Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mitt Romney on the Budget & Economy

I understand why so many people were and remain outraged at the emergency measures [in mid-2008]. They are offended by the idea of a bailout, and they don't much like Wall Street, either. The suspicion of bailouts is entirely sound. It doesn't make sense to bail out individual companies or banks or financial institutions that get in trouble. Creative destruction is part of a growing, productive economy. Subsidizing failure doesn't stop failure--it merely prolongs the final act.

But Secretary Paulson's proposal was not aimed at saving sick Wall Street banks or even at preserving jobs on Wall Street. It was intended to prevent a run on virtually every bank and financial institution in the country. It did in fact keep our economy from total meltdown.
No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 127-128 - Mar 2, 2010

Q: GM and Chrysler have rebounded. Would you say the bailout program was a success?

A: The bailout program was not a success because it wasted $17 billion. When the auto company CEOs went to Washington asking for money, I said the right process is not big check from Washington, but instead letting these enterprises go through bankruptcy, getting rid of the unnecessary costs, and re-emerge on their feet again. Instead, the Bush administration and the Obama administration wrote checks to the auto industry.
Q: You wrote in Nov. 2008, "If GM, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." Were you wrong?
A: No, I wasn't wrong, because if you read the rest of the op-ed piece, it says they need to shed unnecessary costs. If they just get federal checks, they're going to be locked in with high UAW legacy costs. They'll never be able to get on their feet. They have to go through bankruptcy. And it turned out that that's finally what they did.
2011 GOP Primary Debate in Manchester, NH - Jun 13, 2011


That about sums up Mitt Romney's record... it's okay for the government to write a check to Wall Street and their banks, but not individual companies, corporations, and local banks. The thing is, the Wall Street banks ARE individual companies/corporations (Bank of America for instance used to be Bank of Italy believe it or not). Everything he says about how the economy should run is suspect given this statement by him (about midway through the video) that he has no wish to return to Reagan-Bush. Reagan had his faults, but his policies created a LOT of jobs and overall economic prosperity. To deny that is just silly, regardless of how you feel about his overall spending.

Romney flips back and forth in the same dang statement for crying out loud, and we're supposed to trust that he is going to do the right thing for us? I have nothing against investment capitalism, it plays an important role in getting companies from small local ones to bigger corporations, or in helping a failing company recover or at least recouping some of the losses for the initial investors. My problem is this: Romney has already shown through his time at Bain Capital that he keeps the monetary well-being of his investors at the front of his list. Who are the primary investors in his campaign right now? How is it he raised $24 million last quarter alone? With only 10% coming from smaller donations (ie. average Americans) I have to wonder where the rest of that money is coming from. Especially given the MSM and Democrat party propping him up as the best REPUBLICAN candidate. Why does anyone listen to those people?!

If I was working for the Dems I'd be suggesting they get their supporters to send money to the guy we think we can beat the easiest to try and ensure that person gets the nomination. But nobody in the Democrat party could be quite that underhanded, now could they...

On top of that I still want all of the facts regarding his time at Bain Capital. When looking at investment an 80% success rate is pretty good if the amount spent each time are about even. But it still strikes me as a little suspicious that each time those 20% failed the pattern was pretty much the same. I'm sure there is a good reason for it, Romney doesn't strike me as immoral even if I disagree with him on a lot of things, but he needs to come out and explain it or it could be used against him in the general (assuming he becomes the nominee, which I'm still hoping against).


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