Mitt and Taxes

I cannot improve on Tbogg’s analysis of the Harry Reid “outrage” on Mitt’s taxes. Do read. I don’t know if Reid really heard what he said he heard; I do know that this has got to be getting under Mitt’s thin and privileged skin.

Meanwhile, House Dems are joining forces to demand that Mittens explain how the amount of money in his IRA came to exceed the GDP of Micronesia.

Romney’s most recent financial disclosure form revealed that his tax-deferred individual retirement account holds upwards of $100 million — an amount that awkwardly showcases his enormous wealth but also raises legal and ethical questions.

IRAs are intended to allow workers to put away modest sums of money each year in order to help finance a middle class retirement. The savings are tax deferred, but there’s a legal limit — now $6,000 — on how much each IRA holder can contribute annually.

Now top Democrats on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Education and Workforce Committees want to know how people of Romney’s wealth can end up with 100,000 times that much money in a single IRA, and how much the tax and investment strategies they employ cost the Treasury in revenue every year.

In a letter Thursday to senior officials at the Treasury and Labor departments, Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) want to know: Is this legal? How easy is this strategy to get away with? How much does it cost the government every year? And what can be done to end the practice?

“[W]e are alarmed to learn that wealthy taxpayers may be taking advantage of a tax subsidy that is designed to provide for retirement to instead accumulate massive amounts of tax-sheltered assets,” the lawmakers write. “Given your commitment to the rule of law and equitable treatment of taxpayers, we hope that you will evaluate this issue carefully to ensure that a select few are not being provided with a loophole that allows for wrongful tax evasion.”

And the Obama Campaign has published and interactive map to show people how much taxes would go up in each state of Mittens is elected.

I can’t remember a time when the Dems were this coordinated. Praise be.

Romney is promising jobs, jobs, jobs. He’s saying he will create 12 million jobs in his first term, which would beat Bill Clinton’s record in his first term. Well, that sounds grand. But Mittens a little vague about where these jobs will come from. He seems to think his mere presence in the White House is all that’s needed.

How will Romney create 12 million jobs?

Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard put out a white paper yesterday explaining the goal, but as the Huffington Post’s Jon Ward notes, “The paper was less actuarial work with raw data and specific numbers, however, and more of an economic philosophy argument based largely on the premise that simply by undoing much of what President Obama has done since taking office, the economy would recover at a faster pace than it has been from the recession that began in late 2008.”

Still, the paper states that “history shows that a recovery rooted in policies contained in the Romney plan will create about 12 million jobs in the first term of a Romney presidency.” Notably, the paper does not provide much historical evidence to support this claim, and where it does look at history, it focuses on unemployment rates, not job creation numbers.

In other words, if we clap our hands and vote for Mitt, the jobs fairy will leave jobs under our pillows. This is so stupid it doesn’t even rise to the level of pandering.

20 thoughts on “Mitt and Taxes

  1. The savings are tax deferred, but there’s a legal limit — now $6,000 — on how much each IRA holder can contribute annually.

    This, though, was probably some other vehicle, like a SEP or Simple IRA, that had much higher contribution limits (ballpark of $30k). Still not high enough to make a difference to the analysis, but I’m a tax nitpicker by disposition and profession.

  2. My favorite was reading this, this morning:
    ‘Mitt to Reid – Put up or shut up!’

    Uhm, MR, Romney, HE’S got nothing to put up, except the name of someone who told him you didn’t pay any taxes. And you know Harry is much too much of a stand-up person to do something like that.
    YOU’RE the one who has to put up, or shut up!
    They’re YOU’RE tax returns!!!

    But of course, this tough guy act will endear him to the base.

    And I love how the Conservatives are all getting huffy about Reid’s accusations. Saying that this is beyond dirty politics. Why, this is something that they can’t believe anyone would EVER do to an opponent!

