Pawlenty: Why are Republicans attacking capitalism?

posted at 6:20 pm on January 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

That’s a good question, especially since it turns out that one of them has financial ties to the very same leveraged-buyout industry he’s currently demonizing. Tim Pawlenty visited Radio Row at the Manchester Radisson and sat down with me for a few minutes to discuss the criticisms of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital experience by Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Perry. Pawlenty, who endorsed Romney in August and is campaigning in New Hampshire this week for him, couldn’t quite believe that these remarks are coming from Republican candidates. Pawlenty is “really disappointed” that the Republican contenders are making “Democratic arguments” and using “class warfare,” and says the argument isn’t accurate anyway, since Bain actually created many more net jobs than were lost.

Pawlenty is the one who tipped me to this story, reported by both Fortune and the New York Times, which showed that Gingrich both investing in and worked on an advisory board for Forstmann Little — a competitor of Bain in the leveraged-buyout industry.  Here’s Fortune:

Upon leaving Congress in 1999, the former Speaker joined private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co. as a member of its advisory board.

It is unclear how long Gingrich served on the advisory board, or how much he was paid. The campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Forstmann Little was one of the world’s original leveraged buyout firms, although its founder — the late Teddy Forsmann — often railed against what he saw as over-leveraging by rival firms (presumably including Bain). It effectively began winding down operations in 2005, following a legal dispute with the State of Connecticut over failed investments in a pair of large communications companies. Forstmann Little lost the case at trial, but wasn’t required to pay any significant restitution (both deals were done within two years of Gingrich being named to the advisory board).

During Saturday night’s GOP primary debate in New Hampshire, Gingrich said: “I’m not nearly as enamored of a Wall Street model where you can flip companies, you can go in and have leveraged buyouts, you can basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers.”

And here’s the NYT, which Gingrich cited as an authority during this weekend’s debates:

But Mr. Gingrich was himself on an advisory board for a major investment firm that had a similar business model, Forstmann Little, a pioneering private equity firm co-founded in 1978 by Theodore J. Forstmann that was, along with Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital and Henry R. Kravis’s Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among the leading private equity firms during the 1980s and 1990s.

Forstmann Little earned billions of dollars in profits from its investments in companies including General Instrument and Gulfstream Aerospace. But the firm shut down most of its operations a decade ago after suffering losses from ill-timed bets on highflying telecommunications companies at the height of that industry’s bubble.

Mr. Gingrich’s involvement with the firm could complicate his attacks on Mr. Romney. …

Mr. Gingrich would attend twice-a-year Forstmann Little advisory board meetings in Manhattan, which were held typically at the Four Seasons restaurant or at the ’21’ Club. The partners discussed potential investment with Mr. Gingrich, particularly those in the health-care industry.

Over time, Mr. Gingrich made investments in Forstmann Little portfolio companies.

So was Forstmann Little employing Gingrich as a historian?

At least one Republican candidate managed to remain a champion of the free enterprise system, as Michelle Malkin — no fan of Mitt Romney — pointed out:

Leaving the frozen event, Santorum also declined to take a shot at Romney over a remark earlier from the front-runner that he “likes to fire” workers who are not doing a good job.

“We try to hire good people, we try to keep them employed. If someone if obviously not performing their duty and their mission, obviously a business has a responsibility for the greater good of the business and the other employees to make sure that everybody there is pulling their weight,” Santorum said.

Asked whether Romney’s corporate takeover experience at Bain Capital would be a liability, Santorum said: “I’m not making it a liability. I believe in the private sector.”

Yeah, I remember when most Republicans used to believe in it, too.  The irony in this is that the super-PAC backing Gingrich will use $5 million from Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson — who, by the way, is a good conservative and stalwart defender of right to work laws — to blast Romney for, essentially, betting on struggling companies — and having a better than 3-1 record in rescuing them.


