Understanding Mitt Romney
Posted 12 August 2011 - 03:11 AM
the crowd openly mocks him. It could have been a Saturday Night Live
sketch, but it's not, It's a man with a net worth of 200 million
condescendingly telling people a corporation is a person.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 03:25 AM
Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:42 PM
Mitt Romney does not care for President Obama’s so-called Buffett Rule — the idea that millionaires like Mitt Romney shouldn’t be able to use loopholes to pay a lower tax rates than many middle class Americans.
ThinkProgress’ Pat Garofalo explains why Romney’s strong opposition to the Buffett Rule presents a few problems:
Part of Romney’s problem in opposing the Buffett rule is that it likely applies to him. An analysis of publicly available data by Citizens for Tax Justice found that Romney’s tax rate is likely 14 percent, far below the statutory rate for someone who earns as much as he does.
You would think if Mitt Romney was not in fact paying a lower tax rate than many middle class Americans, he’d be eager to release his tax returns to prove otherwise. Not quite:
The financial disclosure forms Romney filed during his 2008 presidential run showed the former Massachusetts governor was worth as much $250 million at the time. But Romney has never released any tax returns — neither during his campaigns for president and Senate nor during his time as governor — and would not commit to doing so this time around.
As with all things Mitt Romney, he’s of course been on all sides of the tax return issue. Here’s the rundown.
Nothing to Hide, You Say?
Back in 1994 when he was running against the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Romney pressured Kennedy to release his tax returns:
With the tax-filing deadline looming, Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney yesterday challenged Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to disclose his state and federal taxes to prove he has ‘nothing to hide,’ but another GOP rival, John R. Lakian, called Romney’s move ‘bush league’ ‘It’s time the biggest-taxing senator in Washington shows the people of Massachusetts how much he pays in taxes,” said Romney, a business consultant from Belmont. Romney said he would disclose his own state and federal taxes for the last three years ‘on the very day that Kennedy turns over his taxes for public scrutiny.’ [Boston Globe, 4/19/94]
Another Run at Hypocrisy in 2002
During his campaign for governor in 2002, Romney even called on his opponent’s husband (who filed separately from his opponent) to release his tax returns:
At the moment, however, Mr. Romney is trying to have it both ways. On April 16, he lambasted his most likely Democratic foe, Shannon O’Brien who discloses her tax return for filing separately from her husband who does not. The husband is Emmett Hayes, a former state representative and until recently a Beacon Hill lobbyist. One of Mr. Hayes’s clients was Enron. Mr. Romney is in high dudgeon that Ms. O’Brien hasn’t released Mr. Hayes’s tax forms with her own. ‘Her hands aren’t clean!’ he says…If Romney & Healey, who are candidates, won’t release their tax forms, they have no business demanding that Mr. Hayes, who isn’t a candidate, do so. [Editorial, Providence Journal Bulletin, 5/9/02]
One small problem with this is that Romney refused to release his own tax returns during the 2002 campaign:
Romney, who has pumped nearly $ 5 million of his own money into the campaign, has refused repeated requests by O’Brien’s campaign to follow her lead and make his income tax returns public. [Salt Lake Tribune, 11/4/02]
Romney Refusal v. Obama Openness
Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns during any of his campaigns stands in marked contrast to President Obama, who released his tax returns when running for Congress in 2004, Senate in 2006, as a candidate for president in 2007 and 2008, and, of course, during his years as president.
IN ONE SENTENCE: If Mitt Romney has “nothing to hide,” then he should immediately release his tax returns so middle class Americans can find out whether or not millionaire Mitt is using tax loopholes to pay a lower tax rate than they are.
Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:49 AM
Aired October 18, 2011 - 20:00 ET
SANTORUM: You just don't have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing Obamacare. You are -- you are -- your plan was the basis for Obamacare. Your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare. And to say that you're going to repeal it, you just -- you have no track record on that that -- that we can trust you that you're going to do that.
COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.
SANTORUM: You don't.
ROMNEY: You know, this I think is either our eighth or ninth debate. And each chance I've -- I've had to talk about Obamacare, I've made it very clear, and also in my book. And at the time, by the way, I crafted the plan, in the last campaign, I was asked, is this something that you would have the whole nation do? And I said, no, this is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation.
SANTORUM: That's not what you said.
ROMNEY: You're -- you're shaking -- you're shaking your head.
SANTORUM: Governor, no, that's not what you said.
ROMNEY: That happens -- to happens to be...
SANTORUM: It was in your book that it should be for everybody.
