What do conservatives stand for? What do conservatives believe in? Those seem like simple questions, and as a conservative, I can tell you exactly what I stand for and believe. The problem comes from what I’m hearing from our GOP presidential candidates who call themselves conservative. In their quest for the Republican nomination, it seems these “conservatives” will embrace any idea in order to attack another candidate. The latest is an assault on capitalism… yes, capitalism! What’s next? Supporting higher taxes and bigger government?
As noted in a story on CNSNews.com, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is under attack by his fellow opponents, namely Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. Why, you ask? Because Romney ran Bain Capital, which would restructure and reorganize companies in order to make them profitable. In doing so, everything that would be involved in saving a company was on the table: selling assets, trimming work staff, modernizing… you name it.
Oh the horror of it all! Gingrich and Perry are blasting Romney for not relying on the government, not going for corporate bailouts, but rather, for handling corporate woes in the private sector.
Imagine you had a company of 10 employees. Suddenly, the demand for your product grew, and you had to hire 10 more. Now the company of 20 employees is rolling right along. The company is making a profit and all is well. But now, the equipment has gotten old, the economy has slowed down, and the demand for the product is just not what it used to be. The company is in the red. It is no longer a company that needs or can support 20 employees. So, the company owner reduced the workforce to 10, uses some of that money to modernize so that the 10 can do the job even better, and the company turns itself around.
Can someone please tell me what is wrong with that scenario? Does the company exist to hire people. NO! It exists to make a product for a profit. The government is the only entity that exists where people can hold on to jobs even if there is no need for that job.
Romney’s takeover-and-restructuring firm “apparently looted the companies, left people unemployed and walked off with millions of dollars,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on NBC’s “Today” show. A group friendly to Gingrich is preparing to air TV ads of laid-off workers denouncing Romney.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined in. He cited South Carolina companies that Bain bought and downsized, and he practically dared Romney to ask for voters’ support there in the name of easing economic pain. “He caused it,” Perry said in Anderson, S.C.
In National Review, Jay Nordlinger writes, “The last two presidential election cycles have revealed a stinking hypocrisy in conservatives: They profess their love of capitalism and entrepreneurship, but when offered a real capitalist and entrepreneur, they go, ‘Eek, a mouse!’ And they tear him down in proud social-democrat fashion.”
Romney is being attacked now for stating, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Of course, candidates are running with that sound bite and not giving people the full context.
Now Romney has said, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to say, ‘You know, I’m going to get someone else to provide that service to me.'” Simple, elementary competition. Capitalism 101. And conservatives go, “Eek, a mouse!”
According to ABC News, a Super PAC which supports Newt Gingrich is spending $3.4 million to air a 27-minute movie titled “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.”
In the trailer on the movie’s website, KingofBain.com, Romney is called a “predatory corporate raider” and a “scavenger.”
“Think you know Mitt? Think again,” the trailer says.
“Their greed was only matched by their willingness to make millions in profits. Nothing spared, nothing mattered but greed,” the trailer says. “Mitt Romney became CEO the day Bain Capital was formed. His mission? To reap massive rewards for himself and his investors,” the trailer says.
Imagine that. Romney is brought in as CEO of a company with the goal of earning massive rewards for himself and his investors. Tell me… what CEO in the entire country is brought in to do something different?
I’m not writing this column as a Romney supporter. I too would prefer someone more conservative. But in this race, the so-called conservatives are sure NOT sounding conservative to me. They are blasting Romney for engaging in capitalism. They are hounding him for turning companies around. That was his job, and apparently, he was good at it.
If Republican candidates for president no longer support capitalism, then this is surely not the party that I remember… and I’m not even that old! It’s the primaries… fight it out… distinguish oneself from the others. But the goal should not be to use Obama-style rhetoric in order to tear down capitalism. That does not sound conservative to me at all.