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Obama's Unbelievable Offer!

Has Barack Obama got a deal for you!

"If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always," the president announced from the Grand Foyer of the White House this morning.

And that's not all! "Your warranty will be safe," the salesman-in-chief went on. "In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been, because, starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty."

And check out these incentives!

"If you buy a car anytime this year, you may be able to deduct the cost of any sales and excise taxes," the president promised.

No credit - no problem!

"We are working intensively with the auto finance companies to increase the flow of credit to both consumers and dealers," Obama pledged.

The official purpose of the president's appearance: to announce his demands for further restructuring of General Motors (including the ouster of its CEO) and of Chrysler (including a forced marriage to Europe's Fiat).

But as Obama stood there, squinting into the Teleprompter with his sales team of economic aides at his flank, he sounded as if he were cutting an ad for Ourisman Chevrolet.

So what's it going to take to put this car in your garage today? How about "a generous credit to consumers who turn in old, less fuel-efficient cars and purchase cleaner cars?"

Whatever it takes, this salesman is ready to negotiate. "I'm committed to doing all I can to see if a deal can be struck," he vowed.

If you act today, he may even throw in the floor mats.

"Some of the cars made by American workers right now are outperforming the best cars made abroad," Obama pitched.

Such as this cream puff: "In 2008, the North American Car of the Year was a GM."

With Corinthian leather at no extra charge! And wait until you get behind the wheel of this beauty: "This year, Buick tied for first place as the most reliable car in the world."

Reporters walking back to the White House briefing room from the morning's presidential announcement got into the spirit of the day.

"Zero money down!" proposed one. "Will he throw in a few oil changes?" wondered another. "How about an extended warrantee?"

Before it's over, the president may well offer all that, and a free detailing, too. "I wake up every single day asking myself, what can I do to give you and working people all across this country a fair shot at the American Dream," the president said. This morning, he got his answer: He will sell cars at prices so low he's practically giving them away.

By Dana Milbank  | March 30, 2009; 1:01 PM ET
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The president is selling cars and Dana is pedeling snark. All is right with the world.

Posted by: bob29 | March 30, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Ha! Ha! Nice. Doing what he does best - Obama. Selling cars/dreams.

Posted by: ankara1 | March 30, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

But as Obama stood there, squinting into the Teleprompter with his sales team of economic aides at his flank, he sounded as if he were cutting an ad for Ourisman Chevrolet.

As always, Mr. Milbank, you sound like an idiot

Posted by: mackiejw | March 30, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"squinting at the teleprompter" What is it about the use of this piece of equipment which arouses so much attention? Surely it's not a new invention?

Posted by: mjcoulter70 | March 30, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The only thing missing is the use of the word "Comrade" before every promise and after every assertion.

God help us all.

Posted by: bbahler | March 30, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Dana, sometimes you are off and sometimes you are off. I doubt you've ever known a hard time, but this really isn't a funny subject to the people who live in Michigan.

Forget free oil changes, how about jobs as the engine of this great economy, Mr. President? People aren't going to buy a new car even at a fire sale if they are worried about getting laid off tomorrow or have had to agree to a pile of concessions to keep the one they have.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

A structured bankruptcy is what should have been done in the first place. It's the only reason some of the airlines survived!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 30, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The thing that drives me crazy is the tax deduction from buying a car. I can deduct the sales and excise taxes. Whoopee! That means on a $21,000 car I'll get back a whopping $176 or so in Virginia. A few tanks of gas at best. Gee, real incentive - not. Throw about $4k - $5k my way and I'll be trekking around the lots searching for a new car.

Posted by: goalie4 | March 30, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

As the owners of a GMC Safari mini-van, 16 years old on Valentine's Day and a Dodge Dakota pickup, I care about what President Obama says about warranties.
So do a lot of other Americans.
He's absolutely right to hold their feet to the fire.
Every other large corporation in the country would be beating down the doors demanding bailouts, a la AIG, otherwise.
The control by the monetary traunch is the only means we have of having any say in how these corporations behave.
That's why our so-called 80% "ownership" of AIG is such a thorn in our sides.
AIG is incorporated in a state where the rules of incorporation have completely wiped out any shareholder control over a company.
There was an interesting article on the Web about this situation over the weekend.
Something tells me the big financial giants who previously believed they had the U.S. over a barrel when they demanded a bailout are now seeing the handwriting on the wall and I have a strong feeling they don't like what this news portends for them.
Well, we aren't writing blank checks for any of those pirates anymore.
There's a new sheriff in town.
Thank God.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | March 30, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Whats with the sarcastic handling of things? Why did Olbermann ask you not to come back? Something about dishonesty? Why do you hate Obama? Think the crooks who brought the banks and car companies down are the "good guys" or what, Milbanks????

