Szollosi: Romney economics would devastate ToledoWritten by Matt Szollosi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On July 18, Mitt Romney ventured to the Toledo area, and we heard the same distortions he’s been touting for the past few months. He either paints an out-of-touch picture of economic doom and gloom, something even Gov. John Kasich disagrees with, or he tries to take credit for the auto industry rescue that he famously opposed. One thing is sure, you don’t hear much about Romney’s record.
That’s because Romney has made his fortune by outsourcing American jobs to India and China and, as governor, led his state to drop to 47th in job creation. What Romney ultimately fails to mention is that his plans for the economy would take Northwest Ohio backward, returning us to the same failed policies that led our state and our country to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Thanks to President Barack Obama’s policies, Northwest Ohio is back on track. While there is still much work to do, we are seeing signs of a re-emerging economy almost every day.
In June, the Toledo-made Jeep Wrangler posted its best-ever monthly sales. Jeep’s parent company, Chrysler, posted June numbers that topped last year’s by 20 percent. And for the first time since the start of the recession, the Lucas County unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent.
Just imagine what would have happened to Toledo had we followed Romney’s advice. Had we “let Detroit go bankrupt,” as Romney suggested, General Motors Co. and Chrysler would have been forced to liquidate. The auto industry would have been devastated, along with the one in eight Ohio jobs that depend on it.
Worse still, imagine what would happen if we followed Romney’s tax plan. Just this week, we learned that Romney’s support for eliminating U.S. taxes on American companies’ foreign incomes would create 800,000 jobs … in other countries. These jobs are likely to come at the expense of American workers in cities like Toledo.
A new report published in Tax Notes concludes that the reforms Romney supports “would significantly increase incentives for U.S. firms to move economic activity abroad.” Economist Kimberly Clausing writes that, under current economic conditions, “those new, low-tax-country jobs could displace jobs at home.”
Given Romney’s record, it should come as no surprise that he continues to support policies that send American jobs overseas.
As corporate buyout specialist at Bain Capital, Romney invested in companies that pioneered the practice of shipping American jobs overseas. This practice lined his pockets and the pockets of shareholders while leaving American workers holding the bag.
Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies like Modus Media, which cut jobs in America while expanding in Mexico and China, and SMTC, a Denver-based electronics manufacturer that laid off U.S. workers while sending nearly 430 jobs to Mexico.
Knowing that his tenure as an outsourcer at Bain Capital would hurt his political fortunes, Romney has attempted to mislead the American public by claiming he left Bain Capital in 1999, rather than 2002, in order to escape taking responsibility for sending American jobs overseas.
Sadly, his tenure as governor of Massachusetts is no better than his record at Bain Capital.
In 2004, Romney vetoed legislation that would have barred the outsourcing of Massachusetts state jobs overseas. He went on to ship state jobs to other countries, using offshore outsourcing for the state’s child support enforcement, food stamp and unemployment services.
His administration even signed a $160,000-per-month contract to operate an electronic food stamp system that included a consumer call center in India.
And while Romney claims he’ll be tough on China, he still holds investments in Chinese companies — even after aides claimed he had dumped up to $1.5 million of his personal investments there. He even attacked Obama’s Chinese tire tariffs as “bad for the nation and our workers.”
A lot of hot air came with Romney’s visit to our fair city. But we weren’t fooled — Ohioans know that Romney’s vision for the future and his past experience prove he won’t protect American jobs and will go back to the trickle-down economics that were tried and failed last decade.
State Representative Matt Szollosi, assistant minority leader of the Ohio House of Representatives, represents Toledo and Lucas County.