“Unlike President Obama, you don’t have to wait until after the election to find out what I believe in — or what my plans are.” — Mitt Romney’s biggest lie so far
Mitt Romney says he wants to talk about issues but he refuses to talk about the following:
Romney is constantly attempting to change the conversation from Bain or his tax returns (or anything else he doesn’t want to talk about) with “issues,” as in, “we need to talk about the real issues!” But paraphrasing Romney’s own campaign advisers, who revealed their strategy recently: details and specifics are for losers. So how exactly can you debate issues without specifics or details?
You don’t. You can’t. It’s obvious the Romney campaign isn’t trying to sway voters with Mitt’s ideas or plans — or even with Mitt himself as a “person.” They’re running a ‘just trust me’ campaign, as Greg Sargent explains:
Romney advisers are explicitly confirming that all of this is part of a grand strategy to only signal general direction to the American people. It’s a guiding idea that specifics are a political peril to be avoided. The campaign thinks sharing details about what he’d actually do as president would be politically suicidal. As Steve Benen asks: “what does it say about the merit of Romney’s policy agenda if voters are likely to recoil if they heard the whole truth?” And this is coming after the campaign touted the selection of Paul Ryan as proof that the GOP ticket is deeply serious about policy and committed to making the tough decisions Democrats won’t.
Just trust Mitt Romney — you’ll find out why after he wins the election. Really.
“So, what’s the worst aspect of Romney’s character? What does he know he has to run away from, even though he continually fails to do so? Simple: the perception that he’s a rich asshat who thinks he’s too good for the little people he deigns to rule. That he thinks so little of us that he demands the right to be our leader without giving anything in return.” — Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte, on why a Gawker document dump, showing Mitt Romney as a serial tax dodger, matters • via: quickhits
Maybe some people will finally see that the result of all these perfectly legal financial shenanigans, in all Romney’s / Bain Capital’s various schemes and loopholes and shelters and business practices, that THIS is why the United States is going broke, not because it would be nice to extend Social Security and Medicare for the next generation or provide health care for people.
The GOP has been rigging the system for the wealthy for decades. Mitt Romney is the chicken that’s come home to roost for the non-wealthy, evangelical voting base. These conservative social-issue rubes support the Republican candidate automatically, like zombies or Manchurian candidates, trusting these establishment politicians when they claim to actually care about stopping marriage equality (they can’t stop it!) or overturning Roe v. Wade (they won’t ever overturn it — have they EVER been close?). The Republicans don’t care about those things! They’re patronizing you. They just want more money, more deregulation, more income redistribution from the bottom to the top.
You want a thriving middle class in American again? STOP VOTING REPUBLICAN. Also: Stop watching Fox News. Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.
The Bain Files: will 954 pages of Bain’s financial documents reveal anything?
Joe. My. God. explains what this is about:
Gawker has posted 954 pages of previously unseen and labyrinthine Bain financial documents which they say may reveal proof of Mitt Romney’s attempt to cloak his massive holdings in tax-proof domestic and offshore accounts.
Bain isn’t a company so much as an intricate suite of steadily proliferating inter-related holding companies and limited partnerships, some based in Delaware and others in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and elsewhere, designed to collectively house roughly $66 billion in wealth in its many crevices and chambers. When Romney left in 1999, he and his wife retained significant investments in many of those Bain vehicles—he claims they are “passive investments” and that they are managed in a blind trust (though the trustee isn’t blind enough to meet federal standards of independence). But aside from disparate snippets of information contained in his federal and Massachusetts financial disclosure forms, his 2010 tax returns, and SEC filings, the nature of those investments has been obfuscated by design.
Gawker says that the documents are so deliberately vague and complex that they cannot begin to decipher what they actually say. They are asking forensic accountants and their readers to dig in.
Rosalind S. Helderman at The Washington Post asks, because “…Romney seemed to suggest that he might think so last week, when he responded to questions about how much he pays in taxes by suggesting that people should take into account his total contributions to the government and charities.”
The comment was a quick one — a by-golly insistence that despite paying a relatively low tax rate on his vast income, the millions he has given to charity show that he’s not a greedy guy.
But experts who research public attitudes on philanthropy on both sides of the political spectrum said it was an inadvertently revealing moment, a brief window into the deep philosophical differences between how liberals and conservatives view government and society.
Another question raised here earlier is why are donations to the Mormon Church considered ‘charity’ and are therefore tax deductible — especially when such tithing is required by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? We know the Romneys tithe the required 10% to the Church, so you’d presume that if their 2010 return says they gave 13% to charity, then 10% of that was to the LDS Church. In January (not followed up, ever heard about this?) ABC News found there may be even more contributions to the Church from the Romney family through Bain Capital … continue reading…
This comes from blue aardvark at Daily Kos, who summarizes:
“Bain invests in a company. Mitt gets personally involved with managing said company. Company profits are significantly based upon Medicare Fraud. Bain & Romney never uncover the fraud in 4 years, Corning uncovers it immediately upon buying Damon. Despite the fraud, Bain triples its investment, and Romney’s share of that profit is a cool half a million.
“Damon laid off workers despite Mitt Romney serving on the board and the strategic planning committee. Despite the failure of the business model to generate new jobs, Bain Capital tripled its investment, and Romney himself made nearly half a million dollars. Rampant fraud was supporting earnings, yet Romney was not able to notice.”
Where did the information come from? “From the delightful gift that is John McCain’s opposition research on Mitt (courtesy of namelessgenxer).”
Why is this important? For several reasons, primarily that which is the “business experience” Mitt Romney would like to say he has in “creating jobs” and successfully running businesses. Except that when we scratch the surface, his actual hands-on experience with businesses, via Bain Capital, usually results in stories of laid-off workers, companies shuttered, and Mitt and his buddies at Bain walking away from the flaming wreckage with millions of dollars for themselves.
