by Sherry Mann
The National Review editors recently wrote, “Mitt Romney ran a firm that invested in struggling businesses, made money, and never asked for a bailout,” and described any attacks on his Bain record as “asinine”.
On October 25, 1994, the Boston Globe wrote, “Republican Senate nominee Mitt Romney’s rescue of a business consulting firm was achieved, in part, by convincing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to forgive roughly $10 million of the company’s debts, according to sources close to the deal and federal records obtained by the Boston Globe.”
David Shuster commented on this in the January 11, 2012 edition of Countdown, “…In other words, not only did Romney ask for a bailout, he received one. And let’s be clear — when any institution lets you or your company forgive and forget a ten million dollar debt, that is a bailout.”
Reuter’s reports: “In October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888. It was a gamble. The old mill, renamed GS Industries, needed expensive updating, and demand for its products was susceptible to cycles in the mining industry and commodities markets.
“Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month. What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees on its $8 million initial investment.”
Some “conservative” pundits describe Romney’s Bain Capital experience as evidence of successful capitalism. Romney has described himself as a business legend in his campaign ads and said, “I’m basically in the investor’s Hall of Fame.” His record suggests rather, that he is a successful corporatist — which is just a polite way to describe him as fascist — uniting government and corporate interests. His record also suggests a strong involvement with criminal elements and foreign operations — putting profit motives over American interests and even the law.
• Bain Capital financed 1988 buyout with junk bonds issued by Drexel Burnham – when SEC filed charges against the firm and CEO Michael Milken, Bain Capital maintained their business relationship. Romney later reminisced about “the glorious days of Drexel Burnham.”
• Romney sat on board of directors of Bain portfolio-company Damon Clinical Laboratories, which was fined over $100 million for Medicare fraud committed during Romney’s tenure.
• At least two Bain Capital companies – Stream International and Modus Media – focused on outsourced technical support services, expanding facilities abroad while contracting operations in the United States.
• Romney used services of campany heavily reliant on illegal immigrant labor to perform landscaping duties at his home(s).
• As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney approved a government contract for a New Bedford firm — raided in early 2007 for massive immigration law violations.
• In 2004, Bain and Co. received a multi-million dollar contract from the National Iranian Oil Company.
• After Romney became governor, Bain Capital teamed up with Chinese appliance maker Haier Group in 2005 in effort to purchase Newton, Iowa-based Maytag Corp. and send jobs overseas.
Romney has been criticized by experts for failing to deliver on issues of business development and economic growth after selling himself as the “CEO Governor.”
• As Governor, Romney watched Massachusetts spending increase at well over the rate of inflation, estimated at 24% — over $5 billion — in Gov. Romney’s final three years.
• Under Romney, Massachusetts dramatically underperformed the rest of the nation in terms of job growth.
• Romney left his successor to fill a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion.
• Romney raised state fees and taxes more than $700 million per year.
• Romney raised fees by roughly $500 million in his first year — the highest in the nation.
• Romney quadrupled gun licensing fees and raised fees on first responders, real estate transactions, the blind, golfers and many others.
• Romney refused to endorse the Bush tax cuts in 2003, telling the state’s all-Democrat congressional delegation he wouldn’t be a cheerleader of the plan.
• Romney referred to “closing loopholes” for businesses which increased taxes by $400M a year.
• Massachusetts’ corporate tax climate ranks 47th in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.
Comedians like Jon Stewart will tell you that the best punch lines hit hard on the truth. The joke in anti-Mitt circles is, “Gov. Romney, are you for or against this pressing issue?” Mitt Romney: “Yes.” So does this meet the comedians’ standard for funny? In his last bid for President, Romney said, “I am firmly pro-life…I was always for life.”
• In 1994 and 2002, Romney confirmed his support of Roe vs. Wade and forcefully positioned himself as pro-choice in the 1994 Senate race, saying “you will not see me wavering on that.”
• Romney endorsed legalization of abortion pill RU-486 during his 1994 Senate race and federal funding of abortion, saying, “I think it’s important that people see me not as a pro-life candidate”
• Romney health plan expanded access to abortion, required Planned Parenthood representative on state policy panel.
Romney bragged about being a member of the NRA but later admitted he didn’t join until August 2006, just before launching his 2008 presidential campaign. He said, “I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.” (Romney’s campaign later said he’d been hunting twice, once when he was 15, and once at a 2006 Republican fundraiser)
• In 1994 Senate race, Romney backed the Brady bill and assault weapons ban, saying, “I don’t line up with the NRA” and “that’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA.”
• As Governor, he quadrupled gun licensing fees and vowed not to “chip away” at tough gun laws.
• In 2004 Romney signed permanent state level ban on assault weapons.
He has called prescription drugs cost growth “outrageous” but changed positions on importing cheaper prescription drugs from Canada – first supporting it and later opposing it.
Romney has no foreign policy experience. He has said, “We should double Guantanamo!” and supports “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
As Governor, Romney said, “now is the time to take action” on “regional cap and trade” system to address global warming and, “I think the global warming debate is now pretty much over.”
• In 2004, a Romney press event announcing new state policy to combat global warming was marred by his refusal to admit global warming is actually happening.
• On Dec. 7, 2005, Gov. Romney said Massachusetts was “the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants….These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment.”
• Romney hasn’t ruled out a carbon tax or carbon caps if elected President.
The good news is that at some point in Mitt Romney’s career, everyone — no matter where they stand on the issues — can agree with what Romney has said.