Bain as Business Model – Romney’s Massachusetts
One thing that Mitt Romney has managed to successfully achieve is presenting himself as being successful in business. Personally, I think that the quote about Bush attributed to either Barry Switzer or John Hightower, depending on who you believe, applies to Mitt Romney as well:
"He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple."
It's easier to increase your wealth, than it is to obtain it in the first place.
However, even if you believe that Romney was a success in business no one has yet to explain to my satisfaction why that would make you a competent President of the United States. George W. Bush was, in the eye's of some, a successful business man although even with his connections there were a lot of failures as well. Now, not only is he reviled by the left but even his own party is now running full speed away from using his fiscal and political policies. The conservatives are hard pressed to provide a response when faced with the assertion that Bush and his policies were the ones that sent the U.S. over the economic precipice.
Even leaving all that aside, why does the right consider an acumen for making money as being an indicator of running a country?
Let's look at Mitt Romney's record for a moment.
Romney and the Olympics
Based on the assertions of both himself and his surrogates/defenders, Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in 1999 to "rescue the Olympics". The fact that the Olympics made a financial recovery at least partly through a huge federal loan is downplayed by the Bain-ites, as is the reality that many of the Bain inner circle were awarded lucrative contracts through Mitt's Olympic assignment.
The Olympic era is played up as a defense to the vulture capitalism practices of Bain from 1999 on. There are a lot of discrepancies from the Romney and Anti-Romney camps on this issue as many documents and public filings indicate he was still active with Bain while the company was pioneering the practice of outsourcing American jobs overseas. However, this is a point for another day.
There is no question that Willard Mitt Romney won the gubernatorial race (and you don't know how hard it is not to make "goober" jokes at this point) in Massachusetts and took office in 2002, never to return to Bain and instead to move forward with his political career.
So as Governor of Massachusetts, how exactly did his business abilities benefit the people of Massachusetts as he served as the Executive Officer?
One thing that was accomplished was the passage of "Romneycare", which provided the blueprint for the U.S. Affordable Health Care Act, and certainly he should get credit for that accomplishment and the benefits the citizens of Massachusetts have obtained as the result of his efforts. He should get credit, but he won't, since at this time he acts as though a health care mandate from the government will somehow required the tattooing of 666 on the forehead of anyone receiving the benefits of it.. Romney's run to the right has left him criticizing aspects of his own plan. While he attempts to make the argument, when he discusses it at all, that his plan is different because it is done through the state rather than the federal government that argument is nonsensical since a government mandate is a government mandate, especially when federal funds are being used or a federal tax deduction/credit is being granted.
Governor Mitt's Other Legacies
1) Job Creation – During Mitt Romney's tenure as Governor, Massachusetts dropped to 47th in job creation. The job creation rate was .9% at a time when the nationwide average was more than 5%.
2) Taxes – Romney claims that taxes were reduced during his tenure. Technically, the claim may be true but, unfortunately, the devil is in the details. While the tax rates were cut, fees and other "hidden taxes" were increased.
3) Services – Government services were severely curtailed during the Romney Reign and he reduced the state contributions to cities and towns. In turn, these cities and towns were required to raise taxes and fees to make up for the shortfall, thus negating any actual savings to the citizens while making the state books appear more favorable for the Governor.
4) Surplus – Governor Romney bragged on leaving office that his tenure had left the state with a huge budget surplus. However, his successor, Deval Patrick, discovered upon taking office that a continuation of the policies, services, and taxes, put into place by Romney would have resulted in a budget shortfall of $1 Billion in the first year of the new Governor's term.
5) Education – Governor Romney decreased the per capita funding for higher education from $158 to $137.
The real problem with defining what could occur under Mitt Romney as President is that the American people do not have any way of knowing whether they would be getting the Governor who believed and expressed support for gay marriage, embryonic stem cell research, environmental protections, a relaxing of the illegal immigration enforcement, and other policies that form the basis of the liberal platform. Instead, they may get the Romney who combines the business acumen which left the huge budget deficit for the next Governor to handle (sounds a lot like what happened when W left office) with the lack of empathy for anyone not a member of the 1% which has played so prominently in the Presidential campaign.
Either is disastrous.
Simply put, Romney's business experience did not play well in his single term as Governor of Massachusetts, resulting only in a bigger deficit, tax increases (by whatever name) on the poor and middle class, and a larger deficit than when he entered office.
We've tried that way once and it was a dismal failure. Now the Republicans are asking to have the reins once again because the President was not able to fix a mess that took eight years to build in only the four years he has been in office. And the recoveries that have been made were over the obstructionist Republicans in Congress.
Oh, and for a final Mitt truth? On the September 9, 2012, interview on Meet the Press, Mitt Romney specifically stated that he would not be able to "fix the economy" until sometime into his second term….and that is even if he retains a Republican Congress willing to cooperate.