I find it hard not to enjoy stories like these.
On her visit to a traffic-signal plant [in Iowa] Monday, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called it an example of how President Obama’s policies are “continuing to dig us deeper into the hole toward another recession.”
Standing before a row of shiny orange trailers carrying portable solar-powered traffic lights, she said her plans for a smaller government with fewer rules and lower spending would help OMJC Signal Inc. “grow, grow, grow, grow, grow.”
“That’s my goal — to see you succeed wildly,” the Minnesota congresswoman told a gathering of OMJC workers on the plant floor here in the central Iowa town where she grew up.
So, what’s the problem? As it turns out, OMJC Signal Inc. thrives thanks to government contracts — more than 80% of the company’s revenue comes from government — which allows it provide portable traffic lights, solar-powered bus-stop lights, and traffic cameras for projects nationwide.
The company’s CEO is a self-identified conservative Republican, who was apparently loath to ruin Bachmann’s appearance, but he conceded to reporters that his company benefited from the kind of projects promoted by President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Indeed, thanks to efforts like the Recovery Act, OMJC’s business “has been stable,” even when other local companies were forced to scale back.
Asked for an explanation, Bachmann’s spokesperson complained about health care reform and “excessive spending,” apparently unaware that the response doesn’t make sense under the circumstances.
Michele Bachmann, in other words, accidentally made Obama’s agenda look pretty good. She went to a plant that would suffer as a result of her policies, and which benefited as a result of Democratic policies. Republicans like to pretend the president’s efforts only help grow government, but here’s a private-sector plant that’s done very well because of government contracts.
Hell, it’s practically a case study on how stimulus is supposed to work. Democrats put an emphasis on public investments, private businesses received funding, those businesses hired employees, those employees spent in their communities, etc.
The very economic model Bachmann believes can’t work has proven effective at a plant chosen by the Bachmann campaign.
Update: The estimable Laura Conaway notes that the OMJC in this company’s name is short for “Our Master Jesus Christ.”