Mitt Romney, when you stand on that $2.5 million stage in Tampa to accept the nomination, the one being built to make you look likeable, remember, you didn't build that. Your fine-tailored suits that signal your business success -- the threads that you bought with some of the money you deigned to keep in America -- remember, you didn't sew that. In fact, that business success at Bain Capital wasn't your success. You know the government that you claim should get out of the way so entrepreneurs can flourish? You used it to become a multi-millionaire.
When Bain started Environmental Data Resources of Milford, Connecticut, in 1994, it did so with the help of a $500,000 state fund. And that was on top of another $500,000 Connecticut had already invested in the firm from the state's Innovations agency. Victor Budnick, who ran the agency, said you got a better deal from the state than you could have received from private investors. In fact, one of the selling points your company made to government agencies was that Bain companies that received government largess got an average return of 88% through the end of 1999. Government is good, no?
When another Bain company, Leiner Health, relocated to York County, South Carolina, the government induced the move with worker training, upgrades to public roads, water and sewer facilities, and tax breaks, and a 43% cut by the county in property tax assessment. Bain bought GS Steel in 1993 for $75 million, but with only $8 million of its own money. But Mitt Romney, you didn't buy that company. It was made possible, in part, because of a $3 million tax break courtesy of Kansas City. When the company went under, so did the $3 million subsidy that could not be used for the citizens of that community.
These practices don't quite match up with the campaign speech where you decry the "endless subsidies and credits intended to shape behavior in our economic society," and denounce government "intrusion in the workings of the free marketplace itself." But that's okay, Mr. Romney, because that speech -- you didn't write that. Lindsay Hayes, your director of speech writing, puts words in your mouth, even if they sound better coming out if it than Hays's words did when she wrote for Sarah Palin.
You know that man standing next to you on the stump, the one they say could be your sixth son? Yes, Paul Ryan, the vice presidential nominee. You didn't choose him. He was forced upon you by a right-wing base that you couldn't satisfy on your own. Oh, and he didn't make it on his own, either. That college education that prepared him for success was paid for by Social Security survivor benefits, part of a program he wants to dismantle. And his family wealth was obtained because of the company hisgreat grandfather started, Ryan Incorporated Central, that received government contracts for roads, railroads, and part of what is nowChicago's O'Hare Airport. The company obtained at least 22 defense contracts, one of which, in 1996, was worth $5.6 million. That family fortune that insured he never has to ever worry about the location of his next meal -- he didn't build that.
But the culmination of all that you've done is nigh upon us. Soon, you will be accepting the Republican Party nomination for president at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, an arena built with 62% government funds, a taxpayer gift of $86 million. When that moment comes, chances are you won't be thinking about the "little people." After all, you recently remarked, "I don't give the bus driver credit for getting honor roll, I give the kid credit." Now, that's just dismissive of bus drivers, if not downright cruel. Maybe the kid had to take a school bus one day when his family's car elevator wasn't working. But please do think of one thing when you're basking in the glow of that $2.5 million stage. Remember Governor, you didn't win the Republican nomination for president. Almost a dozen other Republicans, each taking his or her turn as the next "not Romney," lost it.
Alan Colmes is a liberal political commentator, author, and host of "The Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News Radio and web publisher of Liberaland. His book Thank the Liberals ... For Saving America was published on August 27th. For more, visit www.alan.com, and follow Alan on Facebook and Twitter.