David Axelrod on Meet the Press – The Softball Interview

David Axelrod on Meet the Press, Jan 29, 2012

Was anyone watching the David Gregory interview with David Axelrod on Meet the Press this morning?  The late Tim Russert would never have let Axelrod get away with his comment on Romney and his taxes:

“It’s not right that the–that someone like Governor Romney can make $20, $22 million and pay an effective tax rate lower than the average middle class person in this country.”

Whoa!  And what did David Gregory say to that?  Did he challenge Axelrod by saying, for example, “David, Governor Romney already paid 35% federal income tax on that money, not to mention additional state income taxes.  The tax rate you’re referring to reflects capital gains tax on investment income, which according to law is taxed at 15%.”

Ah, but no.  David let David slide.  And then we have this exchange:

MR. GREGORY: But you–a lot of people hear you and think that you are somehow, you know, casting dispersions on venture capital. How is that different than the federal government under this president investing in clean energy companies like Solyndra that failed, costing the taxpayers a great deal of money and yet the president said in the State of the Union, you know, we’re going double down. We’re not going to turn our back on clean energy. What’s the difference in those kind of moves? It’s kind of the government acting as venture capitalists?

MR. AXELROD: First of all, leveraged buyouts of the sort that Governor Romney profited off of are quite different, where you buy a company, load it down with debt, strip it down, let it go bankrupt and then make money off of fees on the bankruptcy. That’s quite different. That’s a different approach.

The difference, dear David A, is that Bain used private investor funds, not my tax dollars.  If I were an investor in Bain, and didn’t like my returns or their management style, I could withdraw my money.  I can’t withdraw my money with the Federal Government.

According to studies done by The Wall Street Journal and AP of Mr. Romney’s tenure at Bain, there’s a mixed review of his success.  We know that about 4000 people lost their jobs in at 45 companies that were bought by Bain from 1984-1994, and that the majority of  100,000 jobs created came from three companies — Staples, Domino’s and Sports Authority — many from after Romney had left the firm.  But let’s keep in our line of sight not only Solyndra (taxpayer money lost, not private investors), but that the Government bailout of GM, while touted as saving thousands of jobs, also cost thousands of jobs, as GM shed dealerships and long time brands.

I miss Tim Russert, don’t you?

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