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Anyone who didn’t think that the subject of Bain was going to be detrimental to Romney wasn’t thinking at all.
This was inevitable.
kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I don’t know if Romney supporters actually thought that, but perhaps they thought when Obama used this attack against Romney the righties would anoint Romney as the second coming of Friedman or something.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Why would you think that? Barky has made it perfectly clear that he’s going to do whatever the heck pops into that pea-brain of his … and the GOP has made it equally clear that they’re going to let Barky do whatever pops into that little pea-brain of his.

This nation is toast.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I agree. The nation is toast. At least with a Rep house/senate Obama will have to sneak stuff in. With Romney, it will happen in big “bipartisan” bills.

Obama will flout the law with small things like appointing his flunky to the consumer board. He won’t be able to do things like raise taxes on his own without Congress. Which is why, marginally, I think Obama would be better than Romney (assuming gop keeps house/senate with Obama in 2012 and 2014)

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Anyone who didn’t think that the subject of Bain was going to be detrimental to Romney wasn’t thinking at all.

This was inevitable.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Huh? Bain was a positive. There was no reason for Bain to hurt Mitt. Mitt was hurt by Mitt and Mitt’s mouth, and MittCare, of course. Bain was one fo the few things saving him.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Mitt attacked Perry’s “SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Yes, and now I remember Perry going Full Marxist. Because two big time wrongs give me the warm and fuzzies about normally voting Republican.

MNHawk on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:28 PM

My “let’s everyone get along” side wants this thing to end up being a vindication of capitalism. And while I am wishing, I would like to win the lottery.

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I must be living in the Twilight Zone ………… Republicans attacking capitalism. I thought it was OWS and Democrats were the ones that didn’t like capitalism. According to the WSJ, Bain Capital saved 78% of the companies that they took over or managed, saving and creating private sector jobs.

SC.Charlie on January 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM

How much cash did Romney give Pawlenty again?

tetriskid on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

As much if not more than he gave Nikki Haley who – and totally by coincidence – is also a Romney shill. But really, the fact Romney sent both of them money has nothing whatsoever to do with any of it. They both looooove them some Romney.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:35 PM

“SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

that’s because calling the SS a Ponzi scheme was stupid and disingenuous to say the least…this is not ‘language from the left’, Perry’s qualifier was simply inaccurate and deceiving…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I’m interested in seeing it to find out if it proves Bain was venture or vulture.

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Who cares? Both are necessary functions.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

But, they sometimes skirt the law to make the outcomes favorable for them, at the expense of what might be a salvageable company.

IOW, I might be a Pollyanna in some areas. This isn’t one of them.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

If “it” was “a salvagable company,” it would be salvaged.

I assume you’re using “salvagable,” though, in the (inaccurate) context of “preserved as is.”

Salvage IS what happens even when a company is liquidated. The resources are salvaged (the “good” of the organization is maintained by various means, that is, profit is had from it’s resources), while an organization is liquidated or “reorganized” (whichever).

There’s nothing about “skirting the law” in that process. One does with one’s property as one wishes. If you buy something, but you don’t want all of that something because it doesn’t fit your expectations, you rid yourself of those parts you don’t find beneficial and you keep the rest, or give it away, or sell it. Nothing at all untoward about any of that.

THE ISSUE HERE of the “class warfare” level is the jobs involved. Employers are not welfare agencies, they’re not social services and there aren’t any pool of taxpayers there to draw money and other resources from when you “feel” you “need” them. The LESSON there is to take care of yourself, to plan accordingly for what you anticipate you will want and need in the future, including saving and investing as much as possible for your own, individual, future.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

So why are you knocking Bain? Do you have some insight as a result of your experience that makes them one of those that “sometimes skirt(s) the law” instead of one that “do(es) good”?
And. what is “salvageable”?
M240H on January 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM

They got involved with De Beeres – a little messy.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

“SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26

that’s because calling the SS a Ponzi scheme was stupid and disingenuous to say the least…this is not ‘language from the left’, Perry’s qualifier was simply inaccurate and deceiving…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Mitt attacked Perry’s “SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Stop bringing up relevant facts. Romney is awesome. Perry is a monster. Haven’t you received the RNC memos?

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

So why are you knocking Bain? Do you have some insight as a result of your experience that makes them one of those that “sometimes skirt(s) the law” instead of one that “do(es) good”?

