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Excerpt: "You know, there's that tenet of some forms of extreme Muslim religions where it's OK to lie to the infidel. And I think Mitt Romney has a little bit of that."

Matt Taibbi at Skylight Studio in New York, 10/27/10. (photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Matt Taibbi at Skylight Studio in New York, 10/27/10. (photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)


Matt Taibbi: Romney's Secret? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

03 September 12

 

new article by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone sheds new light on the origin of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s fortune, revealing how Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Taibbi writes: "What most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth."

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. We are broadcasting from PBS station WEDU in Tampa, Florida. This is "Breaking With Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency," Democracy Now!'s special coverage from the Republican National Convention, inside and out. I'm Amy Goodman.

We continue our coverage now by turning to an issue that's been raised repeatedly during the campaign: the personal wealth of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. A new article by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone sheds light on the origin of his fortune, revealing how Romney's former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Matt Taibbi writes, quote, "what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time," Taibbi writes. He goes on to say, "In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on [planet] Earth."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2EKyDMaZ_4

Well, Matt Taibbi joins us now, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth piece called "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital," author of the book also, "Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History."

Matt Taibbi, welcome to Democracy Now!

MATT TAIBBI: Good morning.

AMY GOODMAN: Lay it out for us. Excellent piece, investigative piece, on Mitt Romney's wealth. Where did it start?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, you know, for me, it started when I had to cover this campaign earlier this year, and I was listening to Romney's stump speech about debt. You know, he came up with this whole image of a prairie fire of debt raging across America that was literally going to burn children alive in the future. And I kept thinking to myself, does nobody know what this guy did for a living and how he made his money? You know, Mitt Romney is unabashedly a leverage buyout artist. And a leverage buyout artist is a guy who borrows lots of money that other companies have to pay back. And that's the simple formula.

He started out-his most famous deals, of course, are essentially venture capital deals like the Staples situation, where he built a company from the ground up. But after Staples, he switched to a different model, that he preferred for the rest of his professional career, in which he took over existing companies by putting down small amounts of his own cash, borrowing the rest from-typically from a giant investment bank, taking over controlling stakes in companies, and then forcing those companies to pay him either through management fees or through dividends. And that's his business formula.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what private equity is.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, that is what a private equity fund does. They're essentially-it's a synonym for what in the '80s we called the leverage buyout business. It's a small group that raises capital and then goes and leverages takeovers of companies using borrowed money. In the '80s, these-this sort of business was glamorized through a couple of things, in particular, in pop culture. One was the movie Wall Street, where Gordon Gekko, the famous Michael Douglas character from the Oliver Stone movie, was essentially a private equity guy. He was a leverage buyout takeover artist. And the other one was a book called Barbarians at the Gate, which was a true story of the takeover of RJR Nabisco by a company called KKR, which was another Bain Capital-like takeover company. And that's what they are. They're essentially guys who borrow money to take over companies and extract wealth from those companies to pay off their investors.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt, you say that Mitt Romney is not the flip-flopper that critics say he is.

MATT TAIBBI: Yeah. I mean, this is a sort of a subtle point about Mitt Romney. It's funny. I don't want to stretch this comparison too much, but, you know, there's-it's almost like he has a kind of a religious conviction about being able to lie to people outside of the tent, so to speak. You know, there's that tenet of some forms of extreme Muslim religions where it's OK to lie to the infidel. And I think Mitt Romney has a little bit of that. He seems to believe that it's OK, that there's nothing particularly wrong with changing one's mind about things, and he does it repeatedly in a way that I think is different from other politicians. For him, it's just changing a business strategy, and he doesn't see why everybody should get so upset about it.

AMY GOODMAN: You say that Mitt Romney has a vision, that he's trying for something big. Lay out what that vision is.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, Mitt Romney is really the representative of an entire movement that's taken over the American business world in the last couple of decades. You know, America used to be-especially the American economy was built upon this brick-and-mortar industrial economy, where we had factories, we built stuff, and we sold it here in America, and we exported it all over the world. That manufacturing economy was the foundation for our wealth and power for a couple of centuries. And then, in the '80s, we started to transform ourselves from a manufacturing economy to a financial economy. And that process, which, you know, on Wall Street we call financialization, was really led that-sort of this revolution, where instead of making products, we made transactions, we made financial products, like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. We created money through financial transactions rather than building products and selling them around the world. And that revolution was really led by people like Mitt Romney. And the advantage of financialization, from the point of view of the very rich and the people who run the American economy, is that it was extremely efficient at extracting wealth and kicking it upward, whereas the old manufacturing economy had the sort of negative effect of spreading around to the entire population. In the financialization revolution, you can take all of the money, and you don't have to spread it around with anybody. And Mitt Romney was kind of a symbol of that fundamental shift in our economy.

AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, Democracy Now!'s Mike Burke caught up with the Texas governor, Rick Perry, and asked him about his comment about Mitt Romney, calling him a vulture capitalist. Let's take a listen.

MIKE BURKE: You described Mitt Romney, compared him to a vulture. What did you mean by that? And you said his work with Bain Capital was indefensible.

GOV. RICK PERRY: How are you?

MIKE BURKE: Those were your words during the primary season, Governor. Do you have any comment at all?

AMY GOODMAN: What you were just listening to was the silence of Governor Perry not responding to Mike's question. Yes, Governor Perry called Mitt Romney a "vulture capitalist." Matt Taibbi, what does that mean?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, look, again, this is what-how companies like Bain made their money. And a great example was a company that I went and visited-well, the place where it used to exist-KB Toys, which used to be headquartered out in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. They took over the company with like $18 million down. They financed the other $302 million. So that's borrowed money that subsequently became the debt of KB Toys. This is an important distinction for people to understand. When they borrowed that money to take over that company, they didn't have to pay it back, KB had to pay it back. Once they took over the company, they induced it to do a $120 million, quote-unquote, "dividend recapitalization," which essentially means that the company had to cash in a bunch of shares and pay Bain and its investors a huge sum of money. And in order to finance that, they had to take out over $60 million in bank loans. So, essentially, you take over the company, you force them to make enormous withdrawals against their credit card, essentially, and pay the new owners of the company. And that's essentially what they did. They took over a floundering company that was sort of in between and faced with threatening changes in the industry, and they forced them to cash out entirely and pay all their money to the new owners.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, just for the record, Governor Perry's comment about Mitt Romney was very interesting. He said, "They're vultures that sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick, and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, they leave with that, and they leave the skeleton."

MATT TAIBBI: That's exactly right. That's exactly what they do. Again, they borrow money, they take over the company, the company now has this massive new debt burden. So, if the couple was already in trouble, if it was already having trouble meeting its bottom line, suddenly, not only does it have its old problems, now it has, you know, $300 million in new debt service that it has to pay. So it might be, you know, paying millions and millions of dollars every month.

A great example is Dunkin' Donuts, whose parent company was taken over a couple years ago by a combination of Bain Capital and the Carlyle Group. Dunkin' was induced to do one of those dividend recapitalizations. They had to pay half-a-billion dollars to their new masters. And just to pay the debt service on the loan they took out to make that payment to Bain and Carlyle, they're going to have to sell like two-and-a-half million cups of coffee every month just to pay the debt service. So, that's extraordinary. They are-they're essentially vultures who hang out waiting for companies to get sick, then they forcibly take them over, and they extract fees, commissions and dividends, by force, essentially.

AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this week, Democracy Now! spoke to two workers from what's now Sensata Technologies, which Bain Capital is majority owner. A hundred seventy workers there at the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois, are calling on Romney to help save their jobs from being shipped to China. The plant manufactures sensors and controls that are used in aircraft and automobiles. This is Tom Gaulrapp, a former-well, he's a Sensata worker now, talking about the response that they've received.

