Category Archives: Mitt Romney

Romney Gave A Ton To Charities Last Year

Posted by Fullcouch on January 24, 2012, 4:45pm

The mainstream media might conveniently ignore this one as well. Or, maybe they’ll acknowledge that Romney gave millions, but only out of guilt and obedience to the cult of Mormonism.

Daily Mail – I’m really struggling to work out what all the fuss is about over this one. It seems to me to be much ado about nothing. Breaking news: Mitt Romney is very rich. He also gave millions and millions of dollars to charity and to the taxman.
In the early hours of this morning, some 550 pages of Mitt Romney’s tax returns and a 2011 tax summary were released by his campaign. Just after dawn, there was a long campaign conference call for bleary-eyed reporters in which an accountant (who sounded exactly like you’d imagine Mitt Romney’s accountant would sound) went into details of Mitt millions in mind-numbing detail.
There was an air of grumpy efficency about the call, which was led by Ben Ginsberg, who was George W. Bush’s lawyer during the Florida election recount in 2000. At one point Ginsberg noted that 26 people from Chicago were listening into the proceedings, a reference to the Obama campaign headquarters.
So what were the headlines? He raked in about $42 million in 2010 and 2011. His effective tax rate was just below 14 percent, lower than that for many American taxpayers. He paid $6.2 million to the taxman and donated a staggering $7 million to charity, including $4.1 million to the Mormon church.
OK, so Mormons are supposed to tithe 10 percent of their income. But it’s to Romney’s immense credit that he promised to do this in his youth and followed through with that – to the tune of scores of millions (maybe hundreds of millions) of dollars throughout his life.
In fact, in those two years, he paid 16 percent of his income to charity, compared to, er, 2.6 percent by Newt Gingrich.
And what about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the run-up to their 2008 campaign?
USA Today broke it down here. In 2007, the Obamas gave more than $240,000 to charity, about 5.7 percent of their income. The Bidens gave an average of $369 to charity a year for the decade before he moved to the Naval Observatory – about 0.3 percent of their income. Back in 1997, then veep Al Gore and his then wife Tipper gave $353.
Since becoming veep, Biden hasn’t become much more generous. In 2010, he gave $5,350, about 1.4 percent of income. That same year, Romney gave some $3 million. The national average is about three percent.
As far as we know, Romney scrupulously adhered to all US tax laws. No one has accused him of tax evasion.
What we hear is: Funds in the Cayman Islands! Swiss bank account!
So will all this hurt Romney politically? The Obama campaign and White House clearly thinks so. An Obama guest for tonight’s State of the Union will be Warren Buffett’s secretary, a crude nod to the familiar Democratic trope about the secretary being subject to higher tax rates than Buffett himself.
Much of the media also thinks so. Covering the story, CNN made repeated use of the term “the one percent” – a blatant assimilation of the cry from the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In Britain and much the rest of Europe, immense personal wealth often breeds resentment. In the United States, not so much. Certainly, Americans want economic fairness and equal opportuity. But belief in capitalism and the notion that by striving hard you too can become wealthy remain are enduring American traits.
Last week, Romney was stunningly inept in his handling of questions about his tax returns, humming and hawing, prevaricating, stonewalling and then finally, in defeat in South Carolina, agreeing to release documents.
Now he’s done what he should have done earlier (politically-speaking – he’s releasing returns much earlier than any other candidate previously in modern times) this is going to fade away as an issue for most voters.
Democrats will try to foment resentment about Romney’s wealth. And certainly some people will never want to vote for a fat cat rich guy. But if Obama strategists think they it can win a re-election battle on a platform of class warfare they’re very much mistaken.

Romney gave millions to charity last year

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10 Reasons Mitt Romney Is In Trouble Over His Taxes

Posted by Fullcouch on January 19, 2012, 2:30pm

Daily Mail – It was all so avoidable. All Mitt Romney needed to do in Monday night’s debate when Rick Perry (in what may turn out to be his most enduring contribution to the 2012 race) asked him about his tax returns was to state that he would release them in April if he was the presumptive nominee.

That would have made news. He’d have agreed to disclose at the stage party nominees normally disclose and although his rivals would have kept demanding the returns now he’d have been able to stonewall fairly easily. Instead, he completely failed to answer the question. The following morning, yesterday, he was pressed into revealing that he paid a tax rate of just 15 percent on most of his income.

Here’s why Romney’s in big trouble over this:

1. This is a problem of his own making and will therefore give Republicans pause

Romney completely ignored Perry’s question. Even though that bought him some time, when the WSJ’s Kelly Evans, inevitably, brought it up again he gave a weirdly evasive and indecisive answer.

