I Hope Mitt’s 15% Tax Rate Will Get the Country’s Attention

Mitt Romney has been reluctant to release his tax records (and didn’t when he ran for senator, governor, or for president in 2008) because he knew people would be outraged that, as a Bain venture capital guy, he pays a rate of 15%, rather than ordinary income rates.  Of all the loopholes and funny business in our tax code, this is one of the worst, if not the worst.

While not releasing his tax returns, Mitt has now acknowledged that they show he pays 15%.

I am guessing that most of the country isn’t aware of this “carried interest” rule that lets him pay such a low rate, and although there have been efforts in Congress to change it, it’s never been an issue that’s lit up the switchboards.  I’m hoping that publicity about Mitt’s unfair tax advantage (and everyone else in venture capital, private equity, etc.) will finally generate enough anger to get the law changed.

By the way, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, and self-proclaimed champion of the little guy, has been one of the main forces in Congress blocking a fix for the 15% rule.  That’s because he gets tons of money from Wall Street, and he protects their unfair tax break in exchange.

I don’t want to “redistribute” Mitt’s wealth, I just want him to pay the 35% that I do.

Vote Red, Vote Blue — Green Always Wins

Liberal elites chide the “yokels” in the red heartland who vote Republican, against their economic interests, over issues like abortion and gay marriage.

But don’t be so smug, middle class Americans on the blue coasts, who think you’re smarter than the folks in flyover country.  The truth is you’re voting against your economic interests too.  When you vote Democrat, you’re just buying into the flip side of the culture wars, you’re responding to those who say they’ll protect and fight for your right to choose or to marry someone of the same sex.

Because if you’re middle class, whether you vote Democrat or Republican, you’re voting against your economic interests.  Both parties seek the contributions of Wall Street, both parties are bought and paid for by them, and both parties protect the interests of the rich.  The Dems do more for the poor, that’s true, but I’m talking about the middle class.

In the last thirty years, we’ve had both Democrat and Republican presidents, Democrat and Republican Congresses.  And the middle class has suffered and declined.  Much of the responsibility for the economic meltdown that happened under Bush 43 goes back to Bill Clinton, with such dumb moves as the repeal of Glass Steagall.  Dodd-Frank is a joke that doesn’t begin to address what caused the economic collapse or to prevent the next one.  Dodd-Frank passed because Wall Street signed off on it in an attempt to throw us a few crumbs.

It infuriates me that Mitt Romney, like other venture capital and hedge fund and equity guys, pays income tax at the rate of 15% because of the indefensable loophole of “carried interest,” while I pay 35%.  But you know who one of the top defenders of “carried interest” has been and continues to be?  New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat.  He gets tons of money from Wall Street (he’s their senator) and he watches out for them, not the middle class of New York and the rest of America.  Basically, Mitt Romney and Chuck Schumer are the same guy.

The Wall Street folks don’t care about abortion or gay rights or guns or the “war on Christmas” or any of the emotional issues that get people to vote red or blue.  They just care about the money and the stuff — the triplexes on Fifth Avenue, the oceanfront places at the Hamptons, the Ferraris and the Gulf Streams.

The Wall Street folks know it doesn’t matter if the Democrats or Republicans win because they can’t lose.  They own both sides.  Real power doesn’t shift between red and blue, it always stays with Wall Street green.

Blue people may laugh at red people, but the green people are laughing at all of us.

The Iowa Caucuses are a couple of hours away.  The rich will win tonight, they’ll win the rest of the primary contests, and they’ll win the general.