Upcoming JLF Headliner raises red flags about Romney’s Wall Street ties

A Raleigh audience will have a chance Dec. 15 to hear from Washington Examiner senior political columnist Timothy P. Carney, the featured speaker for the next John Locke Foundation Headliner event.

Today, Carney shares with Examiner readers his concerns about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ties to Wall Street.

Obama holds the record for the most money ever raised from Wall Street — $15.8 million in 2008. The $1 million Obama hauled from the executives and employees of Goldman Sachs is the largest sum a candidate has raised from one company since the McCain-Feingold campaign finance restrictions were imposed in 2002.

In the fall of 2008, Obama was the only person outside of the Bush administration who could have blocked the massive bailout of Wall Street. But he instead assured the bill’s passage, and then rewarded its authors, Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, with reappointment and promotion, respectively. …

… Obama and his party are clearly not scourges of Wall Street. But at least they’re not as bank-friendly as Romney. Amazingly, Romney has actually outraised Obama in the securities and investment industry, $3.6 million to $1.6 million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Romney, who made his wealth in finance, fiercely defends corporate America and sticks up for Wall Street. “Wall Street is connected to Main Street,” Romney said at a forum this month, pushing back on the White House’s verbal lashings of the banks. “Let’s not fight any street in America.” He wrote off Occupy Wall Street as “class warfare” and told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that “if we want America to have lots of good jobs with rising incomes, we want to see business doing well in America.”

In general, Romney’s correct about business. Regarding Wall Street, though, he’s wrong. Business in a free market profits from providing value, and the financial sector provides liquidity and — theoretically — optimizes the distribution of capital, getting money to those who can do the most with it. But the free-market rules don’t apply to Wall Street anymore.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...