There are many reasons to dislike Mitt Romney. The way that he flip-flops on issues not because of new ideas or new evidence but simply based on his perception of what people want to hear. The fact that he hates black people.
His love of magic underwear…
But America’s voters are expected to ignore these weirdnesses because the US is in a crisis now and what it really needs is a savvy businessman.
Well, I’m not sure that’s true. But even if it is true you really shouldn’t pick Mitt Romney for the job.
Because Mitt’s record at Bain Capital proves that he is an absolutely terrible businessman.
And is just one step short of being a straight out con artist.
Romney’s supporters will scoff at this idea and point out that the deals he made at Bain Capital netted him tens of millions of dollars. In fact that money is pretty much solely responsible for all of Mitt’s completely ridiculous level of wealth.
So how can I claim that he is a bad businessman, since he clearly made tons of cash?
Well, one needs to remember that (despite what many economists will tell you) just because something makes a profit doesn’t mean it’s good and in Mitt’s case it gets a tiny bit technical, but here is the short version:
Mitt Romney deliberately drove successful companies into bankruptcy, in order to loot their corpses.
Ok, that might be a slight (slight, mind you) exaggeration but in order to explain what really happened I am going to need to dive headfirst into a playful analogy.
In this analogy the role of Bain Capital will be played by a man named “Mitt”.
Mitt wants to make money, and he’s an investment firm so he goes looking for companies to invest in. He spots “Steve” (who is GS Steel Industries Inc.). Steve is a successful steel manufacturer but Steve needs money to upgrade his equipment.
To Mitt, Steve looks good, really good.
So Mitt goes to Bank One to ask for a loan. Bank One looks at Mitt and says his financials are solid, then he looks at Steve and remarks positively on his financial outlook. Steve is a successful company that is expected to remain successful in the future.
Mitt gets his loan and uses it to buy Steve. This gives Steve the money he needs to upgrade his equipment and remain competitive in the market. Later Mitt and Steve will both share the profits. Classic venture capitalism at work, right?
Wrong. Because what happened next is what makes Mitt Romney an absolutely fucking appalling businessman.
Mitt now has debts to Bank One and he hates debt because he wants to make as much money as possible.
So he pays his debt to Bank One off, by taking out a loan with Bank Two.
You see friends this is something that no sane businessperson would do. Taking out a loan to cover another loan is a downward spiral that usually ends in bankruptcy.
But Mitt didn’t go bankrupt. He made tens of millions of dollars.
Because, technically speaking, the loan from Bank Two wasn’t taken out by Mitt, it was taken out by Steve.
Let that sink in for a second.
What Mitt basically did was use Steve as collateral on a loan. He then used that loan to pay off his previous loan and to pay himself millions, and millions of dollars in “consulting fees” and “incentives bonuses” and “pay packages” and “back scratches” and “confectionery treats” and whatever the fuck other names they could come up with to justify what was nothing more than a blatant attempt to loot Steve for all he was worth.
The logic is quite simple: Mitt chose companies that were successful because he hoped that they would be able to withstand his looting and somehow manage to turn a profit despite his interference.
If the company managed to hold on Mitt made a huge profit and Steve, now largely looted, would be struggling for life.
And if the company failed then it would default on its loan and go bankrupt.
In which case Mitt….would already have the millions and millions of dollars that he had paid himself for his brilliant business acumen. The fact that Steve would be unable to pay back his loan to Bank Two is irrelevant (at least to Mitt) because that loan isn’t Mitt’s, it’s Steve’s.
Mitt can’t lose, and he didn’t. In fact he made tens of millions of dollars while firing thousands of workers, reducing production, cutting corners and eventually driving GS Steel (I’m sorry, “Steve”) into the ground.
This is the man that the Republicans want to describe as a “successful businessman”? A guy who found a loophole and used it to rape and pillage?
To me this is all just another symptom of a prevailing problem with the Republican Party. And it isn’t just that they lie, it’s that they aren’t actually who they say they are.
They claim to be the party of fiscal conservatism but Bush facilitated the financial crisis and ensured that TARP would give the US the largest deficit ever. In fact every Republican president since Reagan has increased the deficit. Only Clinton cut back on it.
They claim to be strong on defence but they ignored warnings about 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (combined with the mindless support of Israel) has lead to the US being less safe now than it has been for years. This is supported by multiple intelligence analysts and knowledgeable figures from all over the world.
They claim to be all about family values but the front runners for the party nomination included womanisers and multiple divorcees.
And they claim to be against the welfare state and in favour of freemarket capitalism while defending corporate welfare and issuing as many bailouts as they can get away with.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I shall say it again: the only good parts of the Republican Party were absorbed by Clinton (and even he went too far).
There are no good ideas in the Republican Party, even the ideas they claim to have are fraudulent.
Starting with the idea that Mitt Romney is anything less than a terrible businessman.
[Standard Disclaimer: this post was entirely my own opinion and was not paid for in any way, directly or otherwise, by anyone or anything that stands to gain in any way from the ideas expressed herein.]