Bain Capital asset management firm invests money for the super wealthy and was founded in 1984 by Mitt Romney and three others. Bain invests private equity funds from pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, high net-worth individuals, and other sources. According to the Washington Post, Bain and Romney have “taken advantage of an obscure exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the nature and extent of his holdings.” Unlike other corporations, and other investors, the super-wealthy investors at Bain are permitted and obliged to sign a confidentiality agreement which forbids them from disclosing details of their investments. By this simple signature they can profit in undisclosed sources, and they are exempted from listing these sources on tax or other statements because such disclosure would break that contractual agreement. Bain investors easily sidestep federal ethics laws and are not required (or permitted) to reveal critical details.
It may be relevant to mention that Bain Capital investments include the lucrative Clear Channel Communications, which owns 850 radio stations, broadcasting Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and a host of right wing conservatives. Regarding Bain, the Obama campaign released a statement saying Romney “exploited a loophole in order to shield his assets and investments from public review … Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history.”
Now Romney, preparing for the final thrust of his race for the presidency has revealed his plan for tomorrow’s investments and oil independence. Romney says he will create “millions of jobs” by drilling for oil and natural gas in every available location, having first eliminated the regulations that have evolved over years to protect Americans and the environment. We haven’t forgotten the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, which resulted from Halliburton Corporation’s failure to install the required cement base around the pipe entry into the ocean floor. When companies and corporations sidestep regulations, the cost can be extreme.
Romney complains that a corporation desiring to drill on federal lands must wait nearly a year in order to obtain the needed permit. We speculate that that year is utilized by government agencies to determine the desirability or drawbacks which would be associated with such drilling.
In fact, Romney’s need for oil independence is pointless; nonallied nations only supply about 20 percent of our oil, and that figure is reduced daily. The current Republican Party has turned a blind eye to the environment and to the safety of Americans. Fracking is a valuable tool in extracting natural gas, but it tends to contaminate ground water—the drinking water of those living in areas where fracking is used. It may be significant that natural gas, and fossil oil are non-renewable resources; thousands or millions of years are required to produce these assets, from ancient forests long gone. Some romantics might be concerned that we are robbing the future, when we go to extremes to immediately exhaust supplies. At some future time, after a war, after a natural disaster, the people then might have a great need for these fuels which we will have already depleted.
Romney has only one interest in winning the presidency; he needs to control the government influence on profit-making corporations. As power moves from Washington to the states, transparency and accountability become impossible. It hurts to know that these representatives of the people are coldly, calculatedly blind to the people, except as to surreptitious ways the voters can be swayed to aid their corporate motivations.
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