MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Jon Stewart lacerated the myth of Romney's alleged expertise as a venture capitalist the other night. (See video here.) Quite simply, under Mitt's leadership, Bain Capital had a worse investment record than the federal government's backing of alternative energy companies (e.g., Solyndra).
In fact, Romney's record at Bain showed him picking firms that went into bankruptcy at three times the rate of the fed record.
Stewart started by quoting part of Romney's "closing argument" to the American voters:
The government of the United States is not a very good venture capitalist …. [Obama] doesn't just like picking winners and losers, he likes picking losers. Half of the ones [alternative energy companies that the government has invested in under Obama] have gone bankrupt.
But, as Stewart pointed out, a CNN Money article from October 22 analyzed Romney's claim and found:
So just how many federally-funded energy companies have failed?
A total of five have gone bankrupt, according to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. All of the failed companies that the Committee identified came from just two programs that received significant dollar amounts from the Department of Energy. Those two programs funded 63 firms. The other 58 are still in business. That's a failure rate of about 8%.
Whoa! So Romney's accusation of a 50 percent bankruptcy rate as a result of Department of Energy financial support (in loans and subsidies) to alternative energy firms is at best actually 8 percent.
Furthermore, The Daily Show, which has a far better rate at connecting dots than most major media, went on to quote from an article in the Wall Street Journal that analyzed Bain Capital investments while Romney headed the firm. The Journal found that 22% of the companies went bankrupt within eight years.
So that's 8% failure for government investments in alternative energy firms vs. a 22% bankruptcy record under Mitt Romney's leadership at Bain.
"The government can't even beat Mitt Romney at picking failure," Stewart quipped.
When Romney's bankruptcy record, as he ironically promotes himself as a "job creator," is just about three times the rate of Obama's as president, it's clear the "job creator" is really (particularly when combined with his slash and burn labor strategies) a job destroyer. He's also a liar, and his dissembling is meant to hide one of the greatest myths of the campaign: that private investment is more effective at stimulating the economy, when Romney's own record as the CEO of Bain Capital shows that it isn't.