So President Barack Obama wants to criticize Governor Mitt Romney’s record of leadership in Massachusetts. Let’s compare that record to Obama’s record in Illinois. Romney worked with a Democratic legislature to bring Massachusetts back from deficit financing to prosperity. To do that, he had to negotiate, to make real decisions, to pick a path.
Barack Obama, while a state senator in Illinois, also made decisions–including one to vote against a bill that would have outlawed the medical murder of babies who survive a botched abortion. President Obama has since then decided to close Guantanamo Prison, then to keep it open; to hold terrorists’ trials in New York City, then to start over again and keep them in Guantanamo; to sue Arizona for its attempt to help enforce US federal immigrations law. Is that the kind of leadership and decision-making we want?
Surrogates for President Obama are critical of Mitt Romney because Romney is supported by Donald Trump, an extremely successful businessman and entrepreneur. Why? Because Donald Trump agrees with some widely help opinions that it was odd that it took so long for Barack Obama to produce an official birth certificate when the question was raised. Silly? Maybe. But it is, after all, just an opinion. It can’t hurt anybody. Still, Obama’s people say that it is unacceptable, and that his unusual supporter is a black mark against Romney.
Well, William Ayers has long been a supporter of Barack Obama, who launched his political career at a reception in Ayers’ home. Not a successful businessman like Trump, Ayers is a self-confessed anti-government bomber, saved from prison by a technicality and the statute of limitations. On 9-11-01, an article in the New York Times quoted him:
”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.” …So, would Mr. Ayers do it all again, he is asked? ”I don’t want to discount the possibility,” he said.
Ayers is now a college professor, regularly accepting government grants to supplement his six-figure salary, which is paid by the citizens of Illinois. Which supporter is the least “acceptable”?
Barack Obama’s surrogates charge that Mitt Romney’s business experience is irrelevant to his future as President. Let’s compare past performance. President Barack Obama (who has no business experience at all) was presented with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Failing to recognize that two immediate problems to the ecosystem were both the leak into the ocean and the tide of oil sweeping towards the Gulf coast, President Obama chose to put all his attention to the leak, and to finding different ways to say, “It’s the fault of the oil companies. We need more regulation. Stop all drilling offshore.” Yet regarding the oil drifting towards land, he ordered the Coast Guard to stop coastal states from doing anything to protect their beaches. Other countries offered to send in their ships which were already configured to solve the problem. The President said, “No! We don’t need your help.”
The drama played out for weeks, beaches were covered with oil, but the President was only interested in finding ways to take credit for what he didn’t do, and to blame the oil company for the accident. And in the end, he continued the moratorium on all offshore drilling, disregarding a court order which said it was illegal to do so. Gasoline prices eventually went from $1.70 per gallon to almost $4.00 per gallon, perhaps as a result.
In contrast, Mitt Romney was asked to take over the 2002 Winter Olympics in 1998 because of malfeasance and bribery on the part of his predecessors. He turned a financial mess into one of the most successful Winter Olympics ever, concluding with “a surplus of $40 million at the conclusion of the games. The surplus was used to create the Utah Athletic Foundation, which maintains and operates many of the remaining Olympic venues.” (Wikipedia) Could Barack Obama do that, even today? With all the resources of the United States Government at his disposal, he personally failed to bring back the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago in the 2009 negotiations. Leading from behind has its drawbacks.
President Barack Obama claims that venture capital firms are bad for America, implying that because Mitt Romney headed up Bain Capital, Romney himself is therefore bad for America. His supporters call them “vulture capitalists,” asserting that they care about nothing but profiting from the misfortune of the little companies they invest in, “raping” them and then closing them while taking all their money, leaving their employees out of work and without pensions. Let’s examine it.
What venture capital firms actually do is to loan companies money to keep operating, and provide management expertise and advice along with it. Without the infusion of cash, the firm goes broke before any help arrives, and all those people are out of work that much sooner. But in about 78% of Bain Capital’s cases, the firms actually turned around and prospered after the infusion of cash. That’s why they asked for it in the first place–to have a chance to get past a very rough patch. Venture capitalists don’t invest in companies intending to destroy them. They invest their own money–destroying the company is a good way to lose it. Their only way to really profit is to turn the company around and make it profitable. Sometimes that includes layoffs, but that would have happened sooner and to a greater extent without their capital infusion. Further, “11% of private sector jobs come from venture backed companies and venture backed revenue accounts for 21% of US GDP.” The charge is literally nonsense.
When confronted with the fact that government intervention in private industry via grants and loans and loan guarantees are essentially doing the same thing, but with public money rather than private, the administration responds that they are “different.” “We have more responsibilities to consider.” But ALL those obligations would be met if the company becomes viable without government support, so there is really no difference at all. Do “government-fund-infused” firms ever fail? Yes, they do: Solyndra, for example. Do they ever need to reduce the work force? Yes they do: Chrysler/GM closed over 2,200 dealerships across the country after accepting billions of dollars in public loans, putting over 100,000 people out of work; still they eventually had to declare bankruptcy.
GM still owes us, the public, $5 billion, with no hope of repaying it for years, if ever. Our equity stake in the company would have to double in value for us to simply break even on it. What business does the government have in risking public money (both tax receipts and borrowed money) in the stock market? The only difference between what venture capitalists do and what the government did is that the venture capitalists know what they’re doing–if they don’t succeed, they go out of business. If the government doesn’t succeed, it taxes, borrows, and eventually just prints more money, creating inflation. It never “goes out of business,” but its citizens do.
Other topics available for comparison: Keystone pipeline, TARP II, government takeover of industry leaders, pork-laden “stimulus,” funneling money to contributors, fallacy of central planning, picking winners that aren’t viable, junk science, American exceptionalism, open personal records, broken campaign promises, leaks of secret anti-terrorist operational information, border security, religious freedom, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the Democrat-induced mortgage meltdown, and many, many more.
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