With most Americans fearful for their well being and the well being of loved ones and friends, the focus is necessarily on the economy. Jobs and economic security are the touchstones of the election.
Mitt Romney is focusing on that singular issue. His business experience provides a unique set of qualifications, both on a record of producing jobs and on an understanding of how finance works.
As the CEO of Bain Capital, he took the fledgeling corporation from a small financial services shop to a mammoth powerhouse. And, let's face it directly, a gathering of financial wealth does give some sign of the ability to manage money.
Critics have sought to distract from these simple facts, but the Romney campaign has remained remarkably focused on the one message that matters most, getting America's financial house back in working order.
The distractions have come from a number of directions. Business success itself has been attacked. It is true that Mitt Romney's financial objective as head of Bain Capital was to make money. The production of wealth is the driving motivation behind every great economic accomplishment in a free market system. A working commitment to making weak and ailing companies whole again does make money, but the jobs produced or saved are not simply a pleasant side benefit. They are at the center of the financial hub.
Not every venture was successful, to be sure. A lot of people will lose their jobs when a manufacturer goes down. Health care and retirement plans have to be sacrificed in order to produce the profits that will attract investors to other companies that can be saved.
And there is the matter of outsourcing, the firing of people within a company, and shipping jobs elsewhere, presumably at a cheaper wage. It is an unfortunate business practice, but it does allow workers in distant places to obtain employment. The wages are lower, but people are still thankful to find work.
Bain has been criticized for taking over companies specializing in shipping jobs away, and pioneering the practice through those corporations. Nobody disputes that Bain made money in exactly that way. But lets be fair to Mitt Romney. The most spectacular job losses due to outsourcing happened after he began working with the Olympics in 1999.
Bill Clinton was still President and George Bush was still Governor of Texas. Mitt Romney had stepped back from micro-management so he could have more time to devote to the Olympics committee, which he chaired. There was some dispute about just when he left Bain. He was still signing important SEC filings through the period of the major outsourcing. And he was listed in those filings as the sole owner of Bain entities. He listed his occupation as Managing Director of Bain Capital though 1999, 2000, and into 2001.
But the Mitt campaign points out that owning - managing a business and having day-to-day knowledge are quite different. Mitt Romney cannot be held responsible for what he did not know.
Opponents still try to shift the focus away from the real issue. Even his personal wealth is a tempting distraction to critics.
The personal side of outsourcing is tax avoidance. Most taxpayers try to take advantage of every legitimate deduction that the law allows. Mitt Romney transferred massive sums into an account under his wife's name. The transfer happened as he became Governor of Massachusetts. As a public official, he would have been required to disclose how he had generated that wealth. After the transfer, he didn't have to.
Point is, it was completely legal. The account was set up as a blind trust in an investment corporation that specialized in off-shore transfers of wealth. That's how those massive sums ended up in the Cayman Islands and in Switzerland.
As Mitt Romney points out, the entire purpose of a blind trust is to keep detailed knowledge from the investor of where the money is. That is so specific returns generated by official actions won't influence a public official. Mitt Romney could not have been expected to know that an investment corporation specializing in off-shore accounts would have as a general investment direction transfers to other countries. He insists he was unaware of whether funds might go to off-shore accounts. Certainly he cannot be held responsible for personal off-shore accounts of every family member and possible tax avoidance if he was not aware of those details. He was not legally responsible for his wife's wealth.
If Mitt Romney can continue to avoid these distractions and focus on the economy there is every chance America will be receptive to his message.
America should reject distractions of unfair stories of outsourcing of jobs, out-shoring of Swiss accounts, and diversion of funds to Cayman Island tax havens. And reject them they will. Americans know that a business manager can't be held accountable for the significant corporate practices that he delegated to others, or for the legitimate tax and accounting transfers that he can't have been expected to track in every detail.
What America needs now is a new President with a proven economic record, a corporate history of job creation, management abilities that have been shown by his business acumen, and by his personal skill in family finance.
Mitt Romney brings to America a unique combination of total financial know how and complete innocence of any knowledge of what was going on.
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Commission, contemporary news accounts, company histories and press releases, and the
evidence offered by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas." -from that evil conservative site factcheck.org.
If I understand correctly, the evaluation in your thoughtfully provided link is based on Mitt Romney's claim that he left Bain in February, 1999. If that is true, then the filings made by Mr. Romney to the SEC as late as 2001 contained deliberate falsehoods.
Possessing a charitable nature, I would rather believe he is guilty of political mendacity to the press rather than criminal mendacity to legal authorities.
However, I do see your point as an indicator in the other direction.
Who here acts like FactCheck.org is an evil conservative website? Both FactCheck and PolitiFact routinely expose both conservative and liberal misinformation. Both conservatives and liberals have accused them of bias.
Perhaps you should stop reinforcing this idea in your mind that liberals don't care about facts or that they are more inclined than conservatives to dismiss contradictory evidence.
I understood the sarcasm, but took it to be an insult toward liberals along the lines of:
"The facts from this [purportedly] unbiased website contradict your story, so you'll probably say that it has conservative bias."
"You'll probably dismiss this website out of hand because it so frequently debunks liberal misinformation."
These are the usual implications for such a statement. If I misunderstood, then I am sorry.
FactCheck, it turns out, has a staff, and I suspect they are mostly either democrats or Republicans and biased in favor of their party.
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