Sunday, May 20, 2012

Slapping Down Mitt Romney's Job Creation Claims, Yet Again

By Laura ClawsonFollow for Daily Kos Labor on Thu May 17, 2012

Early in the primaries, Mitt Romney insisted he had created 100,000 jobs through his work at Bain Capital, but faced with stiff challenges to that number from his Republican primary rivals and the media, his job creation claims fell precipitously. Now, Romney is back to claiming 100,000 jobs created, fact-checkers around the nation are back to saying, wearily, "No, Mitt. You didn't. That's a lie."

Bloomberg's latest fact-check reiterates the key point that Bain Capital does not track how many jobs it creates or eliminates, for the simple reason that it doesn't give a damn. Bain is about creating more wealth for its already wealthy investors. Jobs, layoffs—workers' lives—are a largely irrelevant byproduct of that in the Bain worldview. So Romney's claims about the jobs created by his Bain work are slapdash, post-hoc inventions.

Furthermore, office supply retailer Staples accounts for 90,000 of the jobs Romney says he created, but Bain's investment in Staples was just $2 million, "a minuscule amount when compared to the firms other investments." And:

[E]ven at those investments made while Romney was at the firm, a number of people at companies bought by Bain told Bloomberg News that he had little involvement in the day-to-day operations of the companies. Rather, Romney left the oversight and daily management to his associates and executives running the businesses.
So Romney wasn't deeply involved in oversight of companies Bain invested in in general, but we're to credit him for every job created at a company in which Bain invested a relatively small amount of money. Got that?

As Jed Lewison has pointed out, these days, Romney only makes the 100,000 jobs claim in front of a friendly audience, but he does keep making it no matter how often it's debunked. As if we're as forgetful as he wants (and needs) us to be.

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