TOM GAULRAPP: We're there trying to save our jobs, and we were called communists. For trying to save our jobs from going to China from the United States, we were called communists. They-if there hadn't been a large police group in there, I'm sure we would have been more threatened. They started this "U.S.A." chant. It's like, yes, we're all for the U.S.A., too. That's what we're trying to do here. We're trying to keep well-paying manufacturing jobs from being moved out of this country to China. And they make it sound like we're not patriotic. And it boggles the mind as to what they're thinking.

AMY GOODMAN: That's Tom Gaulrapp, and he's describing going to an Iowa Romney campaign event last week-Romney was maybe seven rows in front of him-and asking about their jobs, their company owned by Bain, being sent to China. In fact, some of them went to China, the workers, to train the workers in China, so that they could take over their jobs. Their last day will be the Friday before the elections. They'll be on the unemployment line to apply for unemployment on Monday. On Tuesday, they vote. Can you comment on this situation, Matt?

MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, no, it's absolutely typical of a private equity transaction. I think one of the glaring misconceptions about this kind of business that's persisted throughout Mitt Romney's campaign for the presidency is that what these companies do is turn around and fix companies, that they're in the business of helping these companies. Romney constantly uses this term, that he-that, you know, "help." "I'm either helping this firm, or I'm helping it turn around." He wrote a book called Turnaround. But they are not in the business of turning companies around and creating jobs. That is a complete mischaracterization. What they're in the business of doing is repaying the investors who lent them the money to take over those companies. The workers are completely irrelevant in this scheme.

Romney is-you know, the old-school industrialists, like Mitt Romney's father, they were men and women who built communities. They had factory towns. They were very anxious to leave, you know, hard legacies that people could see: hospitals, churches, schools-you know, the Hersheys of the world, the Kelloggs. But these new owners have absolutely no allegiance to American workers, American places, American communities. Their only allegiance is to the investors and to themselves. And so, it's not at all uncharacteristic to have these situations where people are pleading for their jobs or they're saying, you know, "We'll tighten our belts, if you just make this concession and keep us." That's irrelevant to the Mitt Romney-slash-Bain Capital-slash-Carlyle Groups of the world. They're entirely about making profits. And if that means shipping jobs to China or eliminating jobs, that's what they're going to do. And that's the new generation of corporate owners in this country.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt, last month, Mitt Romney gave a series of TV interviews defending his role at Bain Capital. This is Mitt Romney speaking to CNN's Jim Acosta.

MITT ROMNEY: There's nothing wrong with being associated with Bain Capital, of course. But the truth is that I left any role at Bain Capital in February of '99. And that's known and said by the people at the firm. It's said by the documents, offering documents that the firm made subsequently about people investing in the firm. And I think anybody who knows that I was out full time running the Olympics would understand that's where I was. I spent three years running the Olympic Games. And after that was over, we worked out our retirement program, our departure official program for Bain Capital, and handed over the shares I had. But there's a difference between being a shareholder, an owner, if you will, and being a person who's running an entity. And I had no role whatsoever in managing Bain Capital after February of 1999.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Mitt Romney on CNN. Matt Taibbi, he's referring to the-that time gap, 1999, when he said he left, to 2000, 2001, 2002. The significance of this?

MATT TAIBBI: You know, I don't think it's terribly important whether he was actively sitting at the helm during that time or whether he was just passively accepting the vast amounts of money that were sent his way as the result of the deals that were concluded at that time. Again, Mitt Romney-well, I'm sorry, Bain Capital took over KB Toys during that disputed time period and made an enormous profit. I think their profit was something like $100 million out of that deal. And Mitt Romney shared in that, in that largesse, even whether he was, you know, actively strategizing or not. You know, the groundwork for deals like that had been laid in the decades before that where he was actively involved in deals like taking over a company like Ampad, which was a very similar deal to the KB deal. So, it's irrelevant to me, and I think it should be irrelevant to everybody, whether he was actually working there or not. He shared in the profits and clearly didn't have a problem with any of those deals.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, you have said that Mitt Romney's fortune would not have been possible without the direct assistance of the U.S. government.

MATT TAIBBI: Yes, there's a tax deduction for all that borrowed money. So, when Mitt Romney or Bain Capital, when they want to go take over a company like KB Toys and they borrow $300 million to do it, and that new debt becomes the debt of KB Toys, when KB pays the debt service, the monthly service on that debt, that service is deductible. And if that were not true, if they did not have that deduction, these deals would not be economically feasible. They wouldn't be possible. I spoke to one former regulator from the SEC, who worked both in the SEC and as an accountant at a Big Four accounting firm, and he reviewed a number of these deals in both a public and private capacity. And he said, without that deduction, he's never seen a deal that would have been economically-a private equity deal that would have been economically feasible. So, this entire business model depends upon a tax break.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Romney's role in Bealls Brothers and Palais Royal. And how is Michael Milken involved with this?

MATT TAIBBI: Sure. And just generally speaking, these private equity deals, they're made possible by these sort of get-rich-quick, easy-money schemes that started appearing on Wall Street in the '80s. Again, in the old days, the real power in the American economy was-belonged to the industrialists, the guys who-men and women who actually made things, because they had-they were the primary sources of cash and revenue. But in the '80s, we started to develop all these new methods of simply creating money out of thin air. And the first great one in the '80s was Mike Milken's junk bonds. And this ability to conjure instant millions gave people, like the fictional Gordon Gekko, the power to take over, you know, mighty companies-airlines, you know, industrial companies-whereas 10, 15, 20 years ago, somebody who didn't have his own fortune would never have been able to take over those companies.

And that's what happened with this transaction with Bealls. Romney used Mike Milken's junk bonds to take over a couple of department store chains, which he subsequently merged. And even after finding out that Milken was under investigation and would shortly have to go to court to defend himself on fraud charges, Romney pressed ahead with the deal anyway and ended up making, you know, another tidy profit on that deal.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt, finally, what do you feel reporters here at the Republican National Convention should be asking Mitt Romney about his time at Bain?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, I just think that the-

AMY GOODMAN: And what his plans are for the presidency?

MATT TAIBBI: Sure. I just think the one unanswered question that reporters just don't ask either of these people is-they're making their entire platform about debt. Paul Ryan, his entire political profile is based on this idea that he's an enemy of debt and a, you know, budget slasher. And Mitt Romney has-again, he's banked his entire campaign rhetoric on the sort of prairie fire of debt theme. And yet, this is a guy who spent-who made his fortune creating debt. Somehow, this question has not been asked to him. How is that not hypocritical? It hasn't been asked of either of them, and I would like to see the mainstream press at least ask that question. I think it's an ideal debate question that should be asked somewhere down the line.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, I want to thank you very much for being with us, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent article in Rolling Stone is "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." Matt Taibbi is author of the book Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we go to the floor of the convention. Stay with us.

 

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+93 # LeeBlack 2012-09-03 11:27
"Forcing others to pay the bill" is the root of free enterprise - pollute air, water and food and let someone else do the clean up (or suffer).
 
 
-110 # RightForAReason 2012-09-03 14:05
Free enterprise also creates the goods and services at higher quality and lower costs so we don't have to live in caves and eat roots and occasional rabbits.
 
 
+44 # Vern Radul 2012-09-03 14:26
How much was it you paid to fill your tank and buy groceries, again?

Have a couple of shots of Monsanto Juice, or maybe a BP or Fukushima cocktail, to celebrate.
 
 
+53 # Ralph Averill 2012-09-03 16:28
"Free enterprise also creates the goods and services at higher quality and lower costs so we don't have to live in caves and eat roots and occasional rabbits."
Soon, RightForAReason . Very soon.
Does human decency toward other human beings have any place in this "free" market, or is that just some old sentimental nonsense from some other time, irrelevant today?
 
 
+48 # LeeBlack 2012-09-03 16:47
I think the point is that the cost of goods in the Free Enterprise system isn't a real cost - If it were the real cost is would include the clean-up cost of pollution and eliminate the tax-loophole breaks.

Low cost goods from foreign countries that don't have regulations also means that we end up with more questionable products. And eventually someone is going to pay for their toxic waste dumps.
 
