The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Bain of His Existence

It looks like President Obama's re-election team has decided to continue the class warfare meme by demonizing Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital, an private placement firm that invests in businesses across a broad spectrum of domains. Some of the businesses succeed and others fail, but the Obama campaign has decided to select one small steel company that failed (as opposed to a fair number that succeeded) and use the heart-rending stories of those who lost their jobs as an indictment of Mitt Romney.

There's only one problem. As the President's own press secretary, Jay Carney, blithely stated [paraphrasing], Investment in businesses is inherently risky, some companies succeed and some fail.

Carney made this statement when asked why the President pushed a very risky $500 million dollar loan to a campaign supporters against the advise of industry experts and his own people. The half-a-billion dollar loan went to Solyndra, a company that went bankrupt last year with the loss of 1,500 jobs. The Obama campaign didn't present any of the Solyndra employees heart-rending stories as part of their Romney ad, but I digress.

There is, however, one really important difference between what Mitt Romey did at Bain and what what Barack Obama did. The President did it with taxpayer money. Sure, Bain got tax breaks like all businesses, but the direct investment in the steel company came from private individuals and organization, not the taxpayers.

Unfortunately, the Romney campaign can't really respond with a critique of Barack Obama's private sector accomplishments or failures, because he has none. Jeff Carter comments:
Actually, you can’t attack Obama because he never was in the private sector. He never did anything of note before he was President. I call that a government bureaucrat or hack. My kids have contributed more to GDP already in their young lives than Obama has done in his.

But, if we look at some of the economic data from the last four years, we can discuss Obama’s record.

1. First time the US ever defaulted downgraded from AAA on debt.
2. Largest budget deficit in history
3. Largest increase in government spending ever
4. Highest prolonged unemployment ever since the Great Depression
5. Lowest percentage of people in the work force ever.
6. Most anemic GDP in a “recovery” ever.
7. Trampled on investors rights in government takeover of industries.
8. If re-elected, the highest tax increase in American history.
I'm really pleased that the President's team has decided to frame the debate on the topics of jobs and economics. That's a conversation that is well worth having. Though I'm not sure it will work out well for the President.