ABLC reminds us that it’s also important for this very reason:
He also keeps saying that the $716 billion are cuts to Medicare services and benefits.
Both statements are flat-out lies.
So who actually “robbed” Medicare here?
Don’t forget that one or two tax returns as background on his potential running mates wouldn’t cut it for Mitt Romney — he requested “several” from each of them, including Paul Ryan. Romney won’t give you the same background on himself because he knows he’ll be attacked. Not only that, he destroyed records from when he was governor of Massachusetts. He destroyed the records from when he ran the 2002 Olympics. And we have only part of the story about how he retroactively retired from Bain Capital to run the Olympics, yet was still one of two managing members, attending board meetings, signing documents and receiving a six-figure salary — as reported to the SEC. But, trust him, he’s hiding nothing.
Unless you’re currently comatose (or a teapartier), these facts indicate that Mitt Romney won’t disclose his past tax returns because he IS hiding something – something that’s so embarrassing, so uncomfortable, so attackable that all this criticism and speculation and mistrust is actually preferable to the alternative.
via Balloon Juice
Romney’s day: demands apology, everyone laughs, still can’t say who ran Bain after 1999
“What are you going to do when the Chinese leader says something? Or Putin says (something critical) to you? You’re going to whine…You cannot do that. And as Mitt Romney said once to his own Republican colleagues: Stop whining. I’ll give him his own advice: Stop whining.” — Rahm Emanuel on Romney demanding an apology from the Obama campaign over suggestions that he may have committed a felony about his time at Bain Capital in Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
“No, we will not apologize. Mr. Romney claims he’s Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience. Mr. Romney is now claiming he wasn’t there at the time except his filings with the SEC listing says he was the CEO, chairman and president of the company.” — President Obama, in an interview with WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia, the AP reports
Think Progress: “On Monday, Romney’s senior adviser couldn’t say who was running the company in his absence. “You should check with Bain, but it wasn’t Mitt Romney,” Eric Fehrnstrom told Reuters’ Sam Youngman. Romney claims to have turned over day to day management of Bain to a management team after he left for the Olympics, though the company continued to list Romney as its CEO well into 2002.”
Andrew Sullivan | Yes, Romney perjured himself : “If there was a good deal of time back and forth in the first few months and some business conducted all the way through to December (‘pretty much exclusively’), and if Romney’s own lawyer tells an inquiry that Romney’s work for Bain ‘continued unabated just as they had,’ then it is incontrovertibly true that Romney’s statement under oath that he was not involved ‘in any way’ in Bain business after February 1999 was a lie under oath.”
The earlier Romney’s Resignation Letter From Bain Capital may be closer to the truth than anything we’ve seen so far…
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Romney 2012. #retroactively
how quarter billionaires retire…
Mitt Romney sings America the Beautiful (warning: Romney sings), accompanied by facts from his long career as a vulture capitalist and plutocratic elitist.
You don’t get to know how much Mitt Romney is worth — or where he keeps his money. Via Political Wire: “Mitt Romney’s investment portfolio “has included an offshore company that remained invisible to voters as his political star rose,” the AP reports.”
“Based in Bermuda, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. was not listed on any of Romney’s state or federal financial reports. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed, including one that recently posted a $1.9 million earning — suggesting he could be wealthier than the nearly $250 million estimated by his campaign.”
“The omissions were permitted by state and federal authorities overseeing Romney’s ethics filings… But Romney’s limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed.”
original image via: christopherstreet
This is how the wealthiest become even wealthier: earn money in America, offshore it to other countries to avoid taxes. THAT’S HOW AMERICA WORKS!
Investigation: Mitt Romney’s Offshore Accounts, Tax Loopholes, and Mysterious I.R.A. | Vanity Fair – “For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.”
Mother Jones reports this morning that while investigating government documents, such as SEC filings, they’ve discovered that not only did Romney have a direct hand with the company Stericycle, but that he did not leave Bain Capital in 1999 as both the campaign and Bain constantly assert:
“Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when theHuffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate’s reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.
“But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney’s exit from Bain.”
This is a BFD for values voters (you’d think, they claim!) — but they shouldn’t be surprised when pure, vulture capitalism is what they choose to support: if you can make a profit on something — outsourcing American jobs to China, offshoring your American money into foreign bank accounts to avoid taxes, or disposal of aborted fetuses, that’s the way America works. Capitalism! Profit! Romney is a savvy businessman! Job creators!
If it turns out that this isn’t going to be a problem for the Christian fundamentalists, let’s not hear another word about a woman’s LEGAL freedom of choice. Read the rest…
(Photo above: found image of ‘Stericycle’ in a Google image search.)
ThinkProgress: According to an analysis by the pay research group Equilar, compensation for top bank CEOs grew by nearly 12 percent last year. The Financial Times noted that these increases occurred “despite widespread falls in profits and share prices“ […] According to a different estimate by Bloomberg News, Wall Street CEO pay grew by 20 percent last year. At the same time, worker wages grew by only 2.1 percent. And inflation adjusted wages actually declined by 0.6 percent between March 2011 and March 2012. […] Over the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased 127 times faster than worker pay.
That time frame for unequal growth in CEO / worker pay coincides with the time period that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (and companies like theirs) began their siege on outsourcing (offshoring!) American jobs. That’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it?
What’s sad about these facts is that low-information voters are completely missing the point: according to a Pew poll, Americans currently give Romney an 8-point lead over Obama on who they trust to handle the economy better. Seriously.
Profit for a few at the expense of many — do these people understand they’re saying that’s exactly the kind of economy they approve of with Mitt Romney?