As Mitt Romney and his “Big Oil” allies continue to launch false and straw men attacks that have been repeatedly debunked by independent fact checkers, Obama for America today released a new ad titled “Swiss Bank Account” that highlights Mitt Romney’s belief that a strong economy is built on outsourcing, loopholes and risky financial deals. As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs to places like Mexico and China. As governor, Romney outsourced state jobs to India, and now as a candidate for president he is pushing tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
Romney’s economic scheme stands in stark contrast with President Obama’s efforts to continue moving the country forward by rebuilding an economy that’s meant to last, by out-building, out-innovating and out-educating the rest of the world, and making the things the rest of the world buys by closing loopholes and providing incentives that are bringing jobs back to America.
“Swiss Bank Account” will air in Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.
Last week, Americans for Prosperity, a Romney Super PAC, released an ad attacking the President on false claims of using government funds to support overseas companies. This latest ad is part of the group’s larger dishonest attacks that have been consistently debunked by independent fact checkers.
Please click here to watch the video
I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message.”
“’Over the top’
‘Out of context’.
Big oil’s new attack ad.
Clip of the AFP ad;
On Screen: “More False Attacks From Big Oil”
Americans For Prosperity, “A Conservative Group With Ties To Oil Billionaires Charles And David Koch,” Has Already Spent $7 Million Attacking The President. “In addition to spending by Crossroads, top expenditures on anti-Obama issue ads include $7 million from Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group with ties to oil billionaires Charles and David Koch; $3 million from the American Future Fund, a nonprofit conservative group based in Iowa; and at least $3.3 million from the American Energy Alliance, a group supported in part by the energy industry.” [Washington Post, 4/25/12]
Washington Post Fact Checker: “Over-The-Top Attacks On Obama’s Green-Energy Programs.”[Washington Post, “The Fact Checker,”4/30/12]
Ø The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Gave The Americans For Prosperity Ad “Four Pinocchios.”From the Washington Post Fact Checker’s post on the Americans for Prosperity ad and an advertisement by the American Future Fund: “These groups should be especially ashamed, given that these claims have been previously debunked, or, in the case of the erroneous ABC report, withdrawn. Four Pinocchios” [Washington Post, “The Fact Checker,” 4/30/12]
“President Obama’s clean energy initiatives have helped create jobs for projects across America, not overseas.”
Map of the U.S.; pin points light up in places where clean energy jobs have been created. (Source: DOE)
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S INVESTMENTS IN CLEAN ENERGY ARE SUPPORTING THOUSANDS OF JOBS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
The Department Of Energy Is Supporting Nearly 40 Clean Energy Projects Across The United States That Plan To Employ More Than 60,000 Americans And Save More Than 300 Million Gallons Of Gasoline Every Year. From the Department of Energy’s Loan Program office: “The Loan Programs Office is one of the largest and most active project finance operations in the world and, since 2009, has supported a robust, diverse portfolio of nearly 40 projects.
Projects include the world’s largest wind farm, several of the world’s largest solar generation facilities, one of the country’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants, and the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in the last three decades. Collectively, these projects plan to employ more than 60,000 Americans, create additional tens of thousands of indirect jobs, provide enough clean electricity to power three million homes, and save more than 300 million gallons of gasoline a year.” [Department of Energy, Loan Programs Office, accessed4/27/12]
The President’s Council Of Economic Advisors Estimated That Recovery Act Investments In The Clean Energy Sector Created Or Saved 224,500 Jobs As Of The End Of 2010. “Clean energy investments were responsible for nearly a quarter of the 1 million public investment jobs – or 224,500 clean energy jobs.” [Council Of Economic Advisors, White House Press Release, 11/18/10]
According To The Bureau Of Labor Statistics, In 2010 There Were 3.1 Million People Employed In The Production Of Green Goods And Services, Accounting For 2.4 Percent Of Total Employment. “In 2010, 3.1 million jobs in the United States were associated with the production of green goods and services, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Green Goods and Services (GGS) jobs are found in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. GGS jobs accounted for 2.4 percent of total employment in 2010.” [Bureau of Labor Statistics,3/22/12]
AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY MISLEADS ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S RECORD; REFERENCING PROJECTS THAT ARE BASED IN THE UNITED STATES
President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit Supported 183 Projects In 43 States “Focused On Putting Americans Back To Work By Building A Robust Domestic Manufacturing Capacity.” “Today at the White House, President Obama announced the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. One hundred eighty three projects in 43 states will create tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind and efficiency and energy management technologies. ..As part of the Recovery Act, these tax credits are focused on putting Americans back to work by building a robust domestic manufacturing capacity to supply clean and renewable energy projects with American made parts and equipment.”
