Tag Archives: obama

Shutdown in the U.S.: The paralyzed States of America

How does it feel to be forced to leave? In Washington to meet victims of the shutdown, discuss their position – and table tennis. U.S. President Obama is attacking the Tea Party. And the Republicans fail with new proposals.

Back and forth. John Boehner makes ping pong makes Harry Reid, John Boehner ping pong Harry Reid. Back and forth the little flying ball And it laugh out loud the two players at the table tennis, their bats bearing the faces of the top Republican Boehner and the top Democrat Reid. Ping pong. On the sofa already the next policy to a game of table tennis wait in the Jewish community center in Washington, just around the corner from the U.S. Congress.

It’s early afternoon, and they really should not be here. They are young and aspiring who have just started their careers in the ministries and authorities.Usually they sit late into the night in their offices.Normally.

Grand Canyon – Yosemite – Everything tight.

But since Tuesday morning, one minute after midnight, everything is different.America’s government is at a standstill: Government shutdown because Congress could not agree . Over hours, the House and Senate, Boehner and Reid, the budget proposals were pushed back and forth.Political ping-pong up.Without agreement. And so far even without winning.

Now the museums are closed, shut down the Twitter account of the Parliament, does not occupy the passport offices and more than 50 U.S. national parks close : No chance to Grand Canyon, Yosemite Park or the Statue of Liberty.Tourists who are already in, have two days to leave the park. Before the monuments in the capital are the visitors. And shake their heads. Even the toilets are locked.

That sounds ulkiger than it is. About 800,000 state employees have been sent to forced leave, even in the supposedly capitalist U.S. government is the largest employer.

Natalie Rosenfelt normally works in the Ministry of Justice, but now looks to the ping-pong game. Because the community center has agreed to “Shutdown center” to bring together those concerned. The political series “West Wing” is shown on the big screen – of course that result from the fifth season, in which it comes to the government shutdown – and the food is on the house. “It’s a strange feeling,” says Rosenfelt, “you’re insecure because you do not work, and you do not know if you’ll get paid later.” You just hope that the shutdown would last not so long. The last time, in the mid nineties, it was then but 21 days.

Most people here do not want to see their name published in the media.Because they are disappointed in their state: “We think we’re the greatest country in the world,” says one, “and then something like that.”Presently all was still somehow amusing, they say – you have a few days off, makes jokes at the expense of either Republicans or the president, and the capital serves a fast-food chain to state officials on presentation of free burgers. But what if the number goes on for weeks? How are they supposed to pay their bills, their rent? People are afraid. Experts have calculated that a three-to four-week shutdown would cost the U.S. economy about $ 55 billion – equivalent to about the annual editions of the Free State of Bavaria.

Most severely hit are the capital: It is under federal jurisdiction, live here, most state employees. Alone in the Washington metropolitan area, the losses could amount to 200 million dollars per day, citing the “Washington Post” an economic expert. And snappy put the newspaper notes: “The capital of the free world – closed until further notice.”Outside, in front of Congress to protest a few federal officials on Tuesday, their message to MPs: “Do your job, so we can do ours.”

ideological crusade “

In the morning they would get mail that is now closing, telling two colleagues. They had not yet received the instruction to change their answering machine saying, since they may not touch their phone service.Who is to blame? Congress, they say. And if you nachhakt: Well, the Republicans.

This is consistent with the opinion polls. 72 percent of Americans oppose, according to a Quinnipiac survey, the strategy of the Conservatives, the continued funding of the government to end the health care reform of the U.S. president (“Obamacare”) to socialize. And 57 percent are not satisfied with the work of the Republicans in Congress.

Barack Obama tried his hand on Tuesday to beat that score. A group within the Republican Party – he played on the radical Tea Party movement – waging a “ideological crusade” against the reform and therefore have paralyzed the government. But he would not negotiate on Obamacare, reform would “continue to exist”. The government shutdown, the President called now the “republican shutdown.” Obama continues to attack , already for next Thursday’s speech is scheduled in this matter.

And the Republicans? They struggled on Tuesday to show activity. The reasoning behind this: Now, if they are held responsible for the shutdown, then they should not give the impression of inaction and indifference, at least. Although the party leadership still prevents the radical Tea Party minority in their ranks, but tried on Tuesday evening in the House of Representatives to adopt specific measures for the improvement of their image. Such as the national parks should be excluded from the government shutdown and ensure timely payments to the military veterans. There would have a two-thirds majority, which needed the votes of Democrats. The refused.And Obama could announce such a “piece-by-piece approach” was not serious.

The longer now, the government is paralyzed, the more complicated the situation. As early as 17 October ends the next period. And that is far more threatening: Deny the Republicans in Parliament, the United States could not accept any more debt more.Making it the largest economy in the world would be insolvent.

