What is Governor Mitt Romney’s Economic Plan for America?
Governor Romney eloquently criticizes President Obama for America’s current unemployment and economic situation. I find that absurd, insulting, hypocritical, and arrogant. Here is a man who has made millions of dollars taking over companies, laying off or firing people, and outsourcing the jobs those people formerly held to places like China and India just so he could get richer. To use President Bill Clinton’s words at the Democratic National Convention, “It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.” Now President Obama has not outsourced any jobs that I am aware of nor has he lain any person off or fired anyone for the purpose of enriching his own personal financial gains. Yes, we have an unemployment problem in the nation right now but is the president guilty of “causing” that? The president has stated, “We lost 4 million jobs before I was sworn in; 750,000 the month I was sworn in; 600,000, the month after that; 600,000 the month after that. So most of the jobs that we lost were lost before the economic policies we put in place had any effect.” Is this a true fact? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ records it is right on the money – between December, 2007 and January, 2009 (a 13 month period and a month prior to the stimulus enactment) the United States lost 4.4 million jobs. Romney has told reporters on more than one occasion, “China has taken Americans’ jobs.” Did he have some lapse of memory? Mr. Romney outsourced jobs to China and other countries. Ed Conard, Mr. Romney’s Bain partner, writes in his book about how the company used outsourcing. According to Mr. Conard “Let’s not kid ourselves about just how cheap offshore labor really is. We not only pay substantially less per hour, we also avoid the costs we would incur if these workers immigrated here. We don’t pay for their medical expenses when they show up in the emergency room without insurance. We don’t pay for their pension costs if they don’t save for retirement. We don’t pay for their children’s public education. Nor do we pay for their out-of-wedlock children, their unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation, their slip and fall torts, their wear and tear on our public infrastructure, and the cost of their drunk driving, drug use and other crimes. We outsource pollution, its adverse effects on our health, and its clean-up costs. Neither the employees nor their employers are here to vote and seek political handouts.” Mr. Romney claims that he created 100,000 jobs when working with Bain Capital. Fact or fiction I don’t know. In 1994, when he challenged the late Senator Ted Kennedy for a seat in the U. S. Senate that figure was 10,000 jobs. If the 100,000 figure is correct then the question then becomes one of what kinds of jobs were created – jobs paying minimum wages which keeps the poor at poverty levels or jobs that people could actually make a living wage at? Bain kept no records of how many jobs it actually created that I have been able to ascertain. So, who contributed to the unemployment the economy is now dealing with? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? President Obama took the Oath of Office in January, 2009. The number of jobs lost declined from 700,000 when took office through May, 2012. The reason unemployment rose in May of 2012 and has fluctuated since that time as new jobs were created or fewer people filed for unemployment benefits. Had the president and congress reached a consensus on the jobs program, would it have helped? I, personally, can’t say. But in my opinion it most assuredly would not have hurt the economy as much as this stalemate is hurting. Would Mr. Romney have been more successful than the president in getting the bill passed? Perhaps the Republican members of congress would have granted him that honor rather than obstruct it.
There is no question that under Mr. Romney’s helm Bain Capital did create some jobs. The question is just how many and what were they? The other question is how many of those were replacement jobs to replace the ones that were destroyed and outsourced? In 2011 Bain Capital’s investment professionals and support staff counted at more than 100 individuals. So, Mr. Romney, SHOW ME THE FACTS. Did you create 100,000 jobs or 10,000 jobs? Now he has a great plan to create more jobs here in America. What does he plan to do? Rebuild the companies he destroyed and put the people who lost jobs because of his actions back in them? He insists that he “left Bain Capital in 1999” but let’s look at some of the history here:
– In 1984 Mitt Romney takes over leadership of Bain Capital.
-In 1986 Bain invested in Staples. Mr. Romney claims to have created 100,000 jobs through the company. What he leaves out is this. Because Staples took business from local stores people shifted from those stores to lower paying jobs ($8-10 per hour) with Staples. This caused the local stores problems forcing them to close leaving Staples an open field to play in. Today, Staples only has around 90,000 employees. Did he really create 100,000 jobs?
