Romney's experience, history cause for concern

Kasia Wilson /

Published Nov 4, 2012 at 04:00AM

In response to Jan Woodward’s Oct. 15 letter, I believe Mitt Romney would be a disastrous choice for our future.

On Romney’s experience as governor of Massachusetts: He is overwhelmingly unpopular in the only state that has direct experience with his governing style. “Working closely with both parties” consisted of issuing over 800 vetoes, over 700 of which were overridden, sometimes unanimously. According to National Public Radio, “Romney gave up on party building. ‘From now on,’ he told The Boston Globe, ‘it’s me, me, me.’” In his only term, he was absent from Massachusetts 417 days on trips unrelated to state business.

At Bain Capital, Romney enriched himself (building an IRA with an estimated value of $20 million-$100 million, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in other investments, many of which are sheltered from taxes in places like the Cayman Islands), while returning no better than average returns for his investors.

According to Barry Ritholz, an economist and columnist for The Washington Post, on a Wall Street Journal analysis of Bain Capital’s results during Romney’s tenure: “They (Bain) used high leverage and took big risk for what was essentially market-level rates of return. Any investor who listened to Vanguard’s John Bogle would have done about the same during 1984-98 — just buy the S&P 500 index, and hold it, reinvesting the dividends. The net returns would be approximately 20 percent per year — without giant fees or excessive risks necessary.”

Quoting David Stockman in Newsweek magazine, “The credentials that Romney proffers as evidence of his business acumen, in fact, mainly show that he hung around the basket during the greatest bull market in recorded history. The Romney campaign’s feckless narrative that private equity generates real economic efficiency and societal wealth is dead wrong.”

Romney’s Olympic experience: According to Mother Jones magazine, “What Romney doesn’t talk about is how he succeeded in Utah with government help — lots of it — and how millions in assistance that he pried out of the feds ended up bankrolling subsidies, sweetheart deals and giveaways for land developers and other well-connected Utahns.”

Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” would only create prosperity for the already wealthy. His plan would drastically slash funding for Medicaid, education and health, and transform Medicare into a voucher system that would not keep pace with health care costs.

Does anyone believe that reducing regulations (like repealing Dodd-Frank) would improve things? Unregulated Wall Street got us into this mess in the first place. What about FDA and USDA? Every day there is another food- supply related illness outbreak reported, with people dying because industries don’t police themselves and we have too few federal inspectors.

Ninety-seven percent of small businesses make under $250,000 and are taxed at the individual rate. According to the Tax Policy Center, Romney will be forced to increase taxes on those making under $200,000 to deliver the promised rate cut and still remain revenue neutral. This tax rate cut delivers a huge tax break to the highest income-earners at the expense of the middle-class and small business owners.

In place of Obamacare, Romney proposes the free-market will control rising health-care costs, and address issues like pre-existing conditions, lifetime coverage caps, etc. The free market’s only objective is profit, so legislation has been required to address those issues. Medicare has much lower administrative costs than any private insurance, with more of premiums going to patient services instead of overhead and profit. Medicare should be open to all. Romney says you should use the emergency room.

On foreign policy, I really think this is the quote that applies: “[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem ... and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”

This is not the kind of leader America needs.