A nightmare scenario, not only for America.

President’s tax proposal riles business

President Barack Obama is seeking to overhaul the international tax system to curb tax advantages that multinational corporations enjoy and control tax evasion and the practice of tax deferral. Many of these corporations are not happy with the proposed changes, which have also raised questions among some legislators.

Sales Plunge Adds to Chrysler’s Misery

Business/Financial Desk

Chrysler’s sales fell 48 percent in April, underscoring the challenge it faces in trying to attract buyers while it reorganizes in bankruptcy.

The decline, reported Friday, was the biggest drop among major automakers, and considerably worse than the industry average of 34 percent compared to a year ago.

But Chrysler’s sales are dropping fast month to month, as well. It sold 24 percent fewer vehicles in April than in March, while the Ford Motor Company and even General Motors, which could find itself in bankruptcy by the end of this month, improved from March to April.

Chrysler executives, though, said they remained optimistic. On Thursday, the day that Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection and President Obama urged consumers to buy an American-made vehicle, they said the company had 11,400 sales, about 15 percent of its total for the month.

”We closed a lot of deals after the fact,” said Steven J. Landry, Chrysler’s executive vice president for North American sales. ”Our showrooms were busy last night. Dealers said customers came into the showroom and bought a car based on President Obama’s speech.”

The one-day sales flurry — up to 20 percent of an automaker’s monthly sales typically occur on the last day — might be encouraging. But experts cautioned that it may not be a good indication of Chrysler’s prospects.

”The challenge is going to be for Chrysler to communicate some sort of a compelling reason to buy their products,” said Jeremy P. Anwyl, chief executive of Edmunds.com, a Web site that gives car-buying information to consumers. ”Even with warranties being guaranteed, what’s the reason to consciously pick a Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge over a competitive vehicle with all of this stuff going on?”

Sales fell 33 percent at G.M., which could follow Chrysler into bankruptcy by June 1, the deadline set by the Obama administration for G.M. to prove to the government that it had a viable business plan and should receive more government loans.

G.M. fared better than Chrysler last month, partly because it increased sales to operators of large fleets, while Chrysler intentionally cut back on fleet sales, which are less profitable than sales to individual customers.

G.M. also has been in less danger of having to shut down than Chrysler, which had previously said that bankruptcy could result in liquidation.

But four brands that G.M. plans to eliminate have suffered. Sales at Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer were down a total of 55 percent, compared with a 29 percent decline for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

More shoppers are turning to the Ford Motor Company, which outsold the Japanese automaker Toyota in April, compared to themonth before, for the first time in more than a year. Ford’s sales declined 32 percent, compared with a 42 percent drop for Toyota.

Ford’s decision not to take billions of dollars in federal aid appears to have improved its image.

The company’s retail market share, which excludes fleet sales, has increased in six of the last seven months. Ford said it is seeing more people trade in rival vehicles at its dealerships.

”We’ve been seeing G.M. and Chrysler owners, and we’ve been seeing Toyota and Honda owners and other brands,” Ford’s chief sales analyst, George Pipas, said.

Some Chrysler dealers could have difficulty making sales this month after the company’s lending arm, Chrysler Financial, said it would be shutting down as part of Chrysler’s restructuring. GMAC Financial Services, the lending arm of G.M., will begin to finance vehicles sold by Chrysler dealers instead, starting later this month.

Friday was the last day of production at Chrysler’s North American plants, which are scheduled to be shut for 30 to 60 days while the company goes through the bankruptcy process. Meanwhile, G.M. is closing 13 of its factories for up to 11 weeks, starting as soon as Monday, to clear out inventories.

Chrysler, in an effort to keep sales from stalling in bankruptcy, plans to introduce a new incentive program next Tuesday. There will be additional discounts for people who previously bought a Chrysler, and the company will send out mailings detailing the offers to nine million of its former customers.

Chrysler also is running full-page newspaper ads Sunday and Monday with the tagline, ”We’re building a new car company. Come see what we’re building for you,” to highlight its new alliance with the Italian automaker Fiat and to emphasize that Chrysler is not closing.

”It’s uncharted waters,” said James E. Press, a Chrysler vice chairman. ”We’re all going into this thing learning every day. We’re fighting back.”


PHOTO: Ford Motor, which refused government funds, sold more cars than Toyota in April. Above, a Ford dealer in Stamford, Conn.(PHOTOGRAPH BY J. GREGORY RAYMOND/BLOOMBERG NEWS)(pg. B4)

CHARTS: How the Industry Fared; Most Popular Cars and Trucks; How the Automakers Fared. (Source: MotorIntelligence.com) (pg. B4)