised to learn that several of my fellow USW Local 13-represented employees, mostly millwrights and electricians, we’re making between $100-130k. This was mainly due union-mandated overtime which, at least on a few occasions, consisted of the employees bringing in sleeping bags and pillows and sleeping in the shop. It would be hard for any company to stay competitive while paying double-time union wages to get their beauty sleep, but that’s not the half of it. The union employees obviously didn’t think they had it easy enough, so they went on strike in March of ‘97. The plant shut down for a couple of weeks until it re-started under the operation of management and non-union workers. The strike lasted a couple more months. I had a family to support, so I couldn’t afford to wait. I took another (non-union) job with another company. They shuttered the plant for good a few years later.
That’s Bain’s fault? Just classic.
It should be well known by now that when a legacy manufacturer (like steel manufacturers, car companies, etc.) goes under one of the biggest reasons is because unions have for decades raped the company to death.
But there is another major problem with linking the end of GST to Mitt Romney’s work with Bain. Romney wasn’t with Bain when GST went down. Romney had left Bain Capital in 1999, two years before GST’s 2001 collapse.
But there was at least one guy linked to today’s political landscape that was still at Bain when GST went down the tubes. Obama donor and a Bain managing director Jonathan Levine was working at Bain when GST went belly up.
So, the only person that worked for Bain when GST died was an Obama bundler that raised over $100,000 for Obama.
Curiously enough, that fact wasn’t in the Obama ad video, either.
Then there’s this. Even former Obama economic adviser Steve Rattner thinks the ad is “unfair.”
See also Naked D.C.
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