This means the “real streets” that Romney claims to live in must be paved with platinum, not gold:
“According to a calculation from Emmanuel Saez, the economist at the University of California at Berkley, who has become the top expert on top incomes, Mitt Romney’s income of $21.7 million puts him well above the 1%. In fact, his income puts him in about the 99.9975% income bracket. Put another way, Mitt is in the top 0.0025%.” — Wall St. Journal »
Meanwhile, Mr. .0025% calls the president “detached from reality:”
ORLANDO — Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney offered a tough review Wednesday of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, accusing him of being “detached” from the realities of a still lagging economy. Read full article »
Maybe if Mr. Romney and his friends had invested all of the money they earned from this country IN this country, and paid more of their share of taxes to our domestic treasury, instead of paying more tax to foreign countries, our economy wouldn’t be lagging so badly? Or am I detached from reality too?
Here’s a fun game from Slate — enter YOUR annual income to see how long it would take Mitt to sit back and wait for that amount of money to appear in his many bank accounts around the world…
The larger question is: why will working and middle class conservatives vote again and again against their own best interests by voting for someone like Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates who favor such tax laws? The answer might be: numerous psychological issues.
But this is a good question — why do we have laws that tax capital gains at a lower rate than income earned from a job? And if it were up to Mitt Romney, he’d reduce the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans (and himself) even further.
From the Maddow Blog:
Chart above: Economic Policy Institute
Taking Mitt Romney’s own estimate that he pays a tax rate of 15 percent, this chart compares what he owes the IRS to what an average American family would pay. Ethan Pollack of the Economic Policy Institute, who posted the chart, writes that this is a matter of long-term policy choices by our government:
Why is the government favoring Romney’s income over that of most Americans? After all, it’s not like he’s been working recently—he’s been running for president for the better part of five years. And even if he did have the time to actively manage his investments, he’s not able to because they’re in a blind trust. As for the risk factor, sure he’s risking his capital, but he’s not bearing any more risk that most households in this economy face. So tell me again, why is it so important for the government to subsidize rich people like Romney at the expense of average American households?
Mr. Romney seems to like the general drift of American tax policy just fine. Under Mr. Romney’s plan, the richer you are, the more likely you are to get a smaller tax bill.
Remember that Mitt said he hasn’t released his tax returns because he wants to beat Obama. Take that as you will.
Via TPM: How does [Romney] stack up to the rest of us, most of whom are regular wage earners? When you account for the fact that most people also pay payroll taxes, and don’t enjoy enormous deductions, credits or other benefits, you see that Romney’s making out about as well as a taxpayer who makes $50,000 a year. Not bad for a man whose net worth is estimated to be in the neighborhood of a quarter billion dollars.
FIVE shocking things you may not know about Mitt’s tax plan… Shocking, of course, because the mainstream media doesn’t actually report on facts like this. It’s not like they’re the truth vigilantes. Both sides do it!!
Greg Sargent on the GOP ideal of slashing public sector jobs,
…it’s also important to realize that perhaps the most important reason that people believe the economy stinks — and make no mistake about it, they do — is the devastating job losses decreed by state and local governments and enthusiastically supported by Republicans in Washington, including Romney and the other GOP candidates.
Matt Yglesias has the numbers for 2011 — 280,000 government jobs lost. And of course it’s not just the actual jobs lost that hurt the economy; it’s also every teacher who didn’t take a summer vacation because she was worried that she would be laid off and every cop or firefighter who decided against buying a new home after hearing about the state budget.
The local, state, and federal workforce are / were a large part of the American middle-class. Try selling your [enter any small business goods / services here] to people who no longer have a paycheck.
Vote GOP and these are the kinds of jobs / self-employment we’ll all be scrambling for in the future:
We’ll be making minimum wage — if we’re lucky — with no government services or benefits, while the wealthiest Americans will have even more tax cuts. It’s important to balance priories with this kind of sound budgeting.
And let’s discuss it loudly, out in the open — despite where Mittens would prefer people talk — and especially since he’d like to double Bush’s tax cuts for the richest of the rich.
Too bad for Mitt Romney. Turns out income inequality — that thing he claims has no place in our political debate, or anywhere outside of “quiet rooms” — will be a central theme of President Obama’s re-election message. We know this because one of his top economic advisers essentially claimed as much in a public address at a top DC think tank on Thursday morning.
And the data he brought to the table suggests Democrats will have an easy time making their case
“[W]e can’t go back to the type of policies that exacerbated the rise in inequality and threatened economic mobility in the first place if we want an economy that builds the middle class,” said Alan Krueger, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. […]
Thirty years ago, the U.S. underwent a shift — from an economy that grew in a way that lifted all segments of society, to an economy that gives heavy preference to the wealthy. That’s the broad story of the last three decades, but as Krueger pointed out, policy has a role to play. The trend abated temporarily in the 1990s, when the country returned to an era of fairly uniform income growth distribution. That all changed for most people, and their lost income has instead trickled up the ladder. Read more…
Does looking at that graph above inspire “envy” in you — or anger? I don’t think envy means what Romney thinks it means.
