This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
One Percenting

In a wayward attempt to rebrand himself as a middle-class hero, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is running headlong into his history with Bain Capital. Not only does the firm have a history of making millions by buying up and gutting companies, but Romney also secured a plush retirement deal from Bain that brought him “millions of dollars in income each year.”

Of course, Romney has tried to spin his private sector role as that of a “job creator.” But a closer look at Bain’s modus operandi reveals that firm spent a lot of time laying off company employees rather than hiring them — all while turning a profit. More than 20 years ago, Bain — with Romney at the helm — opened a new plant in Gaffney, South Carolina with the promise of “highly anticipated manufacturing jobs,” only to shut down that plant four years later, laying off 150 workers while making millions:

More than two decades ago, Mitt Romney’s business venture came to town with a bounty of highly anticipated manufacturing jobs. The new plant, just past the gas station off Interstate 85, needed skilled workers to churn out thousands of photo albums.

Four years later, the Holson Burns Group Inc. – the company controlled by Romney’s Bain Capital LLC – closed the factory and laid off about 150 workers. Some jobs were sent north, where months later many of those were also eliminated. Other operations went overseas. […]

For Bain, the plan was a financial success: Holson Burnes raised $24 million from its initial public offering on the over-the-counter trading market, with Bain executives retaining the majority of the company’s shares. Bain, in the end, reaped more than double the return on its initial investment. But workers were left jobless just as the local economy began to slump.

“In the real world, some things don’t make it,” Romney offered as an explanation for the layoffs he had overseen as Bain’s CEO. However, the plant in South Carolina is not an isolated incident. Under Romney, “four of the 10 companies Bain acquired declared bankruptcy within a few years, shedding thousands of jobs.” But documents show that “Bain investors profited in eight of the 10 deals, including three of the four that ended in bankruptcy.” Indeed, the firm pointedly made higher profits “by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits.”

As Romney’s own business partner stated, “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation.” It’ll be an interesting display of acrobatics to see how Romney explains to South Carolinians that the profit his company made off the backs of 150 laid off workers proves his bona fides as a job creator.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published December 19, 2011, at Photo by Gage Skidmore via his Flickr photostream, used with Creative Commons 2.0 License.
Tanya Somanader

Tanya Somanader

Tanya Somanader is a reporter/blogger for at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Tanya grew up in Pepper Pike, Ohio and holds a B.A. in international relations and history from Brown University. Prior to joining ThinkProgress, Tanya was a staff member in the Office of Senator Sherrod Brown, working on issues ranging from foreign policy and defense to civil rights and social policy.

  1. Some humans have a God-complex.  They have to imagine themselves as creating something, probably because they are, for some reason, bereft of the practical talents with which to transform their material environment.  The neocons just took the notion to its ultimate extreme, positing “creative destruction” to justify man’s destructive urges or mishaps as the necessary prelude to making something new.
    Or, perhaps “Job-creating” actually responds to the subconscious truth that financial engineering, which is what all the gnomes on Wall Street are engaged in, results in nothing so much as a world of hurt being inflicted on a million hapless Jobs, while the culprits hide out behind dollar signs.

  2. Frank Povah

    And they’re all devout Christians who espouse family values – they never tire of telling us so

  3. look he is a poor excuse for human being………….his heartlessness shows thru without even knowing the details of his pass.
    obama wins in 2012 due to the third party named “Voter Apathy” or why vote they are all evil men wanting destruction.

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