Showing posts tagged mitt romney

And that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Headline of the Day:

Private Jets Descend On Logan Airport As Wealthy Romney Supporters Arrive

Sure, Obama’s totally in Wall Street’s pocket. But Mitt Romney is Wall Street. Hopefully, Romney’s event here in Boston will go as well as the last two here (Kerry and Dukakis).


"The real unemployment rate is 10.7%."



Citation needed, Mittens. Citation effing needed.

Does Mitt know what country he’s running for President in? Cuz I think he doesn’t.

Ah, the old using U3 for the beginning of Obama’s term and U6 for now trick. That’s a Fox News tactic.



I bet Mitt Romney goes to bed each night and cries because he is Mitt Romney.

I’m pretty sure Mitt has people that can do that for him.

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Posted at 1:59pm
Reblogged (Post reblogged from skafunkrastapunk)
Tagged mitt romney


In mid-2011, a mystery donor had a Massachusetts tax lawyer form a sham corporation with the sole purpose of donating $1 million to Restore Our Future; as soon as the contribution was made, the corporation disbanded. Only after a major public uproar did the donor identify himself: Edward Conard, the former managing director of the Romney-founded Bain Capital.

It’s Even Worse Than It Looks - Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein

(via engagedelectorate)

I did not know this. Incidentally, Edward Conard has a new book out about how great inequality is, and why we need more of it. He sounds kind of like a sociopath to me.

“Culture makes all the difference,” Mr. Romney said. “And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.”

“As you come here and you see the G.D.P. per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the G.D.P. per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” he said.

Mitt Romney as quoted in the NY Times. A senior aide for Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority had this to say,

“It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” Mr. Erekat said. “It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people.”

But he was also wrong about the G.D.P. per capita,

In fact, according to an estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2009 Israel had a per capita G.D.P. of roughly $29,800, while in 2008 — the last year the C.I.A. has numbers on their Web site for the Palestinians — the per capita G.D.P. of the West Bank and Gaza was $2,900.

Please don’t vote for this man.

(via thenoobyorker)

At some point I will stop being continually amazed at how low Mitt Romney is willing to sink to buy his way into the White House. In any event, the New York Times rather acidly notes:

On Monday afternoon, Romney campaign officials did not respond to a query about whether Mr. Romney believes that the blockade of Gaza or trade restrictions in the West Bank have had any dampening effect on economic activity in those areas.


Dean Baker has a good explanation of how private equity (PE) firms like Bain Capital can make money for themselves even without actually adding anything of value to the companies they take over. It’s a bit of a convoluted process, but what’s happening is basically that the PE firm takes a company with a book value of $1 billion, where the owners are making $57.2 million in annual after-tax profit on an investment of $800 million, and transforming it to the same company with the same book value, but where the PE firm (as the new owners) makes $33.8 million in annual after-tax profits on an investment of only $200 million. Meaning they can do this whole process four times with the same pile of money the original owners were using.

And $36 million per year has been switched from taxable profits to tax-free interest payments, the government loses $12.6 million in annual tax revenue. Straight into the pockets of the capitalist class. All this is before we get to anything the PE firm does to the company, such as pay itself huge fees for setting up the deal, outsource its workers, raid its pension fund, or load it up with enough additional debt that it goes bankrupt.

In 1992, Bain Capital bought American Pad & Paper by financing 87 percent of the purchase price. In the next three years, Ampad borrowed to make acquisitions, repay existing debt and pay Bain Capital and its investors $60 million in dividends. As a result, the company’s debt swelled from $11 million in 1993 to $444 million by 1995. The $14 million in annual interest expense on this debt dwarfed the company’s $4.7 million operating cash flow. The proceeds of an initial public offering in July 1996 were used to pay Bain Capital $48 million for part of its stake and to reduce the company’s debt to $270 million. From 1993 to 1999, Bain Capital charged Ampad about $18 million in various fees. By 1999, the company’s debt was back up to $400 million. Unable to pay the interest costs and drained of cash paid to Bain Capital in fees and dividends, Ampad filed for bankruptcy the following year. Senior secured lenders got less than 50 cents on the dollar, unsecured lenders received two- tenths of a cent on the dollar, and several hundred jobs were lost. Bain Capital had reaped capital gains of $107 million on its $5.1 million investment.

Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gains, Socialized Losses - Bloomberg (via dendroica)

Hopefully the fact that Obama pretty much has no choice but to run on trashing Bain Capital starts getting people aware of what exactly it is that people like Mitt Romney do to make themselves rich. They find one scheme or another to keep the rewards for themselves while sticking others with the risks. Private equity is just one of the variations on this basic concept.

