Chrysler Group LLC recently repaid $7.6 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans, an accomplishment that vindicates the administration's decision to rescue Chrysler and further indicates that the economy is recovering, according to Vice President Joe Biden who spoke at the administration's weekly address on the radio and Internet. Biden delivered the address instead of President Obama, who went on a six-day trip to Europe.
Biden said that the resurgence of Chrysler and General Motors Co. after having exited bankruptcy in 2009 has allowed thousands of people to keep their jobs at the automakers, dealers and suppliers. Biden said that as a result of what the administration did, the auto industry is getting the strength to rise again.
He added that manufacturing is “coming back.” He also said that the recovering economy is “gaining traction.” For sure, the economy will be a major subject in the 2012 presidential election.
Interestingly, the Republican address had talked about job creation. The recession led to the loss of over 8.75 million jobs.
Last month, the unemployment rate was 9%. The Congressional Budget Office said that the U.S. Treasury granted $85 billion of commitments to the auto industry, including $64 billion to GM and Chrysler.
Biden said that back then the bailout was unpopular but Obama pushed through with the bailout as he wasn’t going to “abandon an industry that had meant so much to our economy, and so much to so many for so long."
Last Friday, Fiat SpA announced that it wants to purchase the remaining Chrysler stake owned by the U.S. government by the end of 2011, which means that it will then have a share of 57%.