 
+16 # unitedwestand 2012-09-04 02:30
To further expand on your good points, Free Enterprise where companies can pollute and serve us poisoned products and food, like the evil Monsanto, who seem to be unstoppable in this country of yawning and sleeping people, also increases our health care costs.

Will we ever be able to calculate the damage from the BP spill in the Gulf? In my opinion the reason BP polluted our gulf is because there were not enough regulations and officials that were suppose to be our watchdogs were happy getting their pockets stuffed .
 
 
+8 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:35
RFAR, this NOT free enterprise at work. This vulture capitalism at its finest. How can you read this article and make an asine comment like that?
 
 
+6 # flippancy 2012-09-05 02:41
So does any other system. Under unregulated capitalism the system ALWAYS crashes. Capitalism ALWAYS fails without strict regulation because, by its' very nature, it's based on pure greed.
 
 
+5 # ericsongs 2012-09-05 05:13
Quoting RightForAReason:
Free enterprise also creates the goods and services at higher quality and lower costs so we don't have to live in caves and eat roots and occasional rabbits.

Slave Labor also creates the goods and services at higher quality and lower costs so we don't have to live in caves and eat roots and occasional rabbits. Why don't you just cut out the middleman? Go for the Gold? It's the Real Thing!
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 12:26
"Free" enterprise usually creates full freedom for the 1%, despite the pluses that the populations of the few, wealthy countries have gotten, although we could very well conclude that this is quickly becoming past tense. THERE ARE other ways to efficiently provide goods and services, where there's even a chance, in the process, to actually eliminate poverty. (Besides it's utterly necessary if we're talking about some form of freedom for the world's population.) I'll give you a vague clue "Mr. Wrong for a Reason": It's necessary to separate from and totally abandon Stalinism, as it was more tsarist and feudal than what it was claiming to support. Don't get it? Or having an immediate mental reflex of negativity? Then abandon the 19th century mentality of private and economic extremism that naturally occurs with that mentality.
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2012-09-05 14:51
Quoting RightForAReason:
Free enterprise also creates the goods and services at higher quality and lower costs so we don't have to live in caves and eat roots and occasional rabbits.


Name me 1 "free enterprise"? it's mythology not reality. From the railroads (who got free or cheap land from the government) to Silicon Valley (which wasn't created by wiz kids in their basements or garages but was due to government defense contracts) all major US industries were built with huge government intervention (whether through protective legislation, tax breaks, loans, guarantees, purchases etc).

The "free market" is about as real as the tooth fairy
 
 
+5 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:40
I do like the directness of you comment: To the point, shattering the myth of how "free" it can be for everyone under capitalist rule. The government role? Yeah, it has been crucial, despite whatever flaws in any human-made system.
 
 
+31 # soularddave 2012-09-03 19:47
Internalize profit and externalize the costs.

Accelerate revenues and defer expenses.

Those ARE formulas, but very selfish ones.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-09-05 06:41
Internalize profit and externalize the costs.

Accelerate revenues and defer expenses.

"Insert here: Get the hell out of there With all the money before the whole thing collapses."

Those ARE formulas, but very selfish ones.
 
 
+70 # Pamela Hazel 2012-09-03 11:34
Matt Taibbi is one of my heroes -- and I don't have many! I'm especially delighted that Matt writes for the Rolling Stone. One of Jann Wenner's sisters was a friend of mine at boarding school, and Jann himself was in my class at Berkeley. I didn't know him except in passing, but he did tell me, when we unexpectedly ran into each other in Colorado, that he had "started something really good" in Berkeley. I was skeptical, but then thrilled to have a magazine devoted to music. Now the Rolling Stone is a little like Playboy -- people say they buy it "for the articles," but they mean it! Matt Taibbi rocks!
 
 
+73 # tswhiskers 2012-09-03 11:39
Griftopia, indeed! Here is another example of how US tax policy helps us to do ourselves in. Bain et al ARE grifters, conmen who by making deals with the corporate officers manage to convince them to allow Bain and others to buy out their companies for a small fraction of their true worth and stick the bought company with repaying debt and management fees that they can't afford. As for the 12 mil jobs Mitt is promising, I foresee some $9. per hr. jobs at 38 hours or 20 hours a week (you only have to pay benefits if an employee works 40 hrs.) but not 12 mill of them. This is not Democracy Now! This is the theft of people's labor and time. Obama has been a disappointment to those who expected a more liberal politcian, but he has still accomplished a good deal. I still have hopes of more success for a middle-class agenda if he wins.
 
 
-95 # RightForAReason 2012-09-03 14:12
Oh get real! "small fraction of their true worth"! The corporate officers make the best deal they can for their stockholders. Accountants from both sides cone up with their evaluations of the company worth and the stockholders have to vote on the deal. Everyone goes into it with their eyes wide open.
 
 
+5 # Vern Radul 2012-09-03 14:36
>>Everyone goes into it with their eyes wide open.
 
 
+25 # soularddave 2012-09-03 20:14
But how does an accountant evaluate LIES? How about hidden adverse TRUTHS?

and no, most stockholders have no vote. Do the employees get to vote? Is the employee pension plan secure without a Union plan or private plan, separate from the company?
 
 
+4 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:39
Yea, wide open little piggy eyes with little piggy snouts, wagging little piggy tales. You get real!
 
 
+3 # David Starr 2012-09-05 12:35
Perhaps you should change you username to "Too Good To Be True," given your own flight from reality. I guess it's of no use reminding you that, e.g., the 2008 Great Recession was the result of a dominant financial sector gone out of control over the years, literally gambling with other peoples' money, hiding important financial info the public needed to know, and a "cooking" of the accountant books, etc. And it happened quite characteristica lly; plus, it's nothing that's actually new, only in a more blatant form than before with robber barons, etc.
 
 
+6 # dkonstruction 2012-09-05 14:56
Quoting RightForAReason:
Oh get real! "small fraction of their true worth"! The corporate officers make the best deal they can for their stockholders. Accountants from both sides cone up with their evaluations of the company worth and the stockholders have to vote on the deal. Everyone goes into it with their eyes wide open.


right, it's not like any of the accounting firms have been found to be in collusion with the industries they are supposed to be "objectively" auditing and of course the ratings agencies have never been known to make "mistakes" not to mention that the forumulas used to evaluate and establish risk are "proprietary" and so even if your eyes are wide open you can't look at anything...and, of course, the ceo's would never do anything against the best interest of their shareholders as the shareholders from Enron and AIG will no doubt attest.
 
 
+5 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:44
If the Enron and AIG examples don't convince, then I don't know what the hell will. Friggin obvious if one gets over with-and is no longer in denial about-an ideology who's nature prioritizes greed.
 
 
+76 # Barbara K 2012-09-03 12:17
Romneyhood, like some other very wealthy people, make their money off the backs of others. He should be ashamed of himself, no wonder he doesn't want to show his taxes. But the scheme was obvious when he wouldn't show them. He ruined a lot of people's lives when he sent their jobs out of the country and it looks like he ruined a lot more companies than we could have guessed. Now he wants to ruin the entire country along with all of us. Don't give him the chance. DON'T vote Republican at any level so we can get some states cleaned out too.

DO VOTE, never set out another election and let this happen to us again. Every vote counts and don't let anyone make you think it doesn't. That is the last power we still have.
 
 
-52 # jimattrell 2012-09-03 14:42
You make no mention of Obama's shipping of jobs overseas with Tarp money?
 
 
+23 # soularddave 2012-09-03 18:48
well, YOU tell us about it, then. Give us a few particulars.
 
 
+11 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:40
Facts! Give us FACTS, not you opinion. By the way, TARP was a Bush program, passed under George Porgie Boy, not Obama. Get your FACTS straight.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 12:36
A good and appropriate reply.
 
 
+6 # flippancy 2012-09-05 02:45
Quoting jimattrell:
You make no mention of Obama's shipping of jobs overseas with Tarp money?


Because TARP was a Bush act.
 
 
+33 # usedtobesupermom 2012-09-03 12:17
WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!!!
 
