Monday, January 9, 2012

The Misplaced Argument against Romney's Bain Capital and the GOP Primary Fight

This past July, I wrote a post where I made a minor point about Governor Romney's association with Bain Capital:
Between lobbying efforts and campaign funding, it seems that too often the government allows itself to be beholden to special interest groups and only certain institutions, and, thus, legislation is often crafted to benefited favored institutions, rather than the American people. This is a bipartisan problem. In fact, it is interesting to note that in the last three months, Governor Romney received far more campaign funds from Goldman Sachs employees than even President Obama. Romney has also accepted more than half a million dollars in campaign funding from lobbyists during that period of time. Additionally, in 1994, Romney’s Bain Capital actually has partnered with Goldman Sachs in purchasing Dade International, a medical diagnostics firm. In doing so, 1,600 Dade employees were laid off between 1994 and 1999, but Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs would later cash in selling back their shares to Dade for more than $350 million. So when Mitt Romney tries to tout his job creating skills as a businessman, it should be noted that he has also destroyed jobs while partnering with a company that would later give him loads of campaign money.
To be sure, Governor Romney's time with Bain Capital also afforded opportunities for company restructuring and indeed job creation in some situations, as the Wall Street Journal indicates that Romney's time at Bain had mixed result. At the same time, as I mentioned during the summer, there are some potential issues with his campaign funding that likely came as a result of his time at Bain. Since Romney helped bring in the cash for Goldman Sachs, they have reciprocated with campaign funding. What will this mean for them if he wins the White House? Is Goldman Sachs anticipating that Romney would sign bills into law that would be favorable to them? It seems so. This really is the only criticism that can be launched at his time at Bain. Does it prove to be the foundation for a crony capitalistic presidency?

 This isn't to say that Romney was wrong in his involved with Bain. He was acting as a businessman. Isn't capitalism all about the market picking winners and losers? As Jim Pethokoukis writes:
Of course, Romney and Bain weren’t in the game to create jobs. They were in it to make money for their investors and themselves. Then again, the same would go for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Warren Buffett, and just about every other successful entrepreneur and investor you could name. But that is the miracle of free-market capitalism. The pursuit of profits by creating value benefits the rest of society through higher incomes, more jobs, and better products and services. This isn’t “destructive creation”—like, say, crippling U.S. fossil fuel production before “clean energy” sources are viable—but “creative destruction” where innovation and efficiency sweep away the old and replace it with a more productive and wealthier society.
However, the fact that some candidates are choosing to attack Governor Romney for his business decisions is misplaced, and Romney's primary opponents have a lot more than can go after rather than attacking his business experience. As Michelle Malkin has written today:
Mitt Romney’s chronic flip-flopping political career is teeming with reasons to oppose his nomination — from his support for racial preferences, to government funding of abortion, liberal judges, global warming enviro-nitwittery, TARP, auto bailouts, the Obama stimulus, gun control, and of course, individual health insurance mandates that presaged Obamacare.Instead of focusing on his long political record of expedience, incompetent non-Romneys have morphed into Michael Moore propagandists — throwing not just Bain Capital under the bus, but wealth creators of all kinds who take risks in the private marketplace. 
We’re screwed.
Please read the entirety of Malkin's piece because, as usual, she is spot on. There is much to oppose Governor Romney on, but if the candidate choose to attack capitalism it shows a sense of desperation that is unhelpful. All of the candidates are flawed, and as James Madison," if men were angels, there would be no need for government". One of the many beauties of America is that we get to choose our leaders from amongst ourselves.  Our leaders are going to be flawed, just as we are. Where does that leave us? It leaves us to study the records, ideas,and character of all the candidates for ourselves and make an informed decision. Juxtapose these against other candidates. Appropriately address what you may see as problems with a candidate's record or policies.

 This doesn't mean that we denigrate other conservatives for their decisions to choose to support any given candidate. Make an informed, respectful argument for why you support who you are supporting. There is sadly much bickering and name calling among conservatives because of who they may choose to support. If people have done their due diligence, more power to them if they have made their decision with their choice of candidate. We are all independent thinkers. One person may view a candidate's strength as greater in magnitude than another person may. One person may see a candidate's flaw as a dealbreaker. All opinion are valid. Some people choose to vote with their heads, some their hearts, and some their conscience. On rare occasions are we afforded the opportunity to vote with all three.Vote with your head, heart, conscience, or all three if your candidate fits the bill. So do your research. Make your informed decision, or choose not to if your information leads you not to support in the primary. We can't simultaneously be a country whose greatest blessing is individual liberty when we abuse that liberty to degrade others for exercising their own. 

1 comment:

  1. Knowing that Obama's entire 2012 strategy is RACE and CLASS WARFARE is important to this argument. If we defend a "capitalist" that does is immoral or abuses govt guarantees (as it appears BAIN did - then the GOP will be painted by a willing media as not caring about "normal people".

    You and I know that is a crock of schick razors, but the 40%+ of people who rely on some form of govt income need a LOT of persuasion to make that leap.

    IF Mitt is the nominee - this argument will hurt him BADLY against BHO. In fact, with planned escalated OWS next summer - it might change the entire electoral landscape by a willing media.

    IF he is NOT the nominee, and the GOP took him out - it actually could deflate the WH argument. True - there is a nuance here that NO ONE should determine how much money someone could make and THAT is what we conservatives are bristling about. But not only will it not matter in a general election, it will create a better candidate against BHO assuming our candidate has true conservative principles.

    As LegalInsurrection wrote today, Newt's SUperPAC friends are doing us a favor by getting this out now.