ROMNEY: Guys... PERRY: You took it out of your book.
SANTORUM: You took it out of your book.
ROMNEY: Hey, his turn. His turn, OK, and mine.
ROMNEY: I'll tell you what? Why don't you let me speak?
SANTORUM: You're allowed -- you're allowed to change -- you're allowed to change...
ROMNEY: Rick, you had your chance. Let me speak.
SANTORUM: You can't change the facts.
ROMNEY: Rick, you had your chance. Let me speak.
SANTORUM: You're out of time. You're out of time.
COOPER: He ate into your time.
ROMNEY: I haven't had a chance to respond yet, because you were interrupting the entire time I was trying to speak.
ROMNEY: Let me make it very clear.
COOPER: I'll give another 20 seconds.
ROMNEY: And -- look -- look, we'll let everybody take a look at the fact checks. I was interviewed by Dan Balz. I was in interviews in this debate stage with you four years ago. I was asked about the Massachusetts plan, was it something I'd impose on the nation? And the answer is absolutely not.
It was something crafted for a state. And I've said time and again, Obamacare is bad news. It's unconstitutional. It costs way too much money, a trillion dollars. And if I'm president of the United States, I will repeal it for the American people.
COOPER: All right. Senator Santorum?
SANTORUM: Mitt, the governor of Massachusetts just is coming forward saying we have to pick up the job left undone by Romneycare, which is doing something about cutting health care costs.
What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. Herman always says you've got to find the right problem. Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down, government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access. You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You've blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored in Obamacare, which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.
COOPER: Governor Romney, I'm going to give you 30 seconds.
ROMNEY: I'm -- I'm sorry, Rick, that you find so much to dislike in my plan, but I'll tell you, the people in Massachusetts like it by about a 3-1 margin.
And we dealt with a challenge that we had, a lot of people that were expecting government to pay their way. And we said, you know what? If people have the capacity to care for themselves and pay their own way, they should.
Now, I can tell you this, it's absolutely right that there's a lot that needs to be done. And I didn't get the job done in Massachusetts in getting the health care costs down in this country. It's something I think we have got to do at the national level. I intend to do that.
But one thing is for sure. What Obama has done is imposed on the nation a plan that will not work, that must be repealed. And when it comes to knowledge about health care and how to get our health care system working, I may not be a doctor like this one right over here, but I sure understand how to bring the cost of health care down and how to also make sure that we have a system that works for the American people.
SANTORUM: It didn't do it. It didn't do it.
COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, you've also been very critical of Mitt Romney's plan not only on Obamacare, but his plan to lower the capital gains tax only on those earning under $200,000.
GINGRICH: I want to say on health for a minute -- OK, let's just focus. "The Boston Herald" today reported that the state of Massachusetts is fining a local small business $3,000 because their $750-a-month insurance plan is inadequate, according to the bureaucrats in Boston.
Now, there's a fundamental difference between trying to solve the problems of this country from the top down and trying to create environments in which doctors and patients and families solve the problem from the bottom up.
And candidly, Mitt, your plan ultimately, philosophically, it's not Obamacare, and that's not a fair charge. But your plan essentially is one more big government, bureaucratic, high-cost system, which candidly could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicare program as lavish as yours, and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment. So there's a lot as big government behind Romneycare. Not as much as Obamacare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.
COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.
ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.
GINGRICH: That's not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.
ROMNEY: Yes, we got it from you, and you got it from the Heritage Foundation and from you.
GINGRICH: Wait a second. What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.
ROMNEY: And you never supported them?
GINGRICH: I agree with them, but I'm just saying, what you said to this audience just now plain wasn't true.
ROMNEY: OK. Let me ask, have you supported in the past an individual mandate?
GINGRICH: I absolutely did with the Heritage Foundation against Hillarycare.
ROMNEY: You did support an individual mandate?
ROMNEY: Oh, OK. That's what I'm saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation.
GINGRICH: OK. A little broader.
COOPER: He still has time. Let him finish.
ROMNEY: I get a little time here.
Number two, we don't have a government insurance plan. What we do is rely on private insurers, and people -- 93 percent of our people who are already insured, nothing changed. For the people who didn't have insurance, they get private insurance, not government insurance.
And the best way to make markets work is for people to be able to buy their own products from private enterprises. What we did was right for our state, according to the people in our state. And the great thing about a state solution to a state issue is, if people don't like it, they could change it.
Now, there are a lot of things.
Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:22 AM
You’ve heard of the Buffett Rule proposed by President Obama — the simple idea that no millionaire should be able to use tax loopholes to cheat the system and pay a lower tax rate than hardworking middle class Americans. All President Obama is proposing is that millionaires and billionaires pay at least the same rate as middle class Americans.
The Romney Rule is the opposite — the fact that Mitt Romney thinks millionaires like him who make money off their wealth are entitled to pay a lower tax rate than middle class Americans who earn their money from wages.
Romney’s Response? A Fake Middle Class Tax Cut
In response to criticism he faced today over the Romney Rule, Romney’s Communications Director Gail Gitcho told Politico:
Mitt Romney has a tax plan that cuts taxes for the middle class.
The only problem with that? It’s just not really true.
ThinkProgress’ Pat Garofalo took a closer look at Romney’s so-called middle class tax cut and found that it just doesn’t add up:
Romney may think he focused his tax cut on the middle-class, but according to a ThinkProgress analysis of Tax Policy Center data, nearly three-fourths of households that make $200,000 or less annually would get literally nothing from Romney’s tax cut, due to the simple fact that most of those households have no capital gains income
To be exact, 73.9 percent of the households upon which Romney “focused” his tax cut will see zero benefit from it.
Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:44 AM
Not when he ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy in 1994, despite calling on Kennedy to release his tax returns to prove he had “nothing to hide.”
Not when he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, despite calling for his opponent’s husband to release his tax returns (after his opponent, who filed separately from her husband, released her own).
Not when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Not when he ran for president in 2007 and 2008.
Not now, despite the fact President Obama has released his own tax returns when running for office in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and since becoming president.
Rick Perry Wants to See Mitt’s Missing Tax Returns Too
Yesterday morning, when rolling out his own highly regressive tax plan that would benefit the wealthiest Americans while threatening Social Security and Medicare, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Mitt Romney a “fat cat”:
JOHN HARWOOD: And you mentioned class warfare. In 1996, when your advisor Steve Forbes was running on a flat tax, Mitt Romney said it was a tax cut for fat cats. If he says that about your plan, what are you going to say to him?
RICK PERRY: Well I would said that he ought to go look in the mirror I guess. I consider him to be a fat cat.
Later in the morning, Politico’s Ben Smith asked the Perry campaign if they wanted to see millionaire Mitt Romney’s tax returns. The answer:
Governor Perry has always released his tax returns and Mitt Romney and the other candidates should do the same.
The Romney campaign followed up with a non-response:
But Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said his candidate wouldn’t even consider releasing them until next spring.
“We’ll take a look at the question of releasing tax returns during the next tax filing season,” he said. [...]
Fehrnstrom didn’t offer a defense of Romney’s position but attacked Perry on an unrelated transparency issue.
Who Else Wants to See Mitt’s Missing Tax Returns?
Iowans: Progress Iowa, a local progressive group in Hawkeye State, who called on Romney to release the returns when he visited the state last Thursday.
Virginians: Progress Virginia, a local progressive group in Virginia, who called on Romney to release the returns when he visited the state today:
Virginians deserve to know once and for all whether Romney is one of the 100,000 millionaires who is paying a lower tax rate than many middle class workers. Unless Romney has something to hide there’s no reason he can’t follow President Obama’s lead and show Virginians his tax returns.
What Might Mitt Want to Hide?
The fact that he’s worth as much as $250 MILLION and uses tax loopholes to cheat the system and pay a lower tax rate — some estimate as low as 14 percent — than many middle class Americans.
Posted 08 November 2011 - 11:40 AM
A Plan Fit For a Billionaire (Or Two)
This afternoon, Mitt Romney delivered a fiscal policy speech at a “Defending the American Dream” conference sponsored by the Koch Brothers’ front group, Americans for Prosperity. See below and you’ll understand why David Koch himself was in the front clapping for millionaire Mitt Romney.
Romney’s Plan — The Lowlights
$6.6 TRILLION in tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations
$6.5 TRILLION added to the deficit
Cuts to Social Security
The end of Medicare as we know it
Cuts to Medicaid more draconian those in the House GOP budget plan
Repeals the Affordable Care Act — eliminating health care coverage for 32 MILLION Americans
Specifically outlines cuts in funding for:
Planned Parenthood and Title X women’s health programs
NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
National Endowment for the Arts & Humanities
Repeals the New Deal-era law that ensures government contractors pay their workers a fair wage
Throws more than 400,000 federal employees out of work
Increases defense spending
Romney’s plan to completely eliminate the estate tax would mean an $8.7 BILLION windfall for each of the billionaire Koch Brothers.
