Monday, July 16, 2012

Why Bain matters

Romney has two, and exactly two, qualifications to be President.  One is his term as governor of Massachusetts.  But the one actual accomplishment of his time in that office, Romneycare, is something he must by necessity run away from.  So he's left with running on his record as a businessman.  This is his one and only claim to the office.  Without that, he's just some schlub off the street pitching an amalgamation of Paul Ryan and George W. Bush.  This is different from the attacks on Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright, as Wright was not central to Obama's purpose for his candidacy.

At the very least, in the last few days, the Obama campaign has managed to make Bain a question mark in voters' minds.  His time there was not all successful investments and good management; there was some Gordon Gekko in there.  In addition to blunting the biographical advantage of Bain, this whole affair has solidified the concept of Romney as rich guy, which will be damaging for the GOP as previously discussed.

Romney is singularly unable to get away from this issue, despite the beating he's taken over the last few days, because he has nothing else to run to.  He wants to return focus to the economy, but the only reason anyone cares what he has to say about the economy is his Bain record.  And his best defense his time as CEO is that he's a sort of financial Mr. Magoo, blind to the results of his underlings' machinations.  It's not a powerful position to be in.

1 comment:

NWest said...

You know, it's not even so much that he was a businessman, but that he was a *private equity* businessman.

He sees debt (known to financiers as "leverage") as as useful tool and is willing to take gigantic risks with *other people's money* (OPM) - as long as he got paid first (and thus took no financial risk himself, except to his reputation).

How someone with this worldview could *ever* actually be serious about the federal debt and deficits stretches the imagination. And typically, the only reason I vote for republicans is that they often claim to want smaller government and fiscal responsibility.

We already have someone in office who thinks that it's fine to do whatever he wants with OPM, and (based on the amount he's run up) debt is perfectly fine.

I'll take strong social policy (gay marriage, etc) and crappy economic policy (ObamaCare, massive debt & borrowing) over crappy social policy *and* crappy economic freedoms (RomneyCare, massive debt & borrowing).

I'm not religious, but the Bible makes it clear in Proverbs 22:7. "The borrower is slave to the lender." Taking on debt, no matter if it's giant government debt, or household debt, tends to ignore risk.

With government debt, the risk is even higher to the taxpayer - when the bill comes due, the rich lenders will ensure that it's the middle class taxpayers that end up bailing them out.

Romney is the absolute worst candidate that the Republicans could nominate.