Isn’t it interesting that the Obama campaign has decided that its primary strategy is to attack Bain Capital? That Mitt Romney had left the firm to run the Salt Lake City Olympics is beside the point, Obama has decided to tie Romney to what it contends are egregious sins. In so doing it is attacking venture capital and capitalism. Obama has vigorously defended the attack ads and the ranting of surrogates, however it did back away from Jim Clyburn’s (D-SC) liking Bain to a rapist. Clyburn said "This is not an attack on free enterprise," Clyburn, D-S.C., said on MSNBC. "I don't take contributions from payday lenders. I refuse to do that. That's free enterprise. ... And there's something about raping companies and leaving them in debt and setting up Swiss bank accounts and corporate businesses in the Grand Caymans. I have a real serious problem with that." Note that he aligned venture capitalists with payday lenders saying “This is not an attack on free enterprise”! Huh? What Obama is doing is going after Romney because he cannot tout his record. What Romney has to do is stay on message and just brush off the attacks. Romney needs to point out that capitalism has made this country great and that the great experiment wandering away from capitalism has resulted in the slowest recovery on record. Obama wants to contrast his goals: changing the basic economic tenets of American capitalism and economic “justice” with what he claims characterizes Romney: getting rich on the backs of working class Americans. As Clyburn contends Romney and Bain Capital destroyed jobs, bought businesses, saddled them with debt and drove them into bankruptcy. However, I have yet to hear anyone point out that Obama has done something similar with the automobile bailouts. Thousands of jobs were destroyed, dealerships were closed, plants were closed and GM still owes the government $14 billion and Chrysler owes it $1.3 billion. The only difference is that Obama did it with someone else’s money while Bain Capital risked their own.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com