Tag Archives: politics

More Questions Than Answers About Romney’s Taxes

25 Sep

On Friday, Mitt Romney belatedly released just a single additional tax return — his 2011 filing — and a cryptic summary of the previous two decades. The summary featured no details about any individual year. And as for the 2011 return, it was cooked to produce a higher tax rate — and more favorable headlines — for Romney, calling into question what else in this and other returns was manipulated to produce a more favorable appearance.

Here’s ten questions about his taxes that Mitt Romney still needs to answer:

1. After the election, when the subject of your tax returns is outside of the public glare, will you file an amended tax return to claim your full deduction of charitable contributions? Was the tax rate you reported for other years similarly manipulated?

2. Why was your 2011 income $7 million lower than you estimated it to be in January? How does someone overestimate their income by $7 million?

3. Financial disclosures show that you have as much as $82 million in your tax-deferred Individual Retirement Account, despite the fact that tax rules limited contributions into such accounts to $30,000 per year. Did you lowball the value of the assets you put into your IRA, as tax experts suspect? And did you do the same with gifts into your sons’ trusts?

4. What was the purpose of your Swiss bank account and the myriad offshore entities shown on your return, based in countries like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, if not to avoid taxes?

5. Can you explain what one tax expert has called a “mysterious one-time infusion of foreign tax credits” in 2008?

6. You have not disclosed any foreign bank account reports (FBARs). Did you file all FBARs on all of your offshore accounts with the Treasury Department by the legal deadlines each year?

7. You claim to have paid an average tax rate of 20 percent over the last 20 years based on a flawed calculationWhat was your real tax rate?

8. Your 14 percent tax rate –- not to mention the approximately 10 percent tax rate you would have paid had you not inflated it — is less than what many middle-class Americans pay. And you paid just 0.2% of your income in payroll taxes, while most Americans pay about 15%. Do you think that is fair?

9. Your tax returns show that the Marriott Corporation paid you $260,390 in directors’ fees in 2011. When you were the company’s audit committee chair in the 1990s, were you aware that the company was abusing a notorious illegal tax shelter?

10. You say you’ve made a “commitment to the public” that your tax rate should not be below 13 percent. If you believe that the richest Americans shouldn’t be paying an exceptionally low tax rate, why don’t you support President Obama’s “Buffett Rule”?

In fairness, Romney actually did answer question number eight during a 60 Minutes interview that aired last night. Romney argued that it is indeed “fair” for him to pay a lower tax rate on millions in investment income than a middle class worker pays on $50,000 in wages:

Pelley: Now, you made on your investments, personally, about $20 million last year. And you paid 14 percent in federal taxes. That’s the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did?

Romney: It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as 35 percent.

Pelley: So you think it is fair?

Romney: Yeah, I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth, to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.

Not only does none other than Ronald Reagan disagree with Romney, but his economic argument is also wrong. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy ushered in the weakest job growth in decades. Lower taxes on the wealthy do not lead to job growth. In fact, the opposite appears to be true.

BOTTOM LINE: It’s time for Mitt Romney to come clean about both his tax returns and plans to increase taxes on the middle class while slashing them even further for the wealthiest Americans.

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Rush Limbaugh as Benedict Arnold

29 Jan

So we hear that drug-addict Rush Limbaugh, in a deeply unpatriotic move, wants President’s Obama’s quest to turn around the US economy to FAIL!
rush-limbaugh

And Limbaugh claims to be a patriot?

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George Bush: How’d He Do?

22 Dec

(Well, I think we all know the answer to this question). George Bush is busy on his Bucket List tour trying to shore up his legacy. Its not going so well for him, and not just because of flying shoes… Here is David Letterman’s take…

Another Obama Endorsement: The Economist

30 Oct

Yet another endorsement for Barack Obama – this time from the Economist.

“It is impossible to forecast how important any presidency will be. Back in 2000 America stood tall as the undisputed superpower, at peace with a generally admiring world. The main argument was over what to do with the federal government’s huge budget surplus. Nobody foresaw the seismic events of the next eight years. When Americans go to the polls next week the mood will be very different. The United States is unhappy, divided and foundering both at home and abroad. Its self-belief and values are under attack.”

“Merely by becoming president, he would dispel many of the myths built up about America: it would be far harder for the spreaders of hate in the Islamic world to denounce the Great Satan if it were led by a black man whose middle name is Hussein; and far harder for autocrats around the world to claim that American democracy is a sham. America’s allies would rally to him: the global electoral college on our website shows a landslide in his favour. At home he would salve, if not close, the ugly racial wound left by America’s history and lessen the tendency of American blacks to blame all their problems on racism.”

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Sarah Palin is Anti-American

21 Oct

Sarah Palin’s logic is that people who associate (no matter how loosely) with people she designates “Anti American” are themselves in some way also “Anti American”. So how’s this: according to Alaska state officials Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, twice registered as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a fierce states’ rights group that wants to turn all federal lands in Alaska back to the state.

He’s arguably a “secessionist” … how anti-American is that?

Sarah Palin herself was never a member of the party, but that (by her logic at least) doesn’t matter does it? She didn’t just have a few meetings with the guy several years ago … she cohabits with him.

The McCain campaign orcefully worked to tamp down questions about Sarah Palin’s association with the Independence Party, but I think America needs to find out who Sarah Palin really is

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

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General Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama, Says It Best

20 Oct

One part of what Colin Powell said on Meet The Press ” really hit home to me “… we have managed to convey to the world that we are more unilateral than we really are. We have not explained ourself well enough. And we, unfortunately, have left an impression with the world that is not a good one. And the new president is going to have to fix the reputation that we’ve left with the rest of the world.”

General Powell feels, as many of us do, that part of the great damage done by the Bush administration (the crumbling economy, huge Chinese-owned deficits and social injustice aside) is the damage done to the international reputation of the United States.

This has immense ramifications on security, on our ability to act militarily and also economically: let’s not forget someone has to buy our goods and services. General Powell (a Republican Party Secretary of State and decorated war hero) also agrees that Barack Obama is the best choice for President.

“I came to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities… as well as his substance–he has both style and substance–he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.  I think he is a transformational figure.  He is a new generation coming into the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.”

General, you said it best.

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Joe The Plumber

17 Oct

Now we learn: his name’s not Joe, he’s not a plumber and he would do better under Obama’s plan! You gotta love American politics!

Last weekend, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) visited a quiet neighborhood outside Toledo, OH, and ran into a man named Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. Wurzelbacher, known as “Joe,” asked Obama if he believed in the American Dream and expressed his concern about having to pay higher taxes should he fulfill his desire to own a small plumbing business. “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year,” he told Obama. “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” Obama explained that his tax plan is premised on the idea that “if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re going to be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you.” Obama then added, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Wurzelbacher became an instant conservative hero. Right-wing media immediately latched on to him — who called Obama’s economic plan “socialist” — and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) quickly jumped on the bandwagon, lionizing “Joe the Plumber” in the final presidential debate last Wednesday. “What you want to do to Joe the Plumber and millions more like him is have their taxes increased and not be able to realize the American Dream of owning their own business,” McCain said to Obama. But the reality is far different. In fact, a progressive tax policy is exactly how “millions” like “Joe the Plumber” can realize the American Dream — a concept that McCain once understood years ago.

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