M240H on January 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I didn’t say there were good companies and bad companies. My point was that corporate raiders are just that. They want to get the right economics that benefits them, even if it’s at the expense of a company that could possibly be saved.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

that’s because calling the SS a Ponzi scheme was stupid and disingenuous to say the least…this is not ‘language from the left’, Perry’s qualifier was simply inaccurate and deceiving…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Ponzi Scheme: A fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors.

SS is exactly that. Retirees collecting SS now are getting that money from current workers. There aren’t enough current workers to sustain the number of retirees and provide the retirees with the promised benefits.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:40 PM

that’s because calling the SS a Ponzi scheme was stupid and disingenuous to say the least…this is not ‘language from the left’, Perry’s qualifier was simply inaccurate and deceiving…
jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

. And what exactly is “I like to fire people?”

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Mitt attacked Perry’s “SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Well Perry is apparently an idiot or something, I think that’s the consensus excuse.

People forget how badly John McCain was savaged in SC in 2000. This is politics. If you’ve never been involved, I’m not sure why you think it’ll change. We need a nominee who is battle tested. Romney supporters will want to call for victory after SC or something…after only 35 or so of the 2400 delegates have been won. Someone tell me the last time a primary ended in January. Or February. Or March.

If Mitt Romney can’t take a grilling from Republicans, who are going after the fact that Bain outsourced a lot of jobs that deeply affected SC, hows he going to survive 10 months of being called a greedy soulless bastard by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, DNC, etc. If Romney can explain his way out of this, more power to him. If you want a primary where Republicans hold their hands and just attack Obama, you’re incredibly naive.

Hostile Gospel on January 9, 2012 at 7:40 PM

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

LOL!

Good point. ;o)

BTW, my preview button is working!!!

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM

What is wrong with you people? Capitalism is not absolute. Closing down an almost-viable business, which is nevertheless supporting many workers and families, is not a success! Success comes from converting the business into a viable enterprise. When that does not work, simply killing the business is no success, and the resulting ex-worker resentment will be largely deserved!

PseudoRandom on January 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

LOL can’t help but grin at all of Romney’s loyalists outraged at the heat of the kitchen. Sure, almost all the attacks Mitt’s super PAC used against Newt were true. And sure, Newt sounds like an anti-Wall Street Independent (to claim he sounds LIBERAL is a stretchh)…but the bottom line is Mitt is tasting his own medicine now. Oh excuse me, did I just accuse Mitt of knowing about and being 100% ok with those nasty anti-Newt ads he claims he has never seen? Freudian slip. Now us Newt fans can say with a straight face, “the pro Newt super PAC is not supported by Newt. He doesn’t evem know what they’re doing. So don’t get mad at him.” Lol

LevinFan90 on January 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Just on it’s face…………Bain is Wall Street; Romney is the 1%.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:44 PM

i voting for paul, not because i believe everything that the old fart says, but because i want the party to head in that general ideological direction.

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

On domestic affairs, yes. On foreign affairs, no. In a primary, I might well vote for Paul. But in a general, I’ll vote for whoever runs on the GOP ticket against Øbama. The thing I fear most in 2012 is a second term for Barack Øbama.

Poll: Americans, 2-1, Fear Obama’s Reelection

HT: DRUDGE

petefrt on January 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM

even in foreign affairs paul makes good points. our army will crumble without a sound fiscal policy. and we dont need to be so much all over the world spending money we dont have.

but i agree, in the end i will vote for the romney against obama.

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM

that’s because calling the SS a Ponzi scheme was stupid and disingenuous to say the least…this is not ‘language from the left’, Perry’s qualifier was simply inaccurate and deceiving…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

It most certainly is a Ponzi scheme. SS uses contemporary “investments” (as people are led to think that they are putting money away for retirement … investing their retirement money with the government) are used to pay off old members at accelerating levels that are totally unsustainable. And, there is NO real money anywhere. If everyone stopped paying in, the program would turn up and die immediately, even though people had “invested” money for decades. Without the current flow, there is NOTHING. There are no stocks that can be sold. There are treasuries, but they are special treasuries that …. can’t be sold – LOL. It’s true.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

That would be some serious wishful thinking.

