GOPocrisy, Lies, Mitt Romney — August 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

Mitt Romney is counting on you being repelled by discussions about high finance


Pay no attention to the traitor behind the curtain

By now you know how bad a day Mitt Romney had yesterday. Nearly every headline coming out of his trip to Michigan included the word “birther” in it. It was so bad, in fact, that he quickly sent out a “Look over there! Something shiny!” email to his mailing list, trotting out a thoroughly debunked lie about President Obama removing the work requirement from welfare.

But I would be willing to bet that the Romney campaign is actually relieved that this tempest in a teapot discussion about his slinging red meat to the birthers is dominating the headlines. Why? Because otherwise people would be talking about the massive release of nearly 1,000 pages of internal documents by Gawker from Romney’s days at Bain Capital that show conclusively that he went to dramatic and possibly illegal lengths to avoid paying taxes.

What Mitt Romney is counting on is that Americans are more excited about talking about inflammatory remarks about President Obama’s birth certificate than they are about discussions of high finance, a world most of us will never know, much less understand.

The rarefied air in the financial world that Mitt Romney lives in is barely breathable by us mortals. The jargon, the complexity, the legalese, and the insanely fast pace of that environment repel most of us. Heck, I have an MBA and have taken finance classes and yet, when I hear discussions about credit default swaps, “Blocker corporations” and deferred income, my eyes begin roll back in my head and I get an incredible urge to watch American Idol or Iron Chef.

That’s what Mitt Romney is counting on. He’s counting on Americans to think, “He said he paid all the taxes he was legally required to pay and that’s good enough for me. I don’t need to know anything about offshore tax havens and the favorable tax rates for capital gains. Ooo! Look! Ryan Seacrest!”

But here is the plain and simple message that we need to get out: Mitt Romney has gone to extraordinary lengths, very possibly ILLEGAL lengths, to avoid paying taxes. He has access to lawyers and loopholes and offshore accounts and foreign investment schemes that allow him to reduce his annual tax rate to far less than most Americans. Period.

This is from the New York Times:

Hundreds of pages of confidential internal documents from the private equity firm Bain Capital published online Thursday provided new details on investments held by the Romney family’s trusts, as well as aggressive strategies that Bain appears to have used to minimize its investors’ and partners’ tax liabilities. {…}

[T]hey highlight the range and complexity of Mr. Romney’s investments at a time when those very qualities have been the subject of the Obama campaign’s main attacks against him, including demands that Mr. Romney release his tax returns to clear up any suggestion that he might be benefiting financially from legal loopholes or tax shelters. {…}

In a blog post Thursday, Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado, said that there was some disagreement among lawyers, but that he believed: “If challenged in court, Bain would lose. The Bain partners, in my opinion, misreported their income if they reported these converted fees as capital gain instead of ordinary income.” {…}

In an article that appeared in the journal Tax Notes in 2009, Gregg D. Polsky, a tax law professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, called the tax strategy “extremely aggressive” and said it was “subject to serious challenge by the I.R.S.

Details in the documents suggest that Bain funds in which Mr. Romney’s fortune is invested also used a variety of legal mechanisms to help some investors avoid significant taxes.

Don’t worry about the complexity and the confusing nature of this world of high finance that Mitt Romney and his pals live in. Just know this: they are hiding behind this complexity and using it to amass enormous amounts of money and avoiding paying taxes to the USA.

It’s unpatriotic.

That’s it. There’s little more to be said other than to ask one question: Do we want to elect a man to be president who has spent most of his adult life figuring out how to game the system to avoid paying his fair share of taxes and to become enormously wealthy at the expense of others?

At the end of the day, this isn’t about whether or not Mitt Romney was a shrewd businessman. We concede that much. This is about whether we want a greedy, unpatriotic tycoon to lead our country.