A person pretending to have virtues, moral beliefs, principles, and ethics that one does not actually have is a hypocrite, and when they use hypocrisy to deceive others they are, in fact, also a liar. As character traits, lying and hypocrisy inform low moral fiber bordering on vice, and should be the death knell for a politician’s career and yet they are a mainstay of Republican politics. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Willard Romney, has amassed quite a record as a pathological liar, and now there is substantial proof that besides lying as a matter of course, he is a rank hypocrite. Romney made an issue over an out of context quote by the President regarding his comments about the necessity of government for services such as infrastructure in the success of business.
The President said, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help…Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Romney accused President Obama of telling business owners they did not create their businesses by taking the “you didn’t build that” remark out of context to imply the President is anti-business and pushing the idea that government creates success, not individual enterprise and hard work. Willard goes around the country preaching that “government does not create prosperity,” and touts his own record as proof that individuals are solely responsible for their success. In one speech in Chicago, Romney decried the “endless subsidies and credits intended to shape behavior in our economic society,” and assailed government “intrusion in the workings of the free marketplace itself” regardless that his company benefitted from government, banking, and private investments going back to the origins of Bain Capital.
In 1984 when Romney founded Bain Capital, he and his partners raised more than a third of their investment fund from wealthy foreign corporations registered in Panama because of tax advantages and questionable banking secrecy. There were questions at the time that some funding was from right-wing death squads in El Salvador, but no evidence of wrongdoing was ever proven. The point is that Romney had significant help (from foreigners) to launch his lucrative investment firm. He, as the President alluded, benefitted because “somebody along the line gave him some help.” In fact, Bain Capital, and Romney, was not reluctant to accept help from the government on the way to earning millions. For example, in 1994, a Connecticut state fund made a $500,000 investment in a Bain company, and the previous year gave Bain a separate $500,000 that would be repaid with royalties from software products. More help for Romney and Bain, but from taxpayers and not private foreign investors, and more rank hypocrisy from Willard.
Fast forward to this past week and a Romney campaign ad featuring an offended New Hampshire businessman indignantly claiming, “My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company?” Well, short answer; not without significant government assistance you didn’t. The company, Gilchrest Metal, received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds from the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority to purchase equipment, and in the 1980s received a $500,000 U.S. Small Business Administration loan as well as matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center. The point is not that the businessman accepted government assistance, it is that he, like Romney, is a hypocrite and a liar for claiming they built their businesses without help from government which was President Obama’s point that “somebody along the line gave you some help.”
Romney has made a staple of assailing the President for “attacking free enterprise” and decrying what he calls “corporate welfare” and “crony capitalism” that he has directly profited from. Going back to January, Romney attacked the President regularly with comments such as, “Capitalism, free enterprise works. Crony capitalism does not. This president has engaged and is engaging in crony capitalism.” It turns out, that Romney’s predisposition to lying is as deeply rooted in his character as his hypocrisy and his arrogance precludes him from comprehending that at some point the public record will expose him for what he really is; a man of the lowest moral character who is devoid of ethics necessary for a small-town dogcatcher, much less a presidential candidate.
Romney’s business record is rife with government subsidies and grants that enabled him to reap huge profits he hides in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes, and all the while he attacks the President for saying “if you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help” to make the point that every American, business owner or otherwise, benefits from the sweat, toil, and taxpayer dollars that built roads, bridges, and in many cases, private businesses that drive the economy. Republicans, and Romney in particular, promote laissez faire principles that government has no place in a successful economy and it is their attempt at eliminating regulations that protect every person in America in one form or another.
President Obama is right; America was not built by any one individual or group and regardless the projects, wars, or crowning technological advancements this country has achieved, they were concerted efforts of the entire nation involving labor, tax dollars, and government largesse. Besides hypocrisy, Romney is promoting divisiveness pitting government against free enterprise and individualism that are the bane of a productive society which seems to be the goal of conservatives in general, and Romney in particular. He touts American exceptionalism on a daily basis, but he has no concept of the communal effort involved in making America exceptional, and without government-funded infrastructure, business-friendly tax breaks, and rewards for innovation and development, America would still be using the Pony Express for communication and wagon trains for transporting goods and services from coast to coast.
It is no secret that Willard Romney is the king of liars, and that is quite a feat among Republicans, but he is also a supreme hypocrite. His lack of moral character and ethical standards epitomize a deceitful human being whose primary trait, besides lying and hypocrisy, is pandering for political expediency and monetary enrichment that preclude him from serving as anything other than a vulture capitalist reaping wealth off the misery of other Americans. However, Romney did not even earn his dirty money on his own and he has the audacity to refuse to release his tax returns because as his wife says, “we’ve given all you people need to know about our financial situation and about how we live our life.” Well, the American people are learning about all they need to know about Willard Romney, and it is that he is a pathological liar, filthy hypocrite, and a morally vacant human being who has less integrity than the vilest criminal and whether it is endemic to his cult, his profession as a vulture capitalist, or a product of arrogance, he represents the bane of decent society and that is a very generous portrayal.