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

is amuses how the Romney derangement syndrome crowd at Hot Gas got in touch recently with thier marxist side and are now all outraged at Romney and his Bain Capital dealings…haha, the capitalists extraordinaire, of tea party persuasion who were for free markets and capitalist enterprise until not long ago, have just discovered their OWS softer side and are wasting no time in showing their newly found beliefs (as short live as they will be)…methinks they forgot that that the money involved come from the investors and people who entrusted Romney with their money, and obviously they didn’t regret it. the new proletarians at HA seem to be confusing taxpayers money with private investors’ money, or is their wishful thinking and projections… had they ever the money to invest in anything, they wouldn’t be ranting against awful capitalists such as Mitt Romney, who not only has the audacity to come from a rich family but made even more money himself…tztztz, terrible…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:49 PM

it amuses me that is…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Just on it’s face…………Bain is Wall Street; Romney is the 1%.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Huh? I don’t categorize the world as the OWS scum squatters do. I don’t care about someone being in some one percent something. That’s just stupid.

I like Wall Street. I like markets. I especially like people who can get in the top 1%. I hate people who are jealous of others’ success. They are really the lowest.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I used spell check on “salvagable” and it came up as “salvageable”. So, I’m sorry if your spelling disagrees with my spell check.

What you describe is the ideal. However, not everything in this world is ideal. Sometimes, things don’t go as orderly as you describe and some people aren’t as nice and by the book as you describe. I’ve had first hand experience with that.

The LESSON there is to take care of yourself, to plan accordingly for what you anticipate you will want and need in the future, including saving and investing as much as possible for your own, individual, future.

On that we totally agree. I would add one more thing, though….be sure to have a good lawyer.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

If we truly believe in free markets, corporations should not receive a dime of federal assistence. If they fail, they fail.

Bain needed federal assistance. Twice.

Hostile Gospel on January 9, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Too bad Rush’s show isn’t run by Bain. Romney would be out there hustling a $10M bailout for Rush.

angryed

And if you couldn’t post lies, you’d have nothing to say, lol.

xblade on January 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

+ 10..I agree..:)

Dire Straits on January 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Huh? I don’t categorize the world as the OWS scum squatters do. I don’t care about someone being in some one percent something. That’s just stupid.

I totally agree. However, there are some people who don’t read beyond the headlines, and judge someone on appearances. Despite how stupid I think the OWSers are, they do have their supporters.

I like Wall Street. I like markets. I especially like people who can get in the top 1%. I hate people who are jealous of others’ success. They are really the lowest.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Again…I totally agree with you.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:56 PM

xblade on January 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I believe it was a joke. You might want to check your sense of humor.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Despite how stupid I think the OWSers are, they do have their supporters.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Very few. And very twisted.

But, for some reason, all too many of our GOP brainiacs think the OWS scum are somehow legitimate. We have retards at the head of the GOP. True retards … and one cry-baby.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM

It most certainly is a Ponzi scheme. SS uses contemporary “investments” (as people are led to think that they are putting money away for retirement … investing their retirement money with the government) are used to pay off old members at accelerating levels that are totally unsustainable. And, there is NO real money anywhere. If everyone stopped paying in, the program would turn up and die immediately, even though people had “invested” money for decades. Without the current flow, there is NOTHING. There are no stocks that can be sold. There are treasuries, but they are special treasuries that …. can’t be sold – LOL. It’s true.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM

It most certainly isn’t, SS is exactly what it claims to be: a mandatory transfer payment system under which current workers are taxed on their incomes to pay benefits, with no promises of huge returns. So, puhleease…Sure, SS faces a huge burden (and a significant, long-term financing problem) because of the retiring baby boomers, but it can be, and has been, tweaked and modified to reflect changes in the size of the taxpaying workforce and the number of beneficiaries (such as changing benefit formulas or increasing taxes), to keep the system from failing. I’m not trying to say that SS is a perfect system or that there aren’t great problems facing the future administrations and Congress(es), but it’s not a Ponzi scheme, rather the opposite of it: a safety net that is.

