Sunday, July 15, 2012

Romney and Bain ...

I am not sure I am supposed to do this, but I want to comment on a post on Two Political Junkies. The post is about the recent discovery that Mitt Romney was listed as Bain Capital's CEO and drew a paycheck for some years (perhaps four) after he said he left to run the Olympics.

Actually, part if the 2PJ post was about how Fox News did not cover the SEC statements, rather they were talking about how the campaigns sparred.

The Obama Campaign (in the person of Stephanie Cutler) promptly declared that Romney had lied, and possibly committed a felony. Unfortunately, no less an organization than Factcheck dot org disputes the Obama campaign charge.

Factcheck does not say that Romney was not in fact the titular (heh heh) head of Bain, nor do they say that Romney did not get a paycheck. However, Factcheck states this is not fraud, let alone a felony. I tend to believe them, which means the Obama campaign erred in trying to go for the simplistic charge.

Meanwhile, it may be true that Romney committed no felony in remaining the (non-functional) CEO of Bain, or even has any responsibility for Bain's activities after he left to run the Olympics. However, I am not sure that is the end of it.

OK, Romney broke no laws. While a case can be made that Romney was less than truthful with all of us about the entirety his relationship with Bain, it may will be that one has to say that Romney was not making the decisions that led to outsourcing or driving companies into bankruptcy and depriving workers of their retirements.

But here's the thing: the case Romney and the Republicans are making is that Obama has not done enough for unemployment. Anybody else would be better as long as they are willing to work harder than Obama on unemployment.

But what it turns out that Romney's commitment to fighting unemployment is not that strong? How would we know? Well, suppose Romney was not working at Rain anymore, but because he was still technically the CEO, he could step in and prevent Bain from outsourcing American jobs. How strong can we say Romney's commitment is to American jobs, if he didn't raise a finger to save jobs Bain was eliminating, when Romney still had the ability to?

Admittedly, that is a more complicated argument to make than "Romney committed a felony". But it is maybe more important. Romney wants to criticize Obama on jobs, yet Romney had the ability to save jobs Bain was killing during the time romney was running the Olympics, and he didn't. How hard will work for ordinary Americans as President?

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