Mitt Romney, Non-Job-Creator

Back in August, the famous Reagan Budget Director David Stockman tore Paul Ryan a new one in an op-ed accusing his presumed doppelganger of great feats of mendacity and cowardice.

Now Stockman’s back with an enraged J’accuse! aimed at the very heart of Mitt Romney’s biography: the idea that he was a champion creator of “jobs” or “wealth” at Bain Capital. Stockman makes earlier critics of Bain look like Starbucks-addicted yuppie pikers. Here’s a sample:

Bain Capital is a product of the Great Deformation. It has garnered fabulous winnings through leveraged speculation in financial markets that have been perverted and deformed by decades of money printing and Wall Street coddling by the Fed. So Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capitalist creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise.

If you find Stockman’s rhetoric discredited by his hard-money biases, check out this:

Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way—out of inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market fostering a new product, service, or process of production. Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale—the faster the better.

Whether you find Stockman’s producerism persuasive or not, there’s no question he’s making an effective challenge to the idea that ol’ Mitt knows what ails Main Street and Wall Street, and how to fix them. Romney’s loyalties have always been with the latter, and he knows as much about the former as his campaign’s talking points explain to him when he alights in the heartland locales where people like Mitt Romney once appeared like an economic angel of death.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.