American Elephants

Yoo Hoo, Mr. Obama: Here’s the Real GST Steel Story by The Elephant's Child

We’ve had the Joe Soptic story in which a sad man who had lost his wife and his job wanted to blame it all on Mitt Romney, who had already left the company. The Democrats tried this theme several times to no great effect.

Mitt had already left the company to save the Utah Winter Olympics. The Democrats seem to have a problem with the truth. They’re just so anxious to find something, anything, to discredit Mitt Romney, especially his career with Bain Capital. Mitt Romney had a sterling career with Bain. They saved a lot of companies, not all, and helped many to prosper and grow.

That’s pretty tough competition for a failed presidency and a failed community organizer.

So Who Is This Mitt Romney? by The Elephant's Child

That seemed to be the usual complaint. The guy is a businessman, and he was Governor of Massachusetts for just one term, he rescued the Olympics, but that was out in some Western state, and who pays any attention to the Winter Olympics anyway.  He seems kind of cold, he’s really rich, can’t connect.  That was the litany. So Mitt had to warm up, explain to the people just who he is and why he’s running for president, and try to connect to people.

Accomplished, in spades.

So What’s This “Business Experience” Mitt Romney’s So Proud Of? by The Elephant's Child

The Obama team has tried hard to denigrate Mitt Romney’s business experience, suggesting that Bain Capital — the business Mitt built —was only interested in profits and was really busy in sending American jobs overseas. This kind of attack hints at the lack of understanding that the administration has.  In most administrations in the modern age, around half of Republican administration people had experience in the private sector, a little less , between 40 and 50 percent for the Democrats on average. Only 8 percent of people in the Obama administration have held jobs in the private sector. I assume that this is a summary of cabinet and agency heads, or perhaps it’s just the cabinet, I don’t know.

The Obama campaign has claimed that “Romney didn’t create jobs at Bain Capital, he just created profits.” That’s what is sometimes called a “tell”— one of those inadvertent comments that reveals what you really think. The Obama campaign does not understand that without “profits” business does not exist — and neither does government, because government has no money of its own and depends on collecting taxes; but if there are no profits, there’s no income, and nothing to tax.

More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. The economy is slowing and progress in the labor market is faltering. Unemployment has been above 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch since world War II.

The Obama view of Bain Capital is, I guess, of greedy speculators buying and selling companies, much like flipping houses. The expertise involved is unrecognized. But Mitt Romney knows about the fears that keep a business from expanding. He knows how big their line of credit needs to be. He knows that paper clips that are $1 cheaper makes a big difference over 2.000 stores. He knows how to make the decision whether it’s better to invest in a new machine now or better to wait, and how to figure the depreciation. He knows how to treat employees so they like their jobs and help their companies to prosper.

When Mitt Romney says he knows how to create jobs, he means he knows what is holding business back. We have the world’s highest corporate tax at 39.26%, Japan has lowered theirs to 36.8% but the OECD average is only 25.47%. More U.S. Corporations are reincorporating abroad to benefit from better tax policy. At lest ten U.S. public companies have moved their incorporation address abroad or announced plans to do so. Eaton, a 101-year old Cleveland-based maker of components and electrical equipment announced that it would acquire Cooper Industries while moving their place of incorporation, for now, to the office of an Irish law firm in downtown Dublin. Ireland has a 12.5% corporate tax , but the UK ‘s rate is 24%.

That’s kind of funny in a sad way. Obama accuses Romney of moving companies abroad, which he never did in his tenure at Bain, but under Obama ten big U.S. public companies have moved or announced that they will, specifically because of Obama’s policies. Companies compete in a global marketplace, and 10% off your taxes makes a big difference. States have taxes too.

But it’s not just taxes. ObamaCare’s 3,000 pages create 159 new boards, agencies, and commissions, and each of the 159 are writing or will be issuing new rules, regulations, fines and fees.  Then there is the EPA which descends on companies out of the blue, with new orders to enforce. It was some other agency that went after Gibson Guitar for a phony claim that they were abusing Indian and Madagascar laws—  the countries in question denied they were— but they wore Gibson down with penalties and mounting legal costs, so they had to give in. Look at the legal battle Boeing had, to build a plant in South Carolina. Companies hunker down, try not to get noticed, and move abroad.

Mitt Romney’s expertise recognizes those roadblocks. He understands what is standing in the way of pipelines and federal land leases, and what a difference that makes. He understands the value of free trade agreements. He knows the road to profits and the value of profits, and how to help American companies return to profitability. And profitable companies grow and prosper and hire lots of workers. That’s the way it works, so let’s make it happen. We can do this.

Trying Desperately to Define Mitt Romney: by The Elephant's Child

James Freeman, at the Wall Street Journal, points out the ironies of Mr. Obama’s attack on Bain Capital. It is clear that the Obama team doesn’t understand what it is that Bain Capital or Mr. Romney did, for they have confused the private equity firm with “corporate raiders,” and Wall Street tycoons. “Bain Capital,” Freeman says, “is the investment firm that has spent much of its 28 years enriching Mr. Obama’s voters.  Bain clients tend to be government-employee pension funds, foundations, trusts and elite universities.  According to Dow Jones LP Source, investors in Bain funds have included both Mr. Obama’s alma mater, Columbia, as well as Michelle Obama’s Princeton.”

Harvard has also invested with Bain. Bain Partners have also included pension funds for government workers in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland and elsewhere. Teachers’ retirement funds in California, Indiana and Ohio have also been limited partners in Bain funds.

If Mr. Obama truly believes that Bain made its money by firing people and destroying businesses, should the universities and public-school teachers give back their Bain money?

Mr. Obama is in an unenviable position. The economy in his term has only gotten worse.  He blamed his predecessor for a longer period than could be supported, then he has attempted to blame Republican intransigence, but that doesn’t seem to be working either. Then the Democrats hauled out Ann Romney’s horse.  Ann Romney has survived breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and five sons and dressage is therapeutic for her. So they somehow have to portray Mitt Romney’s success with Bain Capital as a negative.  Good luck with that. I guess you could try something like “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Oh wait…

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