While the mainstream media agonizes over the “gotchya politics,” leaving no stone unturned, one major detail of the Bain Capital story has gone unexamined: the fact that at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney profited from federal bailout money – and that’s not free enterprise.
Amid the controversy following the Obama campaign’s attack ad on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, there has emerged a consensus, shared even by many Democrats, that attacking capitalism or free enterprise is wrong.
In a campaign ad of its own, the Romney campaign asks, “Have you had enough of President Obama’s attacks on free enterprise?” Meanwhile on CNN, former 2012 presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich opined: “We found out when we got in a fight with Mitt Romney over this that it didn’t work. People understand free enterprise. People realize that sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail, but they refuse to take a one-sided view of it.”
But what happened at Bain Capital under Mitt Romney wasn’t free enterprise at all. The company was rescued with a federal bailout of $10 million in forgiven loans in a deal that profited Mitt Romney and other Bain Capital executives to the tune of $4 million. As Newt Gingrich said, sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail, but if the government intervenes to save you when you fail, then you’ve got the government, not markets, picking winners and losers. It’s not free enterprise. Free enterprise would have let Bain Capital take the $10 million hit. Instead, with Bain, you have an ugly hybrid system that critics call “crony capitalism,” in which corporate profits are privatized, but corporate losses are socialized and spread out across society.
If it’s wrong to rhetorically attack free enterprise, as Romney’s defenders argue, then what are their thoughts about Romney’s actual subversion of free enterprise via special government privileges that no small business would ever get? If conservatives believe the “social safety net” for poor people is unsustainable and creates perverse incentives, what of a “corporate safety net” for big businesses like Bain Capital? And what do all these sudden champions of free enterprise think about Mitt Romney’s continuing support for government-funded bailouts of big financial institutions, including the TARP bailouts?
And Romney got a federal bailout to "save" the 2002 Winter Olympics with a $1.3 billion "government handout" from us! But Romney got all the credit for that success as well.
The Republicans are now saying that cuts in defense spending could cost jobs. But the GOP says government doesn't create jobs, only "job creators" in the private sector do.
The Republicans are also fond of saying that now isn't a good time to raise taxes on the rich, but never say when is a good time...because they believe that no time is ever a "good time" for the rich to pay their fair share.
And finally, the Republicans always argue that taxing the rich more, or taxing corporate jets, or repealing tax subsidies for big oil companies will "do very little" to reduce the national debt, but they seem to think that cutting food stamps for the poor will solve our problems.
Why do Republican voters earning less than $1 million a every year always vote against their own best interests and vote for Republican politicians? If I'm drinking the Kool-Aid then they're drinking rat poison.