    Conservatives, be thankful Reid, a whole bunch of Democratic leaders, and Liberal pundits, didn’t wonder if, when Mitt went to France, he did that to get involved with the French heroin connection, and brought the drugs back to America in his limo, and that that funded him starting Bain?
    And say that Ann is secretly a lesbian, who killed a male lover, and faked his suicide and planted the body in Arlington Cemetery.
    And that she and Mitt have systematically killed poeple who knew about his French Connection, her being a lesbian, and killing her male lover..
    And said that he took the Olympics gig, so that he could bring in drugs from China and Southeast Asia, and had secret airports built in Utah, for the dealers to fly into.
    And that Ann, when Mitt was MA governor, made some money on a questionable real estate deal.
    Oh, and that Mitt was really born in Mexico, and raised there by relatives, until he was old enough to go to Prep School.
    So, where’s his REAL birth certificate? How do we know that MI one is for real.
    Oh, and where are his Prep School, college, and Law and Business School grades?

    No, Reid’s not doing any oft he above.
    He’s only asking for a decade and a half’s worth of tax returns.

    If Reid, other Democrats, and Liberal pundits, accused Mitt of doing all of the above, now THAT would really be beyond dirty politics!

    No – Democrats don’t do things like accuse their opponents of all sorts of wild and whacky conspiracies, to discredit them, and hope that they lose elections. Or, if they win elections, lose support.
    Why, that would be positively REPUBLICAN-LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bullies always cry when the other kids punch back.

  3. The IRA issue brings up another question: Will this still untaxed money pass to the next generation without being taxed (since the big push is/was to eliminate the “Death Tax”)?

  4. The damn fool doesn’t even have the official nomination yet and he is already working his “I am not a crook” speech.

  5. Also too – if, as Conservatives claim, government HAS NEVER, NOT EVER, NOT ONCE, NOT NEVAH EVAH!, CREATED ONE SINGLE JOB, will Mitt, when he’s ostensibly in charge of the government, create 12 million?

    This enquiring mind wants to know?

  6. AAAAANNNNNNDDDDDD…………… we’re no longer talking about “He didn’t build that” and we’re back on Mitt’s taxes. Nice. Well played. And Stewert needs to shut his pie hole.

    • we’re no longer talking about “He didn’t build that” and we’re back on Mitt’s taxes.


  7. He seems to think his mere presence in the White House is all that’s needed.

    Yes, I believe he actually believes it. Because he was born wealthy, this will happen. His karma is in a good place from the last life he lived. He will get his buck tag for opening day and nothing can ever go wrong again.

  8. You can do things with IRA money, like invest in real estate or gold – you’re not limited to the kind of IRA investment vehicles that are marketed to the masses, and I’m sure that explains some of what Mitt (or more likely, his advisors) have been up to. Some employers will match your retirement contribution (usually it’s around 2 to 4 to 6%), but you can set up your own company, draw a salary, and kick up this matching contribution percentage much higher.

    The key thing is to find an IRA custodian that allows “self directed IRAs”, which allow you to invest in whatever you want. There are certain gotchas (“prohibited transactions”), that if not followed carefully can get you into trouble with the IRS, and it’s quite possible Mitt has crossed some of these lines.

    Loved the TBogg article. I am starting to appreciate Harry Reid.

  9. Great interview of Mike Lofgren, the “GOP operative who left the cult”, and his new book The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted.

    …Of course people like the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson are engaging in a rational exercise to maximize their wealth. Their contributions will come back manifold in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, and exclusive franchises. The primary purpose of the GOP these days is to provide tax breaks and other financial advantages (such as not regulating pollution and other socially costly externalities) to their wealthy donor base. All the rest of their platform, all the culture wars stuff, is simply rube bait.

