2012 Election Edition - Issue VIII

Analysis of Mitt Romney
Author: Jimmy Delgado

Trying to understand and find common ground with Mitt Romney is the purpose of this article.  We thought it prudent to start with the man, his job, his stated positions and a look at the minds of the people who he has previously governed.  If we start by contacting his previous employer that most closely describes the job he is currently seeking, then that would be the people of Massachusetts.  That doesn’t go well for Romney because that is currently a State in which he is so far behind in polls, that he is not campaigning there.  His father was the Governor of Michigan and it is also a State that Romney called home.  Yet Michigan is also in the column of the President and not being contested by Romney.  The question then is, why in the States that know him and how he governs the best, is he doing so poorly?  Is it based on how he was then, or is it because he has changed from his positions then and he is now unacceptable to them?

When Romney began his campaign and during the Republican primaries, he did not put his experience as Governor on top of his resume, instead relying much more heavily on his experience as a successful businessman.  That experience is almost exclusively reliant on his time with Bain Capital, and no one can argue with the success at making money that Bain was able to accomplish.  There were many companies, the prime example used by them being Staples, that were and continue to thrive successfully.  However at some point the focus of Bain Capital switched to being almost exclusively venture capitalism, which meant that more and more companies purchased by Bain, were being deemed more profitable by shutting them down.  For its investors, that business model was the best of the best, because it did not depend on the company itself being successful.  Bain could and did load up many companies with debt, namely loans from which it repaid itself its initial investment and commissions and then when the company could not handle the debt, shut it down.  Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry called this “Vulture Capitalism” during the Republican primary. 

Understanding business is a vital skill to have as President, but people will have to decide if this type of business model, which puts profits over people in many cases, is the type of skill that is consistent with what the Government strives to do and what traditional companies have always done, that is fight every day to keep companies open as long as it was not losing money.  Right now, a plant in Illinois, by the name of Sensata and which is owned by Bain Capital, is being closed and moved to China even though it is profitable.  The employees complain that the motive behind the move is simply that profits in China would be greater because of wages under a dollar an hour.  Protests at the plant are leading some to be arrested and tensions are very high.  The concern is that since wages in other countries are hard to control and probably will never be on the level as U.S. wages, that more and more companies take that attitude and job creation here dries up.

Romney’s position on the economy is dependent on his tax cuts stimulating growth, which is somewhat concerning because the Bush tax cuts resulted, at least in part, in the meltdown of our economy.  The estimated five trillion dollars that the twenty-percent across the board tax cut will cost, depends almost entirely on that increased growth actually taking place, because if not, then the budget deficits everybody is concerned with now, will balloon.  The middle-class does not want to see and does not deserve to pay for that tax cut, by having its mortgage deduction or education credit repealed, which many have asserted is the only way to make a down payment on the tax cut.  Other cuts Romney has specifically proposed are equally as troubling and do little or nothing to reduce the deficit, such as cutting funds for public television, student loans, pell grants and Planned Parenthood.  Hearing him talk on foreign policy sounds a lot like saber rattling and the suggestion of more U.S. military involvement in Iran and Syria, and at a time when we need more investment in us, the last thing we need is another war.  Our quest to find something to agree with Romney on, leaves us severely wanting.