Outsourcing: One More Reason Tom Reed’s A Big Zero For The Middle Class

Terrance Heath

It turns out that Mitt Romney and Tom Reed (R, NY-23) have more in common than mere party affiliation. Both Romney and Reed are more interested in outsourcing American jobs than creating the kind of good jobs once helped to build and sustain the middle-class. Instead, Romney and Reed both support policies that result in more stories like what’s happening at the Sensata factory in Freeport, IL. That makes Romney wrong for America, and make Tom Reed a big zero for the middle class.

By now, it’s a well-known story from Romney’s vulture capitalist days: Under Mitt Romney’s leadership, Bain Capital invested invested in companies that moved jobs overseas. In fact, Bain invested in firms that pioneered high-tech outsourcing.

Yesterday, Leo Gerard explained that outsourcing and stories like Sensata are the reason Romney’s wrong for America.

Every day President Obama reads and responds to letters from citizens. This illustrates his basic philosophy: people first.

By contrast, for Mitt Romney, profit is the priority. He hasn’t responded to any of the letters sent to him by workers at Sensata Technologies, a car sensor manufacturer in Freeport, Ill. owned by Bain Capital. Romney doesn’t run Bain anymore, but he still reaps millions from the strip-and-flip firm each year. The Sensata workers want Romney to intervene with Bain and stop it from shipping their jobs to China. He won’t. Because the bottom line is that profit is more important to Romney than people.

Ziad Jilani at The Daily Change also explained yesterday that Tom Reed (R,NY-23) was recently honored by a major pro-outsourcing group.

Outsourcing is a huge problem in the United States, and that’s due to government policies like so-called free trade agreements. New York congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) has been a proponent of these job-killing deals, and voted for new agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Those agreements are expected to cost America at least 214,000 jobs.

One of the corporate lobbying groups that pushes for these agreements is the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Yesterday, NAM honored Reed with an award for voting at least 70 percent of the time with the group. Watch a local news report about the award:

Reed told the press that NAM is a great organization that stands up for manufacturing jobs. But NAM doesn’t represent manufacturing workers, it represents manufacturing corporations, who have been sending jobs overseas to poorly-paid foreign workers.

The National Association of Manufacturers is an example of classic “Drop Dead Conservatism” at its Orwellian best. The name sounds great, but NAM is little more than a GOP front group, as David Sirota pointed, that “purports to represent America’s domestic industrial manufacturers,” for years has been less interested in representing its members than in representing the interests of industrial corporations.

NAM has a track record of opposing job initiatives designed to keep American jobs at home — like the“Bring Jobs Home Act” and the “Call Center Bill” — and supporting trade agreements that maintain incentives for corporations to outsource American jobs — like the South Korea Trade Agreement that Tom Reed supported, as I noted last week.

The kind of policies that NAM honored Tom Reed for supporting — and that Mitt Romney invested in, pioneered, and profited from — can only lead to more stories like Sensata. And we go back to Leo Gerard:

Its highly profitable, not some failing enterprise limping overseas for cheap labor, tax breaks and lax environmental laws. Bain cant claim that excessively high American payroll costs are forcing it to move to China because Sensata is making money hand over fist while paying decent middle class wages.

Bain transported its new Chinese workers to Illinois and ordered its American employees, some of whom have devoted more than 40 years to the company, to suffer the humiliation of training their replacements. One hundred and seventy middle class Sensata workers will lose their jobs by years end. The community will lose a major employer as well as the tax revenue it received from the company and the workers. The state will suffer the same losses.

Mary Kerr, who worked at Sensata for six years and whose husband also worked there, told the Sun Chronicle newspaper:

We only want to make a living and pay our bills, just like everyone else does. They’re not moving our jobs because they’re losing money. They want to make an extra dollar.

That’s exactly right. Obviously Bain believes it will make even more money by transferring American manufacturing and American jobs to China. It has no allegiance to the United States or to American workers; just to money. It got that philosophy from its founding father Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential nominee also stands to gain because under his retirement agreement with Bain, when it makes more money, he makes more money.

To Romney, and the creature he created Bain Capital its all about profit. Workers be damned.

During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney — the Man From Bain — cited his vulture capitalist resume during the second presidentian debate, as his primary qualification for the presidency:

I know what it takes to create good jobs again. I know what it takes to make sure that you have the kind of opportunity you deserve. And kids across this country are going to recognize, we’re bringing back an economy.

Tom Reed, after at least one “trade mission” on South Korea’s dime, touted as “job creators” free trade deals that encourage outsourcing, and joined 89 House freshmen shrugged off “tea party populism” to support those deals.

Reed and Romney both say they know how to create “good jobs,” but they are united behind an agenda that will ultimately result in more stories like Sensata.

UPDATE

Campaign for America’s Future is running an ad campaign which tells voters about vulnerable Representatives who have low ratings in the Middle Class Voter Guide. You can contribute to the campaign by clicking here.

Reed is running for re-election in a newly redrawn district. Democratic challenger Nate Shingawa is running on an agenda of economic fairness. Recent polls show the race has tightened, and Shingawa is now “within striking distance” of Reed.

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