Thursday, August 30, 2012

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

by Michael Handley

The Rolling Stone has a good article on how the GOP presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs by sending them off-shore – and stuck others with the bill.

The great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn't stand for anything. He's a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who'll say anything to get elected.

The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney's run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he's somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move.

And Romney ratcheted up the hypocrisy of his campaign even further when he chose Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his VP running mate. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, Gordon Gekko like corporate raider of a disgraced yet still defiant Wall Street, is making a calculated bluff – placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps - that he can convince voters that corporate raider style governance is good for America. Romney wants voters to return to the Wall-Street-gone-wild conservative economic governance that nearly threw America into a massive depression by the end of George Bush's administration, in December 2008

Paul Ryan's speech at the Republican Convention in Tampa last evening was factually misleading.

Even Fox News says his speech was deceptive.

Ryan lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He said a Romney/Ryan administration would protect Medicare even though they plan to turn Medicare into a corporate raider style private insurance voucher program. He lied about the deficit and debt.

He lied blaming Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin -- a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush, a month before Obama took office.

Mitt Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said on an ABC News program, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” Will the American press corp fact-checkers hold Ryan and Romney accountable for making blatantly false representations to the American people - paid for with hundreds of millions of dollars from the billionaires and corporate interests that support them?

Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi

Four years ago, the Mitt Romneys of the world nearly destroyed the global economy with their greed, shortsightedness and – most notably – wildly irresponsible use of debt in pursuit of personal profit. The sight was so disgusting that people everywhere were ready to drop an H-bomb on Lower Manhattan and bayonet the survivors. But today that same insane greed ethos, that same belief in the lunatic pursuit of instant borrowed millions – it's dusted itself off, it's had a shave and a shoeshine, and it's back out there running for president.

Mitt Romney, it turns out, is the perfect frontman for Wall Street's greed revolution. He's not a two-bit, shifty-eyed huckster like Lloyd Blankfein. He's not a sighing, eye-rolling, arrogant jerkwad like Jamie Dimon. But Mitt believes the same things those guys believe: He's been right with them on the front lines of the financialization revolution, a decades-long campaign in which the old, simple, let's-make-stuff-and-sell-it manufacturing economy was replaced with a new, highly complex, let's-take-stuff-and-trash-it financial economy. Instead of cars and airplanes, we built swaps, CDOs and other toxic financial products.

Instead of building new companies from the ground up, we took out massive bank loans and used them to acquire existing firms, liquidating every asset in sight and leaving the target companies holding the note. The new borrow-and-conquer economy was morally sanctified by an almost religious faith in the grossly euphemistic concept of "creative destruction," and amounted to a total abdication of collective responsibility by America's rich, whose new thing was making assloads of money in ever-shorter campaigns of economic conquest, sending the proceeds offshore, and shrugging as the great towns and factories their parents and grandparents built were shuttered and boarded up, crushed by a true prairie fire of debt.

Mitt Romney – a man whose own father built cars and nurtured communities, and was one of the old-school industrial anachronisms pushed aside by the new generation's wealth grab – has emerged now to sell this make-nothing, take-everything, screw-everyone ethos to the world.

He's Gordon Gekko, but a new and improved version, with better PR – and a bigger goal. A takeover artist all his life, Romney is now trying to take over America itself. And if his own history is any guide, we'll all end up paying for the acquisition.

Read more @ Rolling Stone

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