Think Progress reports,
According to an analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, the average tax cuts received by the richest 1 percent of Americans under the Republican plans would be 270 times as large as the cut received by the middle class:
The share of tax cuts going to the richest one percent of Americans under these plans would range from over a third to almost half. The average tax cuts received by the richest one percent would be up to 270 times as large as the average tax cut received by middle-income Americans.
Perry wins the award with a tax cut for the richest 1 percent that is 270 times larger than his middle class tax cut, while Gingrich’s is 190 times larger. Santorum and Romney pull up the rear with tax cuts for the rich that are 100 times larger than the cuts for the middle class, while CTJ did not analyze Jon Huntsman or Ron Paul’s plans. (CTJ uses a current law baseline, rather than a current policy baseline, to calculate its cuts. Using a current policy baseline, millions of middle class families would see a tax increase under Romney’s plan.)
If you don’t think that’s “fair,” well… you’re probably just jealous. But can we discuss these kinds of “envy-producing” tax policies and income inequalities? Sure, in quiet rooms, using your inside voice, please:
MATT LAUER: Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though?
MITT ROMNEY: I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It’s a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.
That’s the motto of the GOP in general, and Mitt Romney and Bain Capital specifically (source: JoeWo) –
POLITICO: It’s a story line from a tough Democratic ad that was teed up for use against Romney in his 1994 Senate campaign in Massachusetts. The spot, which was provided exclusively to POLITICO, never actually aired. But it’s all but certain that some version of its allegations will surface in the GOP primary or the general election, if Romney makes it that far.
[…] “The way the company was rescued was with a federal bailout of $10 million,” the ad says. “The rest of us had to absorb the loss … Romney? He and others made $4 million in this deal. … Mitt Romney: Maybe he’s just against government when it helps working men and women.”
The facts of the Bain & Co. turnaround are a little more complicated, but a Boston Globe report from 1994 confirms that Bain saw several million dollars in loans forgiven by the FDIC, which had taken over Bain’s failed creditor, the Bank of New England.
Union “stooges” sure don’t get those kinds of deals! Here’s how Mitt sees the non-wealthy, the plebs, the ones who get to cover the losses (and the executive bonuses) for vulture capitalists like him:
socialistexan: And Ted still beat him.
BOTH MITT AND HIS WIFE HAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN OFFSHORE FUNDS, in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere, which are typically set up to avoid federal income tax. Romney claims to have paid taxes on all of his income, including offshore investments — BUT since he won’t release his tax returns, we’ll never know if that’s true. Another thing we’ll never know if he won’t release his tax returns: the rate of federal tax he pays, which is likely far less than the rate you or I pay.
Bain Capital, under Romney’s leadership, established trusts in offshore accounts to attract business from people looking to avoid federal income taxes. See ABC News video above.
[…] the FBI now appears to be investigating Bain Capital, as a recent FOIA request denial would seem to suggest.
Is the FBI Going After Bain Capital?
The answer to the headline question is yes. About two weeks ago, the FBI evoked FOIA exemption 7(a) and denied access to all Bain Capital records on the grounds that “there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records; and that release of the information contained in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with the enforcement proceedings.”
What this all means is anyone’s guess, but it seems perfectly clear now that the more “safe” and “electable” Mitt Romney may have more skeletons in the closet than any of the other candidates.
REMEMBER THAT MITT (THE QUARTER BILLION DOLLAR MAN) WOULD LIKE TO FURTHER LOWER TAXES ON THE WEALTHY, while increasing taxes on working and middle class people, resulting in a reduction of federal revenue by approximately 16 percent! Austerity, anyone?
Mitt Romney 2012: different rules for different classes of people — not class warfare though!
MICHELE BACHMANN has been one of the loons who has repeatedly criticized and mocked President Obama about using teleprompters. So this happened:
At a campaign stop in Creston, Iowa Wednesday, the candidate read her campaign speech directly from an iPad tablet computer.
“I have a statement I would like to read before I open up and take a few of your questions,” the candidate told the crowd, only pausing from her prepared remarks to yell “Good morning!” at a passing train.
Is there a major difference from which type of electrical device one reads one’s speech, Michele? I really want to know your thoughts on that.
~ ~ ~
Because of falling poll numbers, NEWT GINGRICH is now feeling SO desperate that he’s actually considering the half-term former governor / one-season reality TV star as a running mate:
“She is certainly one of the people you would look at. I am a great admirer of hers and she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska, she’s somebody who I think brings a great deal to the possibility of helping in government and that would be one of the possibilities.
