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I agree that the larger story is what a scam private equity is. Let's also talk about "carried interest", the tax loophole that turns what should be ordinary income into capital gains, and is part of why Romney only paid a 14% tax rate. Or how he managed to get so much money in his IRA. Or why he has so many offshore accounts.

But what I think happened with his leaving Bain is that he didn't decide to actually leave Bain until he wanted to run for governor instead of coming back. He took a leave of absence to run the Olympics, but wanted to at least leave open the possibility of coming back. I guess he thinks that saying he was on leave makes him look more responsible for the outsourcing than saying he was retired, which is why he keeps saying he was retired despite the conflicting paperwork he filed.

minstrel hussain boy

with few exceptions the scavengers in nature's order aren't the killers. bain scavenging worked differently. they kill, then they let it rot for a while, then they gorge.

a particularly disgusting way to do it. komodo dragons do that. they make a single bite on the leg of a water buffalo. it infects and weeks later the buffalo dies an angonizing death and leaves a pre-rotted corpse for the dragon to chow down upon.


Ah, we get some more information on why Romney can't easily explain away those three years he was/wasn't at Bain: he needed to at least sort of be at Bain in order to run for governor in Massachusetts. (


It doesn't explain away this, however:


No, it doesn't, actor212. The thing is, Romney's not unique there. That's how private equity works! That's how it worked back in the 80's when it was known as leveraged buyout, before Michael Milken made that sound bad. It still works that way. Use other people's money to borrow more money to buy companies, cut the costs of the companies to borrow even more money to pay back your investors and pay yourself management fees (and, oh, by the way, use a ridiculous tax loophole to make those fees look like capital gains), then if everything holds together long enough and the stock market is favorable, take the company public, take your bump from the IPO, and move on to the next target. If it doesn't hold together, the company goes into bankruptcy, and you move on, because you've already gotten your money and the debts belong to the company, not you. That pension you gutted? The taxpayers are on the hook for that.

It's a great deal for the investors. Not so much for the workers.


To be fair, eagles can also function as scavengers.

Lance Mannion

Joe, true. Also to be fair, I have a fondness for crows.


Of course he's a scavenger. But that's not the question to be asking. It's whether or not he's a bigger scavenger than Obama. And I don't think he is. Obama is a lawyer, and they are the ultimate scavengers, raking off infinite amounts of money from our society and not contributing anything whatsoever. And remember that it's the lawyers that enable the Romneys. Without the wholehearted cooperation and assistance of the legal community the elite would never be able to engage in systemic and systematic violation of the laws, which is what they're doing.

Lance Mannion

Mike, actually, I think of lawyers as parasites, like pilot fish or those little birds that ride on the backs of black rhinos.

There are all kinds of lawyers, though. There are the corporate and tax attorneys rich guys like Romney consult to avoid paying taxes. And then there's the Eric Schneiderman, the New York State Attorney General, who's going after the shady wheeler dealers on Wall Street and David Boies and Ted Olson who worked so hard to get Proposition 8 overturned. Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, Clarence Darrow was a lawyer, my great uncle was a lawyer who mostly wrote wills and handled real estate closings for not very rich people. President Obama is a lawyer but practiced very little law.

And there are all kinds of business people, some of whom actually build things, including roads and bridges (under contracts from state, local, and federal governments). There's no "of course" about being a scavenger. It depends on what sort of business you go into and how you go about it. Mitt chose not to build anything but his own personal wealth and he did it by scavenging.

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