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM

This line of attack is actually crucial to see how Romney handles it before Obama tries it on him. Yeah, he’s going to run ads saying “even Newt Gingrich thinks Romney is a corporate mogul,” but Obama was going to do that anyway.

Better Romney gets it and gets a response now before he gets caught off guard by what will be Obama’s primary line of attack.

BKennedy on January 9, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Very few. And very twisted.

I know. I live outside of Portland, OR. But, we have a bunch of ‘em. lol

But, for some reason, all too many of our GOP brainiacs think the OWS scum are somehow legitimate. We have retards at the head of the GOP. True retards … and one cry-baby.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM

That was a leftist/media driven movement, and they haven’t gone away. I fully expect to see them in full bloom come this spring.

I can’t argue with your sentiments in regards to the “leaders” in the GOP. I wish I could……but in no stinking way can I. You hit the nail on the head.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM

A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I know. You might try using a proper one sometime.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

I don’t see how this is going to hurt Romney as it just makes his opponents look desperate … … and stupid.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM

It most certainly isn’t, SS is exactly what it claims to be: a mandatory transfer payment system under which current workers are taxed on their incomes to pay benefits, with no promises of huge returns.

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM

First of all, many of the funds paid into SS just get spent elsewhere. They disappear into the Void. Well, there are special, non-negotiable treasuries issued in place of the actual money, but those pieces of paper are jokes. The operators of the system are draining it as the payees stupidly continue to invest in it – because we are forced by law to contribute to the Ponzi, of course.

As to the huge returns, I think you’re leaving Medicare out of your argument, for some reason.

There you have two sides of a Ponzi, which really makes social security a double Ponzi scheme. The operators steal funds on one side and piss them away on the other, with the “investors” losing on both and the system crumbling under its own weight.

Or, are you saying that Social Security isn’t crumbling and isn’t serving to bring everything down with it?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 8:17 PM

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM

But, just tell me that if we had a few more people paying in, then Social Security would be in good shape. That’s how you show something isn’t a Ponzi scheme, by pointing out the need for fresh investors to keep it going … LOL.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Who is this Tim Plenty guy anyway???

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 9, 2012 at 8:26 PM

He said today on Fox that “Romney won big in Iowa”.

Delusions are indignant.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Now us Newt fans can say with a straight face, “the pro Newt super PAC is not supported by Newt. He doesn’t evem know what they’re doing. So don’t get mad at him.” Lol

LevinFan90 on January 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Except that Newt bragged about it at the debate and practically gave it a full throated advertisement.

Newt, Huntsman, and Perry have proven that they are only “conservative” until they can use anti-conservative, anti free market rhetoric to demonize those on their own side. Then they wonder why their poll numbers are all in single digits.

1punchWill on January 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Mittens said he would sign the repeal of obiecare- and give blanket waivers to states to opt out. And he has promised that on many occasions.
FlaMurph on January 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

He also promised the people of Mass. he wouldn’t raise their taxes. He lied about that too.

tommyboy on January 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM

This is being spun as testing Romney before the primary by those totally invested in NotRomney or Perry/Gingrich. The fact is this is a disgusting display and they should all be ashamed of themselves. Gingrich truly is a stupid man’s idea of what a smart man sounds like. I know Rush and Levin work hard to portray Conservatism as this sophisticated framework based on rational decisions, which it definitely is. However, this episode shows how shallow the depth of many a “conservative” is.