-In 1999 Mitt Romney officially left the reins of Bain Capital to head up the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Or did he? Does he still get the credit and the blame for Bain Capital’s activities after that? What was Romney’s connection with Bain after 1999?
-February, 1999, according to SEC records Mr. Romney is the sole stockholder, chairman of the board, CEO, and the president of Bain Capital.
– July 13, 2000, SEC filings excerpts,
“Bain Capital Investors VI, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Bain Investors VI”), is the sole general Partner of Bain Partners VI. Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain Investors VI and thus is the controlling person of Bain Investors VI. The executive officers of Bain Investors VI are set forth on Schedule A hereto.
“Bain Capital Partners VI, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership…Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder… The executive officers of Bain Investors VI are set forth on Schedule B hereto.
“…The principal business address of W. Mitt Romney and each of the executive officers of Bain Investors VI and Bain Capital are set forth on Schedules A and B respectively…
“…The principal occupation of Mr. W. Mitt Romney and each of the executive officers of Bain Investors VI is set forth on Schedule A hereto…
“… (d) None of the Reporting Persons, Bain Partners VI, Bain Investors VI or its executive officers, W. Mitt Romney, or Bain Capital or its executive officers, has, during the last five years, been convicted in a criminal proceeding (excluding traffic violations or similar misdemeanors).
“(e) None of the Reporting Persons, Bain Partners VI, Bain Investors VI or its executive officers, W. Mitt Romney, or Bain Capital or its executive officers, has, during the last five years, been a party to a civil proceeding of a judicial or administrative body of competent jurisdiction and as a result of such proceeding was or is subject to a judgment, decree or final order enjoining future violations of, or prohibiting or mandating activities subject to, federal or state securities laws or finding any violation with respect to such laws.
“(f) Each of Fund VI, Bain Partners VI, Bain Investors VI, the BCIP Entities, and Bain Capital is organized under the laws of the State of Delaware. Mr. W. Mitt Romney and each of the executive officers of Bain Investors VI, and the executive officers of Bain Capital is a citizen of the United States.
“… Mr. W. Mitt Romney, in his capacity as sole shareholder of Bain Investors VI and Bain Capital, may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to the 3,612,122 shares held by the Reporting Persons by virtue of their membership in Samantha Investors. The filing of this statement by Mr. W. Mitt Romney shall not be construed as an admission that he is, for the purpose of Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act, the beneficial owner of such shares held by the Reporting Persons.
“BAIN CAPITAL FUND VI, L.P., By Mark E. Nunnelly, Managing Director, BCIP ASSOCIATES II, BCIP ASSOCIATES II-B, BCIP ASSOCIATES II-C, BCIP TRUST ASSOCIATES II, BCIP TRUST ASSOCIATES II-B, By Bain Capital, Inc., their Managing Partner and PEP INVESTMENTS PTY, LTD., By Bain Capital, Inc., its attorney-in-fact By Mark E. Nunnelly, Managing Director.
“… SIGNATURES … SCHEDULE A EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF BAIN CAPITAL INVESTORS VI, INC… W. Mitt Romney, Chief Executive Officer, President and Managing Director, Two Copley Place, Boston, MA 02116,” et als. SCHEDULE B EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF BAIN CAPITAL INVESTORS VI, INC… W. Mitt Romney, Chief Executive Officer, President and Managing Director, Two Copley Place, Boston, MA 02116, et als.”
-The SEC records also show Mr. Romney as the sole stockholder, chairman of the board, CEO, and the president of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002. I find it hard to believe that as the man at the top of the chain Mr. Romney had no say in how the company operated during that time.
-in 2002 Romney finalized a 10-year severance agreement with Bain. The terms of that agreement have not been disclosed and it expired, supposedly, in 2009.
-In his 2003 in his Massachusetts disclosure forms Romney states that he owned a hundred percent of Bain Capital in 2002 and that he earned more than $100,000 in addition to his investments for the years of 2001 and 2002.
In 2002 Mr. Romney testified in a Massachusetts court that he had, in fact, made trips between Boston and Salt Lake City on a frequent basis during the first 6 months of 1999 for board meetings of Staples Office Supply in his bid to thwart challenges to his residency status as a resident of the state. When testifying before Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission Romney state that he had just taken “a leave of absence” from Bain but had not departed. His former associates have said that he also met with Bain partners as well. Again I ask, did Romney really leave Bain in February of 1999 and does he get the credit and the blame for Bain Capital’s activities after that?
