POLITICS

‘This is big government’: 500 furloughed at GE plant subsidized and lionized by White House

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Photo - The White House in Washington DC
The White House in Washington DC
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

In 2009, the Obama administration gave $24.8 million in stimulus tax credits to GE’s famous “Appliance Park” factory compound. VP Joe Biden toured the plant as a stimulus success declaring:

So those who talk about this is big government, this is big government giving a little bit of help to jump start America to lead the world in the 21st century…

In 2010, Appliance Park won a $2.5 stimulus grant.

In 2011, a Commerce Department official toured Appliance Park touting Obama’s push to increase U.S. manufacturing.

Then in 2012, GE CEO and Obama Jobs Czar Jeff Immelt announced he was moving fridge-making jobs from Mexico to Appliance Park. Many analysts thought this move was mostly political. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer pooh-poohed those concerns to Bloomberg News:

“It’s a reflection of the cynicism in our country right now,” Fischer said. “People should pull back and realize this is a good thing for our country and celebrate it instead of raising these questions.”

Today, GE announced it was furloughing 500 refrigerator-manufacturing jobs at Appliance Park:

Sluggish appliance sales have furloughed roughly 500 General Electric factory workers at Appliance Park, shutting down the second shift of the new “french door” refrigerator line for five weeks, and stopping production for a week each on the hybrid water heater line and a washer line.

“This is an unfortunate, temporary bump in the road as we work to transform our business,” GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman said in a statement.

“At the end of 2012, appliance industry sales were down almost one million units from 2011,” she said, adding “2013 is starting off slower than anticipated.”

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