Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
WAYNE January 9, 2014– On Wednesday President Barack Obama spoke at the Ford Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI, kicking off a three-state tour to tout the nation’s economic recovery ahead of the State of the Union address later this month.
“Today I wanted to come here to Michigan because this state proves that no matter how tough times get, Americans are tougher,” Obama said in his January 7 speech. “Because everybody came together here and worked together, folks are better off, and some of the most high-tech, fuel-efficient, high-powered, heart-pounding, good-looking, well-designed, fuel-efficient cars in the world are once again designed, engineered, forged and built not in Europe, not in Asia, (but) right here in the United States of America.”
While UAW members were largely absent due to a scheduled plant shut-down during the presidential visit, UAW president Dennis Williams expressed his support in a prepared statement:
Together, the members of the UAW, government officials of all parties led by the Obama White House, and the auto companies have shown how cooperation and shared sacrifice could take an industry from its darkest day to the economic bright spot of the international economy.
Through shared sacrifice members and consumers can benefit and it is our hope that both members and consumers can continue to reap the significant benefits of a prosperous industry that drives our economy.”
The remarks come as President Obama stopped in at Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant as part of a multicity tour to highlight his administration’s successes in preparation for his Jan. 20 State of the Union address.
The remarks also come on the heels of the Dec. 22 announcement by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew of the final sale of Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) stock involved in the rejuvenation of the U.S. auto industry.
In all, the unprecedented work of the UAW, the auto companies and the U.S. government yielded $15.35 billion in profit. It also saved 1.5 million jobs and preserved $105.3 billion in personal and social insurance tax collections, according to a 2013 study by the Center for Automotive Research.