Win or lose in the USA presidential election in November 2012, ex-Governor Mitt Romney has my utmost respect for flourishing in business, in his wholesome family life and ultimately in his sincere faith in God!
Some of the reasons why I admire and respect Mitt Romney:
1. He is a self-made man, who built up success via hard work and resourcefulness.
2. He is a savvy businessman, who understands the importance and inherent superiority of the free enterprise system to propel socio-economic progress. I admire his advocacy of small businesses!
3. He turned around the Winter Olympics in Saly Lake City, USA.
4. He turned around Massachusetts state when he was its governor.
5. He turned around business companies he led.
6. He is a disciplined man with solid moral values.
7. He is a good family man who loves his wife with fidelity and good to their kids.
8. Although I'm not a Mormon like Romney, I admire his sincere and lifelong devotion to faith in God.
Apologies for the political opinions expressed below by the Forbes contributor, though articulate and thoughtful those opinions, but let us objectively examine and focus on Mitt Romney's solid track record as a self-made businessman and also as a capable leader?
Read on and share your comments to me here in this blog or via email?
9/04/2012 @ 12:22PM |2,981 views
Why Is Success Being Punished?
For the first time in my lifetime, business success is being vilified as smarmy and the attendant corollary, the profit motive is therefore sleazy as well. Democrats derisively promulgate Mitt Romney’s net worth estimated at $200 to $250 million inferring that this is a disqualifying factor to allow him to be Presidential material. Throughout the history of our great nation, a self made man like Mitt Romney has been celebrated.
Indeed, he is a paradigm of success to be emulated. Are criticisms equally vociferous of very rich democratic politicians? Ex-presidential contender John Kerry, worth hundreds of millions, with his passel of estates, new $7 million yacht…….his most accretive act was a brief fifteen minute ceremony to the widow Heinz.
Seldom, no never, have I heard any criticism of the Kennedy wealth….and this despite the fact that the last two generations, other than politics, work little and the family lucre allegedly coalesced around illegal import of alcoholic beverages (aka bootlegging) during the prohibition era. Does noblesse oblige now have stronger merit than hard work?
Compare Romney who started from scratch, worked for years, scraped, fought hard and got “dirt under his fingernails” to earn his money, to the hypocrisy of elitist rich democrats who inherited or married into their fortunes. Is Romney really the one who is out of touch with ordinary Americans?
His Tax Rate
Devoting much of the last dozen or so years as an unpaid public servant, (three years as Chairman of 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, donating his $1.4 mm salary and severance to charity and four years as Governor of Mass. ) it only makes sense that his estate would be managed to generate significant amounts of low tax rate income.
For 2010 and 2011 Romney’s returns show over $7 million in charitable donations on $42.5 million of income. This means they gave away 16.4% of their income and if this is added to their effective tax rates then the Romney’s paid in taxes and gave away over 30% of their money.
Perhaps Governor Romney believes that the charities of the private sector are much more efficient allocators of capital than our spendthrift federal government.
Different Business Models
This election is about a choice between two starkly different business models. On the left is the statist system where government becomes more and more intrusive into citizen’s lives. The most recent example being the to be implemented government mandated health care system. Statism means more and more welfare and subsidies.
When our current leader took office 40% of Americans were receiving some form of government aid. That figure has bulged up to 55%. Nearly 50% of all people pay no federal income taxes whatsoever. Continual higher taxes and more and more fiscal stimulus will be the answer to all problems.
More and more burdensome regulations will dot the business landscape. Our national debt will exceed $16 Trillion when the gavel falls Tuesday, in honor of the opening of the Democratic convention. What a symbolic start.
Our Debt to GDP ratio has soared from 70% to over 100% in less than four years. America looks more and more like continental Europe every day. And last time I looked there were still quite a few unresolved fiscal issues on their side of the Atlantic.
