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Mitt Romney: Good Actor, Bad President
Mitt Romney’s plans for office sound very appealing. Promises of lower taxes, more jobs, and reduced government debt are always pleasant to hear from prospective leaders of the United States. Criticizing the incumbent president is not difficult and can usually come without a cost for the candidate challenging the current leader’s position. There is usually not much the incumbent could say to deny the challenger’s record and positions. This, however, is not the case for Mitt Romney.
In the trade section of Mitt Romney’s website, Mitt Romney has a paragraph titled “Confronting China”. In it, he explains that China has been getting the upper hand in trade deals with the United States and that President Obama has been passively allowing this to occur. Mitt Romney, mentioning his own record, explains that “anyone with business experience knows that you can succeed in a negotiation only if you are willing to walk away.” He lists five ways he would deal with the China issue. Some of them include a plan to increase the Customs and Border Patrol’s budget in order to ensure no illegal commodities enter the country, and one to “designate China a currency manipulator and impose countervailing duties”.
However convincing these promising words may seem, Mitt Romney’s record tells a different tale. Mitt Romney was the chief of Bain Capital for fifteen years, from 1984 until 1999. Bain’s affair with outsourcing firms began in 1993 when the company earned a stake in Corporate Software Inc. because they helped pay for an acquirement of the corporation. CSI helped other corporations such as Microsoft Inc. outsource their customer assistance to countries outside the U.S. In 1995, CSI united with another company, creating Stream International Inc. Bain participated in managing the company, giving organizational assistance to the corporation.
Bain Capital invested and participated in directing many other firms that either gave outsourcing solutions to other companies or themselves outsourced their work to foreign countries. One of these was Modus Media Inc., in which Bain Capital held the largest stake.
Modus serviced Microsoft Inc., IBM, Sun Microsystems, HP, and Dell from countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Bain Capital had three representatives on the board of Modus Media and was largely involved in decision-making for the company. Bain Capital purchased a share in GT Bicycle Inc., a bicycle maker, in 1993. GT Bicycle produced its products in Asia. The company expanded, and, with Bain Capital owning twenty-two percent of the producer’s stock, was sold to Schwinn, another bicycle company that produced in China. Other companies in which Bain Capital invested were SMTC Corporation, which produced circuit boards in Ireland and Mexico, and Chippac, which made computer parts in South Korea and China.
Mitt Romney is clearly demonstrating hypocrisy here. If he criticizes President Obama for his policies on China that have been stricter than those of his predecessors, he should have a record that supports his attacks. It is apparent that, in fact, his record that goes against his current policies, what he has said, and supposedly what he believes. Mitt Romney claims he wants America to gain strength over foreign countries and increase jobs for our country, but in reality as an executive he has done exactly the opposite.
In addition to his questionable record, Mitt Romney has “flip-flopped” numerous times. It seems that he is playing for different audiences, and is not being genuine. At a private campaign event in May, Mitt Romney said, "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what… Who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them…” Coming from a prospective president, these words do not sound intelligent at all. Criticizing low-income people, or people on disability benefits is not the path to a prosperous country; it is hurtful and offensive to many of the country’s critical voters.
Mitt Romney, realizing that his outrageous statement could become a serious issue for him in his campaign, quickly apologized, saying what he said was “completely wrong” and that amidst all the speeches and interviews he gives, he is bound to make a mistake. It seems, however, that only when Mitt Romney realized that his remarks about the 47 percent could be the end for his campaign, he apologized in order to prevent further damage from being done. If you think about it, the things Romney said are very hard to say without intent.
These comments could be considered remotely acceptable coming from Romney if he had good policies to compensate for them. That, however, is not the case. Romney, during the debates, suddenly said he would cut taxes for the middle class and increase taxes for the rich. Under Mitt Romney’s tax plan, there would be an across-the-board tax cut for all income taxes. This would mean that people who make more than 388,350 will pay 28% in taxes and people who make 60,000 for instance, will pay 20% in taxes. To pay for this, Romney would take away incentives for taxpayers, and thus, middle class families will pay more and upper class families will pay less than they do now. According to an independent study, his tax plan will lower tax revenue by $360 billion in 2015. Mitt Romney is evidently not only changing his policies as time goes on, he is continues to describe them differently for different audiences.
Many Americans want to believe that Romney will be the savior of the American economy. People who believe this do not see inside the real Mitt Romney. The genuine Romney is one that plays for the audience, changes his mind, and promises things that he will never do. His record is there to prove it.