Mitt Romney, so-called free-market advocate, lapped up millions in corporate welfare

The Los Angeles Times is out with a STORY that puts the lie to Mitt Romney’s vaunted disdain for government involvement in the marketplace:

As Mitt Romney defends his record running a private equity firm, he frequently points to a fast-growing Indiana steel company, financed in part by Bain Capital, that now employs 6,000 workers.

What Romney doesn’t mention is that Steel Dynamics also received generous tax breaks and other subsidies provided by the state of Indiana and the residents of DeKalb County, where the company’s first mill was built.

The story of Bain and Steel Dynamics illustrates how Romney, during his business career, made avid use of public-private partnerships, something that many conservatives consider to be “corporate welfare.” It is a commitment that carried over into his term as governor of Massachusetts, when he offered similar incentives to lure businesses to his state.

Yet as he seeks the GOP presidential nomination, he emphasizes government’s adverse effects on economic growth.


Another steel company in which Bain invested, GS Industries, went bankrupt in 2001, causing more than 700 workers to lose their jobs, health insurance and a part of their pensions. Before going under, the company paid large dividends to Bain partners and expanded its Kansas City plant with the help of tax subsidies. It also sought a $50-million federal loan guarantee.

“This is corporate welfare,” said Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst with the Washington-based Cato Institute, which encourages free-market economic policies. DeHaven, who is familiar with corporate tax subsidies in Indiana and other states, called the incentives Steel Dynamics received “an example of the government stepping into the marketplace, picking winners and losers, providing profits to business owners and leaving taxpayers stuck with the bill.”

It behooves us to remember that this is the same Mitt Romney who wrote an op-ed column in The New York Times in November, 2008, arguing against a federal bailout of the auto industry. The piece was titled: “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”



  1. This is the best dirt you can dig up? Not even worth the electrons you used to post this blog entry.

    I would point out that Steel Dynamics is now the nation’s 5th-largest producer of carbon steel products, with revenues of over $6 billion and over 6000 people on the payroll (source: Wikipedia)

    You’re saying Romney was wrong to salvage Steel Dynamics and save all those jobs because it involved certain government actions that he generally opposes?

    The guy can’t win… you condemn him if he fires people and you condemn him if he saves them. But that simply exposes the logical hollowness of your position.

  2. Well, Dan F, I am glad to see you support government actions and success in saving businesses as opposed to Romney who now says we should just let them go bankrupt.

  3. Carol Foster

    Smart people use everything available to them in creating profit. Don’t blame this candidate because he was smart in the matter.
    What we need to look at is how much corporate tax did these companies he took from rags to riches actually pay? We hear so much about our corporate rate being 35% so companies move to China etc to avoid it. Debunking the myth by using Romney’s examples of success and what they really paid, while using government assistance, will tell the tale in getting some reality into the story of how profits are accomplished in America today.
    The President is willing to lower corporate rates in exchange for ridding the tax system of some unneeded corporate welfare style tax deductions, while Conservative call taking that action a tax raise. So what’s the real truth concerning the steel company’s tax it paid?
    Was a partnership between government & private business successful enough for that 35% tax rate?
    Or is the 35% a myth?

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