American Elephants

Smart Investments? And How Did That Turn Out? by The Elephant's Child

The Obama Campaign, noted for its brilliance, oddly seems to want to have a debate about which of the two candidates is more qualified to run the world’s largest economy.  Obama’s economic policies vs.Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital?  Um, you might want to rethink that.

Obama has made it clear that he really doesn’t understand the concept of profit. Liberals are often taught that profit is a bad thing that the rich sometimes do to line their disgusting pockets and pay for their yachts.

It is obvious that the administration is a little unclear about just how jobs are created. Today’s dismal jobs report makes that very obvious. Three and a half years later is really too late to keep blaming George W. Bush. At what point does the economy become Obama’s? When the recession is over? That happened in June of 2009, officially, from the agency that makes those decisions.

The Obama team does understand hiring, and have done a lot of it, creating new government departments and issuing new regulations; but they miss the detail about who pays for what. Government jobs are just another bill for the taxpayers to pay. From the president on down to the lowliest janitor, taxpayers pay their salaries and benefits.  Government has no money of its own, a fact that liberals forget until they need more revenue, at which point they expect taxpayers to pony up without complaint funds which, when received, will become ‘government money.’

Bain Capital buys failing companies that they hope to revive, with private money from themselves and from investors. They look at the books carefully before they invest, and determine what is needed— money, better management, eliminating a sector that is losing money, a new business plan — and consider what they can successfully provide. If the business still fails, Bain and their investors will lose money, and have a harder time raising investment money the next time. Not every business can be made to succeed, but under Mitt Romney more than 70 percent of their businesses did succeed, many dramatically so. It’s a very good record.

The Obama Administration has picked businesses to fulfill their ideological interest in green energy. They have listened to promoters’ talk of capacity and potential, and had the benefit of having supporters or campaign bundlers in charge or as investors so there were some familiar faces.

They did not ‘invest” their own money, but invested billions of taxpayer funds in speculative businesses that had no track record nor no evidence of expertise or professionalism. When one of those businesses goes bankrupt, it is just another total loss for the taxpayers. The administration’s goals are policy driven — intended to fulfill green ideology, not return on investment driven. We’re still looking for one clean energy success. Just one.

Mitt Romney showed up at Solyndra’s empty building to make the point that when the administration invested in Solyndra, it wasn’t the administration that lost money, it was the taxpayers. The Obama campaign is trying to claim that Romney’s policies in Massachusetts were an economic failure because during his tenure, Massachusetts unemployment rate was 4.7%. Um, 5% unemployment is usually considered full employment.

Obama has big problems arising from his inexperience. He has made universally bad bets. Attempting to invest in “green” energy in spite of the abundant evidence from Spain and other European countries is folly. You would need extensive investigation from trained professionals in the technology and business prospects. Making investments with politically connected business ventures has led to charges of corruption and cronyism. The largest bets went to friends and contributors to Mr. Obama. The biggest losses went to the taxpayers.


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Every investment starts with something small.


Comment by Ed Butowsky

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