Posted on September 28, 2011I was talking to a Democratic friend of mine this morning, and he told me to expect the President’s people to go after Mitt Romney on the jobs issue. “There is a lot more that hasn’t come to the surface,” he told me confidently.
I’m sure there is. There is always more on just about everybody. I wish we knew more about Obama before the American people elected him three years ago.
The issue that my friend talked to me about had to do with Romney’s time at Bain Capital.
Bain Capital is a private equity firm that buys undervalued companies and turns them around so they can become profitable. They have had a lot of success. You can wake up with a Bain Capital company (Sealy), check out the weather (they own the Weather Channel), get a cup of coffee and a donut (Dunkin Donuts), go to the store and buy some running shoes to work off the donut (Sports Authority), buy some office supplies (Staples), grab a burger (Burger King), buy a present (Brookstone), catch a movie (AMC Entertainment), and then get home in time for dinner (Domino’s Pizza).
The criticism will come from the Democrats that Bain Capital fired a bunch of people in the process of turning some of these companies around, and of course, that is true. But the fact of the matter is you have to fire some people to make a struggling company profitable. And the fact of the matter is that these companies now employ hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, many of who are entry level or at the lower end of the working spectrum.
The question today is not what Romney did when he was at Bain Capitol. He had some winners and some losers, but he knows more than a few things about creating successful companies in the private. The question is what did he learn about bringing efficiencies to the private sector that he can bring to the public sector?
And this is the question that Democrats don’t want to be asked, because they have a vested interest in keeping government inefficient. They are largely funded by public employee unions, and they have absolutely no interest in electing anyone who wants to fire incompetent workers.
And that is Romney’s top challenge, to make the case that he can make government more efficient and more effective by firing thousands of people who are wasting the taxpayer’s money on a daily basis.
He has to make the case that this just isn’t about jobs. It is also about trust. And right now, people don’t trust the government to do the right thing, to make the right choices, to spend the people’s money wisely and to be a promoter of liberty and not a threat to it.
To say that the bureaucracy is over-bloated is to state the obvious. To say that government is over-grown is to give a nod to reality. But to make the case that trimming back the government will lead to private sector growth and more jobs for everyone is a bit of a challenge, no matter how true it might be.
But that is the case that Mr. Romney must make if he is to win the battle against the Democrats as they claim that he is a job-killer. He has to make the case that smaller and smarter government means a bigger and more prosperous private sector.
If he can’t make that case, he will struggle against Mr. Obama just as he struggled in his race against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. If he does make that case, he will be our next President.