I USED to like you.

Posted by: mjfpdx | March 30, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Buy a car, get a tax break; make a charitable contribution [as in the past] and lose the break ! ?

Posted by: Justlistening | March 30, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

For eight years, the media could not find anything wrong with George W. Bush. They were cheerleading Bush-Cheney all the way to Baghdad. No one questioned anything. No one noticed anything. No one had any wisdom to offer. NO ONE HAD THE COURAGE. Now all of a sudden they all seem to have woken up. Because, finally they have no fear of retribution.

Remeber, every little mess has been created by the former administration. Someone has to fix it. When you have no clue, the best thing is to stand back and let the guy (who is trying to fix the mess) do his job, becasue as it is you are braindead anyway. The worst thing you can do is to come up with pathetic attempts at satire. People like Milbank should spend some time in China/Russia to understand that freedom of press is not to be trivialized.

Posted by: pattr1 | March 30, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS... (you too, Dana)

The new government tax deduction for new car buyers is limited to the amount of sales and excise taxes. Here's what I don't get:

Instead of doling out billions to the car companies, why didn't the government offer tax REBATES of, say, $5,000, for buyers of American-made cars (or cars assembled in the U.S., to cover foreign makers with U.S. plants)?

Now, THAT would have stimulated sales -- which is what the auto industry needs more than anything.

The taxpayer money would go directly from the government to car buyers and straight into the economy -- as opposed to forking over billions just to the car companies, who might spend some of the public cash unwisely (for office remodeling or corporate jets, for example).






Google it.

YOU -- or someone close to you -- could be the next victim.

Unless Team Obama -- especially AG Holder, SecDef Gates, SecDHS Napolitano, SecTreas Geithner -- take down the draconian Bush-Cheney extrajudicial punishment network... array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" and government-funded vigilante "community stalking"...

...coupled with the proliferation of mind- and body-degrading "directed energy" microwave radiation weapons -- the Zyklon-B of a grassroots, government-enabled American Gestapo.

Attorney General Holder, you must act NOW to restore human and civil rights in America.

Before the naivete of liberals empowers the saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves who say "No!" to change.


Where is the civil rights division investigation that victims have demanded?

Or is there "nothing to investigate" -- because the government already knows all about this?

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Once again - an asinine and totally pointless unfunny column.

You are not even in the fringes of journalism anymore dude. Quit and take up some other honest work, and let someone talented take up your space at WaPo. And Olbermann was right on in trundling you out of his show.

A laid off auto worker can do a better job writing something.

Posted by: Pillai | March 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

From today's The Hill: "Obama told the members of Congress that Wagoner needed to resign so that the administration could show the public it was making an effort at a fresh start with helping the auto industry."

What kind of country are we when our president, a political leader, has the power to fire the CEO of a private company? And for the admitted purpose of "showing the public" that the administration is making a "fresh start?" The insane, brazen expansion of power by our new administration continues unabated.

Posted by: Bill1230 | March 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dana:

Just bought a new GM car - honestly!!

I do feel better already.

Posted by: Spectator | March 30, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Well put. One of the functions of a political leader is to promote the products of his country, just as governors promote the products of their states. U.S. automakers have some good vehicles coming of their production lines. And, yes, you can tie conditions to loans - the public demands that if you are loaning public money (that's your money and my money).

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | March 30, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Does the Consitution allow for a President to make such promises with our tax dollars and without Congresssional approval?

I suppose doesn't matter as Congress follows Obama like little chicks follow a mother hen - or more like rats follow a Pied Piper?

For now, I am taking my car to the White House for some work under warranty. Just ring the bell and send out the mechanic!

Posted by: mgd1 | March 30, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Dana, Dana, Dana. What kind of name is that for a man any way, Dana? You and Krauthammer, you spew ill-will every 30 days on the Commander-in-Chief. What you both need to do is get over yourselves. What dorks.

Imagine 100 million people purchasing cars this year. Imagine what 100 million sales will do to the U.S. economy. Imagine the volume of credit that will flow from car dealer to bank to customer if 100 million cars are sold. Imagine the jobs that will be saved, created, jobs that support the auto manufacturers, like metal smiths, small parts distributors, etc.

