While the 2012 Republican presidential campaign seemingly has been going on and going on and going on since the day Barack Obama was inaugurated president nearly three years ago, the primaries have not yet begun.
That, of course, starts in a few days … just as soon as we finish eating, drinking, burping and shopping our way through the holidays and the dwindling days of 2011.
Granted, by now some things on the neverending campaign trail have been sorted out. After all, I could even sort my socks if given a three-year head start.
As of today, it has been established that President Obama has ruined the country and is the worst president of all time, Newt Gingrich is up to his egotistical eyeballs in sexual and financial affairs but is smarter than your average bear, Ron Paul is not color-blind, Rick Perry is at least smarter than the last governor of Texas if not the average fifth-grader, and Mitt Romney is duller than a CPA convention.
But there is more to these candidates than these quick brushes of observation.
Case in point: Romney and Bain Capital.
Bain Capital, which Romney helped found and control, is not primarily in the business of job creation.
Bain Capital is a private equity company, buying struggling companies, breaking them up, laying off thousands of workers and selling off the remaining pieces, if any.
While Romney did leave Bain in early 1999, he received a share of the corporate buyout and investment profits enjoyed by partners from all Bain deals through February 2009: four global buyout funds and 18 other funds, more than twice as many overall as Romney had a share of the year he left.
Romney’s tax rate on the millions in capital gains? A mere 15 percent!
You don’t have to be Robert Downey Jr.’s version of Sherlock Homes to detect that Romney knows how to line his deep pockets through the lucrative business of job destruction. He now is worth between $190 million and $250 million, much of it derived from Bain Capital.
I realize that the primary goal of a private equity company is to create wealth for its investors, not create jobs. And while Bain became one of the nation’s top leveraged-buyout firms, it did invest in a little-known office supply store called Staples, which now employs more than 90,000 worldwide and is in even more shopping centers than Santa was this fall.
To be fair, Romney has said that his Bain experience shows he knows how to create jobs, and that is true to a degree. Bain did expand many of the companies it acquired. But like other leveraged-buyout firms, Romney and his team also maximized returns by firing workers, seeking government subsidies and flipping companies quickly for large profits.
As Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story.