mitt romney: the silver-spoon president who wasn't

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While middle America, along with most of the rest of the world, breathes a collective sigh of well-deserved relief at Mitt Romney’s failed presidential bid, others are lamenting our prospects of a dismal future under Obama. Here’s the rhetoric of delusion.

Obama is an anti-Semitic socialist who is hell-bent on destroying America and selling us out to the Muslim brotherhood. He’s also black — or at least kind of looks black — which is a major shortcoming in the eyes of many of America’s silver-spooned elites and backwoods rednecks. Romney is a hard-working paragon of the merits of capitalist entrepreneurialism,  proof that a dream, unbridled talent, ambition and the sweat of your brow can turn everyman into job-creating, productivity enhancing millionaires of the American Dream.

Romney was the great white hope who wasn’t. I’m reminded of another great white hope, Jerry Cooney, who pumped hope into the millions of white men back in 1982 who wanted to see a white man unseat a black boxing champion, Larry Holmes, for the first time in modern boxing history. Cooney wasn’t in the same league as Holmes in terms of talent, technique or experience, but he had a vicious left hook to the body against opponents who didn’t know how to defend against it, and he was white.

The only problem is that Cooney forgot to throw the vicious left hook against Holmes. It’s possible he may have left it in the dressing room before making his grand entrance into the ring, so we can’t necessarily blame him for being nervous. It’s a heavy burden carrying the dreams of millions of great white hopes on your shoulders.

Mitt Romney on Economics

Mitt Romney on Economics (Photo credit: Cory M. Grenier)

Holmes, former sparring partner to Muhammad Ali and a great champion, destroyed the great white hope. As a white boy, I cringed in horror that a great white hope could look so pathetic. I sort of get the same feeling, like a bad LSD flashback, watching some of Romney’s speeches.

I’m sure many white tears were shed after that fight. The end of America as we know it surely spilled from the mournful sips of beer in many a barhall.

“I am struggling with coming up with the right words to describe my observations on last night’s presidential outcome” laments Brett Jensen over at Seeking Alpha, after Obama’s victory in the 2012 presidential election.”Two phrases that immediately come to mind are “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public” and “Insanity is continuing to make the same mistake, and expecting different results.” However, the quote I think that probably best encapsulates my current sentiment comes from Winston Churchill: “Americans will always do the right thing, but only after exhausting all other possibilities.”

I would commiserate with Brett were he not rich; they are getting richer, after all. It’s hard to see one of the good old boys of the brotherhood go down in such ignominious defeat, especially to a black, Muslim-loving socialist, intent on destroying modern civilization by exhausting all diplomatic efforts to halt the nuclear program of Iran rather than bombing them into oblivion straight away.

That’s assuming that Iran really is close to making a bomb, because didn’t we just spend $5 trillion dollars on an Iraq war to rid them of weapons of mass destruction, or was that to help protect the petrodollar and give the US a strategic foothold in the Middle East? And if it was to defeat the Taliban, why do we have to spend 5 trillion dollars to combat an enemy that is only spending a few billion? Did we get our money’s worth, or did we just enrich the war machine?

Shashank Joshi, scholar with the Conservative Middle East Council writes in a report, “Nuclear Iran: Engagement or Intervention”,

“In January 2012, US Defense Secretary and former CIA director Leon Panetta said “the consensus is that, if [Iran] decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon”. Given the time lapsed since Panetta’s comments, this would indicate a breakout time of 1-2 years. . . The upshot of all this is simple: Iran is not inches away from a nuclear bomb.”

But back to the saviors of America and the free world — the wealthy. Here’s an economic genius commenting on Brett’s article in Seeking Alpha. I think this guy was one of the Romney speechwriters, but I can’t verify it.

 ”. . . where does prosperity come from? Increases in productivity create prosperity. Productivity is increased when a entrepreneur uses savings to create capital and that capital allows workers to become more productive. And where do savings come from? Well, from the “wealthy”. The wealthy are the ones who produce more than they consume. Their wealth is by definition excess production – or savings. And those savings can then be used by entrepreneurs to create businesses and capital and thereby to create real economic growth.”

That’s brilliant. Prosperity comes from wealthy people (or are wealthy people made by prosperity?) By that logic, shouldn’t we be giving those wealthy people more tax breaks so they can be even more productive and create even more jobs and we can all drink champagne at the trickle down party? It worked for Bush. And why not give them free medical care to ease the burden on their creative productivity? Wouldn’t season tickets to the opera add even more jobs?

Take a gander, courtesy of Andy Obermueller, editor of the Game-Changing Stocks newsletter over at StreetAuthority.com, at your champion of hard work, ambition, boot-strap sweat and productivity, Mr. Mitt Romney.

mitt romney photo image

We care about the poor and middle-class.

In case you’re having trouble recognizing your hero from this picture in 1984, Romney’s the ringleader in the middle with the money pouring out his ass. Or is that his ear. What America needs more of is spoiled, privileged, elitist white guys so we can be a more prosperous nation where wealth begets wealth for all, kind of like printing money indefinitely and giving it to fat cat bankers, and no I don’t mean Jews. Christian or Mormon, Muslim or Buddhist will do. It’s a magical mystery tour, an energizer bunny that keeps on giving until the fat lady calls Jenny Craig.