As for Perry… I just started liking the guy again! Stupid move.

antisense on January 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Mitt attacked Perry’s “SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I seem to remember one of the debates where Perry’s word choice came up but I don’t remember the specifics. I’m not trying to be cute or call you out or anything, I honestly don’t recall what was said. Do you have a link for the objectionable content in question, or is it just that Mitt took issue with Perry calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and the left also takes issue with comparing Social Security to one of those so that’s Mitt using the language of the left?

alchemist19 on January 9, 2012 at 9:17 PM

But, just tell me that if we had a few more people paying in, then Social Security would be in good shape. That’s how you show something isn’t a Ponzi scheme, by pointing out the need for fresh investors to keep it going … LOL.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

oh, I see, in your books SS is a Ponzi scheme because the growth of payouts depends on growth of the number of future taxpayers?? So, if by your definition, SS is a Ponzi scheme – guess what, so are the private investment accounts that many conservatives propose as an alternative to Social Security. Whether the intermediary is the government or private money managers, in both cases the income of retirees will depend on money generated by the economic activity of succeeding generations in the work force. The main difference is that private investments are riskier than promises by the federal government of the US to pay benefits to seniors who have paid payroll taxes all their lives….so, yeah, drop it, Perry’s comparison not only doesn’t make good sense, but to quote some congressman, doesn’t even make good nonsense…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 9:17 PM

First of all, many of the funds paid into SS just get spent elsewhere. They disappear into the Void. Well, there are special, non-negotiable treasuries issued in place of the actual money, but those pieces of paper are jokes. The operators of the system are draining it as the payees stupidly continue to invest in it – because we are forced by law to contribute to the Ponzi, of course.

Huh, seriously?? Ponzi schemes can work only if their operators keep investors in the dark about the source of their alleged magical returns. As far as I know not only does the administration mail citizens reports detailing their expected contributions and receipts from Social Security, but it also publishes annual reports indicating future shortfalls and sternly calling for action to deal with them. so, yeah, very Ponzi-like (not)…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Plus, guess who else has ties to the leveraged-buyout industry?

Kevin Bacon?

Connie on January 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Ponzi schemes can work only if their operators keep investors in the dark about the source of their alleged magical returns

Not when participation is mandatory

tommyboy on January 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Pawlenty is a good surrogate. He’s been a governor and understands the role that capitalism plays in economic growth. There’s a basic dishonesty in Gingrich and others bashing Romney for not being as conservative as they are and then attacking him for being a venture capitalist. Basically, that boils down to saying that he must be bad because he’s rich.

I believe that Gingrich was once a Reagan conservative, as was John McCain, but he isn’t one now. He’s allowed his personal spite towards Mitt to distract him from upholding conservative values.

I thought Santorum would do better but the current polls are showing Mitt first, Paul second and Huntsman third. It that turns out to be the result, who has the surge coming out of NH, Santorum or Huntsman.

Huntsman touts his conservative record in Utah, but remember Utah is very Republican and outside of Salt Lake County, very conservative. He HAD to be conservative. That doesn’t prove anything. If he had run in Massachusetts, he’d have run without provoking the pro-abortion voters or he wouldn’t have been governor. That’s why Mitt is getting criticized. And then, if he had, and then run in a national Republican primary, he’d have been branded a flip flopper. I suppose the conservative alternative for him would have been to not run, rather than run and win and try to move the commonwealth toward sounder management.

flataffect on January 9, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Greed is good.

Sherman1864 on January 10, 2012 at 3:12 AM

Paw-WHO?

The guy who had ALL his campaign debt for by Mittster and then endorsed him? LOL! Yeah, I’ll listen to Mr. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ///

Aslans Girl on January 10, 2012 at 4:37 AM

Is that really the whole story on Forstmann, Little;

Forstmann’s criticism of Kravis (and much of the rest of the financial industry during the 1980s) centered on the issuance of high yield “junk” bonds to finance mergers and acquisitions. (Forstmann referred to junk bonds as “wampum”) When the junk bond market later fell into disfavor as a result of scandal, Forstmann’s criticism was seen as prescient, as his more conventional investment strategy had been able to maintain nearly the same level of profitability as companies such as KKR and Revlon that built their strategy around high-yield debt.[citation needed]
[edit] Credit crisis

Forstmann accurately predicted the worsening of the credit crisis in July 2008, when most pundits believed the crisis had reached its peak. Forstmann argued that the excess of money pumped into the economy after the September 11 attacks in 2001 distorted the decision-making abilities of nearly everyone in finance. With an oversupply of money, bankers and other financiers took on more risk with less return. While this allowed many to make money for a time, eventually this risk accumulated, and the consequences led to the credit crisis.[6]

narciso on January 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

That is a DAMN good question??