The Department Of Energy Stated That The Claim That Stimulus Funds Went To Build Traffic Lights In China Is False, And That The Grants Abided By Buy American Requirement In The Recovery Act. “The agency also says that the ad’s claim that stimulus money was spent to build traffic lights in China is false. The department said that it provided money to install new traffic lights in communities across the United States, creating jobs in this country. ‘These grants abided by the Buy American requirements in the Recovery Act,’ an energy department spokesman said, ‘including that products were manufactured or assembled in the United States.’ ” [New York Times, “The Caucus,” 4/26/12]
The Obama Administration Supported The Construction Of A Solar Power Plant In California That Is Expected To Produce Enough Electricity To Power More Than 64,000 American Homes. From A Department of Energy press release: “U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department has finalized a $1.237 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch Project, sponsored by SunPower Corporation. The project, which is being built in San Luis Obispo County, CA, includes the construction of a 250 megawatt alternating current photovoltaic (PV) solar generating facility and associated infrastructure. The California Valley Solar Ranch Project is expected to fund 350 jobs during construction. The project is also expected to avoid over 425,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce enough to power for over 64,000 homes.” [Department of Energy, 9/30/11]
The Obama Administration Supported The Development And Production Of Electric Vehicles At Fisker Facilities In The United States.From a post onenergy.gov written by DOE official Dan Leistikow: “With the help of a $529 million loan, Fisker is producing high performance vehicles with an advanced hybrid electric powertrain that could significantly improve performance and fuel economy. Fisker’s loan has two parts. In the first part, Fisker used $169 million to support the engineers who developed the tools, equipment and manufacturing processes for Fisker’s first vehicle, the Fisker Karma. That work was done Fisker’s U.S. facilities, including its headquarters in Irvine, California which has 700 employees and plans to continue hiring.” [Department of Energy,10/20/11]
Ø The Department Of Energy Stated That The Funding It Provided To Fisker Went To Work Carried Out In The United States.“Loans under the agency’s alternative vehicle program went to Fisker Automotive, an American electric car company based in California that has facilities in Finland, as well as China and Germany. The agency provided $169 million for engineering and tooling work, all carried out in the United States, an energy department official said. The vehicles themselves are being assembled in Fisker’s existing plant in Finland, but the federal money was used only for the U.S. operations, according to the energy department.” [New York Times, “The Caucus,” 4/26/12]
“What about Mitt Romney?”
What about Mitt Romney?
“As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs to places like Mexico and China”
Romney, Map of world. On screen: “Shipping jobs overseas.” “Mexico” “China”[Securities & Exchange Commission,3/26/93; 3/29/02; Los Angeles Times, 6/2/00
Under Romney, Bain “Also Maximized Returns By Firing Workers, Seeking Government Subsidies, And Flipping Companies Quickly For Large Profits.” “But a closer examination of the prospectus paints a different picture of Bain’s operation. Under Romney’s leadership, Bain became one of the nation’s top leveraged-buyout firms, helping lead a trend in which companies were acquired using debt often pledged against their own assets or earnings. Bain expanded many of the companies it acquired. But like other leveraged-buyout firms, Romney and his team also maximized returns by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits. Sometimes Bain investors gained even when companies slid into bankruptcy.” [Los Angeles Times,12/3/11]
“Under Bain’s Direction,” Dade Behring’s Debt Soared, Costs Were Squeezed “Through Plant Consolidations, Layoffs, And Reduced Employee Benefits.”“In 1997, Bain acquired two other companies and formed Dade Behring, based in Deerfield, Ill. The company flourished, raking in millions in sales. Yet debt was soaring. Under Bain’s direction the company squeezed costs through plant consolidations, layoffs and reduced employee benefits.” [Miami Herald,1/18/12]