The facts are clear. As governor of Massachusetts, Governor Romney closed first a $650 million and the following year an estimated $3 billion deficit eventually achieving budget surplus. He slashed spending, eliminated some tax loopholes, reduced some local funding, and even cut some higher education dollars……it wasn’t a perfect solution but nothing is and at the end of the day it got done even with both legislative houses solidly Democratic. So Republicans and Democrats worked together.
Romney is a man who can compromise. The Salt Lake Olympics were running $379 million short of revenue goals and in the midst of a bribery scandal when Romney took charge.
Bottom line was the Games made a $100 million profit. So the other side of the ledger offers a man who has both a long history of private sector experience in addition to a proven record that he has the expertise and the will to change budget deficits into surpluses.
Bain Capital And The Campaign
Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital in 1984. It is the crown in his magnificently successful career. Of over 350 direct investments over 80% of companies have increased revenues. But this campaign seeks to denigrate his achievements.
Deflecting the debates away from the real issue, which are policies to achieve economic growth to childish attempts to focus on tax rates paid by a self made man shows signs of desperation? Tonight or tomorrow the Democrats have recruited a couple of Bain employees to speak.
While the lineup is uncertain, one is thought to be Jonathan Lavine, a democratic “money bundler” and managing partner at Sankaty Advisors, a Bain subsidiary. Another may be Steve Pagliuca, Bain managing director and part owner of the Boston Celtics.
Their supposed mission is to portray Governor Romney as a person who invested in companies to take all the money out, bankrupt them, destroy all the jobs and make millions for himself…..and all these nefarious deeds done with malice aforethought. That’s hardly the result at Staples and many, many of other success stories.
I am really interested to see how a guy like Mr. Pagliuca bashes Romney when he has made enough money at the company Romney founded, to be part owner of a sports franchise with a worth probably over $1 billion. I wonder if John Kerry is giving him a ride down to Charlotte on his Gulfstream.
Do the private equity (PE) investments sometimes lose jobs or is PE a provider of capital to allow small businesses to thrive, expand and increase their worker base by exponential amounts? The answer is both. But net, net PE is far and away an enterprise that is a net creator of employment. You don’t have to believe me but you can’t hide from the statistics.
The giant pension fund CalSTERS has invested $1.25 billion with Bain Capital. Spokesman Ricardo Duran says that since “1988 Bain and private equity companies like them have outperformed every asset class which CalSTERS has allocated the cash of its 856,360 largely unionized members.”
From 1998 to 2008 Purdue, U.of Virginia, U.of California, U.of Michigan and U.of Washington trusted at least $425 million to Bain. Princeton, Yale, and Harvard all bastions of liberal thought have invested their endowment funds with Bain. Since 2000 another group of a dozen state pension groups including Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvaniahave given over $1.56 billion of retiree’s money to Bain.
Would these giant pensions and endowments continually over 10 and 20 year periods continue pouring assets into a money losing venture? The answer is unequivocally no….of course not. These men and women who are the money managers are fiduciaries, so as trustees they are bound to protect their employee base.
Please note the wonderful irony in all of this; Bain Capital providing consistent investment returns to pension funds, in which many of the retirees’ were heavily democrat union members.
If PE is “Darth Vader” -like evil empire, then why would the current administration seek help from Washington based PE firm Carlyle Group to save a Philadelphiaoil refiner owned by Sunoco (SU) slated for closure? Carlyle will invest $200 million to upgrade the facility which will protect the 850 union workers slated for layoff before November elections.
Naturally, EPA emissions standards have been relaxed which was part of the reason the refinery was closing in the first place. It is interesting, no it is the apogee of hypocrisy, that Carlyle is defined as “good” PE and Bain the unsavory.
It is sad commentary that our current leadership must attempt to belittle a great American success story to deflect focus from his own failed policies.
Has the ethos of our country shifted to such extent that the citizenry cannot hail a man who not only has been made his wealth honestly but also donates millions of dollars annually?
As a recent bumper sticker articulated so well, “I really don’t care where he was born, it’s where he lives is the problem.”