There are also some very important Cabinet positions that she could fill very, very well. I can’t imagine anybody who would do a better job of driving us to an energy solution than Gov. Palin, for example. Tell her that she would certainly be on the list of one of the people we would consider.”
Newt’s current fragrance? Flop Sweat.
~ ~ ~
Shit RICK PERRY says:
To a voter:
“I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case. I don’t, I’m not even going to try to go through every Supreme Court case, that would be — I’m not a lawyer. We can sit here and you know play I gotcha questions on what about this Supreme Court case or whatever, but let me tell you, you know and I know that the problem in this country is spending in Washington, D.C., it’s not some Supreme Court case.”
To a reporter:
“I’m not taking the bar exam…I don’t know what a lot of legal cases involve.”
These responses were in reference to Lawrence v. Texas — a Supreme Court case which struck down the Texas sodomy law. Perry referenced the case in his 2010 book Fed Up!, calling it one of the court cases in which “Texans have a different view of the world than do the nine oligarchs in robes.”
~ ~ ~
Stormfront founder and prominent white supremacist Don Black thought RON PAUL was “One of us”:
“Everybody, all of us back in the 80′s and 90′s, felt Ron Paul was, you know, unusual in that he had actually been a Congressman, that he was one of us and now, of course, that he has this broad demographic–broad base of support.”
And Black’s thoughts on the newsletters:
“It was written in the first person frequently and, you know, a normal person would have thought that Ron Paul must have written this, or at least whoever wrote it must have did so with the approval of Ron Paul, but things change. So, now that he has this new base of support of course, he’s having–frantically trying to disavow himself from the newsletters, and I agree the newsletters were a little over the top.”
Wow. You know things are bad when the founder of Stormfront thinks Paul’s newsletters were “a little over the top“!
~ ~ ~
Finally, WHY won’t MITT ROMNEY release his tax returns?
Despite his famous demand in the 1994 Senate race that Ted Kennedy release his tax returns to show he has “nothing to hide,” Romney last week reiterated his own paperwork would not be forthcoming. “We don’t have any current plans to release tax returns, but never say never,” Romney said, adding:
“I can tell you we follow the tax laws, and if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”
Truer words were never spoken.
[…] Two weeks ago, the New York Times shed light on that “$5.5 million to $37.3 million from dividends and capital gains” that represents most of Romney’s income. Though Mitt left Bain Capital in 1999, 13 years later his windfall continues uninterrupted:
In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations…
[…] And that creates what Steve Benen aptly called “Romney’s ‘carried interest’ problem.”
In case anyone needs a refresher, there’s a tax loophole on “carried interest” — sometimes called “the carry” — that taxes private equity and venture capital income at a lower, 15% rate, as compared to 35% on ordinary income. Hedge-fund managers and the Wall Street have fought tooth and nail to protect this loophole — even after the Obama White House tried to eliminate it — and so far, they’ve been successful.
Which is why Mitt Romney has thus far refused to join his fellow GOP White House hopefuls in proposing the elimination of the 15 percent capital gains tax.
Of course he doesn’t want to tell us how much he paid in taxes on his vast Bain Capital wealth! GOP candidate Mitt Romney is looking out for his own, ever-growing, fortune while he secretly expects the rest of us to continue to subsidize it with austerity measures and GREAT ideas like this. Vote for the Republican candidate no matter what, wingnuts!
Let the GOP / Teaparty continue to argue that federal workers are the enemy — it’s complete fiction but it’s essential to the Republican Strategy. Here are some facts you’ll never see reported on Fox “News”:
The wealth gap between those governing the U.S. and the people they represent has dramatically widened, research shows.
Against a backdrop of a vast budget deficit and fears of the fragility of the economy, analysis by the Washington Post shows that the median net worth of a member of Congress has nearly tripled over 25 years while the income of an average U.S. family has actually fallen.
It calculated that their median net worth, between 1984 and 2009 and excluding home equity, rose from $280,000 to $725,000.
But the GOP tells us that federal employees are the problem. Federal salaries see worst growth in a decade, analysis finds
Federal salaries rose an average of 1.3 percent in fiscal 2011 compared to 1.2 percent average pay growth for private sector workers, according to USA Today analysis.
The sluggish salaries, held down by a pay freeze and tight budgets, did not exceed inflation, the paper noted.
The average federal worker made $75,296 during that period, plus $28,323 in benefits, such as health care and retirement packages, the analysis found, adding that the government workforce has higher average education levels than the private sector and includes more professionals and specialists.
Pitting worker against worker, here is “The Republican Strategy” in part:
The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.
By splitting working America along these lines, Republicans hope to deflect attention from the big story. That’s the increasing share of total income and wealth going to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.
Divide and conquer the sheeple. That’s all the GOP has to offer in any election. Especially when their biggest idea consists of tax cuts for the wealthy paid for with austerity for the rest of us. Hooray!