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Romney has questionable reputation as ‘job creator’

Date: 1/16/2012

January 16, 2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

As I write this column, our former governor is basking in his victory in New Hampshire, although one news report I read pointed out that about 60 percent of those who voted cast their ballots for another candidate.

Winning is winning and it doesn’t matter — if spun correctly — if it is by one vote or by a landslide.

The issue of job development was a central theme in the contest, as it will continue to be throughout the primary season. Gov. Mitt Romney recently accused President Barack Obama of engaging in “crony capitalism.” According to Investipedia, the definition of the term is “a description of capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.”

The Washington Post reported Romney made the accusation in response to Obama appointing three people to the National Labor Relations Board without approval of the Senate.

The ‘paper quoted Romney as saying, “This is crony capitalism. It scares away real entrepreneurs and investors. They go to other countries. It’s killing jobs. This president is a crony capitalist. He’s a job killer.”

During his time as governor here, he implemented the New Market Tax Credit and extended the Investment Tax Credit. So exactly what is Romney speaking about? Is he in favor of tax credits and grants to spur business development?

It’s standard American politics to mix apples and oranges to achieve a wanted effect. Romney has a message that the economy under Obama is terrible, and he won’t let anything, such as facts, stand in his way.

After all, during his time as governor, jobs increased 1.3 percent in the Commonwealth, putting us at 47th out of 50 states, according to Bloomberg News. Let’s not allow this fact to obscure his reputation as a “job creator.”

It’s also standard American politics for candidates to deny their past.

On Jan. 11, Obama met with a number of CEOs to speak about continued re-investment in this country.

The White House released the following statement from the president: “Today I am meeting with companies choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, best universities, and most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world: the United States of America. That’s exactly the kind of commitment to country we need — especially now, at this make-or-break moment for the middle class. And I’m calling on those businesses that haven’t brought jobs back to take this opportunity to get the American people back to work. That’s how we’ll rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded — and a nation where those values live on.”

I know the economy still continues to be very difficult. I certainly don’t think the president or Congress has been aggressive enough to seek solutions and implement them. The corporate status quo looms large in this nation. With millions still unemployed, there is still much, too much to be done.

But consider the following facts from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce:
  • “Real business fixed investment has begun to rebound, growing by 18 percent since the end of 2009.”

  • “The manufacturing sector has recovered faster than the rest of the economy, supporting growth and job creation. Over the past two years, the economy has added 334,000 manufacturing jobs — the strongest two-year period of manufacturing job growth since the late 1990s.

  • “Over the past 12 months, exports have been growing at an annualized rate of 16.1 percent when compared with 2009 … As of October, American exports of goods and services over the past 12 months totaled over $2 trillion, a 31.6 percent increase over the level in 2009.”
These results are bad, right? They are unwanted, right? They are the unwanted child of crony capitalism?

If records of service are any measure of an elected official — and they should be — Romney should be careful about tossing rocks at anyone.

Hey, agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.

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