I Think People Are Finally Starting to Figure Out What Private Equity Is, And Why It’s Bad for the 99%

It’s nice that Mitt Romney is getting some scrutiny over his business career, because it’s a good opportunity for the people to learn how private equity works, and how it serves the interest of the 1% at the expense of the 99%. I mean, you’ve got Barack Obama’s Tumblr page posting this quote:

When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot… And so if your main argument for how to grow the economy is ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about.

Which is a lot less of leftist polemic than I’d put it, but pretty decent for the Democrats of today. And we’ve got Andrew Sullivan printing a couple reader emails that actually manage to correctly lay out what the heart of the matter is, and why private equity is pretty much a scam run by the investor class to increase their share of the returns from business. The first:

You take the Cash Cow, paying, say, 30% in taxes, and use various strategies to drive the tax rate to near-zero without killing the cash flow. Then you pocket the 30%, and the investors pay lower capital gains and “carried interest” tax rates on those extracted “tax savings.”

For roughly half of the companies receiving this “operation” will die because of the high debt and other obligations brought on by the Tax Arbitrage strategy. But you, the equity capital firm, get your investment out early. Half of the companies will prosper under this treatment (though not for existing employees who are outsourced or downsized), and you flip those to new owners for huge profits, taxed at capital gains rates.

And the second:

Dividend recapitalization is the most insidious subset of financial engineering - the owners take out a loan backed by the assets of the company and use the proceeds from the loan to write themselves a dividend check of roughly the same amount.  The company is again forced to focus all of its attention on servicing this new debt, frequently groaning under the pressure.  When it fails in that mission and tumbles into bankruptcy, the private equity backers toss the keys to the creditors and walk away, having already recouped most, if not all (or, in some cases, many multiples of all) of their investment.  Loans are, fundamentally, supposed to be used to boost investment in productive enterprises, but in this case, the financial/private equity industry has bastardized that premise to funnel money away from productive uses and straight into their coffers. 

I think that not only is this a perfectly fair thing to take Mitt Romney to task for, but it’s also a great excuse for us to look at how the 1% manipulate the system for their own benefit. Something the Democrats always seem to stop short of doing, lest they look like they’re engaging in class war and offend their big money donors.

If you’re the sort that really wants to dig deeper into the matter, Mike Konczal has a great post looking at the issues with private equity discussed above, and how they interact with each other. I hope more people start to make similar arguments. Not only is it good to help keep a cretin like Mitt Romney out of power, but we should start looking at how certain practices in the finance industry affect the rest of us, and what we can do about it. Because you know for damn sure the people who are gaming the system know what they’re doing, and are counting on the rest of us not figuring it out.


Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents (via kileyrae)

The more I know about Mitt Romeny, the less I like him. And it was 2005 or so, back when he was governor of Massachusetts, and he used his line-item veto power to cut funding for LGBT suicide-prevention programs in schools, that I declared that if one were to look up “colossal douchbag” in the dictionary, it would be a picture of Mitt Romney. Seven years later, it’d be hard work for him to get back up to that level.

I wanted to increase the work requirement, I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.

Mitt Romney (in January) arguing that poor mothers should be forced to work outside the home or lose welfare assistance.

So remember kids, Moms should be able to make the choice to stay at home… as long as they’re rich.


(via stfuconservatives)

As is always the case with plutocrats like Mitt Romney, his basic philosophy boils down to “one law for them and another one for us.”

In the sort of total disregard for the truth that’s come to characterize the Romney campaign, their description of the chart at left is that 92% of the job losses in Obama’s term have been women, thus proving that it’s Obama that’s waging war on women. Do they have someone to comb through various statistics and find a way to massage the data to make Obama look bad? Really, that’s some imagination there.
(courtesy of Kevin Drum at Mother Jones)

In the sort of total disregard for the truth that’s come to characterize the Romney campaign, their description of the chart at left is that 92% of the job losses in Obama’s term have been women, thus proving that it’s Obama that’s waging war on women. Do they have someone to comb through various statistics and find a way to massage the data to make Obama look bad? Really, that’s some imagination there.

(courtesy of Kevin Drum at Mother Jones)

I can tell you one thing. If I’m the godfather of this thing, then it gives me the right to kill it.
Mitt Romney, on the Affordable Care Act. I hope he doesn’t have any real godchildren, because he doesn’t seem to quite understand how that works.


I’ll just say this, which is it’s not the language I would have used.
Mitt Romney, taking a courageous stand against Rush Limbaugh’s blatantly misogynistic and ill-informed rant against Sandra Fluke. Mitt’s apparently advocating a kinder, gentler slut-shaming.