 
+21 # Barbara K 2012-09-03 12:25
Here is a link to the jobs that the President was able to keep:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-kept/
 
 
+18 # Barbara K 2012-09-03 13:40
Oops, that should be "promises", not "jobs", sorry.
 
 
-2 # jtatu 2012-09-05 13:37
When campaigning Obama promised to cut deficit spending in half by the end of his first term. He tripled it. He also said that George W.'s piling $4,000,000,000, 000 on to the national debt over 8 years was "unpatriotic" and "irresponsible. " He has piled on $6,000,000,000, 000 in less than 4 years.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:56
Hold it guy. The Bush regime's irresponsibilit y in amassing debt is unprecedented: About 10 trillion dollars I beleive. Thus, a hell of a lot more than Obama, which is about 3 or 5 trillion under his presidency. STILL, the economic "bloodbath" that erupted under the Bush regime is not exactly going to go away with the next presidency,i.e. , Obama. No "miracles" here, and not surprisingly, given the Bushites cutthroat policies, except of course not "killing" the 1%. But those were the Bushites true base. Bush Jr. himself admitted this at a fundraiser, saying he welcomes the haves and havemores, this being his essential base. And that base is still the Repub instrument for trying to buy elections with overspending for ads that are all bullshit and no content. Plus, of course, trying to disenfranchise voters who happen to vote a certain way, pathetically using absurd disqualificatio ns as excuses. Thus, I can tell you're from the "wonderland" of Right-wing illusion.
 
 
-2 # jtatu 2012-09-05 18:23
You "believe?" Do you dispute any fact I stated.
 
 
+1 # David Starr 2012-09-06 15:59
Well, guy, it's a matter of checking it out to totally verify it. I'm sure it's correct. If by some chance not, then I'll admit it was inaccurate. (Can you do the same?) But I don't think so. If this Bushite-fueled debt continued under Obama to the tune of 3 or 5 extra trillion, then it's obvious that the other figure is correct. Like I said, the Bush regime's accumulation of debt is unprecedented. What a pathetic born-with-a-sil ver-spoon-in-hi s-mouth parasite. Yeah, I find the term is necssary, and accurate.
 
 
-29 # jimattrell 2012-09-03 17:54
Don't mean to interrupt but you forgot the more important promises that we're broken. I don't give my friends credit for keeping promises and President Obama doesn't get credit for doing what he said he would. Ir's what he promised and didn't deliver in that counts. Most important is that he said he'd be transparent, the President of all Americans and unite us. That was a lie. Here is the list from your same source. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-broken/
 
 
+18 # jmcg 2012-09-03 23:32
Oh, for Pete's sake! "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones." How cynical and selfish an attitude: "I won't give you credit for what you did for me, I will only remember what you hoped you could do but were unable to." I can't imagine that you have many friends if your scorekeeping discounts all accomplishment. Of course, in today's society the very phrase "keeping score" means to keep track of slights both real and perceived. Not being able to deliver on a promise that it is not solely within your power to keep and telling a lie are two different things, and it is childish to think otherwise. I am reminded of a child throwing a temper tantrum because the parent promised ice cream, but when they got to the store, it was closed, or there was no ice cream. Sometimes we just don't get everything we want, and no matter how hard we try, promises can't be kept.

I hope that you judge yourself by the same strict standards to which you hold others. But somehow I doubt it.
 
 
+8 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:42
Great post, jmcg! You hit the nail on the head. Keep it up.
 
 
-2 # jtatu 2012-09-05 18:26
One has to know the facts before making a promise.
 
 
+14 # Barbara K 2012-09-04 06:26
jimattrell: I suppose it would come as a complete shock to you after seeing your postings, that Obama did not omit his promises. Most were blocked by the Republicans, and you must be smart enough to know that and to know that. I watch the Senate and saw them do the blocking of many of the Bills, including the Jobs Bill, so that Obama could not fulfill his promises. Even the closing of Gitmo was blocked by the Rs. If you read most of the other comments on these sites, you should know that the Rs had set out to block anything he brought up, and they did.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-09-05 07:11
Barbara, we need to get these facts out there every time there is an opportunity to do so. The blocking of closing Gitmo and any jobs bill should be hammered home every time!
 
 
+9 # tclose 2012-09-04 07:40
Jim - if you look at Politifact's list, you will see that there are more than twice the number of kept to unkept items. More important, if you look over the "Promises Broken" list you will find that most of them are unkept due to unceasing opposition from your Party (I assume that you are a Repub follower). "It's what he promised and didn't deliver" is not due to any lack of effort on his part.

"Doesn't get any credit for doing what he said he would do"?? You are clearly not aware of the track record of most politicians.
 
 
+7 # Regina 2012-09-04 12:55
You're conveniently omitting the obstinate obstructionists in the Hell-no-we-won' t-go Party who sat on their duffs while collecting their paychecks and benefits, while refusing to even move -- up or down -- on any legislation before them. We don't YET have a president who can dictate his demands in order to "deliver" on his preferences. We may yet get one if that Hell-no party prevails in the coming election.
 
 
+5 # mdhome 2012-09-05 07:08
Obama was perhaps a bit naive in thinking the republicans would be willing to destroy the country for the purpose of making Obama a one term president. No doubt he believed the republicans were as patriotic as he was and wanted to get the economy back on track. Nobody could have foreseen the depths of hypocrisy in the republican congress. It is unbelievable that the GOP senate members would use the filibuster on any bill that make Obama look good. The people gave Obama a low rating, but enough people saw what the congress was doing so they gave congress the lowest rating EVER, twice as low as Obama.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-09-05 12:44
First, what's the ideological/pol itical ojectives of your source? I admit that Obama has overcompromised usually to the point of surrender. But then there's a lie and then lies of an Orwellian and dispicable nature: Nixon's Watergate, Reagan's Iran-Contra, the Bush regime's almost transparent lies to justify yet another imperial war. And, regarding the latter, don't give me the evil-dictator-h ad-to-be-overth rown sermon. The U.S., as an empire, has supported plenty over the years, until they sometimes became too much of a political/ideol ogical liability.
 
 
+77 # humanmancalvin 2012-09-03 12:41
The practicing Mormon refers to non-Mormons as Gentiles. A complete separation meant to distinguish anyone other that a follower of Joseph Smith. So in essence, a president Romney would be leading a country of Gentiles, a name no doubt he would use when in discussion with fellow Mormons. As in, "so Mitt, will the Gentiles accept your voucher plan in place of Medicare as it is today or will they openly revolt, you know how touchy those Gentiles can be." I don't know if this bothers me or not but the overly religious politician generally bothers me quite a bit. I reference G.W. Bush's extreme evangelicalism prompting him to invade a Muslim country in the name of his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Just kinda' spooky & medieval for my tastes. Think I'll stick to the saner Obama in 2012.
 
 
+42 # LiberalRN 2012-09-03 14:22
Quoting humanmancalvin:
The practicing Mormon refers to non-Mormons as Gentiles. A complete separation meant to distinguish anyone other that a follower of Joseph Smith. So in essence, a president Romney would be leading a country of Gentiles, a name no doubt he would use when in discussion with fellow Mormons. As in, "so Mitt, will the Gentiles accept your voucher plan in place of Medicare as it is today or will they openly revolt, you know how touchy those Gentiles can be." I don't know if this bothers me or not but the overly religious politician generally bothers me quite a bit. I reference G.W. Bush's extreme evangelicalism prompting him to invade a Muslim country in the name of his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Just kinda' spooky & medieval for my tastes. Think I'll stick to the saner Obama in 2012.

Cheer up, humanmancalvin. I don't think it was GWB's extreme evangelicalism that prompted him to invade Iraq. I think it was greed - oil greed, and the possibility of all those juicy Halliburton contracts. That it was wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross doesn't really change that - just makes it all the more cynical.
 
 
+5 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:45
Well, we do know that Joe Smth was run out of Kirtland, Ohio, in part, for starting a phony bank and bilking its investors. Romney must have read old Joe's playbook on business!
 
