Who Built That? Fox Hypes Romney Op-Ed That Touts Businesses Receiving Government Money
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade called an op-ed written by Mitt Romney touting lessons learned from his experience investing in companies at Bain Capital "brilliantly written." But unmentioned by Fox is the fact that many of the companies Romney touted have benefitted from government largesse.
If Fox mentioned the fact that Bain companies received government money, it would contradict Fox's long-running attempt to stoke outrage over President Obama's remarks tying the success of businesses to "this unbelievable American system" that includes government spending on infrastructure and education.
In his op-ed, Romney stated that during his days at Bain Capital, he learned that "A good idea is not enough for a business to succeed. It requires a talented team, a good business plan and capital to execute it." Romney then proceeded to list several companies that he invested in at Bain. But many of those companies have relied on government funds or special tax breaks as part of their business model:
Steel Dynamics. The Los Angeles Times reported that when Bain made its investments in Indiana-based Steel Dynamics, state and county officials "pledged $37 million in subsidies and grants for the $385-million plant project." The Times also reported: "The county also levied a new income tax to finance infrastructure improvements to benefit the steel mill over the heated objections of some county residents." Furthermore, Steel Dynamics had also successfully petitioned the federal government to levy tariffs on a foreign competitor in 2000.
Staples. Staples directly relies on government money for part of its revenue. Indeed, it has programs to woo state, local, and federal agencies to buy products from Staples. It even has a separate website dedicated to providing customer service to its federal government clients.