He initially said: “You know, I, I looked at what has been done in, in campaigns in the past, with Senator McCain and President George W. Bush and others. They’ve tended to release tax records in April, or tax season. I hadn’t planned on releasing tax records, because the law requires us to release all of our assets, all the things we own.

“That I’ve already released; it’s a pretty full disclosure. But, but, you know, if, if that’s been the tradition, then I’m not opposed to doing that. Time will tell. But I anticipate that most likely I’m going to get asked to do that around the April time period, and I’ll keep that open.”

When Evans asked simply, “Governor, you will plan, then, to release your income tax records around April?” it got even worse. Romney responded: “I, I think I’ve heard enough from folks saying, look, you know, let’s see your tax records. I have nothing in, in them that, to suggest there’s any problem, and I’m happy to do so.

“I, I, I, I sort of feel like we’re, we’re showing a lot of exposure at this point, and if I become our nominee I’m, and what’s happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year, and that’s probably what I’d do.”

A dreadful response. Although Romney has performed extremely well in the debates, this is not the kind of answer a Republican nominee should be giving in a debate against President Barack Obama in the autumn.

2. Chris Christie has said he needs to release his tax returns

This morning, Christie, a top Romney surrogate, charged straight off the reservation and said on NBC: “I would say if you have tax returns to put out, you know, you should put them out sooner rather than later, because it’s always better in my view to have complete disclosure, especially as the frontrunner.”

That effectively gives Romney little choice but to get his tax returns out this week. Otherwise, he’s going to get hammered in tomorrow’s debate in Charleston and it’ll look like he really goes have something to hide.

3. Romney’s own father released his tax returns early in the 1968 campaign

This boxes Romney in morally as well as politically. It could also make him extremely uncomfortable if confronted with his father’s own words in a debate. Romney reveres his father and is an intenseley private man. Again, it pushes him towards disclosure right now.

4. The Mormon thing

It’s barely reared its head here in South Carolina but from the Romney campaign’s point of view, I suspect, the tax issue is principally the Mormon issue. Throughout his life, Romney has tithed 10 percent of his income to charity. That’s a collosal amount of money – millions and millions of dollars.

Naturally, this money will have gone principally to Mormon-linked organisations. The tax returns will disclose which ones and prompt the media to crawl all over them asking questions about the charities, their practices and their rules. Quite sensibly, the Romney campaign doesn’t want this to happen until he’s got the nomination safey wrapped up.

5. Offshore investments

The peerless Brian Ross and his ABC colleagues report that Romney – as well as Bain Capital – has substantial offshore investments. They’re still subject to American tax laws but as Ross and Co point out these accounts “provided him – and Bain – with other potential financial benefits, such as higher management fees and greater foreign interest, all at the expense of the US Treasury”. For US Treasury, read American taxpayers.

6. Timing

The timing couldn’t be worse. There are just two full days before voting on Saturday. In the middle of that, there’s a debate. If Romney releases his tax returns, that will dominate the last 48 hours. If he doesn’t, his refusal will dominate just as much. It’s a Catch-22 situation. His best hope has to be that he’s far enough ahead in South Carolina for it not to matter and he wins anyway, even if it’s a squeaker.

7. The 15 percent rate plays right into Newt Gingrich’s hands

Gingrich is an erratic and undisciplined campaigner. But he’s also a clever and nimble one when the opportunity presents itself and he’s in the right mood. Gingrich already had a 15-percent flat tax plan.

After Romney revealed his tax rate, Gingrich quipped: “I think we ought to rename our flat tax,” Gingrich said Tuesday on the campaign trail. “We have a 15 percent flat tax. So this would be the ‘Mitt Romney flat tax’ that all Americans could then pay the rate Romney paid. I think that’s terrific.”

This is much better terrain for Gingrich that the class-warfare attacks on Romney’s time at Bain because it allows him to mock Romney while at the same time making a conservative case for a lower, flat tax rate for all.

8. Most Americans pay a much higher rate than 15 percent

America’s tax system is a complete mess. You need a degree in accountancy to understand it. There are some very good reasons for having low tax rates for investments. But Gingrich’s tax rate last year was 31 percent and Obama’s about 25 percent. Once you get into parsing the reasons for this on the stump then you’ve lost the argument.

Class warfare and proposals to increase taxes on the wealthy are hardly likely to turn the tide in a Republican primary battle. But there’s a real inequity here and it does not help Romney at all.

9. This feeds the “out of touch” meme about Romney

At the same time as revealing his 15 percent rate, Romney remarked that he earned “not very much” from speaking fees. In fact, he earned $374,327 from speaking fees last year – putting him way up in the top one percent of Americans.

