Rick Perry probably did more to help the Obama campaign by coining the phrase ‘vulture capitalism’ than anything the Obama campaign could have done. Actually, he didn’t coin the phrase but he did introduce it into the public arena during the Republican primary when he was challenging Mitt Romney‘s record at Bain Capital. Predictably, the Romney camp is maneuvering to get out in front of the perception that Romney is a vulture capitalist. Their counter strategy? Make the claim that President Obama is a anti-capitalism socialist.
Of course the President isn’t against capitalism. He’s actually a beneficiary of it through his book sales. He’s a green energy advocate. He has done as much as he can as President to create private sector jobs as most Presidents have. If anything he’s a capitalism cheerleader. But Romney only has the Muslim-socialist Tea party meme to fall back on. Will it be effective? Possibly. Most of the people who are against the President have already made up their minds about the President. We can wade into the waters of why that is some other time but the reality is that that message isn’t likely to be taken seriously by most informed voters.
Romney would like for everybody to not be focusing on his tenure at Bain. He would also not like anyone to focus on his tenure as the Governor of Massachusetts because then people would realize he is actually a moderate. Let’s not forget that Romney is the Godfather of Obamacare. And Romneycare actually works in Massachusetts. It seems odd that one would not like to run on one’s successes as a politician particularly when those achievements are few and far between.
So Mitt wants to run on his business experience. Fine. Let’s drag it out into the daylight and talk about Mitt as a job creator. During his tenure as Governor, Masschusetts ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation and only then because of a hurricane named Katrina that knocked Louisiana into last place (BTW, why does NOAA complain about running out of names for tropical storms when they use names like ‘Beryl’? Who names their child Beryl?).
And no one is really sure just how many jobs were lost or created during his manning the helm at Bain. Not even Mitt is certain. He currently claims 100,000 jobs were preserved/created. Of course, Bain Capital will not release that information. That leads one to believe that the claim is untrue. If you actually had data to back that claim up wouldn’t you be shouting it from the mountaintops?
Romney claims he had a 78% success rate at Bain. That is patently false. His success rate is less than 50%. That’s one of the worst success rates in venture capital companies. Here lies the difference between Bain Capital and other venture capital companies. Under normal circumstances venture capital companies bank on companies recovering or morphing into something new. That’s how real capitalism works. You bank on a company being successful and innovative. You move the economy and society in a positive direction.
Bain didn’t do that in many instances. In fact, they purposely looked for distressed companies, loaded them with debt and then forced them into bankruptcy. They left trails of broken promises, lost pensions, decimated communities, and other collateral damage while walking away with millions in profits in ‘management fees’. The companies they bankrupted believed that Bain was trying to save them when in fact Bain was banking on their failure. Mitt Romney is not a vulture capitalist waiting for a company to die so that he can feed on the carcass; he’s a vampire capitalist purposely driving companies into the ground for profit. The irony lies in the people who eventually bore the brunt of those bankruptcies. The American taxpayer. You. There’s a great collage on the Internet of Tony Soprano describing how vulture capitalism works from a mob perspective. The parallel with Bain is chilling.
The remarkable thing is that this race is so close. People want to believe in an ideology represented by Mitt Romney so badly that they are willing to overlook the fact that Mitt Romney, while doing nothing illegal, is Gordon Gekko, Richie Rich, and Thurston Howell III all rolled into one. He has no intention of representing the interests of Americans at all. We are nothing but assets and liabilities to him.
And if that weren’t enough, think about character. Dog on the car roof, bullying gays in high school, razing a million dollar house to build a new house with an elevator for his cars, willfully destroying companies for profit. He’s recruiting all the people from the Bush administration for his cabinet. Is that what we want as a leader?
Mitt Romney wants you to believe that he had success at Bain Capital and that means he’s more qualified than President Obama to run this country. Romney isn’t a job creator; he’s a wealth creator for a small constituency at the expense of the rest of the rest of us. He will not be a President for the people. He will be a President taking advantage of the people.
Rick Perry was being too kind with the vulture capitalist moniker because vultures generally have the dignity to wait for your to die before they feast on your flesh. Bain Capital and many other firms on Wall Street are banking on a company’s failure to make a profit. Vampires; like Bain Capital, want to eat you alive.
- Schieffer on Bain: Romney ‘started this’ (politico.com)
- Editorial: The Lesson of Bain Capital (nytimes.com)
- Is Romney’s Bain Record a Winning Issue for Obama? (usnews.com)
- Bain Capital: Job Creator or Destroyer? (ireport.cnn.com)
- Obama Campaign Ad: The Story of Bain Capital and Ampad (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Perry on Bain attacks: ‘It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now’ (thehill.com)