Ask The Experts
Here’s what experts had to say about Romney’s plan:
Michael Ettlinger, vice president for Economic Policy:
“The plan that Governor Romney announced today….is a plan that is of the top 1 percent, by the top 1 percent, for the top 1 percent.”
“Romney called reducing the deficit a moral imperative. Given that Romney’s plan adds trillions to the deficit, it would appear to be morally bankrupt.”
Michael Linden, director of Tax & Budget Policy:
“For a speech that was billed as a plan to reduce the deficit, Romney’s numbers sure do add a lot to the national debt and deficits.”
“The cuts that [Romney] does outline are very damaging to the middle class and senior citizens.”
Heather Boushey, senior economist:
“We’ve seen this movie before. Quite frankly it won’t create any jobs.”
“This is going to do nothing to help not only the 99 percent, but the 9 percent of folks who remain out of work today.”
IN ONE SENTENCE: Mitt Romney may claim his plan defends the American Dream, but it would be nothing but a nightmare for the 99 percent.
Winning Our Future
Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:41 PM
Capitalism made America great - free markets, innovation, hard work - the building blocks of the American Dream. But in the wrong hands some of those dreams can turn into nightmares. This film is about one raider and his firm and how they destroyed that dream for thousands of Americans and their families - Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:56 PM
Mitt Romney changes his stance to whatever people want to hear from him.
It is one thing to change on issues, its another to change on values.
He can go support the gays, abortion rights, and outsourcing our jobs for all I care.
I'm not voting for him.
Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:18 PM
Romney needs to show his tax returns.
He is afraid that people will see that he pays less taxes with his quarter of billion dollars than a person making lest than a quarter million dollars.
He is dodging every reporter that asks that question.
You can't keep running Mitt.
Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:43 AM
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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:45 AM
Had he not entered politics, Romney — a sixth-generation member of the Mormon Church whose ancestors were among the earliest members of the faith — might have put himself on a path to be chosen for the church's governing body in Salt Lake City, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Mrs. Pac Man
Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:57 PM
13 aWe believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul. We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:03 AM
Goldman Sachs $235,275 Citigroup Inc $178,450 Merrill Lynch $176,125 Morgan Stanley $170,350 Lehman Brothers $154,800 UBS AG $125,150 JPMorgan Chase & Co $123,800 Bain & Co $121,475 Marriott International $121,150 Bain Capital $118,550 Kirkland & Ellis $111,700 The Villages $110,900 Credit Suisse Group $104,900 Compuware Corp $103,550 Huron Consulting $102,050 PricewaterhouseCoopers $92,250 American Financial Group $87,550 Affiliated Managers Group $82,112 Cerberus Capital Management $79,450 Sun Capital Partners $77,850
Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:35 AM
Nowhere in Romney’s 59-point economic plan does he identify a single corporate loophole or tax break he’d eliminate.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most egregious tax loopholes and giveaways Mitt Romney preserves in his tax plan.
Mitt Romney’s TOP FIVE Tax Giveaways to the Wealthy
1. The ‘Carried Interest’ Handout to Hedge Fund & Private Equity Managers. Cost: $15 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-2012)
This is one of the unfair tax loopholes that Mitt Romney himself both supports and personally exploits in order lower his effective tax rate to 15 percent — an option ”not available to the ordinary taxpayer.” Check out ThinkProgress Economy Editor Pat Garofalo’s recent column in the Atlantic for a complete explanation of how this egregious loophole works — and why it’s completely indefensible.
2. Offshore Tax Havens. Cost: $100 BILLION Annually
It emerged that Mitt Romney has millions or even tens of millions of dollars parked in widely known offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. The use of offshore tax havens to boost Bain Capital’s profits and Romney’s returns is legal; however, the tax revenue lost as a result forces larger deficits or deeper cuts to programs that benefit the middle class each and every day. This is yet another example of a tax avoidance scheme available to a small number of privileged Americans who are able to rig the game in their favor while the rest of us are left holding the bag.
3. Taxing Capital Gains at a Lower Rate Than Ordinary Income. Cost: $256 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-2016)
In addition to the special “carried interest” loophole (#1 above) that Romney uses to lower his tax rate, he also takes advantage of the fact that capital gains are currently taxed at 15 percent instead of the top rate margin income tax rate of 35 percent. The Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon explains: “Because capital gains are concentrated at the highest levels of income and taxed at favorable rates, many of the most affluent taxpayers pay a lower effective tax rate than those beneath them on the income scale.”