Under Bain, Holson Burnes Laid Off 150 Workers At The South Carolina Plant Just Four Years After It Opened And Earned Millions In Profits, As The Company Began Sending Jobs Overseas. “More than two decades ago, Mitt Romney’s business venture came to town with a bounty of highly anticipated manufacturing jobs. The new plant, just past the gas station off Interstate 85, needed skilled workers to churn out thousands of photo albums. Four years later, the Holson Burns Group Inc. – the company controlled by Romney’s Bain Capital LLC – closed the factory and laid off about 150 workers. Some jobs were sent north, where months later many of those were also eliminated. Other operations went overseas. But Bain walked away with millions in profits.” [Associated Press,12/19/11]
• 1992: Holson Closes A South Carolina Plant And Lays Off 150 People. “A manufacturing plant that produces photo albums will close in July, putting about 150 people out of work. The Holson Co. plans to shut its facility at the Meadowcreek Industrial Park off Interstate 85 and consolidate its operations at a sister plant in Claremont, N.H., the company announced Thursday.” [Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 3/27/92
• 1992: Holson Burnes Lays Off 85-100 Employees In New Hampshire. “The Holson Co. has sent nearly half its work force home for the next month and a half because of a collapse in sales, and will not be rehiring some clerical and managerial people, according to employees…Employees estimated that 85 to 100 employees had been laid off.” [Claremont Eagle Times, November 1992]
• Holson Burnes Outsourced “Approximately 75 Percent Of It Photo Frames” To “Far Eastern Countries,” Including China.“The Company outsources approximately 75 percent of its photo frames and fabricates and assembles the balance in its Rhode Island facility. The Company maintains foreign production arrangements with over 35 suppliers located in Far Eastern countries including China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.” [Holson Burnes, Form 10-K, 3/26/93]
2000: Modus Media Closed A Plant, Eliminating 200 Jobs In California And Opened A Plant In Mexico. “Modus Media Inc., which handles customer services and manages inventories for clients, including Microsoft Corp., said it plans to cut 200 jobs, or 4% of its work force, as it closes a plant in Fremont, Calif., to consolidate its North American operations. Modus Media, based in Westwood, Mass., said it will help its employees at the Fremont site find jobs in its other plants or outside the company. The plant is expected to be shuttered by September, and its work will be transferred to sites in North Carolina, Washington and Utah. The closely held company said it’s also opening a plant in Guadalajara, Mexico.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/2/00]
• 2000: Bain Capital Owned A 39% Stake In Modus Media. “On Monday, Modus Media, a portfolio company of Bain Capital, Inc., the Boston private equity firm, informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was withdrawing its eight-million-share initial public offering. The deal had been expected to price between $11 and $13 a share. The Westwood, Mass., company did not offer an explanation for the withdrawal, nor did it return calls for comment. Bain Capital, which has a 39% stake in the company, did not return calls, either.” [Daily Deal, 8/15/00]
2001: SMTC Announced Plans To Close A Facility In Denver, CO And Move Operations To Its “Lower Cost” Facility In Mexico. “We announced in a press release on March 30, 2001 that we will close our assembly facility in Denver, Colorado, leaving in place a sales and marketing presence to service the Rocky Mountain Region. Production at the Denver facility, one of the last remaining SMTC sites not recently refurbished, will be migrated to SMTC facilities closer to customer locations and to our recently retrofitted and expanded lower cost Chihuahua, Mexico facility.” [SMTC, Form 10-K, 3/29/02]
• SMTC Eliminated 429 Jobs In Denver From The Plant Closure. “During 2001, in connection with resizing due to the downturn in the technology market, we eliminated 429 employees at the Denver facility which was closed in June 2001, 26 plant and operational employees at the Haverhill facility which was closed in September 2001, 915 plant and operational employees at the Mexico facility, 47 plant and operational employees at the Cork, Ireland facility and 68 plant and operational employees at the Donegal, Ireland facility.” [SMTC, Form 10-K, 3/29/02]
• 2001: Bain Capital Held Approximately 12.9% Of SMTC And Had Member On The Board. “Investment funds affiliated with Bain Capital, Inc., investment funds affiliated with Celerity Partners, Inc., Kilmer Electronics Group Limited and certain members of management held approximately 12.9%, 12.1%, 7.1% and 13.2%, respectively, of our outstanding shares as of March 16, 2001. In addition, three of the nine directors who serve on our board are, or were, representatives of the Bain funds, two are representatives of the Celerity funds, two are representatives of Kilmer Electronics Group Limited and two are members of management. [SMTC, Form 10-K, 4/2/01]
“As Governor, he outsourced state jobs to a call center in India.”
