published Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Romney's taxes, billionaires

Despite his long and notorious record of political flip-flops, one thing we can say with certainty about Mitt Romney is that he has unbelievable chutzpah.

With the exception of his 2010 filing, he will not release his income tax records for the last decade, or divulge how much money he has held in possibly untaxed off-shore investments in at least half-a-dozen countries — including the tax shelter havens of the Cayman Islands and Swiss banks. Yet he's calling Senate Majority Harry Reid a liar for saying he hasn't paid any income taxes for all those years on his fortune, which is conservatively estimated at a quarter of a billion dollars.

Why doesn't he just release his tax returns? That's all Reid is challenging him to do. Romney tax returns would prove, or disprove, what Reid says he has learned from unnamed sources.

Tax records not revealed

Yet Romney refuses to show his records. At the same time, he's deliberately chanting the falsehood — an outright lie under the circumstances — that President Obama plans "to gut welfare reform" by eliminating work requirement. That is simply not true. It is a wantonly false description of a procedural change sought since 1996 by both Republican and Democratic governors to provide states some flexibility to adjust for new state work programs, for verifiable family emergencies and to manage new influxes of refugees.

Republican governors in Utah and Nevada more recently requested allowance for such waivers from the Department of Health and Human Services, just as Romney did (along with 28 other Republican governors) when he was governor of Massachusetts in 2005. So make no mistake, Romney knows exactly what Republican governors themselves have sought in the way of waivers from HHS to allow for circumstances that don't meet rigid HHS rules.

Deceitful welfare charge

The HHS memorandum that describes the state waiver that Obama has finally allowed says HHS would only approve waivers "if the state can explain in a compelling fashion why the proposed approach may be a more efficient or effective means to promote employment entry, retention, advancement or access to jobs." HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius further said that such waivers must shift 20 percent more people from welfare into jobs that would otherwise be required.

Given these facts and Romney's own experience as a governor interest in obtaining a welfare work-related waiver, it's hard to see how Romney ethically could bring himself to deceitfully claim the waiver conditions allowed by Obama would amount to "gutting" the welfare work requirement. That he is willing to spread such a falsehood says volumes about his character and his willingness to trumpet and spread political lies.

It seems obvious that Romney is becoming desperate to shift the political focus to avoid more controversy over his own refusal to release his income tax statements. This is an unforgivable lapse in a presidential campaign, and it will not go away despite his attempts to change the subject.

Americans have a right to expect presidential candidates to reveal their income tax returns. This has been a part of presidential campaigns for decades. Romney's father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, in fact, turned over 12 years of his tax returns in his own presidential campaign in 1967 to set this standard.

It is critical that Mitt Romney meet the continuing standard initiated by his father. Far too much remains unknown about his financial dealings. His tenure as CEO of the venture capital firm Bain Capital is highly suspect. He led corporate takeovers that made fortunes for Bain's executives by buying businesses, raiding their assets, offshoring many of their jobs, and driving some of them into bankruptcy or pawning off their skeletal remains.

Tax shelter accounts

His tax-shelter accounts and investments in the Caymans, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Ireland, Australia and Germany merit close examination. Indeed, he's still vested in Bain: His own trust reported recently that Romney received a $2 million payment from Bain in unpaid earnings. And he still has a $30 million stake in 12 of the 138 funds organized by Bain in the Caymans, according to a report in Vanity Fair that hasn't been disputed.

Until Romney comes clean on how he made his fortune, ordinary Americans — that is to say, 99 percent of Americans, and excluding the ultra-wealthy top tenth of one percent — can't trust him to act in their interest.

As it is, Wall Street barons and billionaire businessmen like the Koch brothers are already stuffing his campaign account, the superPACs that allow unlimited political donations from the ultra-rich and their corporations, and the nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(4) entities that are abusing their "social welfare" charters by funneling huge anonymous donations into deceitful multimillion-dollar political advertising against Obama.

26 billionaires ante up

A recent report by the Center for Responsive Politics, for example, pointed out that 26 billionaires have donated more than $61 million so far this year to superPACs, and that doesn't count the $100 million that casino czar Sheldon Adelson has promised to spend this election cycle to defeat Obama; nor the $400 million that the Koch brothers, owners of an industrial empire, have pledged to spend for the same goal.

