Opinion: Mitt Romney's Bailout Double Standard
W. Mitt Romney is currently running for President with a campaign strategy of twisting President Obama's words to imply that the President has a "foreign outlook" and believes that business owners did not build their businesses – false charges both.
It is an odd decision for Team Romney to lean into the "you didn't build it" campaign because Romney was a beneficiary of a massive Federal bailout that saved Bain & Co. when he was the CEO.
In 1990, Romney came in to run Bain & Company when it was on the brink and threatening Bain Capital as well.
Romney negotiated debt forgiveness from creditors and a $10 million federal bailout for the company.
Romney and others made millions on the deal and went on to make millions more because of the settlement.
Previously, W. Mitt Romney has said that foreclosures should be allowed to "hit bottom" and that we should let Detroit go bankrupt.
But when it was his business on the line, he took the government cash.
And it is not the only time Romney used federal dollars to maximize his profits.
In 1993, Romney and Bain took over GST Steel in Kansas City, a successful company that had been operating for a century.
Over an eight-year period jobs were cut and the company was loaded with debt.
Bain made a fortune on the deal, but the Federal Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation was forced to cover $44 million of GST Steel's pension obligations.
Romney's double standard will not sit well with the American public.
It will be particularly damaging in Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, where foreclosures have devastated communities, and in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, where shuttered factories have destroyed so many towns.
When it comes to debt, Romney believes that if you are $10,000 in debt you should go under, but if he is $10,000,000 in debt the government should bail him out.
That is not the attitude that will rebuild the middle class in America and turn around the economy.
That is the attitude that got us into this economic mess in the first place.
Romney's current focus on the role of government in creating an environment where businesses do well is one that will reinforce the Romney Record of helping the wealthy making millions more while the middle class can fend for themselves.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.
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