 
+2 # mdhome 2012-09-05 07:20
Their whole religion is based on "trust me"
from Joeseph Smith (and his golden plates) on down to the present.
 
 
+61 # Bill Clements 2012-09-03 13:28
What strikes me right off the bat: who else do you know, besides Taibbi, who has drilled down with such clarity to the essence of what Romney's business experience at Bain is really about: creating his fortune not as a "job-creator," but a DEBT-CREATOR!

This frankly says a lot about the state of journalism in America today (or has it always been this way?).

"This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time."

Yes, it's absolutely essential that there is a truly mighty effort made before the election to get this message out: the GOP has been harping and screaming about the debt, about being the "enemy of debt," when in point of fact their presidential candidate could only have made his fortune by creating debt!!!!

An equally important issue that needs more focus and attention is how an issue like this one "eludes America's top political journalists" not just over a period of months, but years!!!?
 
 
+46 # Celeste 2012-09-03 14:54
Beyond the rather sterile sounding "Debt Creation" term is a particularly insidious form of hubris. After all, he got a loan and used it to do a hostile takeover that left OTHERS holding the debt, after he and his Bain (should be gane) Capital enablers literally got away with the goods.

This type of activity ought to be a crime. It's essentially seizing hold of others' assets AS IF they were one's own.

Jobs and lives were ruined so that this selfish narcissist could buy a bigger yacht.

Add to his ilk the amoral likes of Ralph Reed, Dick Abramoff, and the Scrooge of our times, Grover Norquist and the portrait of the Repubican party gets uglier than Dorian Gray, once he was exposed.

The sad fact is, however, that big capital controls both parties and thus the more objectionable the behavior and hubris of the Republicans, the greater the cover extended to Democrats to lean right in support of their money masters. Some of these deep pockets merely pay off both "teams." The return on such investments is almost as good as Bain Capital's profit sheet. If by purchasing a lawmaker a policy is instituted that gives your corp. carte blanche to pollute, that's mega dollars in savings... a cost externalized to the great Mother Earth.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-09-05 07:22
I bet his father would be ashamed of Willard!
 
 
-96 # jimattrell 2012-09-03 14:08
If you had an understanding of economics you'd know that what Romney did created tons of jobs plus wealth for himself and many others. We need a lot more of that. Our country needs a little financial success and hope that anyone can accomplish the American Dream. I don't know why anyone would despise that but here it is, another article of distraction from what is important.
 
 
+37 # LiberalRN 2012-09-03 14:20
Quoting jimattrell:
If you had an understanding of economics you'd know that what Romney did created tons of jobs plus wealth for himself and many others. We need a lot more of that. Our country needs a little financial success and hope that anyone can accomplish the American Dream. I don't know why anyone would despise that but here it is, another article of distraction from what is important.

I'd be fascinated to know your understanding of economics, and particularly how Romney created "tons of jobs plus wealth for himself and many others." Unless you're talking about China. I agree - we need a lot more of that - but by that I mean creation of "tons of jobs" here in the US. Can you demonstrate how Romney has done that?
 
 
-50 # jimattrell 2012-09-03 17:04
I guess you don't study candidates much. Among many other businesses count Staples as one. Have you heard of them? And remember from your economics class that every job at Staples creates three other downstream jobs... And I owned a very successful business with 100 employees and supported the small businesses that sold us goods and services. Or at least I did until Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid came along.
 
 
+10 # ericsongs 2012-09-04 05:34
Quoting jimattrell:
... And I owned a very successful business with 100 employees and supported the small businesses that sold us goods and services.


So what you are really saying is that "trickle-down" does not work. This is really a "pump-up" model that required the efforts of 100 people to sustain your lifestyle. Plus, the number of employees at the 3 other firms you site and the goods they supplied to you. Therefore, they had to "pump" not only what you and yours required, but also enough for their own livelihoods. Plus, they had to "pump" enough to pay the company utilities and finally your profits, so you can have a nice vacation. Must be really tough to "Manage" all those cattle.
I think the definition of "trickle-down" should be: piss on my head and tell me it is raining".
 
 
-16 # jimattrell 2012-09-04 13:21
Sorry but trickle down does work in an environment that promotes commerce.. Only the Obama trickle down was like hot grease resulting in layoffs of some hardworking Americans. My wife and I earned less than many of our employees in an effort to save jobs and we gave up vacations in an effort to make things work. In the end our choice was to lineup a large number of great workers and say goodbye or.... let the banks foreclose and lose it all and layoff everyone. Sounds like you could use a dose of economics study.... I have no idea what "pump up" is supposed to mean? And we weren't in the cattle business. We were in manufacturing. Our subcontractors and vendors were forced to perform similar layoffs due to Obama trickle down. I could go on but I think I'd be wasting my breath.
 
 
+9 # ericsongs 2012-09-04 17:01
Quoting jimattrell:
Sorry but trickle down does work in an environment that promotes commerce. My wife and I earned less than many of our employees in an effort to save jobs and we gave up vacations in an effort to make things work. In the end our choice was to lineup a large number of great workers and say goodbye or.... let the banks foreclose and lose it all and layoff everyone. And we weren't in the cattle business. We were in manufacturing. I could go on but I think I'd be wasting my breath.


Yes! you would be wasting your breath, because we don't buy into your american dreamworld anymore. "Pump-up" is the opposite of "trickle-down". YOUR profits do NOT trickle down to us, WE pump-up the profits to you. You and your wife's combined incomes was less than some of your employee's wages? Not many people have enough assets already compiled to be able to ride it out, like that. Aren't you thankful your employees provided you with enough profit to be able to do that?
I knew beforehand that you weren't in the cattle biz (my research says Nortex Modular). I was referring to We The Employees as being cattle, "worshiping the quicksand you walk on". Well, we are tired of businesses being Subsidized with a plethora of Tax Breaks and Loopholes, and then acting like they earned the icing on the cake; when in reality, it is those who labor for your benefit that you owe your supposed success to. "Trickle-Down" = pissing on the heads of the laborers.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 12:45
No, trickle down only works when properly aiming into the toilet.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-09-08 17:07
jimattrell.
Please tell us WHAT your business was and WHERE it was located, for that is VERY important
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-09-08 17:17
Jimatrell.
I am really sorry for the loss of your business. I also started a business, (in 1980) so I can imagine how devastating it must be to loose all you and your coworkers worked for.

I am in an area where my business has been, and is doing very well. Had I been in a less affluent area, I might also have lost my business.
It is catering, and I also opened a restaurant, that is doing well in spite of the bad times. We can feel it, for we are growing a little slower, but still growing, because we have very good healthy food and excellent service.

I hope something will work out for you.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2012-09-05 15:02
Quoting jimattrell:
I guess you don't study candidates much. Among many other businesses count Staples as one. Have you heard of them? And remember from your economics class that every job at Staples creates three other downstream jobs... And I owned a very successful business with 100 employees and supported the small businesses that sold us goods and services. Or at least I did until Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid came along.


The average wage at staples is about $10 an hour which for a family of 4 is still poverty. That's Mitt's idea of a good job...jobs that make him lots of money while paying his workers poverty wages.

Great example of the "free market".

Thanks
 
 
+28 # soularddave 2012-09-03 19:24
Quoting jimattrell:
what Romney did created tons of jobs


I did NOT. It liquidated jobs in the USA. Those typically well paying jobs were eliminated, and those American workers went on unemployment. They stayed on unemployment because they couldn't find comparable new jobs.

Note: Many of those who lost their jobs also lost health insurance and sometimes their homes. What you call "the American dream" has become THE AMERICAN TRAGEDY.
 
 
+23 # Mannstein 2012-09-03 21:48
If Romney and Bain claim they were in business to create jobs they are either lying or failed in their fiduciary responsibilitie s to their share holders.
 
 
+11 # pernsey 2012-09-03 23:11
If you had any understanding of what you were talking about, I would listen, but you make no sense. Mitt R sent many jobs overseas, so if he created jobs it was for people in other countries. He closed and dismantled business while at Bain. Stop watching Fox news and you will be more informed on whats going on beyond the Fox lies.
 