How concentrated are capital gains at the top end of the income scale, you ask? The wealthiest 0.1 Percent of Americans make an astounding HALF of all capital gains. As we’ve pointed out, Romney’s plan to cut capital gains tax for those making under $200,000 would offer exactly ZERO benefit to the 73.9 percent of the middle class who have no capital gains, a move the New York Times today likened to “tossing crumbs.”
Capital gains rates are due to increase next year with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Romney, however, would keep this unfairly low rate in place, which is a big part of why his tax plan would cut his own taxes by more than 40 percent.
4. Mortgage Interest Deduction on Second Homes & Yachts. Cost: $10 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-21)
While Mitt Romney doesn’t own a yacht, he and his wife do own multiple multi-million dollar homes. The mortgage interest tax deduction is meant to encourage home ownership, not enable the wealthiest Americans like Romney to lower their tax burden.
5. Failing to Limit ‘Upside Down’ Itemized Deductions That Favor the Wealthiest Americans. Cost: $114 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-2016)
Since we haven’t seen Mitt Romney’s tax returns, we don’t know what kind of deductions he takes. In any case, limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest taxpayers to bring them in line with the tax benefits enjoyed by other taxpayers – as President Obama has proposed to do — would eliminate a source of considerable spending through the tax code (which is what these giveaways really are — spending by another name), freeing up resources that can be used much more effectively elsewhere.
As you can see, just these five giveaways to the wealthiest Americans that Mitt Romney supports add up to a considerable sum of money — money that could be much better spent on targeted tax cuts for the middle class or on programs and services that benefit a large number of Americans and help create an economy that works for everyone.
It’s important to remember that these wasteful giveaways don’t just enrich a small group of Americans at a rate wildly disproportionate to everyone else, the revenue lost as a result either adds to the deficit or puts Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and programs and services that benefit all Americans on the chopping block instead — or both, in the case of Mitt Romney’s economic plan.
Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:56 AM
Alex Seitz-Wald has the rundown:
– Trump told Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain that Romney is “going to lose” because he can’t connect with voters. “No, he’s going to lose. He doesn’t resonate, you know? Or he would have won last time, in all fairness to your father! He was scheduled to win last time, and he didn’t because your father outdid him. You understand. I watched [Romney] make a speech, and it was all these little trivial statements.”
– Trump told CNN that Romney killed jobs at Bain Capital. “Mitt Romney is basically a small business guy.” “He walked away with some money from a very good company that he didn’t create. He worked there, he didn’t create. He would buy companies, he’d close companies, he’d get rid of jobs.”
– Trump slammed Romney’s record as governor on ABC. “If you look at his record as governor, it wasn’t totally stellar. His job production was not great at all. In fact, it was the third worst in the nation. There are some pretty negative things with respect to Mitt Romney, which frankly he’s going to have to overcome.”
– Trump chided Romney’s $10,000 bet. “I don’t talk about how rich I am. Other people do. I don’t want to talk about how rich I am.”
– When Romney turned down Trump’s debate, Trump was not happy. “I was particularly surprised with Mitt Romney because he wants my endorsement very badly.”
And when the two met at the Trump Tower in September, Romney snuck out to avoid a photo-op and both were conspicuously tepid in their praise for each other afterward. “It was a nice meeting,” Trump told the New York Daily News.
Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:26 AM
After his statement went viral, he spoke with Jon Ralston
I worry that the frontrunner for the Presidential nomination choice of words were not a misstatement. Soledad O'Brien gave Mitt Romney the opportunity to clarify his statement. He actually repeated it to her. Then he added the following:
But my campaign is focused on middle income Americans. My campaign - you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That's not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That's not my focus.
My focus is on middle income Americans, retirees living on social security, people who cannot find work, folks who have kids that are getting ready to go to college. That - these are the people who've been most badly hurt during the Obama years.
We have a very ample safety net, and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. But we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor. But the middle income Americans, they're the folks that are really struggling right now, and they need someone that can help get this economy going for them.
Faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) is seen as the root of all good which results from the lives of those who believe in Jesus Christ. Works of piety and works of mercy are fruits of the Spirit in the lives of those who follow Jesus. Such works also help the believers to live their lives in communion with God and to be “co-workers with God” (1 Corinthians 3:7) in the field of God’s mission and in ministry to the poor and to those who need the love of God most.
President Barack Obama spoke of his personal faith Thursday as he delivered remarks for the third year in a row at the National Prayer Breakfast.
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