    One cannot get a majority of voters – who are decidedly non-rich – to knowingly pull the lever for a party that nakedly says “our platform is further enrichment of the wealthy, and, oh, by the way, we’re also going to make your retirement benefits take a hit.” ….And the media are definitely not interested in wising them up, especially when they can instead supply celebrity interviews, singing contests, or commercialized orgies like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics

    Since the GOP is loath to tell the public in straightforward terms what their economic agenda is, and the media are not exactly forcing the GOP’s hand, and, finally, the people are operating in a knowledge deficit, Republicans respond by sleight of hand: “We’re more American than that Kenyan socialist in the White House!” Or “The Obama administration is riddled with Muslim extremists.” Or “Planned Parenthood is taxpayer-subsidized murder.” Or “Obama wants to take away your guns.” Even “Obama raised your taxes,” when in fact he lowered them. Stuff that is not terribly persuasive to well-informed people, but a lot of people are surprisingly ill-informed, and very few institutions – the corporate media least of all – have any interest in their being well-informed.

    Now ask yourself, what kind of person can say some of the things the GOP says with a straight face? Granted, there are a number of intelligent, but deeply cynical, politicians who will say or do anything, knowing that what they say is false. But increasingly, the GOP’s ranks are being filled with what psychologist Erich Fromm called the “true believer.” Despite the carnival aspect of American politics, I actually credit Michele Bachmann, Allen West, Louie Gohmert, and the rest of them, with being sincere. They really believe the drivel they are saying, and their groping and inarticulate sincerity connects with a certain populist and anti-intellectual strain in the American people that has been evident since the days of de Tocqueville.

    I find it very significant, for example, that the Kochs were early funders of Michele Bachmann’s presidential race. Titans of billion-dollar oil industries are, of course, too shrewd and cynical to believe the childish bosh that Bachmann spouts daily, but as a political stooge, she is worth the investment. The more controversy is stirred up about death panels and Muslim infiltration of the government, the less discussion there is, for example, about the tax subsidies for the oil industry. These people know what they’re doing. They use a superficial populism tinged with craziness to further a rational, plutocratic agenda….

  10. Interestingly, contrary to what Hubbard suggests, what actual “history shows” is that believing Republicans who predict massive growth resulting from tax cuts are lying, and really just want to keep their friends rich.

  11. It is obvious why Mitt cannot release the taxes: they were filed on the back of Obama’s birth certificate! Therefore it is a Kenyan Marxist plot. Call Rush and Sarah! Get Faux on it! If we can find it, we will understand why 42 is the meaning of life and be able to construct a map to the buried treasure from King Solomon’s mines!

  12. OT – but a MUST READ!

    We’ve talked about Mike Lofgren before.
    He’s a former staffer for Republicans in Congress, who, upon retiring ,spilled the beans on what’s been going on for decades there.

    Now, he’s written a book. The above is an interview with him.
    It’s a great read – and very informative.

    I’ll need to add his new book to my list of must-reads, along with Ornstein’s and Mann books, at my local library.

  13. moonbat,
    How did I miss the fact that you posted that first?

    I always read everyone’s comments first to make sure I’m not too redundant, 🙂

  14. No prob, Gulag. What’s important is that people can get their hands on/minds around good thinking when it appears.

    re Rube Bait – that’s why I kept referring to GW Bush as a front man. He was a lot of despicable things, but one of the biggest things he brought to the presidency was his years of cheerleading experience. He was a great distraction for the behind the scenes guys like Cheney and others, who were really running the show.

  15. I can’t believe that IRA thing isn’t illegal. I smell impeachment, if he wins and the Democrats have the nerve for it.

    OT, sorry.

    It appears there are more kinds of hate groups than there are labels for hate groups.

    I read a few of his posts and many comments on a couple of them and it seems George Neumayr is paid by the American Spectator to write hate literature from a Catholic perspective so right wing he’s attacking conservative bishops like Weurl for not being crazy enough.

    I can’t believe the guy is an exception.

    So I have to believe this rag, founded as I recall by R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr., is not so much a journal of conservative opinion as it is a journal of right wing hatred.

    The vitriol is astounding and goes so far I had to wonder, here and there, whether a visit from the FBI might be in order.

    Expressing hatred for the president, personally, is one thing.

    Justification of violence against him is quite another and I am not sure just what goes over the line into actual solicitation and into illegality.

    True enough, sedition has to be legal in a free society.

    But these guys push things pretty far.

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