 
+8 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:49
Apparently you either did not read the article or you lack some very basic reading comprehension skills. I understand quite a bit about economics and I understand how Romney and Bain operated. They ran a big Ponzi scheme. PIGS!
 
 
+5 # flippancy 2012-09-05 02:58
Quoting jimattrell:
If you had an understanding of economics you'd know that what Romney did created tons of jobs plus wealth for himself and many others. We need a lot more of that. Our country needs a little financial success and hope that anyone can accomplish the American Dream. I don't know why anyone would despise that but here it is, another article of distraction from what is important.


Yeah? But the jobs he created were in other countries and the way he did it was so horrible that he should have been given the same treatment as Mussolini.
 
 
+2 # ericsongs 2012-09-05 06:55
Quoting flippancy:
Yeah? But the jobs he created were in other countries and the way he did it was so horrible that he should have been given the same treatment as Mussolini.

Now yer talkin', my friend. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
 
 
+6 # flippancy 2012-09-05 03:00
Because of the crap created by conservative actions the USA is now the hardest developed country in the world with the highest difference between rich and everyday people. You sir are the one who doesn't understand economics beyond vulture capitalism.
 
 
+29 # Vern Radul 2012-09-03 14:11
US politicians are terrorists?

Who knew?
 
 
+42 # fredboy 2012-09-03 15:04
The GOP has spent the past four years lying to us and denouncing our nation. Time to rise up and crush these anti-American bastards.
 
 
+14 # Vern Radul 2012-09-03 15:19
Definitely.

More and better batsh*t crazy bipartisanship with these batsh*t crazy republicans is just what the country needs.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&site=&source=hp&q=obama+ready+to+compromise&oq=obama+ready+to+compromise&gs_l=hp.12...8999.14011.0.16631.24.9.0.0.0.0.87.87.1.1.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.y6ynDTz9lQY
 
 
+34 # alpha 2012-09-03 15:36
it seems clear to me that Mr Romney is planning a leveraged buyout of the USA. He has available obscene amounts of money to influence the election. He has insiders who can deny voting rights. And he has a tax plan that will leave US people to pay off the huge debt we have from the wars as well as the increases his tax policy will add to to the debt. How is that any different from KB Toys?
 
 
+25 # soularddave 2012-09-03 19:32
For instance: the Interstate Highway System can be privatized and sold to investors who can turn it into toll roads. Bridges can be sold and turned into tollways. When allowed to crumble, the company can just declare bankruptcy, rather than rebuild.
 
 
+11 # Celeste 2012-09-04 06:59
I was thinking along the same lines. Thank you for making a concise case. It's not just Romney that's bad news, it's the level of American culture that's been taught (or should I say conditioned) to worship wealth as if it were its own proof of all things wonderful. Once a candidate HAS the "goods," nothing in the way of an honest examination of his bona fides is required. The Money says it all.

The way Romney came by his wealth is the human equivalent of a vulture circling weak game. He expresses the moral fortitude of the "wreckers" who made a fortune at the turn of the 19th (into the 20th) century down in Key West. These creeps purposely erected light- houses to give passing ships the illusion that they'd come upon a safe port. To the contrary, the waiting rocks and coral were sure to cut into the ship. The booty, then made available is what the Wreckers "harvested upon." And this was considered a viable, prosperous business back then. It's enough to make one believe in reincarnation.. . like Romney learned his particular dark arts of "commerce" back then!
 
 
+4 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:55
I didn't know Key West was a "wrecker" location. I am more familiar with the Block Island wreckers. Either way, great analogy.
 
 
+2 # flippancy 2012-09-05 03:05
The love of money is the root of all evil, and every financial backer of the Republicans and the politicians they buy are evil.
 
 
+24 # Wolfchen 2012-09-03 16:10
The corrupt politicians and Supreme Court majority have aided and abetted Wall Street and corporations commit Economic Treason upon our country. Let's expose them and get in their face at every opportunity.

Get mad as hell? Hell no, let's get even. Get to the poles, use boycotts of media such as Fox, have massive demonstrations before Congress and the Supreme Court. We don't have to see them executed, as is done in China...but we certainly have the power to neuter them...if we act with coordinated efforts.
 
 
-33 # jimattrell 2012-09-03 17:39
It's very apparent that little discussion about the benefits of Financial Success in our country is possible in this blog as the level (that most who visit here) of envy and the obvious despise of wealth flows like water from your words. So, let's just deal with facts and here they are.

The new Pew Research Study shows that since 2008, the lower class has grown from 25% to 32%, the middle class has shrunk from 53% to 49% and the upper class has shrunk from 21% to 17%.

Who here is happy about this? Or are you to firmly entrenched in the empty promises of the past to start considering that maybe there might be a better way?
 
 
+26 # Wolfchen 2012-09-03 19:47
Quoting jimattrell:
...this blog as the level (that most who visit here) of envy and the obvious despise of wealth flows like water from your words.


Just for your information, jimattrell...or should we refer to you as one of the Cantrell Raiders type of camp followers:

Most of the contributors to this site that I've been reading have been veterans who served during the wars (not armchair mouth pieces who feign patriotism), as well as holders of professional degrees in sundry fields of study (e.g. I served during the Korean War, and have practice law for many years.

They also have other qualities to be emulated: they have a great love for others and our environment. They're lovers of justice and fair play, and they're not afraid to think and evaluate on their own. They're also not lock-step puppets sucking up to Wall Street robber barons.

They believe that all labor is valuable and should be respected with dignity and fair wages, that public funding of education is a prerequisite for a vibrant and civilized society, that universal health care is necessary for a healthy society. No, they don't believe in the burning of books nor assaults on science by fanatical American Taliban forms of religious fundamentalism.

In short, you better hope that the oligarchs don't prevail in their objectives for our nation...becaus e even the Right-Winger rank and file will end up eating dust.
 
 
+10 # pietheyn07 2012-09-04 00:26
Thanks, Wolfchen.
 
 
-13 # jimattrell 2012-09-04 13:12
You sound mostly conservative to me (and I agree wholeheartedly with the qualities you would like emulated) except for how you evidently feel about the wealthy and successful? I'd like to see everyone be wealthy and successful and that should be our common goal.... In my humble opinion. In any case, the White House occupant must go if we are to be unified once again and to learn again to accept and celebrate our differences.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-09-08 18:10
jimattrell.
You are out of your mind if you think installing Romney/Ryan in the White house will unify the country, when MORE than half the country despise them. Yes, I say MORE than half, for a LOT of the ones, who MAY vote for them will do so, only because they are racists and can't stand a black family in the White House.

Also you are waaaaay of the mark, I feel fine about well to do people, although not rich I am comfortable, and I certainly wish for many other people to be the same.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-09-08 17:57
Wolfchen.

BEAUTIFULLY put, and so true.
 
 
+5 # JCM 2012-09-03 22:17
The new Pew Research Study shows that since 2008, the lower class has grown from 25% to 32%, the middle class has shrunk from 53% to 49% and the upper class has shrunk from 21% to 17%.

Can't find it! What's the link?
 
 
+2 # jimattrell 2012-09-04 13:06
http://www.dallasnews.com/incoming/20120822-middle-class-share-of-americas-income-falls-to-lowest-point-in-decades-pew-study-finds.ece
 
 
+11 # pernsey 2012-09-03 23:16
The middle class shrunk because the republicans are only for rich people and they are the party of NO. It shrunk because Bush tanked the economy and then Fox news is now blaming it all on Obama. Jim, your comments really are disturbing and fact free. Repubs hate the middle class and poor and have been trying to take everything away so they can feed the gluttony of the corporations with tax cuts for them and corporate welfare. The party of NO is what ruined this country, get your facts straight.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2012-09-08 18:23
Hi pernsey, I hope you are well.