The Koch brothers' initiative has already begun. They and several other rich businessmen provided funding for the Americans for Prosperity tea-party superPAC to launch a $25 million, three-week advertising attack against Obama this week that will play in 11 presidential battleground states.

Their support for Romney is understandable. His latest tax plan proposes to "broaden" the tax base by requiring America's middle-class families to pay $2,000 more in federal taxes, while giving the super-wealthy another huge and wholly unjustifed tax cut.

There's a reason why these billionaires are backing Romney. So he must not be allowed to shift focus from his failure to reveal his financial dealings by simply calling Harry Reid a liar, and telling wholesale falsehoods about Obama. If he can get away with this shell game, middle-class Americans will lose heavily.

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EaTn said...

The albatross around Mitten's neck is the missing tax returns and Harry Reid, neither of which are going away. The polarizing Paul Ryan will give him a couple weeks relief on the issue. Unlike Obama's missing birth certificate which was soon provided, the missing tax returns are readily available for showing.

August 11, 2012 at 7:08 a.m.
joneses said...

Hussein Obama Flip Flops

Saying he would make is term in office transparent

Saying he would not raise taxs on people making less than $250,000.00 per year

Saying he would cut the debt in half and raising it 50%

Supporting gay marriage after saying he did not support it during campaign

Keeping Guantanamo open

Bringing back military tribunals for terror suspects

Continuing renditions of terror suspects

Ordering military action in Libya without seeking Congressional authorization

Dropping Third Site missile defenses in order to appease the Russians

Letting Sudan off the hook for the Darfur genocide

Backing a federal Europe after defending national sovereignty

Pledging to restore America’s standing in the world but lowering it instead

Dumping Mubarak in Egypt after calling him a "stalwart ally"

Killing the NASA manned space programme

August 11, 2012 at 7:20 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses....you're basically correct on some parts, but the voters have to decide between someone who's flip-flopped and someone who lacks transparency. Paul Ryan will be to Romney like Sarah Palin was to McCain--very controversial.

August 11, 2012 at 7:27 a.m.
joneses said...

If Hussein Obama wanted Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns then why does he not go across the street to the IRS and get them? Why does not the Hussein Obama controlled IRS not audit Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's taxes if they expect he cheated? I think it important Hussein Obama release all his papers and grades from his college years so we can see exactly his ideas on how he wants to fundamentally change the country and where he wants to move the country forward to. He said he wanted to do this but he has not come out and told us his agenda. I think his college papers and his Harvard Review paper will tell us more about Hussein Obama's agenda than Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns will tell us about Mr. Romney. We do know that Hussein Obama took every deduction he could to avoid paying taxes that he so adamantly thinks people like him should pay more.

August 11, 2012 at 7:32 a.m.
joneses said...

The Hussein Obama regime has been the least transparent of any president in recent history. Paul Ryan laid out all the details of his plan to fix Medicare and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi lied about his plan and said things like senior citizens will be homeless in the streets and children will die if the Paul Ryan Plan is implemented. Both Pelosi and Reid showed exactly how classless and disgusting they are. They are just as much white trash as the Kennedy's. Pelosi and the democrats would not even disclose what was in the socialized obamacare bill before they passed it. Remember when Pelosi said "we have to pass it to see what is in it"? Paul Ryan laid his plan out there for all to see and the liberal media and democrats lied about it. I cannot believe you are talking about someone not being transparent and still supporting the democrats. Amazing.

August 11, 2012 at 7:47 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses....as President, peeking at Romney's tax returns would be an ethics violation, and you know Obama wouldn't do that. There's no secrets in Washington. I'm sure if Romney had it to do over, he would have either filed more transparency tax returns or decided not to run for president. It's a little late to drain the swamp when you're up to your as& in alligators.

August 11, 2012 at 7:56 a.m.
joneses said...

