|"Mo money, mo money, mo non-taxable money for me!"|
Mitt Romney conceded President Barack Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person, but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: “I am who I am.”
Romney quoted that Popeye line three times in a 30-minute interview with POLITICO about his leadership style and philosophy, swatting away advice from Republicans to focus on connecting with voters in a more emotional, human way at this convention. Instead, he vowed to keep his emphasis — in the campaign and any administration to follow — on a relentlessly goal-driven, business-minded approach that has shaped his life so far.
“I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not,” Romney said. “You get what you see. I am who I am.”
Seriously? So Romney's big excuse for being robotic and unlikeable is that OTHER people also have personal flaws but are just better at faking that they are more personable?
So don't believe who Mitt Romney appears to be, just trust that he is who he, and of course his wife Ann, say that he is. Faith over observable facts, now where have I heard that argument made before?
So just "who am" Mitt Romney?
Well according to information revealed in those Bain documents he is a man who has done everything in his power to defraud the government by not paying his fair share of taxes.
This from Veracity Stew:
Management fees for running a private equity firm are classified as earned income, and are taxable at a rate of 35%. However, if that money is then shifted offshore through the Bain maze, it can be disguised as “carried interest” and the earner pays a much lower 15% Capital Gains tax rate. Does the reader now see why Mitt Romney’s Budget Plan proposes the elimination of taxes on Dividends and Capital Gains? As Victor Fleischer – Professor of Law, University of Colorado explains:
"Because the management fees for a large private equity fund can be ten or twenty million per year, the tax dodge can literally save millions in taxes every year. The problem is that it is not legal."
But that is not all. Not by a long shot.
Equally disturbing is the use of offshore accounts to avoid taxation on US dividend-paying stock. This tactic is called a “total return equity swap,” because it involves swapping real stock equity for derivative paper investments that provide all the same dividends as the stock itself. The stock derivatives, however, are totally tax free. In this scheme, dividends taxable at 15% are shunted to an offshore account and redefined in such a way that no taxes are owed. Daniel Shaviro explains how this process works:
"This use of total return equity swaps, such as to avoid the U.S. dividend withholding tax, was very widespread for more than a decade, and may not be dead yet, although the IRS issued a shot-across-the-bow Notice concerning the practice in 2010. But taxpayers who engaged in it to avoid the dividend withholding tax were coming perilously close to committing tax fraud, in cases where the economic equivalence to direct ownership was too great." (For example, in a lot of these deals even the exact timing of dividend payments had to be replicated in the swap.) "Given that considerations of economic substance are relevant to ownership determinations for U.S. federal income tax purposes" (i.e., “tax ownership”), "the only leg that taxpayers had to stand on in some of these cases was common practice and the apparent lack of IRS enforcement" (not a very strong leg if the correct application of the law was clear).
In other words, those who continued to employ the use of total equity return swaps after the IRS made its public announcement in 2010 could still be charged with fraud, since the intent of the law was then made patently clear. Perpetrators cannot now claim that they “paid all the legally required taxes” simply because the IRS failed to enforce. The tact itself was deceptive, and employed with the intent to pay zero taxes on otherwise taxable income. Gawker documents reveal that four of the equity and hedge funds Mitt Romney invests in engage in equity swaps. Further, Viking Global Equities LP and Taconic Capital Partners 1.5 LP, two hedge funds that the Romneys are invested in via a Goldman Sachs so-called “fund of funds,” also reported equity swaps in statements Gawker obtained.
Did you get all of that?
This information, by the way, gives credence to another charge against Romney. This one by fellow Mormon Harry Reid:
Considering the evidence in the Gawker documents that Romney is heavily invested in “total return equity swaps”, and that through this practice US dividend-paying income receives a 0% tax rate, these findings give credence to Harry Reid’s claim that a Bain investor tipped him off that Romney paid zero taxes in ten years. We also know from tax experts that such a practice is potentially fraudulent.
Now here is where I would like to address Mitt the Twit's argument against focusing on his taxes.
Romney has said: The fascination with taxes I’ve paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face.
That is absolute bullshit. Mitt Romney is running for the highest political office in the land.
He does not simply have to convince voters that he can do the job (Which in my opinion he has not even come close to doing.), he has to convince voters that they can TRUST him in that job.
We have had both incompetent (George W. Bush) and criminal (George W. Bush) Presidents in the White House, and the only way we have of predicting how well they will do perform in that job, and how much we can trust that they will do it honestly, is to examine how they have conducted themselves in the world BEFORE they started to groom themselves for this position.
Now Mitt Romney seems to have been grooming himself for this position, for the majority of his life, but what we DO know about him is that he ran a business that made money by bankrupting companies his corporation took over, that he invested with companies that specialized in sending American jobs overseas, that he has been caught lying about his tax returns and residency before, and that, according to these documents obtained by Gawker, he may have defrauded the government out of millions of dollars of tax money.
And THIS is the guy that wants to be our President.
Yeah, fuck that!