I am afraid we are "speaking" to a hermetically closed mind. jimattrell is so steeped in the Fox poison, that he simply can NOT hear truth..

While I do not resent or envy well to do people. Some do feel they deserve more, than most of us. Several times, catering a wedding, I was asked to just write Reception, so the father of the bride could write it off on his taxes.

In essence asking me to help pay for it. For the taxes he would not pay will be borne by the rest of us who are not wealthy enough to write off our expenses.
 
 
+9 # pietheyn07 2012-09-04 00:18
Jimattrell. What "better way" are referring to. All I hear from Pomney/Ryan is the same old neocon song that got us into the present financial mess. Instead of casting about with generalities, try being specific.
 
 
-10 # jimattrell 2012-09-04 13:03
The better way existed six years ago when unemployment was 4%. The better way was before Dodd and Barney made it to easy to buy a house.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-09-08 17:54
jimatttrell.
During the Bush years, the top one or two percent got BIG tax breaks. The middle class salaries FLATLINED,..... BUT cost WENT UP and especially medical cost went through roof. That was equal to a huge tax on the middle class!!
That is what destroyed so many people. They used heir homes as ATMs when they desperately needed money.

So when the crash happened, they had NO safety net, since their home was worth less and they had higher mortgages.

We are not envious of wealthy people , BUT we are royally p....d off that the middle class and the working poor are being made out to be the bad guys in this mess.

I think you also conveniently forgot that Bush started 2 WARS and an expensive medical program to win the seniors, before the election in 04.

AND ALL OF IT WENT ON THE CREDIT CARD, AND OFF THE BOOKS.

THAT is what we NOW have to pay for, since Obama put everything back ON the books.

You really MUST be watching Fox, or you could not possibly be THAT misinformed. No matter how angry you are, you can not change the facts. TOO MAY OF US KNOW!!

Unfortunately Obama didn't know HOW AWFUL the situation was, so he promised more than is humanly possible.

It was NOT POSSIBLE to clean up all the mess Bush and CO created in 3--4 years. smart people DO understand that.
 
 
+40 # fishermanjohn 2012-09-03 18:15
Everyone has been holding Staples up as an example of a good project that Rommney did at Bain, that it created a lot of jobs. But did it really? In my town we had a locally owned office supply store that had been part of the community for many years. It went out of business after Staples opened a store nearby. All of the employees lost their jobs and the local small business man lost everything. I'm sure the same thing happened in towns all over the country when Staples moved in. Why is this never mentioned in discussions about Rommney at Bain? How does it create jobs to retail something that was made in China and was already available through other stores?
 
 
+26 # soularddave 2012-09-03 19:38
precisely the point! Staples didn't just create jobs, it took away jobs, seniority, health insurance,tax base, and localized spending of profits. Net effect to the community was negative.

Rommney just grins his evil little grin.
 
 
+8 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 13:59
Same deal with Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart moves into a small town or rural community, and the local businesses dry up Fact.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-09-08 18:46
fishermanjohn
excellent point. Which is also why it is disaster when Wal-Mart moves into an area. For they kill of a lot of other businesses. And offer only minimum wage jobs.

In my area South West of LA a very nice town called Torrance. The mayor allowed a W M to open. It will in a few weeks, but I will never set foot in the store. I think Macy,
J C Penny, Sears and smaller stores could be wiped out by that disgusting outfit.
 
 
+22 # cmrosko 2012-09-03 19:11
jimattrell ,

From your comments it appears that you didn't seriously read or watch the Matt Taibi interview. I suggest that you watch the interview and maybe take some notes.

Re- the Pew research stats you quote also supports other research which shows an increasing wealth disparity and shift of wealth in america to a smaller and smaller percentage of the U.S. population.

See; Wealth, Income, and Power http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
 
 
+20 # cmrosko 2012-09-03 19:14
Every american voter should read / watch this interview . Very important to understand what is going on here. Share it, study it etc..
 
 
+21 # moby doug 2012-09-03 19:45
Here in Los Angeles two great civic institutions, The Los Angeles Times (and other Tribune holdings) and the LA Dodgers, were sold to vultures who paid very little of their own cash to own organizations important to the whole city. Zell, purchaser of the Times (and the Tribune Company), helped bankrupt it with leveraged debt, and appointed cronies to run and half-wreck it even as he fired hundreds and sold off chunks of the Tribune Company piecemeal. But the previous owners, the Chandler Family, ran away laughing, personally enriched by the massive sale price. Frank McCourt, the gonif from Boston, put up little more than some Boston parking lots to leverage-buyout the Dodgers from Rupert Murdoch.....the n he and his wife saddled, and bankrupted, the team with millions with MORE debt by using it as a private credit card to purchase half a dozen huge mansions. Eventually the Commissioner of MLB forced swindler McCourt to sell, but by then the damage had been done. My questions are, why are these predatory, destructive, buyouts even LEGAL? And what Senators and Congressmen passed what bills to make them legal? And what can we do to make them illegal? And finally, who is crazy enough, besides leverage-vultur es like Mitt Romney, Sam Zell, and McCourt, to call this piracy "free enterprise"?
 
 
+7 # Celeste 2012-09-04 07:04
Between the dark art of hostile takeovers (i.e. seizing someone else's assets with pennies on the dollar, borrowed, no less) AND the Derivatives & Swaps "market" which traffics in the absence of funds (i.e. debt), who needs any outside terrorists? These bastards are gutting the nation and decimating the quality of life for thousands, maybe soon to be millions without any outside assistance!
 
 
+11 # natalierosen 2012-09-03 21:04
I wish I understood vulture capitalism but I don't. Why would any company hire Bain to take them over when Bain saddles them with twice the debt that they already had and the company like KB Toys is left deeper in debt than before Bain took it over. I do not get why they would want that? Can some splain Bain better?
 
 
+6 # Celeste 2012-09-04 07:06
Generally no company DOES hire Bane. The creeps use a down payment in order to obtain a huge loan, then they use THAT money to buy the company out from under its rightful owners (or caretakers). It's a bit more complex than this. Matt Taibbi explained it all at length in an article that works as a companion piece to this one. Perhaps someone can supply the appropriate link?
 
 
+14 # Rick Levy 2012-09-03 21:22
I lost my job to a leveraged buy out of my employer. The deal went down in the late 1980's and by the early 1990's it was all over. The sad thing is that the company was a well-known retailer that had been in business for years and had even survived the Great Depression only to fall victim to the private equity disease.
 
 
+3 # natalierosen 2012-09-04 07:10
Again, I simply do not get it. I'd rather than have Bain take it over, file a regular bankruptcy and restructure and seems so much cheaper in the long run. What am I not getting? Why would a company use Bain?
 
 
-8 # jimattrell 2012-09-04 13:00
Bain, like most venture capital companies provided cash for growth and working capital in exchange for an equity position. Bain received their capital from an assortment of investors who relied on Bain for a reasonable return. Bain in effect was a middleman but took an equity position as well. It would be very unlikely that Bain would invest with a loser but that said; the recipient most likely was unable to obtain bank financing due to poor financial results. A company would avoid bankruptcy for a very simple reason.... The shareholders would lose a large portion if not all of their investment whereas Bain would provide a means to recover some if not all of their investment. Bain puts investor capital to work to grow companies quickly and create jobs.
 
 
+7 # ericsongs 2012-09-04 18:45
I call this "Bullshit"!

MATT TAIBBI reported above: "Well, look, again, this is what-how companies like Bain made their money. And a great example was a company that I went and visited-well, the place where it used to exist-KB Toys, which used to be headquartered out in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. They took over the company with like $18 million down. They financed the other $302 million. So that's borrowed money that subsequently became the debt of KB Toys. This is an important distinction for people to understand. When they borrowed that money to take over that company, they didn't have to pay it back, KB had to pay it back. Once they took over the company, they induced it to do a $120 million, quote-unquote, "dividend recapitalizatio n," which essentially means that the company had to cash in a bunch of shares and pay Bain and its investors a huge sum of money. And in order to finance that, they had to take out over $60 million in bank loans. So, essentially, you take over the company, you force them to make enormous withdrawals against their credit card, essentially, and pay the new owners of the company. And that's essentially what they did. They took over a floundering company that was sort of in between and faced with threatening changes in the industry, and they forced them to cash out entirely and pay all their money to the new owners."

