As Bain made its investment, the state and county pledged $37 million in subsidies and grants for the $385-million plant project. 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. On Thursday, Romney acknowledged that government can help spur private enterprise. Mitt Romney no stranger to tax breaks, subsidies - Los Angeles Times Nobody yet knows how many Bain deals benefited from government largesse in one form or another, but the invaluable researcher Phil Mattera has begun to excavate the truth from under the scrim of Romneys phony rhetoric. Two examples involving famous American enterprises may suffice for now: In 1998, one year after Bain bought Sealy Posturepedic with a group of other private equity firms, the mattress company sought and received a $600,000 grant from North Carolina authorities to relocate its corporate headquarters, research and manufacturing facilities there from Ohio (where Romney will no doubt be telling voters this year about his marvelous record of job creation). And then theres Staples, the office supply giant that Bain helped to create and that is often touted as its greatest success. Mattera writes that Staples has long depended on government subsidies, citing a Baltimore Sun story about a $4.2 million aid package the company received from Maryland authorities in 1996 to build a distribution center in Hagerstown. Bain Capitalism: Subsidies, Tax Breaks -- And Bust-Outs? | National Memo | Breaking News, Smart Politics Gingrich Firm Releases 2006 Freddie Mac Contract as Rivals Raise Pressure - Bloomberg ------------------------------------------ So which one do "free market" Republicans view as "worse"? Or is it all about raking in as much money as you can, no matter how you get it?