Saturday, February 18, 2012

Romney Loved His Bailout

Mitt Romney wants to tell us he is just loaded with business experience, just the kind needed to run the country, 'cause don't you know, representing the diverse interests of the American people is incredibly similar to being chief vulture at Bain Capital. Only his huge ideological blind spot has kept him from realizing that the plunder and pillage known as private equity is not exactly endearing him to voters.

And about that one term as governor of Massachusetts? He has been running from that too. He wouldn't be if he were going after moderates or independents, but these are Republican primaries, so he wants the Republican base, the right wing of the right wing party, to forget what he said and did as governor, such as signing the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, which provided near universal health care for citizens of that state.
Now there is one more item, one that I expected to come up sooner; his role as chief executive of the 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee. Frankly I expected Romney to toot his horn a bit more on this. Isn't it a feather in his cap? More evidence of his organizational and leadership skills?

Maybe not, though I am not sure Romney is sufficiently self-aware to realize the ideological impasse any Republican would face once it was realized just how Romney financed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

As the video below reveals, the 2002 Winter Olympics were not only frightfully expensive, much of the money came from taxpayers. And for me, the issue is not, in and of itself, that tax dollars were spent, though the amount, and what it bought certainly matter. The essential hypocrisy of Mitt Romney is his claim that the private sector does most everything better, that he has the requisite private sector chops--and rugged free market individualism to go with it-- and his increasing strident rant against the legitimacy of government. We must get government out of the way, he says, for this will unleash the private sector. 

Recall the 1984 games in Los Angeles, where the private sector played a major role, and the credit that was given to Peter Ueberroth for his ability to raise money from private donors. Instead, Romney lobbied the federal government, one then largely controlled by Republicans, for huge amounts of cash--from taxpayers-- to foot what proved to be a record-breaking tab. He gleefully boasts of it in the video, even while he chides others when they rely on government.

There is only thing Romney perhaps can boast, as he does in the video, and that is his lobbying skills at getting the federal government to give him huge amounts of money. He showed you can get a lot of things done if you can talk friends in Washington to pay for it. The Salt Lake City games were a success, but Romney is now reluctant to acknowledge that it was because the federal government bailed him out to the tune of $1.3 billion.

No comments:

Post a Comment