mmcnamer1 on January 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

narciso on January 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

hmmm

nathor on January 10, 2012 at 8:41 AM

what estab Republicans like Pawlenty fail to understand – 5.5 million US manufacturing jobs gone. Zip. Nada. No more. And Republicans like him sat around and allowed that to happen over the past 2 decades with their rabid free trade fanaticism. Ronald Reagan protected our economy, ie Harley Davidson, the semi-conductor industry, the steele industry. He protected our economy and middle class workers from dumping on our economy. Contemporary Republicans don’t have the sense to understand that our economy needs to have certain protections. I’m hoping Newt will try to return to that economic realism. DD

Darvin Dowdy on January 10, 2012 at 8:42 AM

“Democratic arguments” and using “class warfare,”

Good thing Romney would never stoop so low.

Ol’ Mitt would never put in his tax plan something leftist like “$200K/yr = the rich”. Nope, he’d never do that.

/

mankai on January 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Answer: Because not all “capitalism” is honorable.
That’s like saying don’t attack Christians if your are a Christian…it doesn’t matter if the actions are not worthy.
We have all seen the report of his 70% supposed success…would you be happy if just 70% of students graduated from high school…would he have graduated and entered Harvard with just a 70% average?
And since when is selling off assets, to create short term profits, having the companies lease back those assets for long time overhead burden, such a great “capitalist” move?
Just making short term profits, or commissions, are not the sole (soul)reason for capitalism…

right2bright on January 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

narciso on January 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

Often we cite Wiki when we copy and paste…you should try it…

right2bright on January 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Darvin Dowdy on January 10, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Exactly…these “insiders” the guys who have been around for awhile, should hand their head in shame…

right2bright on January 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Gingrich isn’t the only one with extensive ties to the LBO/PE industry: Huntsman Chemical was the product of a long string of leveraged buyouts of companies and plants back in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, as well as many instances since of heavy borrowing to pay management fees to the Huntsman family. As recently as 2008, Huntsman Chemical collected a $1 Billion settlement over the failure of its latest attempt to LBO itself, when the financial crisis ended bank credit availability for a time.

So for Jon Huntsman, who can afford to run for President only because Daddy made enough money in the Private Equity/LBO business to support his son’s ambition, to complain about Bain is especially ironic.

At the end of the day though it is telling that Romney’s campaign didn’t have well prepared responses to this attack. Very surprising…even weird, that they weren’t well prepared with snappy answers. It was obviously coming.

MTF on January 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Agreed. Bain Capital is one of the only good things about Romney, in my view.

limitedgovt on January 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

He’s done many more good things than that.

rubberneck on January 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Okay, I’m going to say one last thing on this subject and then drop it forever.

Thank goodness not EVERYONE has gone insane. This officially makes Santorum my number two pick, as at least he’s not violating basic party orthodoxy to try to score a cheap political point.

Now, to be fair, if Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsmen were framing Romneys time at Bain as an electability problem, it’d be a fair attack. They clearly aren’t however, the attacks are framed exactly like the typical marxist class warfare bullcrap we usually see out of the left. Seeing as we desperately need to convince people to move towards free market capitalism, this is inexcusable for any self described conservative.

Now, also to be fair, yes Romney did hit Perry on his comments about social security being a ponzi scheme, and I thought it was unwise of him to do so. However, even within the Republican party there tends to be a lot of support for social security. There is indeed a growing consensus that we need to reform it, but the inclination is still to defend it. So I can forgive Romney for the criticism, even if I don’t agree with it. Simply put, he did not violate party orthodoxy in that case.

And once again I feel inclined to point out, in a perfect world Romney wouldn’t be my first choice. In a perfect world we’d be up to President Reagan 4.0 by now however. We don’t live in a perfect world, so we have to make concessions to reality. Romney is more conservative than McCain, he’s likely the winner, and he is in my estimation the most electable of the whole lot. That makes him acceptable to me, even likable.

