As Obama was pressured from the right to drop his campaign attacks against Mitt Romney for his job-killing performance at Bain Capital (it was denounced as boring, probably because Romney does not have a good response to this criticism and is loathe to have it on the front page–he claims to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain, a number that cannot be verified), he defended his strategy this week as appropriate for anyone seeking the office of the U.S. Presidency, because that office holder must look out for the entire country, not just the wealthy. Where is the evidence that Romney knew anything about job creating? Obama stopped a bit shy of saying what should have been said–that the role of government is to redistribute wealth, not help foster the conditions for making the rich richer (something in which both political parties are complicit over the last four decades, beacuse, as Will Rogers put it “we have the best Congress money can buy”). This issue took a funny bounce when Obama supporter and fellow Democrat Mayor Cory Booker (Newark, New Jersey) was on Meet the Press last Sunday and described his dislike of Obama’s campaign strategy against Romney’s experience at Bain. Right-wing pundits jumped on his remarks and pointed to deep divisions within the Democratic Party. But their emphasis on Booker’s comment (which he later modified) raised new emphasis on Romney’s history at Bain and the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling data shows that 9 percent of those polled had a positive impression of Bain, 19 percent had a negative impression and more than half the country either didn’t have an opinion on the issue or has never heard about it. That means if more attention is focused on the issue, as Obama and Biden would be foolish not to do, Americans will learn more about Romney and Bain than they know now and it’s hard to hear Bain stories and feel anything but disgust about private equity firms, as I have pointed out before. With perfect timing for this issue, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has put together a nice, short, 8 point illustration about why private equity firms are not good for the workers of America and why their actions have raised our taxes to compensate for their destructive behavior. Check it out at MoveOn.org or, more highly recommended, visit Robert Reich’s website where he has additional information and short videos on similar subjects of vital interest for the now and future health of the nation. Robert Reich is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, a founding editor of The American Prospect and chair of Common Cause. Reich’s website is one I try to visit regularly.
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