Printed letters, September 26, 2012

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Jim Spehar’s Tuesday column – “’Just the facts’ were presented about county jobs” – aptly debunks two myths which underlie the entire Romney-Ryan campaign. 
  First, as evidenced in Mesa County, “government” does indeed “create jobs” – as well as the infrastructure upon which “business” depends for success.  Republicans spent “day one” of their convention disingenuously attempting to dispute this obvious “fact”.
  Second, business acumen and/or financial success do not necessarily translate into commensurate capacity for public governance.  Nevertheless, some still naively equate income with leadership ability (see Dr. Barbara Ann Smith’s letter, “Romney would use astute business skills as president”, September 26, 2012).
  Except for “RomneyCare”, Mitt was a failed governor who could not have won re-election in Masachussetts.  At Bain Capital, he was the beneficiary of a $10 million loan write-off by the FDIC and of gratuitous “corporate welfare” redistributed through a distorted tax code.
  The investment strategy of Bain Capital was to “cherrypick” companies ripe for take-over because of their cash-on-hand or fully-funded pension plans.  If the entity survived, Romney et al. justifiably made money. 
  If the entity failed, Bain Capital had not risked investors’ stake, but rather also profited – having legally absconded with the entity’s cash reserves and/or mortgaged its pension funds (insured by the federal government), and then transferring the costs of unemployment benefits, Food Stamps, medical care, etc. onto taxpayers.  A dubious change to tax law converted profits distributed to partners in such “vulture capital” firms from “income” into “capital gains”.
  Thus, Romney used fine-tuned financial spreadsheets to maximize profits by targetting “low hanging fruit” – and by “outsourcing” thousand of American jobs.
  As Spehar properly suggests, but Smith ignores, President Obama daily confronts decisions not so readily reducable to spreadsheets or of his own choosing – but rather must deal with the most unpredictable situations requiring only the most difficult decisions.  Not only may there be no “right answers”, but he cannot “cherrypick” either the decisions to be made and/or the other elected officials upon whom he must rely. 
                Bill Hugenberg



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