Though make no mistake that I’ll be watching him like a hawk, which is only proper for any elected official.

Okay, good, I’m done. Go ahead and respond, but I probably won’t respond back. I care too much about capitalism to keep a cool head on this particular subject. XD

WolvenOne on January 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

A “fair attack”? It’s politics: whatever works.

As I said earlier what’s most perplexing about the Bain attack line is that Romney, whose had 17 years to come up with snappy responses, hasn’t. He just hasn’t figured out a good response, and that is weird.

Romney is a surprisingly mediocre politician, but I think he’ll still win versus Obama (simply because he isn’t Obama).

MTF on January 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Oh please. Romney attacking Newt through superpac based ads, no biggie, everybody does it, Newt please grow up. IF Newt attacks Mittens, oh no, he is attacking capitalism, this is immoral, unethical, blah blah blah. I am sick and tired of double standards in favor Romney. Just coronate him and do with it already.

promachus on January 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Newt has a long list of things to attack Romney on. He chose capitalism. He chose wrong. He’s done.

hanzblinx on January 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Sorry man – but there is capitalism – and then there is … Capitalism.

Was Romney’s stint at Bain capitalism? Well sure, strictly speaking, I suppose it was. Then again, I suppose you could say that Jesse Ventura is a Navy SEAL because he was actually UDT and the Navy merged UDT with the SEALS eight years after he left the service. Technically – I suppose that makes him a SEAL by today’s recognition of the term – but I don’t really consider him a SEAL in the classic sense.

And – I really don’t consider ROMNEY a “Capitalist” in the classic sense.

To me – a REAL NAVY SEAL is a bad ass motherfaxxor who eats combat for breakfast. And to me, a CAPITALIST is someone like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Sam Walton. A CAPITALIST is someone who creates value from value-lessness. A CAPITALIST is someone who builds things, someone who has a “vision” … someone who doesn’t have a calculator on his desk …

What Romney did was more “scavenger capitalism”. He kind of took things, broken things – and bundled them up and increased their value by selling off the dead parts (and apparently, he sold off a LOT of those).

Mitt Romney was not a visionary like Sam Walton was, sorry Mittbots – he just wasn’t. Romney was a little rich kid with a calculator on his desk, a degree from a hoity-toity university paid for by his rich Dad – and a Roll-A-Dex full of names furnished by his Daddy also. It’s not too hard to do what Mittens RomenyCare did at Bain. Also – if he’s such a great capitalist – then why hasn’t he been out there doing capitalist things to help this economy since he left the Governor’s mansion. He likes to go around saying “I’m unemployed to” … well yeah, partner – but you’re unemployed by CHOICE.

If you’re such a great capitalist and businessman – then why haven’t you been engaged in that effort for the last six years? Why have you been sitting around, supporting that great hallmark of capitalism – TARP? Why have you been running for President for the last 6 years while accusing others of being “career politicians”?

Your country needs you Mitt. Well – it also needed you in Vietnam in the ’60′s – but we know you opted to “rough it” in France instead. It’s not surprising that you’ve done nothing to help this economy since you left the governor’s office.

But here’s a secret Mittie – you don’t have all of us fooled. ;)

HondaV65 on January 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Newt has a long list of things to attack Romney on. He chose capitalism. He chose wrong. He’s done.

hanzblinx on January 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Looks to me like he’s still in the race.

HondaV65 on January 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I don’t understand this …

If an attack on Kruschev isn’t an attack on capitalism …

Then how can an attack on Mitt be considered an attack on capitalism?

He’s no great capitalist.

What was capitalist about RomneyCare?

I mean seriously folks – there are hundreds of thousands of people around this nation, common folk, who will stand up and say what a helluva guy Sam Walton was and how great he was for creating Walmart. Sam Walton was a great capitalist.

Romney? Not so much.

Romney was a money-bundler. You’re not going to find anyone in “Main Street USA” singing his praises – because he never produced a damn thing that helped their lives out.

HondaV65 on January 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

HondaV65 on January 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Glad to see you back.

Aslans Girl on January 11, 2012 at 1:41 AM

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