To the Editor:

Charles Hurwitz is running for president. Oops. I mean his identical twin in the business world, Mitt Romney, is running. Can anyone who was living in Humboldt County in the ‘80s and ‘90s forget what Hurwitz did to this county? Palco bankrupt, jobs gone, Scotia sold, hillsides bare and watersheds in ruins.

Twin bro Romney made $250 million taking over companies in leveraged buyouts (LBO’s). Like Hurwitz Romney used “junk bonds” (wildly overpriced distressed corporate bonds) as collateral to borrow huge amounts of money to buy out companies that were then saddled with enormous debt from the loans. Then every asset in sight is liquidated and the company is left holding the note. Hurwitz did just that to Palco, Alcoa and many others.

One of Romney’s first and most profitable LBO deals involved the junk bond felon Michael Milken, (just like Hurwitz) to buy out a pair of department store chains that ended in bankruptcy owing $444 million. Bain made $175 million on that deal. How many thousands of jobs were lost? Every single one of the takeovers cost enormous numbers of jobs. Romney is hardly a job creator as he claims; his whole fortune was built on jobs lost, productive businesses destroyed.

The let’s make stuff and sell it economy has been replaced with the let’s take stuff and trash it economy.


Advertisement

The entire business of LBO’s wouldn’t be possible without a Republican party creation slid into the federal tax code that allows companies to deduct the interest in the debt they created to acquire and loot their targets. It’s a clever extension of the tax code originally meant to help the middle class by allowing deductions on a home mortgage. Without that tax deduction the takeovers wouldn’t have worked.

The Romney who rails against the national debt that he says we are passing on to our children, who calls it a kind of child-killing “mortgage,” is the same man who has spent decades exploiting a tax deduction to bilk every dollar he could out of U.S. businesses before burning them to the ground.

Romney’s personal income from takeovers is not taxed as income but as capital gains or “carried interest,” both of which are capped at 15%. Romney uses a number of offshore havens; his wife has a Swiss bank account. He pays less than half the tax rate of teachers, police and nurses. This is why he is refusing to release his tax returns for the last decade.

Romney is claiming that he will create 12 million jobs if elected. He vaguely says he will do that by reducing the debt (say good bye to Medicare and every other social service) and by, guess what, overhauling the tax code. Will that overhaul include getting rid of the item that supports takeovers or the ones that allow the Romneys of this country to get away with paying pitifully low taxes? I think not.

As for those 12 million jobs that sound so good to the uneducated ear: Moody’s Analytics and other like organizations predict that no matter who is elected 12 million jobs will be created by 2016.

Listening to a spoiled rich man’s son talk about jobs who has never had to worry about a job in his life sickens me, particularly when I learn how he has piled up wealth on the backs of the working class. Romney went to exclusive private schools with other rich peoples’ kids, he went to Stanford and Harvard without having to worry about paying off a student loan. Even his so-called period of Mormon ministry was a cushy joke. He got to bum around France pretending to talk the French out of drinking wine for two-and-a-half years on Daddy’s money.

Trust that chiseler to care about jobs and working people? I don’t think so. Might as well elect Hurwitz.

Sylvia De Rooy

Trinidad