Friday, October 19, 2012

Bain Start-up Cash From The Booty of Scoundrals

Snow Job on Jobs
Published: October 18, 2012 312 Comments

Mitt Romney talks a lot about jobs. But does he have a plan to create any?

Paul Krugman: "But Mr. Romney, it turns out, doesn’t have a plan; he’s just faking it...  I mean, instead, that Mr. Romney’s campaign is telling lies: claiming that its numbers add up when they don’t, claiming that independent studies support its position when those studies do no such thing."

For Mr. Romney, who started as a business consultant and then moved into the heady world of private equity, insists on portraying himself as a plucky small businessman.

I am not making this up. Romney quotes:  “I came through small business. I understand how hard it is to start a small business.” and  “When I was 37, I helped start a small company.”

Krugman: "It’s true that when Bain Capital started, it had only a handful of employees. But it had $37 million in funds, raised from sources that included wealthy Europeans investing through Panamanian shell companies and Central American oligarchs living in Miami while death squads associated with their families ravaged their home nations. Hey, doesn’t every plucky little start-up have access to that kind of financing?"

But back to the Romney jobs plan... Where does that number come from? When pressed, the campaign cited three studies that it claimed supported its assertions. In fact, however, those studies did no such thing... one study concluded that America might gain two million jobs if China stopped infringing on U.S. patents and other intellectual property... but Mr. Romney hasn’t proposed anything that would bring about that outcome. Another study suggested that growth in the energy sector might add three million jobs in the next few years — but these were predicted gains under current policy, that is, they would happen no matter who wins the election, not as a consequence of the Romney plan.  Finally, a third study examined the effects of the Romney tax plan and argued (implausibly, but that’s another issue) that it would lead to a large increase in the number of Americans who want to work. But how does that help cure a situation in which there are already millions more Americans seeking work than there are jobs available? It’s irrelevant to Mr. Romney’s claims."

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