Ken’s Take on the World


Capital Offenses

Perhaps it is simply me, but the right-wing can’t seem to get many things right.  The latest dust up regarding Mr. Romney’s successful career at Bain Capital is the latest example.  Right-wing talking heads have been blasting President Obama for comments made regarding venture capital.  Of course, these comments have been misconstrued.  Please note that I am not suggesting they have simply taken Mr. Obama’s comments out of context.  They have not even related the context of the President’s comments to their rhetoric.

Mr. Obama has, on multiple occasions recently, commented that venture capital has an important role to play in the economic development of businesses.  He has further commended Mr. Romney, who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President this year, for his success as a person who had a job in which he promoted the investment of money in companies in order to maximize a profitable return on these investments for those who made the investments.  Mr. Obama, consistently and correctly, has identified that Mr. Romney’s primary objective was not to create or even maintain American jobs in his role as an executive in Bain Capital.  In fact, Mr. Romney’s primary responsibility was to grow the financial portfolios of investors in these projects.

This is not to say that having money that enables you to invest in a business is bad.  Nor has anyone stated that investment for the purpose of increasing a financial return for the investor is necessarily bad.  Mr. Obama, and many thoughtful and logical folks are simply acknowledging that the role of a President of the United States is significantly different from the role of a Chief Executive at a venture capital firm.  The Chief Executive of the United States has a responsibility to ensure that those without the secure financial advantages of capital investors, remain protected from the whims of the wealthiest.

Of course, right-wing commentators have blasted the President suggesting that he is anti-capitalism, anti-success, and would prefer to see businesses fail instead of becoming successful as a result of the influx of investment money from companies like Bain Capital.  What?  Do these folks even listen to the same words that the rest of America hears?  What an easy job these folks have.  Simply state whatever you want to your audience regardless of its remotest relationship to the truth.  The only truth I hear from folks like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh is, “President Obama said” with everything else being a complete fabrication or, at the very least, a gross mischaracterization of what the President actually did say.

I would like to say that I am confident that the American people are too intelligent to fall for these tactics.  Unfortunately, as I listen to folks who call in to Rush Limbaugh each afternoon, I am not certain this is even close to being true.  For the record, President Obama, nor most progressives, are opposed to successful venture capitalists.  Do not claim, however, that your primary focus is on the creation of jobs.  It is not.  It never has been and it never will be.  With wise investments, it is fully expected that some jobs will be saved or created, however, the Americans I know are very well aware that this is not your primary goal.  Keep up the good work, just stop lying about your mission!

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