Mark Hugh MillerLos Angeles, California
NYT Pick
Romney speaks in codes that make his fellow financiers’ hearts go pitty-pat. During the last debate, when Obama chided him for his infamous call (in the Times, in November 2008) to let foundering Detroit automakers go belly up, Romney tried to weasel-word his way out of that one by saying that what he really meant was for them to go through a “managed bankruptcy” so they could “start fresh.”

What “a fresh start” means to Romney and his funny-money pals, like the executives who flew United Airlines into a Chicago bankruptcy court, is a company emerging from bankruptcy without pension obligations, those pesky promises to employees that no self-respecting member of the Golden Parachute Club wants to keep. United “emerged” from bankruptcy by walking away from its pension obligations and letting the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation pay the bill.

Yes, government is bad, except when it enables senior corporate executives to fail upwards, or bails out your Olympic Games, as the feds did for Romney and Utah in 2002. United’s top managers walked away from the wreckage with “performance” bonuses in the millions, while pilots and other pension beneficiaries took it in the shorts. That was Romney’s proposal for a “managed” bankruptcy: privately financed with the government guaranteeing the loans, thus guaranteeing private lenders a colossal profit at no risk.

Under Obama’s stewardship, Detroit was saved and taxpayers profited. How fair. How un-Romney.
Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:55 p.m.RECOMMEND937