This shows the same sort of tin ear as exhibited by Gingrich when he said that he made $60,000 a speech and was therefore incorruptible (the average household income for a family of four in South Carolina is about $58,000). After “I’m also unemployed” , “corporations are people”, $10,000 bets, “pink slips” and “I like firing people” it’s yet another unforced error by Romney on a similar theme.

10. The psychological effect – it hits Romney in a place where he feels beyond reproach

When John Kerry was assailed over his Vietnam war record in the 2004 campaign, the effectiveness of the attack was not just that it questioned Kerry’s truthfulness and even patriotism but that it hit him where it really hurt.

Kerry thought that Vietnam would be a huge net positive for him. When it suddenly looked like it could be an albatross it was a disorientating experience. The same thing is true of Romney and taxes. It goes to his business record with Bain and his charitable giving (colossal by the standards of any American).

Romney expected attacks on healthcare and flip-flopping. Having to defend himself on his business record and his personal wealth in a Republican primary could ruffle his usual calm – he’s proved brittle before in debates (particularly in the 2008 campaign) so tomorrow night will be a big test for him.

Why Mitt Romney is in trouble over his taxes

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Mitt’s Gaining Steam – Time To Climb On Board

Posted by Fullcouch on January 14, 2012, 11:55am

Looks like it’s time to coalesce, people.

Investors – Mitt Romney appears to be gaining steam in a new national poll, especially among conservatives.

Former Governor Romney now leads former Representative Newt Gingrich, 34-18, according to a CNN/ORC International survey completed yesterday of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.

Last month before Todd Palin’s endorsement of Gingrich the pair were tied at 28%. In November Romney had only 20% support.

Ron Paul (up one point) and Rick Santorum (up 11 points despite a fifth place finish in New Hampshire) are now tied at 15%, reports the new survey of 1,021 adults, with Rick Perry at 9% and Jon Huntsman at 4%.

According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, “Romney’s increased support has come entirely from conservative Republicans, and mostly at Gingrich’s expense.”

That could augur well for Romney if that trend holds true in South Carolina, which votes next and is considered more conservative than the first two balloting spots.

Romney’s ongoing strong suit appears to be electability, reinforced by his unprecedented two straight wins in Iowa and New Hampshire. The poll found 70% of Republicans prefer a candidate who can beat Democrat Obama over a GOP candidate who agrees with them on everything.

And 55% of those have settled on Romney as the one, up from 36% in December and 26% in September. Gingrich’s electability numbers have gone the other way, from 35% last month to 13% this week.

So, the lesson in all this is that Romney maybe should chip in some of his own money to help broadcast Gingrich’s TV commercials accusing the front-runner of being a successful capitalist.

Romney builds support – big time

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Why Do Conservatives Fear Romney? Answer: John McCain

Posted by Fullcouch on January 11, 2012, 7:40am

Red State Virginia – John McCain was on the Sean Hannity show yesterday afternoon and he made a couple of statements that I think illustrates why Conservatives are not comfortable with Mitt Romney.

Hannity asked McCain, Romney’s newest BFF why he did not go after Barack Obama about his radical associations, his failure to provide his college transcripts, and a number of other issues during the 2008 campaign.

McCain’s response was that he thought those things were being covered sufficiently by others.

(Didn’t John McCain mean those things were being covered UP by others? Mama Mia!)

News flash Senator; no one outside of conservative talk media was asking those questions, and to this day we know nothing about the man. Wouldn’t it have been nice if we had put forth a candidate who would have asked these obvious questions, went after the opposition, and demanded that the media do its job?

McCain further offered that he was not as concerned about the direction of the country after Obama was elected as he is today. Another revelation! If you had listened to the Obama critics on the right, it would have been obvious where we were headed with Obama at the helm. You just wanted to be nice; to stay above the fray. Well thanks a lot Senator!

Conservatives today fear the same thing from Romney. He talks a good line while he is running the primary race and trying to garner conservative votes so he can become the nominee, but what will he actually do in the general election? Will he decide to be Mr. Nice Guy and take the advice of his BFF McCain, or will he go all out to attack Obama on his record?

If he follows Republican Establishment advice, (Do we have any reason to believe he won’t? He is the favored candidate of the establishment.), he will run more to the center, or even to the left a bit so he doesn’t “Scare the Independents and Moderates”.

That is what Conservatives do not want; we are tired of Squishy Moderate Republican candidates like Dole, McCain, and now Romney. We need a true Conservative, not only to defeat Obama, but to lead us back to the America of our founders.

Whomever we put forth as a nominee must run as a Conservative and run on Conservative Principles or we will lose to Obama once again. We must have as Reagan said, “Bold Colors”; there must be a distinct choice not another Democrat lite like McCain.

Conservatives are timid on Romney because of McCain

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