Every four years Americans witness a bevy of politicians boasting they are the best qualified candidate to serve as president and they spend enormous amounts of other people’s money to win the coveted office. The U.S. Constitution is specific about the qualifications to be president, but there is no previous experience in the military, corporate world, church, or political office required to serve. This year, the Republican field of hopefuls represents former politicians, businessmen, religious leaders and warmongers that on their own, appeal to different segments of Republican voters but one candidate fulfills all the roles.
Willard “Mitt” Romney, is a war monger, religious leader and former politician, but he touts himself as being best qualified because of his business acumen. Most Americans are unaware that Romney’s business experience is limited to destroying businesses to enrich investors and with all due respect to private equity investment firms; it is safe to say they are not representative of “businesses” and Romney is not a businessman as most Americans understand.
Private equity investment firms invest in companies using different investment strategies, and in return, receive periodic management fees, shares of profits, and then find ways to maximize those investments for the investors. It is not unusual for equity firms to leverage companies with debt and then sell them off allowing the equity firm’s investors to walk away with huge profits while the company languishes. Romney’s former company, Bain Capital, reaped outrageous profits for its investors, and the companies they invested in laid off workers, declared bankruptcy, or went out of business. As if ruining companies for profit was not bad enough, Bain Capital avoided paying taxes on the profits it made laying off workers by concealing their profits in tax havens. The companies Bain invested in were indebted to investors and 22% of them eventually were bankrupt or closed their doors sending employees to unemployment lines, lost their health benefits, and in some cases, needed the federal government to bail out their pension funds.
The Wall Street Journal examined 77 companies Bain Capital invested in during Willard’s tenure (1984-1999) and found that although Bain investors reaped billions in profits, only three of the companies added substantial jobs. Suffice it to say that Romney’s business experience comprises using other people’s money to invest in businesses, loading them with debt and then reaping the benefits of their misfortune. The point of this article is not to explain or analyze the intricacies of private equity firms’ investment strategies to enrich themselves, but to highlight what lies in store for America if a businessman like Romney is elected president.
The first and foremost point to make is that the United States government is not a business and should not be run like a business; especially a private equity firm. Romney claims that under his leadership, Bain created 100,000 jobs, but it is a dishonest claim that accounts for only three businesses and does not include the thousands of jobs lost when nearly a quarter of Bain Capital’s businesses were bankrupted. Romney is also taking credit for jobs that were created “long after he left the firm to start his political career.” America is not a business, but privatizing as much of the government as possible is a Republican dream and a man like Romney would sell different agencies to the highest bidder, lay off thousands of federal employees, and attempt to maximize profits by granting subsidies to private firms. The net results are low-paying jobs, higher unemployment, and lost revenue.
A Romney business partner said that he “never thought of what I do for a living as job creation. The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.” In Romney’s case, as businessman-president, he will have a primary goal of creating more wealth for corporations who invest in privatized government agencies and to maximize profits, they will take existing jobs and either eliminate them, or pay private sector minimum wages. To be fair to Romney, he does have job creation plans as part of an economic strategy that gives $6.7 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations that increases the nation’s debt and not create any jobs. It is good business for wealthy corporations, but devastating for the economy and the people.
Willard Romney has no plans for helping Americans and that is the primary goal of the president, not creating wealth for their investors. There is more to running the greatest nation on Earth than creating wealth for investors. Romney touts his business experience as the reason he should be president, but his business experience is as a charlatan who uses other people’s money and businesses to enrich themselves. Where, in Romney’s business experience, does he preside over organizations that protect consumers, help the poor, elderly, and sick Americans? Willard’s scam for Medicare and Social Security is privatizing the American people’s retirement and senior healthcare that creates wealth for private investors, but leaves the agencies with no option but to fire all their employees and eventually declare bankruptcy. Romney’s economic plan increases the nation’s debt like Bain Capital does for struggling companies to the point that America will eventually declare bankruptcy.
America needs a president who serves the people; not wealthy investors. This country’s infrastructure is falling apart, nearly half of the population is below or near the federal poverty level, millions of Americans are out of work, and Romney promises, if elected, to run the nation like he did at Bain Capital. Americans are poor, children are hungry, schools are falling apart, and the leading Republican candidate promises to enrich corporate investors at the country’s expense. Romney’s job at Bain Capital was enriching the wealthy at the expense of private-sector jobs and it is the agenda Republicans have maintained since Reagan was president. Reagan was an actor, and Romney acts at being a businessman, but his previous business experience is more akin to Republicans who tout trickle down economic theory with a big push towards government privatization. The only winners are Romney’s wealthy campaign donors who will reap enormous profits when he sells off operations to private corporations and the only losers are the American people who will lose more jobs, their retirement income, Medicare, and eventually all hope of ever prospering.
Willard Romney is a lot of things, but he is not a businessman. He is a charlatan who manipulated investors’ money to enrich a select few, and job creation is not within his realm of expertise. He is a war monger, religious leader, and liar who will do or say anything to sell junk to ignorant Americans in hopes of securing their votes. The last thing Americans need is another businessman warmonger who enriches his wealthy investors at the expense of the economy and the American people. Hopefully, after eight years of Bush, Americans remember what happens when a “businessman” runs the country’s economy into the ground so his wealthy investors can reap more profits.