While at Bain Capital, Romney Got Rich Putting People Out of Work

As usual, Mitt Romney is talking straight out of his rump here. Junior Bush just did this for eight years and collapsed the economy and dunderhead Romney wants to try it again. Einstein (and I don’t mean ‘Norman’) said trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity; by that definition, Romney’s a raving, drooling, wet-his-pants lunatic. As it is, I don’t think most American voters are going to fall for this Republican malarkey again, and I hope I’m right.

Special report: Romney’s steel skeleton in the Bain closet

By Andy Sullivan and Greg Roumeliotis
January 6, 2012

(Reuters) – It was funny at first.

The young men in business suits, gingerly picking their way among the millwrights, machinists and pipefitters at Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems steel mill. Gaping up at the cranes that swung 10-foot cast iron buckets through the air. Jumping at the thunder from the melt shop’s electric-arc furnace as it turned scrap metal into lava.

“They looked like a bunch of high school kids to me. A bunch of Wall Street preppies,” says Jim Linson, an electronics repairman who worked at the plant for 40 years. “They came in, they were in awe.”

Apparently they liked what they saw. Soon after, in October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888.

It was a gamble. The old mill, renamed GS Technologies, needed expensive updating, and demand for its products was susceptible to cycles in the mining industry and commodities markets.

Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month.

What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees. […]

Overall, Bain made at least $12 million on the steel company it created by merging the Kansas City mill with another in South Carolina before the new entity declared bankruptcy in 2001. Bain also collected an additional $900,000 a year through 1999 for management consulting services, public filings show.

Read the rest here.

Copyright 2012 Reuters.

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