Romney, Mass. State Capital, scene of India. On Screen: Outsourced state government jobs to a call center in India (Source: Boston Herald)
2004: Romney Vetoed Legislation That Would Have Barred Outsourcing of Massachusetts’ Jobs Overseas.“In a surprise move, Romney also vetoed a provision barring overseas outsourcing by vendors doing business with the state, even though in March he proposed a $29 million package of incentives designed to discourage Massachusetts companies from moving jobs out of state. Romney said that the plan included in the budget was hastily crafted and would drive away some businesses while failing to create jobs here.” [Boston Globe, 6/26/04]
Boston Herald: “Gov. Mitt Romney admitted yesterday that he sent state jobs to India and then Utah.” [Boston Herald, 2/23/06]
Sen. Kennedy Criticized The Romney Administration For A “Contractor Using Workers In India To Answer Questions About Food Stamps.” “Kennedy (D-Mass.) delivered the shot across GOP Gov. Mitt Romney’s bow when he lamented in a major economic address yesterday that an ‘uneven playing field’ has left U.S. workers struggling to hang on to their jobs. ‘Even governments are part of the offshoring bandwagon,’ Kennedy said. ‘The state of Massachusetts has hired a contractor that uses workers in Bangladesh to process Medicaid data.It’s hired another contractor using workers in India to answer questions about food stamps.’ Kennedy’s staff later acknowledged the jobs were sent to India, not Bangladesh, but argued that the principle is the same. ‘These are Massachusetts jobs providing services for the people of Massachusetts. To stay competitive and stay strong we have to stop sending Massachusetts jobs overseas or to other states. And our citizens’ hard-earned tax dollars should stay right here and benefit the people of Massachusetts,’ Kennedy said in a later written statement.” [Boston Herald, 2/23/06; emphasis added]
Massachusetts Food Stamp Recipients Dialing A Help Line Talked To Operators In India.“Numbers tabulating how many out-of-state or overseas jobs are funded by state contracts are difficult to locate, [Sen. Jack Hart] said. ‘The administration is holding them close to the vest. We’re actually calling around to try to get some real information on that. Because this guy, Gov. Romney, is on the presidential trail, he’s brought some of these jobs to Utah, at least. We’d like to see them in Massachusetts.’ Romney spokeswoman Corbie Kiernan said that Romney had not yet seen the bill and that the administration had no comment. According to a bill summary, an Educator Licensing and Recruitment information services contract ended up being worth $2 million to a Russia-based company.Food stamp recipients who dialed a help line were reaching Mumbai, India, to the tune of $160,000 per month, according to the summary.” [State House News Service, 2/27/06; emphasis added]
“He’s still pushing tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”
Romney. Closed plant On screen: Tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.(Source: NYT)
Romney Would Allow Multinationals Investing Overseas To Avoid U.S. Taxes By Creating A “Territorial” System. “The United States currently operates under what is known as a ‘worldwide’ tax system, meaning that business income is taxed at the U.S. rate regardless of whether the income is earned within American borders or overseas… It needs to be changed. Other nations have noted the competitive disadvantage inherent in a worldwide tax system, resulting in a gradual movement of countries converting from a worldwide to a ‘territorial’ system, in which income is taxed only in the country where it is earned… Romney supports the recommendation of the Bowles-Simpson Commission to make the switch to a territorial system.” [Romney’s “Believe In America” Jobs Plan, Page 45-46, released 9/6/11]
• Romney Economic Policy Adviser Glenn Hubbard: Romney “Would Propose Shifting To A Territorial System That Would Not Tax Corporate Income Earned Overseas.”[New York Times,2/22/12]
• Romney’s Support For A Territorial Tax System “Would Allow Firms Such As Cisco And Oracle To Largely Avoid Having Foreign Income Taxed By The United States.”“In his economic agenda, the Romney campaign calls the U.S.’s current ‘worldwide’ tax system a ‘deeply irrational system’ that encourages companies to park billions of dollars in profits overseas. Romney’s plan lays out a strategy for transitioning to a territorial tax system, which would allow firms such as Cisco and Oracle to largely avoid having foreign income taxed by the United States.” [Politico,4/22/12]
“It’s just what you expect from a guy who had a Swiss Bank Account.”
Romney. Headline: “Romney Failed to disclose Swiss Bank Account Income”. (Source: ABC News.)
Headline: “Romney Failed To Disclose Swiss Bank Account Income”[ABC News, 1/26/12]
2/3/12: Romney Amended His Personal Financial Disclosure As He Had Previously Failed To Report A Swiss Bank Account That Held $3 Million Until It Was Closed In 2010. “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney amended his personal financial disclosure Friday evening to reflect income from a now-closed Swiss bank account and one other investment fund he had originally failed to report on an ethics form…. The letter sent Friday to the Federal Election Commission by a law firm representing the campaign noted that the two funds left off the report together generated less than $5,000 in income. The account in the Swiss bank UBS, which held $3 million until it was closed in 2010, earned about $1,700 in interest.” [Los Angeles Times,2/3/12]
Romney’s “Swiss Bank Account Closed Just As Romney Launched His White House Run.”“Among the new details contained in the documents are Romney’s continuing profits from the private equity firm he founded but no longer runs, a Swiss bank account closed just as Romney launched his White House run and new listings of investment funds that were set up in offshore locations from the Caribbean to Ireland and Luxembourg.” [Associated Press,1/24/12]
Romney Closed A Swiss Bank Account “After An Investment Advisor Decided It Could Be Politically Embarrassing.” “Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans – along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney – were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.” [Reuters, 1/24/12