Mitt Romney and the republicans have been arguing that the government is making a bunch of dependent wussies out of people who are in need of social welfare. People, they proclaim, should be more like the weenies in the picture, guys who had to work their way out of the dirt, fingernails bleeding, to triumph from the productive genius that capitalism makes of those lucky enough to be rich.

 ”But, what makes Romney’s thinly veiled racism and classism so horribly galling,” writes the editor of thecomplainer.com “is that he is the scion of “opportunity” he did not create. The product of great fortune, a private education (financed not by his own hard work or student loans, but by his father); telegenic good looks; and the social and political connections of his family, Romney has no frame of reference for what it is like to struggle to gain “opportunity” in our society. If every child in America was born with a multimillion-dollar trust fund, perhaps we could discuss “how” they either make the most of their “opportunity” or fall back on the “entitlement” of their trust funds.

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?

“I care about 100 percent of the American people,” lied Romney in the second debate. “I want 100 percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future.”

“. . . there are 47% . . . who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” said the complete dick.

Healthcare, food and housing are basic human rights of any civilized society. It’s a sick society that believes it is OK to spend trillions of dollars on impulsive wars and a bloated security apparatus, trillions of dollars on pharmaceutical drugs when healthier, natural alternatives are available, and trillions of dollars bailing out criminals in the financial sector, but it’s too much expense to provide basic food, healthcare and housing to people who show reasonable need.

Romney couldn’t care about the poor and working class in America even if he wanted to because he doesn’t have a clue about the harsh reality of their lives. He believes the fantasy spoon-fed his precious little ego that he got where he is in life because of his own grit and determination, and he’ll be damned if he owes much of it back to society. Taxes are for parasite socialists who don’t have the gumption to be born rich.

My apologies to thecomplainer.com for stealing so much of their brilliant content.

at every turn in life, Romney benefited from being “well-born.” He, and his ilk, are really the ones who live in the “entitlement” society. From extraordinary prenatal care to early childhood education; to extra tutoring for academics and additional coaching for athletics, dance, and the arts; to legacy admissions at the most elite universities; to access to the best extracurricular activities, internships and employment opportunities; to the best medical care, “The Entitlement to Opportunity Class,” has advantages few of us could ever even imagine. Indeed, for the rest of us, the only “entitlement” is to struggle, truly struggle, to garner “opportunity” from the moment we are born to the last of our breaths.

Much of republican philosophy is the fantasy that being a member of the wealthy class makes one a more productive member of the economy. Wealth is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for productivity, and that’s only one side of the coin. Wealthy people are as much responsible for corruption and waste.

And that fetishism of job creation — mostly crappy, alienating jobs in the age of corporate monoliths — conveniently forgets that a productive business wouldn’t be a productive business, and the people owning it wouldn’t be arrogant, condescending jerks without the working stiffs upon whom the business depends. You know, the people who do the dirty jobs that aren’t good enough for you and your children.

Wealthy people create jobs just as sure as workers work the jobs that create wealth. It’s a two-way street. All the “productive” capital in the world doesn’t create an ounce of wealth without labor. So let’s stop the BS privileging of the wealthy.

So just how do the rich get that way? Do they play by the same rules as everyone else, as they would love you to believe? Andy Obermueller points out that Mitt Romney and others of his ilk have advantages that few others get.

“In 1984, Romney teamed up with a group of friends [Ed: pictured above] and proceeded to make 88% a year on his money until 1999 — when he quit to run the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Conservatively assuming that Romney added $200 million to his net worth over that time… that comes to $6,400 an hour for 15 years.”

When was the last time you made $6,400 an hour investing in the stock market over a 15 year stretch? Never? Mitt Romney and other uber-wealthy individuals don’t get rich investing in the same crappy stocks you do; they invest in private companies with special sweetheart deals that are never offered to the general public. After they get rich, the company is taken public and losers like you get to buy stock in the company after most of the money has already been made, you know, like Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, reportedly made about $19 billion dollars by bringing the company public. How have public investors done in Facebook so far? This is not an equal opportunity country; the gap between the rich and the poor is growing because the rich have better opportunities than the not as rich simply because they are rich, not because they work harder, are smarter, more creative or necessarily more productive.

Andy Obermeuller again:

“. . . of the 150,000-plus U.S. firms with annual revenues above $10 million, about 90% are private, making them off-limits to most investors.

The SEC won’t let you invest directly in these private companies unless your net worth is at least $1 million — and your home equity doesn’t count. You also need to generate income of at least $200,000 a year. And if you’re married, the bar is raised to $300,000.

And even if you meet these strict criteria, you still need the right contacts and expertise to invest directly in private companies. So unless you personally know the founder of a fast-growing private company, it’s almost impossible for you to share in the profits.”

So when the republicans get on their high horses and tell me they are rich because of the creative genius and sweat of their ambitious job-creating brows, I find it disingenuous.  Many are rich because they have it easier. The true creative geniuses and industrial innovators are in the minority.

Most disturbing about the recent presidential election is that it shows America dividing ever more deeply along racial and ethnic grounds. Increasingly, ethnic minorities voted for Obama, while most Caucasians voted for Romney.

What made this country great was its embrace of diversity, and its pledge to give genuine opportunity to everyone, even the most disadvantaged. That vision seems to be fading. New sources of oil and natural gas may give America an economic reprieve in the coming years, but one wonders if a country can remain great if the spirit that made it so is lost.


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