Mitt Romney hammers voters with his story that while CEO’ing Bain Capital, he helped create thousands of jobs by providing financing and venture capital. The sad truth is, if you asked Mitt Romney for a tissue, he would later proclaim that not only did he help you blow your nose, but also that he put you to work doing it.
In all fairness, though, there are two job creation successes Mitt Romney can legitimately lay claim to: his employment of Messrs. Casuistry and Deception, two close aides who labor mightily on his behalf to deny the truth of his job destruction expertise.
To be or not to be pink-slipped, that is the question workers asked when Mitt Romney junk-bonded and vulture-capitaled their companies and workplaces, occasionally into oblivion. Contrary to Romney’s claims, wealth extraction, not wealth or job creation, was his primary objective at Bain Capital, often achieved by destroying or exporting jobs overseas. Clearly, Romney’s demonstrated pink-slipping expertise far exceeds his job creation stats.
My vantage point where Mitt Romney is concerned is somewhat unique as I was in the same business as Romney, though on a smaller scale, despite the hundred million or so dollars my associates and I did invest for our clients in the late ‘80’s through the early ‘90’s. A number of these ventures were business start-ups and private equity transactions.
For perspective, my politics at the time were such that I voted for Reagan and the assorted Bushes, although the latter Bush’s second term still brings a hot blush of shame, even now, for my cupidity about his Iraq war folly. What cemented my conversion from Republican to independent were Bush’s slavish promotion of evangelical Christian fundamentalism at the expense of the First Amendment, deregulation of financial market protections leading to the economic collapse, and the obscene plutocratic tax cuts for the wealthiest while conducting two expensive wars, the combination of which nearly doubled 240 years of national debt in a mere eight years.
Bush-Republican policies, which Romney espouses and staunchly endorses, disastrously tilted the wealth tables away from the middle class by funneling twenty percent of America’s net taxable earnings into the pockets of a mere one percent of its citizens. The moral of the story: put not your trust in evangelical Republican princes with connections to Halliburton.
Despite while governor of Massachusetts and having moved his state from #37 to a dismal #47 out of 50 in the nation in job creation, Mitt Romney boldly touts himself as a “job creator.” Two reasons why Romney failed at job creation as governor and at Bain Capital were:
- Romney’s complete lack of interest or prior experience creating jobs, and
- the low priority Romney set for job creation.
Nothing Romney or I did on the venture capital/ business start-up side of our businesses ever created one job in the businesses we funded or capitalized. Neither did any investment I recommend, unnecessarily or with malice aforethought, destroy anyone’s job in order to raise the yield to me or to my investor clients.
Planning American job destruction for no other purpose than to raise the yield to himself and investors was an ethically-compromised practice Romney consistently opted for in his vulture capital business acquisition deals at Bain Capital. Contrary to his assertions, making businesses more competitive was never the object of the Romney’s exercise; wealth extraction and only wealth extraction, purely for personal gain, was Romney’s raison d’etre.
By way of example, with a partner I started and CEO’d a small jet cargo airline just prior to 9/11. I hired the pilots who flew just-in-time deliveries for the Big 3 automakers by ferrying much needed auto parts from plants in Mexico to the automakers northern U.S. and Canadian plants. My partner and I created the company, the jobs, put pilots to work, flight dispatchers, and so on. The job creation truth of my efforts is as follows:
- The companies and people who provided us with the financing and leasing of aircraft, fuel, or aircraft repairs and services did absolutely nothing to create any jobs within our company. They were a simply a source of capital and services, nothing more.
- We, in turn, did absolutely nothing to create jobs at their companies by using or purchasing their goods or services. It was a fair exchange of money for goods and services, nothing more. Welcome to capitalism.
From personal experience as a business creator, job creator, investment advisor, and venture capitalist, I can say unequivocally that business creators are the job creators. It’s the owners and operators who create payroll, make payroll, pay payroll taxes, and most importantly – and here comes the important part – are themselves paid last.
Mitt Romney always made sure he was first in line to be paid, whether or not a company lost money or payroll. His dealings at Bain do not qualify him as a job creator by any protean application of imagination, including his own cognitively dissonant and logically-hobbled flights of fancy on this score. Romney’s claims to the contrary delivered with oozing sincerity do not change the fact that Romney destroyed thousands of American jobs for no other reason than to turn a personal profit.