However, the IRS had no problem auditing conservative talk show host Shawn Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and others. The IRS can audit anyones tax returns anytime they want. If they suspect Mitt Romney cheated on his tax returns then there is nothing stopping them from auditing him. If the IRS is not going to audit Mitt Romney's tax returns then rest assured he has done nothing illegal. So all this talk about seeing his tax returns is so Hussein Obama's main stream media can lie and say he is a wealthy person that did not pay his "fair share" which is a stupid term. Hussein Obama takes all the deductions he can to avoid paying his "fair share". The Hussein Obama regime wants Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns for the wrong reason and Mitt Romney knows that. The Hussein Obama regime wanting Mr. Romney's tax returns is stupid politics by this socialist regime. I still want Hussein Obama's Harvard Review paper, thesis and his grades so we will have a clear definition of whee he wants to move the country forward to. Until he presents those he is proving to be the hypocrite he is.

August 11, 2012 at 8:10 a.m.
joneses said...

Eatn

The bottom line is your nor I are not going to get anyone to release crap so I am going out to enjoy the day. have a good day and take care of yourself.

August 11, 2012 at 8:12 a.m.
librul said...

Rmoney choosing Ryan is like Frankenstein choosing the president of Blood Assurance.

August 11, 2012 at 9:01 a.m.
librul said...

Then I guess he won't be making any campaign stops in Camden, New Jersey or at any of the other hundreds of rusting husks of lost productivity left in the wake of Rmoney/Bain economic policy.

August 11, 2012 at 10:08 a.m.
joneses said...

librul

Is there any Republican Romney could have chosen that you would have liked? If you say yes you are a liar.

August 11, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.
librul said...

Would you vote for President Obama if he ran on a platform of eliminating your Medicare? No need to answer, I already know you're a liar.

August 11, 2012 at 10:54 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses....you too. I'm going out to sight in a new gun I bought a couple weeks ago. Looks like a nice day....

August 11, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Fine editorial. Thanks for pointing out what real Americans have at stake in this election.
How could any American condone the crass and unpatriotic practices that Romney has embraced? Like systematically breaking companies apart, laying off workers, and off-shoring jobs. And, who condones his flip-flopping on virtually everything?
Who thinks it's great that he siphoned huge amounts money out of US companies, and sent it off-shore to Swiss accounts and investments in the Cayman Islands? Who thinks it's fine that Romney is afraid to let us know what's in his tax returns?
Any responsible citizen would be concerned and want more facts.

August 11, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.
joneses said...

moonkat

You actually think companies should remain open just to save jobs? where is your outrage over hussein Obama's failed company Solyndra? You are stupid.

August 11, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
joneses said...

librul,

I would not vote for Hussein Obama if he outlawed your stupid ass. I do not need medicare as I have already made plans and saved to pay for my insurance. I chose not to mooch of the government. All I want is the SS back that I paid in that these incompetent politicians have squandered. Your problem is you think everyone needs government to care for them. It may be a shock to you but there are plenty of us who can get along fine without the government. I bet me saying that just stopped your heart.

August 11, 2012 at 3:42 p.m.
nucanuck said...

joneses, unless you are living a subsistance existance off the grid, then you are dependent on others for SOO many things. You just like to think that you are self-sufficient.

August 11, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.
joneses said...

nucanuck

I pay for the services I receive from our corrupt ineffective government through exorbitant taxes. And they cannot even manage that. I refuse to let this corrupt government make decisions on my health care. I paid for my own college without a student loan or help from anyone. You are correct I depend on the people who choose to work at my company and I also depend on my customers. But I do not depend on the government to solve anything for me. It is proven as I have never called the government for any advice. Sorry if I stopped your heart by saying I do not rely on government for anything. I know that is a hard pill to swallow for you liberals.

August 11, 2012 at 5:23 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Government provides the structure in which you operate your business. Without that your business wouldn't exist. You depend on the government that you hate. LOL.

August 11, 2012 at 5:48 p.m.
moon4kat said...

Hi, nucanuck. Thanks for joining in the voices of reason. It mystifies me that anyone, like joneses, could think he exists in a vacuum. Apparently, joneses doesn't drive on public roads, receives nothing via the postal service, and thinks he single-handedly defended his property from invasion during WWII.
Of course, that would amuse my Dad, a U.S. Marine who helped take Iwo Jima.

August 12, 2012 at 8:50 p.m.
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