See Dana, economist, those of us who know that purchases stimulate the economy postively, are not laughing or making jokes about the President's sales pitch. Oh yes, it was a sale pitch, a sales pitch to help a dead, non-moving, negative spiralling economy. You got jokes, others are out of work. How dare you laugh and make a mockery of this situation.

Posted by: ajackson3 | March 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Dana, Snide comments with no positive contribution...Now I know why msNBC gave you your walking papers.

Posted by: lorenzoSL | March 30, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

What a freaking idiot! That'squinting into the teleprompter" says it all. Nothing else need be read to know where you stand on this president or anything he does. That new asinine meme is being used by the right-wing and the lame-brains in the press who parrot them as if it could somehow discredit the president of the United States. It really is the line in the sand between the serious media and the hacks who will say anything to promote themselves. You (and now everyone else) know which one you are.

Posted by: bgormley1 | March 30, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Dana, If MSNBC gave you walking papers consider that a badge of courage, honeslty, their rating are in the toilet. Keith Overbite's show is the lowest rated among them all.

I literally laughed out loud at the post that said Bush was never criticized for 8 years and now all the sudden, yikes, poor Obama! What happened?? Are you all living in an alternate universe?

Flame away Dana, if you want to make fun of Obama go right ahead. There is just so much material there that it's hard to know where to start. I actually think the teleprompter is a good salesman, snakeoil, cars, what the difference? He's only running our country into the ground, it's really nothing.....

Posted by: cheekymonkey | March 30, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, meant badge of HONOR, although it takes courage to even set foot on PMSNBC.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | March 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Cute and snarky, Milbank. I've missed that combination the past week.

My question is, do you and the press pool have a better idea? SOMETHIN's gotta be done, and these two haven't done anything constructive on their own except ask for extra handouts. So let's hear what the peanut--I mean, pundit--gallery thinks should be done.

Posted by: ktartiste | March 30, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Cuba has a brisk tourist trade from Europe and elsewhere and tourism is now their number one cash cow. The fact that most Cubans would love to escape the human rights violations of that socialist country and have died trying to get to America is not apparently worrisome to those tourists. Perhaps our President believes that we should contribute to their tourist business as a gesture of good will. He could be right and there is support from such respected people as Chris Dodd of AIG legislation fame.
We are of course heading toward a Cubanization of our own country so maybe we should allow our citizens to see for themselves how well it is working for the Cubans: The Cuban state adheres to socialist principles in organizing its largely state-controlled planned economy. Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government and most of the labor force is employed by the state. Recent years have seen a trend towards more private sector employment. By the year 2006, public sector employment was 78% and private sector 22%, compared to 91.8% to 8.2% in 1981.[139] Capital investment is restricted and requires approval by the government. The Cuban government sets most prices and rations goods. Moreover, any firm wishing to hire a Cuban must pay the Cuban government, which in turn will pay the company's employee in Cuban pesos according to Human Rights Watch.[140] Cubans can not change jobs without government permission.[141] The average wage at the end of 2005 was 334 regular pesos per month ($16.70 per month) and the average pension was $9 per month

Posted by: mharwick | March 30, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, doesn't he know he's the President of the United States?! Besides, why would anyone encourage Americans to unnecessarily take on any more debt at this time in history?

Posted by: forgetthis | March 30, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

dana: You are a clown and a shill for the rightwing nutbags...your guys screwed up the economy over the past 30 years with you and your ilk as cheerleaders and now every time the Pres tries to fix something you belittle it and try to belittle him.

you should take careful note of this--hope you can find a job with the pittsburgh mellons, idiot.

Posted by: Intrepidone | March 30, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bill1230 | March 30, 2009 2:43 PM
What kind of country are we when our president, a political leader, has the power to fire the CEO of a private company? And for the admitted purpose of "showing the public" that the administration is making a "fresh start?" The insane, brazen expansion of power by our new administration continues unabated.

When that private company NEEDS government (taxpayer) money to survive, that's why a political leader can fire that CEO.

Posted by: biggirl90 | March 30, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I have owned two Chevrolet Malibus, keeping both for no less than 10 years. Neither car "died" as they were traded for newer models. These were both low maintenance vehicles, no major repairs, only oil changes and a couple of batteries. Some American cars have been given bad reputations--our auto workers are capable of making efficient cars--both my chevys lasted me longer than the Toyota that I owned.