Are you being deliberately obtuse?
 
 
+3 # David Starr 2012-09-05 15:16
It's no use prettyfying it. It's quite well known what Romney did as head parasite of Bain Capital. Never mind the financial-relat ed excuses. I am also compelled to call this bullshit.
 
 
+6 # Todd Williams 2012-09-04 14:02
They don't use Bain, Bain uses them.
 
 
+4 # ericsongs 2012-09-04 19:07
Quoting Todd Williams:
They don't use Bain, Bain uses them.


You said it Todd.
Uses, Abuses, Rides 'em Hard ... and Hangs 'em up Wet!

And yet we let them subsidize this shit with our tax dollars. Up til now, we have let them get away with robbing our labors to feather their nests.

That is just one reason why they laugh at us like those loathsome high school jocks pounding on a nerd.

But from personal observation, the only way to handle a bully is to teach him/her one on one; without his/her comrades propping their egos up.
 
 
+4 # flippancy 2012-09-05 03:12
Yep, they got 180 million in tax cuts for their paper losses after they had milked the companies dry.
 
 
+3 # ericsongs 2012-09-05 06:09
That "giant sucking sound" turned out to be wealth created from our labors rushing into the mouths of the "Vampire Capitalists".
We carry them around in their "sudan chairs", like royalty of old, as they refer to us as leeches. I really think we are beginning to realize who the real leeches are in this scenario.
 
 
+4 # ericsongs 2012-09-05 06:42
(psssst .... natalie .... I enjoyed reading your blog.)

You have actually answered your own question - bankruptcy would be so much cheaper. They don't want cheaper, they want to suck as much blood as is legally possible. (and illegally if necessary)

I think the reason for OUR confusion is precisely because it is not intended to make sense. These shenanigans are designed to bamboozle anyone that is not in on "the take".

You may remember a 1967 film called "The Flim-Flam Man" with George C. Scott; in which, people's greed would repeatedly overcome their logic and allow themselves to be "takin'" by a smooth-talkin' grifter's nonsense. For me, the central theme to this delightful film was "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man", but this seems to be especially true in the world of high finance.
 
 
-3 # fhunter 2012-09-04 15:32
Mr. Taibbi is a superior journalist. We have quite a few like him. And that is the reason that the Republicans are in control. Instead of explaining the simple facts, the Taibbi pundits want to create their "magnum opus". At the end of which I am more confused than ever. Long sentences and interminable side issues increase the confusion. They should listen to Rush. He explains his horrible ideas such a simple way that anybody can repeat them and tell to their neighbor. Now try this with this Taibbi article.
 
 
+3 # flippancy 2012-09-05 03:15
He's quite easy to read. If he leave s you confused it might explain why you're a follower of Limbaugh who is so fact challenged that his face would break if he ever told the truth, but if you wish to believe a disgusting hillbilly heroin addict, so be it.
 
 
+3 # ericsongs 2012-09-05 05:57
I think you mistook fhunters observation. I think he was merely pointing out that that we progressives do not have the luxury of jingoism and over-simplifica tion, yet!
 
 
+2 # ericsongs 2012-09-05 04:47
I just could not stand to see your thoughtful comment with a "-1", so I responded with a thumbs up to even the score.
I agree that Matt is superior, but I also think vulture capitalist economics are a deliberately confusing method to reap reward from their marks. Clarifying it would be similar to a doctor trying to explain to a farmer what is happening to his body at a molecular level, when all he really has to say is "you got cancer, my friend ... you got cancer".
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2012-09-08 19:13
fhunter.
O My God........The trouble is that TOOOOOOO many listen to Limbaugh. That horrible drug addict is poisoning people's mind with his sick drivel.
He obviously got you. And it is too bad you do not understand Taibbi...It would seem that quite a lot of us, understood him.

Limbaugh will simplify things for a reason.......a lot of his listeners are not the brightest. Make it simple, angry and full of hate, and many of them will get it to the detriment of the country, and the rest of us.
 
 
-10 # jtatu 2012-09-04 16:01
The U.S. reached a major milestone today. Our national debt now exceeds $16,000,000,000 ,000. I guess Taibbi and his ilk think this is sustainable. Think Greece, Spain, Italy.
 
 
+5 # flippancy 2012-09-05 03:20
Quoting jtatu:
The U.S. reached a major milestone today. Our national debt now exceeds $16,000,000,000,000. I guess Taibbi and his ilk think this is sustainable. Think Greece, Spain, Italy.


So ask what % of that was rung up by Reagan and Bush and how much of that was rung up by Obama having to repair the Bush damage? Lately the disloyal opposition has been spreading the lie that Obama has borrowed more than all others before him. Now that IS true of both Reagan and Bush, but not Obama.
 
 
-6 # jtatu 2012-09-05 09:43
George W. added $4 trillion over 8 years. While campaigning, Obama described this as "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic." Obama has added $6 trillion in less than 4 years. Since Obama took office the national debt has gone from $10.6 trillion to $16 trillion, more than the U.S. GDP. Worse, the publicly held debt has gone from $6.3 trillion to $11.3 trillion, an 80% increase. When running for president Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He has instead averaged deficits nearly triple the Bush deficits.
 
 
+4 # Wolfchen 2012-09-05 18:53
Let's see now: The irresponsibilit y of Bush and other Republicans created such a devastatingly unstable economic reality, with a long tail, that's it impossible to rectify it in a few years, and yet it still must be due to Obama's shortcomings. It seems that you didn't take any courses in logic. If you go to church, it also seems you didn't comprehend the finer points (unless the sermons were conducted by the likes of Pat Robertson.

Of course the mess created under the Republicans cannot be cleaned up in a few years. Yet the Republicans oppose any corrective reform of a corrosive system. The damage is too great, and much of the same systemic corruption still has a grip on our nation.

Are some Democrats also to blame. Yes, of course they are, just as are the dim-witted followers of Limbaugh, Coulter and Fox. Yet the support and encouragement of corruption, outright ignorance and irresponsibilit y have been turned into an art-form by Republicans.
 
 
-2 # jtatu 2012-09-06 09:17
So, when Obama told us he would cut deficit spending in half by the end of his first term, was he deliberately lying or is he just ignorant?
 
 
+1 # C. Winslow 2012-09-07 22:23
Those of you who defend Romney-type finance capitalism often make your best argument on his behalf that all of the participants in the takeover understand what is going on, e.g., KB Toys. Consider what this means, though. Is it not that all of the "thieves" find themselves in a position where they must take a risk on being stolen from? The best argument on the other side is that these financial games do not take into account the needs of workers, suppliers, etc. It is slash and burn. If everybody does it, it is "fair". But, Ayn Randians, it also burns up the planet. Compare the performance history of Semitic speakers with that of Hellenic speakers. While Western civilization is the product of both, I would, myself, prefer less of the bedouin ethos and more that of civitas.
 
 
+1 # C. Winslow 2012-09-07 22:38
There is an article in the New Yorker by a fellow named Gopkin (or something like that) who reviews some of the literature on Mormonism. It sheds some light, I think, on the legitimation (in Romney's eyes) of the drive for prosperity and for not considering "true witness" to be a necessary virtue. I suggest those who do commentary on this blog read the New Yorker article. I found something similar in my studies of Middle East religious communities. By the way, Matt, these religious traditions of dissimulation that you speak of are called "kitman" and "taqiyya". They were used, generally, by very vulnerable Shi'ite and Isma'ili sects of Islam to protect themselves from the (usually Turkish) Sunni Muslim authority. Research has shown that some of these villages and clans had been practicing "taqiyya" for such a long time that they had lost track of being Shi'ah, and believed that they were Sunnis. Names and practices demonstrated otherwise, however.
 

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