Example: In 1993 Bain becomes the major shareholder in GS Technologies in Kansas City. Less than 10 years later after hiring inexperienced managers who skimped on safety and maintenance equipment and caused spiking labor costs the company went bankrupt and reemerged as Steel Dynamics. 750 People lost jobs, employees were denied promised severance pay and health insurance, pensions were cut by $400 per month, and the government had to bail out the company’s pension plan to the tune of $44 million. Employees were offered the opportunity to purchase health insurance through the company’s plan at costs that amounted for some higher than their actual pension. AND, the company would not pay for any part of that insurance.
In 2006 Bain became a partner in Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). In 2008 HCA changed its emergency room (ER) billing codes, put more pressure on doctors to increase profits, and began to show an increase in the number of patients requiring more services making Medicare costs soar. HCA’s earnings increased almost $100 million in the first quarter of 2009 alone. HCA began to refuse to treat patients without urgent conditions unless they could pay for it in advance forcing people to go elsewhere for treatment. This began a trend among other hospitals to adopt the same rules. HCA continues to buy out hospitals. Could this be part of those high costs that are part of the problem with Medicare and Medicaid? Okay, so this was after Mr. Romney supposedly left Bain. BUT, he still reaps benefits from Bain Capital as part of his retirement, resignation, leaving, or however you may want to say it. Blind trust withstanding. In 2012 Governor Romney is still receiving income from Bain through a blind trust held by his wife, Anne. That blind trust is managed by Mr. Romney’s personal attorney and still makes investments, including a $10 million investment in a wealth management company founded by one of the Romney’s sons. So, active involvement or not the Romneys still receive income in some form or fashion from Bain Capital.
Fact, fiction or fallacy, which is it?
It is a matter of record that Mr. Romney and Bain Capital invested in many companies, including such successes as Staples, Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, The Sports Authority, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Toys “R” Us. Bain Capital also owns Clear Channel and Premiere Radio Networks (a company that syndicates the radio shows of such agitators as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity) and is a partner in MSNBC. (The president’s staunchest critics at MSNBC do have the common sense to think before they speak.) Let’s not forget that there are many companies that Bain took over which were not such successes as well. But it does appear that many of those failed, downsized, or bankrupted investments garnered Bain’s investors huge amounts of income which were converted to capital gains for tax purposes rather than be reported as ordinary income in order to avoid paying their fair share of income and Medicare taxes at the same time that many small businesses were paying higher amounts. And it is also a matter of record that even as those companies failed and many people were losing their job Romney and Bain were still making money from their investments in the companies they were leaving in shambles.
Mr. Romney says that the president should take responsibility for where the economy stands right now but does he assume responsibility for what happened to the companies he helped to revamp that went into bankruptcy while he still held the senior most position at Bain Capital, Inc., whether in an active or inactive capacity?
Mr. Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, along with those who insist (through their implied carefully worded underlying messages) that Mr. Obama does not belong in “their” White House want us to think America and the economy is dying. The truth as I see it is that our economy is not where we would like it to be but it is in recovery and on a positive path to full recovery. What Romney and Ryan are not saying is that there are factors beyond the control of the president (even if it was Mitt Romney) that slows the growth of the economy. Mr. Romney needs to understand that America is not another company for him to take control of, revamp, destroy livelihoods, and outsource jobs. If Mr. Romney were so fortunate as to become president would he walk away leaving it as broken as he left the State of Massachusetts? Fact is, Romney and his Bain associates pocketed enormous fortunes while working class stiffs lost their jobs. So, what will the working class, poor, middle class, seniors, and our children and grandchildren lose should Mitt Romney luck out and makes his move to the White House an actual fact? Think about it, people. YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE. Make the right one. VOTE, people, JUST VOTE! And vote for the poor; vote for our children; vote for our senior citizens; vote for education; and vote for jobs. Don’t be misled by the rhetoric of lies being purported that the economy is not getting better.