Posted by: jalexis55 | March 30, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I would just like to thank Dana for spelling "warranty" correctly. All over the web, people are spelling it "warrantee" - the world is going to hell in a handbasked enough as it is!

Posted by: jay4811 | March 30, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Dana Milbank is the reason so many papers are going under. Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean you have to be such an a-hole about it. Satire is generally true and funny. This is neither.

Posted by: blarsen1 | March 30, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Dana, sometimes satire works. sometimes it doesn't. this falls into the latter category. stop trying so hard to be funny. you're coming across as merely juvenile. comparing obama's remarks to a car ad -- now, that's clever.

Posted by: bawtsinpaul | March 30, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

This would be funny were it not for the fact that it says so much about political leaders and CEOs who sat on their duffs while we reached the point that our President has to sell cars.

And with regard to teleprompters, enough said. Sadly, we have also reached the point that many of us are glad to have a president who can read a teleprompter and understand what the words mean.

Posted by: exco | March 30, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who thought this was funny? I like Obama, and think his ideas to fix the economy are as good as any I've heard, but that doesn't mean we can't have a laugh every once in a while.

Posted by: ftg_somerville | March 30, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Dana. I'm starting to like you a lot. Ever since Keith Oberjerk kicked you off MSNBC for calling Obama the ``presumptive'' president you've got your fingers around some nice little commentary. Opps! The secret is out. Obama can't think on his feet. The leader of the free world is a dope. The only hope for America is the guy is so far over his head he will self-destruct before turning this country into Venezuela.

Posted by: hedgehog1 | March 30, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey hedgehog-

You must of thought Bush was a real genius!

Posted by: blarsen1 | March 30, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

These comments are further proof liberals have no sense of humor.

Posted by: everyman43 | March 30, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

well ,i love the snarkiness Dana, but its about time someone of note AND one of the elite promotes a good american product . Finally the Traverse has some comparative ads out there to make people think a little about how we can vote with our money. oh and here's something all them pick up truck ads during sporting events well dads are watching arent they so put some CHEVY Malibu or Ford Focus ads on then too for their wives and daughters .

Posted by: kristiwarsha | March 30, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

The same fine folks that couldn't roll out $40 coupons in time for the digital TV switchover will now "guarantee" your automobile warranty...I guess that P.T. Barnum said it best...step right up suckers, all of you fools that voted for Obama can now buy your GM new cars that will be covered by your Obama warranty...nothing to worry about...wanna buy a bridge to go with that new car chumps?

When will America realize that GM (management AND unions) killed themselves long ago and are now a nightmare of the living dead men walking around looking for bailouts...let's mercifully pull the plug before the zombies kill us too! Or shall we turn America into one big DMV?

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." -- John Adams

Posted by: JohnConlin1 | March 30, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Is the point of this article that the president shouldn't be trying to keep GM and Chrysler alive by taking steps to make people feel secure about buying their products?

If not what is the point of this article?

If, as I suspect, this article has no point, it should at least be witty. It isn't.

Posted by: anandamide | March 31, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

this is insane. hes upsetting the natural cosmic way of the universe! when an animal is weak, it dies. when an animal is strong, it thrives. the same holds true for companies with 4th stage brain cancer. its a mistake to bail all of these companies out. Capitalism is about allowing people to do their own business without interference from the government other than to be taxed. allow them to fail and another company will take over the business, one that is stronger and can provide the same, if not more jobs than before

Posted by: Phindog7 | March 31, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Let's just dissolve the union and start over. I never liked California and Texas anyway.

Posted by: CountryFirst | March 31, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse


Alert. Un-ironic fan letter to follow!

Great job today. It is great too how people who watched you make fun of Bush now think you are no longer funny. Politicians need ridicule. Yes, they are easy prey, but you do it better than anyone.

Keep it up. Serious subjects deserve to have their silly sides exposed. I do not think Obama takes himself nearly as seriously as some of his humorless fans do.

Thanks. Your work is a treat.

Posted by: dasumner | March 31, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I know firsthand that people who went to Yale may, in certain circumstances, be, well, a bit snotty. Dana, you almost were snotty, but this is actually funny. Nice column, truly. I pity the commenters who see Communism behind what the president has to do. I guess the commenters think the ole capitalists did a fine job with our auto industry. The old Soviet Gosplan could not have done much better with GM. Boroidny Mishbucha, baby.

Posted by: axolotl | March 31, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

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