President Obama has attacked Mitt Romney – falsely – for his supposed level of control at Bain Capital during the 1999-2002 outsourcing period. And Romney’s campaign has responded with righteous indignation, accusing the Obama campaign of lies and manipulation.
Romney’s right, and Obama’s wrong. But Romney may lose the debate anyway. That’s because the American people don’t understand the nature of outsourcing. When Obama says “outsourcing,” the American people think “bad.” But Romney has an opportunity here to explain just why outsourcing occurs – and it occurs thanks to the regulatory overreach of liberals like Barack Obama.
Outsourcing by private companies in the United States happens because the business climate in the US is terrible. It's a symptom of awful Obama-esque government. If these companies didn't outsource, they would go out of business completely, or simply locate elsewhere -- and all American workers at those companies would lose their jobs, not just some. Bain Capital saved American jobs. Period.
The alternative to outsourcing is regulating companies heavily, which would force them to locate overseas entirely. Or, we could raise tariffs to protect American business from imports – and, in the process, bankrupt our consumers by forcing them to pay higher prices. We tried that strategy with the Smoot-Hawley tariffs of 1930 – and it was so bad that we ended up with a decade-long Great Depression.
Bottom line: if Obama wants to stop outsourcing -- and force foreign countries to outsource to the United States -- all he has to do is lower taxes and get rid of burdensome regulation. We need to be a business magnet, not a business repellent.
That’s the point Romney should make. And that’s the point Americans are missing.