Mitt Deferred Deductions to Make 2011 Tax Rate Higher

Before releasing his 2011 tax returns today, Mitt claimed that he’d paid at least 13% for each of the last ten years.

But over at Talking Points Memo, Brian Beutler points out* that if Mitt hadn’t deferred some 2011 deductions, his rate would have been between 10.5 and 12.2%.  So Mitt had to play with the numbers to falsely increase his tax rate.

* “Mitt Romney’s Real Effective Tax Rate”

Newsflash — Mitt to Release “Tax Rate Summary”

Mitt is about to release a 20-year summary of his tax rates from 1990 to 2009.

His blind trust administrator claims that the average annual effective tax rate over those 20 years was 20.20%.  He claims that the lowest rate over those years was 13.66%.

Mitt has already released his returns for 2010, along with an estimate for 2011.  He is also going to release the actual returns for 2011, which will show a 14.4% effective tax rate.

Will this quell the call for release of more actual returns besides 2010 and 2011 or just intensify it?  I’m guessing it’s the later.

A desperate modified, limited hangout that just begs for comparison to Richard Nixon.

But What About the Swiss Account?

Mitt isn’t releasing any more tax returns, but he’s asking us to take his word that he paid at least 13% in each of the last ten years.

First, I’d be more inclined to trust him if he hadn’t flat out lied as to what his tax returns said about his residency when he ran for governor of Massachusetts after paying taxes as a resident of Utah.

Second, I’m not impressed about the 13%.  I’ve paid far more in each of the last ten years on a teeny, tiny fraction of his annual income.

Third, this doesn’t tell us if he took advantage of the IRS amnesty for Americans who had been hiding their Swiss bank accounts and not paying taxes on them.  If he participated in this amnesty, he admitted to being a felon.  Election over.

If You Give Me $1.3 Billion, I Could Run the Olympics

Mitt is heading to London for the Olympics, hoping to remind us of his days running the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.  That’s pretty much all he has left.

In 2008, he ran on Bain, the Olympics, and Massachusetts governor.

Now, Obamacare has made it impossible for him to run on his record as governor, since Romneycare was his big achievement.  He was trying to run on his experience at Bain, but that just opened a whole can of worms which are wriggling all over his campaign strategy.

So he’s lost two legs of his three-legged stool, and now the last leg is about to get sawed off.

The Dems have just released a great video* showing that Mitt got $1.3 billion from the federal government for his Olympics.  That compares to $609 million for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and $75 million for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.  There is devastating footage of John McCain decrying the $1.3 billion as “outrageous,” “a national disgrace,” “an incredible pork-barrel project,” and “a rip off of the taxpayer.”

The video closes by saying that Mitt didn’t save the 2002 Olympics, the American taxpayer did.

His trip to London is going to remind us that Ann “You People” Romney goes to Europe to shop for dancing horses costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each, and that he wrote off almost $80,000 for one horse on that little peek at his tax returns he gave us.

I’m sure Mitt will get the dressage vote.  I don’t think they’re losing sleep over that in the White House or Chicago.

* “The Olympic Bailout,” DemRapidResponse, YouTube

Mitt Will Lose Because He Thinks He’s Better Than We Are

From “Pathos of the Plutocrat,” Paul Krugman, NYT:

“Anyway, what’s now apparent is that the [Romney] campaign was completely unprepared for the obvious questions, and it has reacted to the Obama campaign’s decision to ask those questions with a hysteria that surely must be coming from the top.  Clearly, Mr. Romney believed that he could run for president while remaining safe inside the plutocratic bubble and is both shocked and angry at the discovery that the rules that apply to others also apply to people like him.  [F. Scott] Fitzgerald again, about the very rich:  ‘They think, deep down, that they are better than we are.’

“There are plenty of very rich Americans who have a sense of perspective, who take pride in their achievements without believing that their success entitles them to live by different rules.

“But Mitt Romney, it seems, isn’t one of those people.  And that discovery may be an even bigger issue than whatever is hidden in those tax returns he won’t release.”

Krugman’s point here is why I believe it’s okay to dislike Mitt without engaging in class warfare.  I don’t hate rich people, I just really dislike this particular rich person.

Also, Krugman shows why Mitt is more un-American than anything the fevered brains of the far right can dream up about President Obama.  There is nothing more un-American, more antithetical to who we are as a people, than thinking you’re better than other people, and I agree with Krugman that Mitt (and Ann) believe that they are superior to those of us who don’t move in their charmed circles.  It’s hard to be down-to-earth when you’re atop a dressage horse or a car elevator.


I Agree With Ann Romney

Ann Romney says they’re not releasing any more tax returns because “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life.”

I’ve seen enough to know that average working people will be better off if I vote for President Obama.

So I think she’s right that we have enough information about who Mittens is and whose side he’s on to make up our minds in this election.

She also said that he didn’t need to release more tax returns because he gives 10% of his income to the Mormon Church!  Last I checked the Mormon Church wasn’t paying to defend this country.  This is as if I fed my two dogs this morning, and told my three cats I didn’t need to feed them because I’d given big helpings to the dogs.

The Romney campaign has planned to deploy Ann to “soften” Mitt.  I think she comes across as stuck up and out of touch as he does.


No Distortion Too Blatantly False

Mitt and the GOP are showing that no lie is too contemptible for them to spread.

President Obama recently talked about how business owners benefit from infrastructure, like the roads that allow their customers to drive to them, or the Internet that allows their customers to shop online.

Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”  It is clear the President isn’t saying you didn’t build your business, he’s saying you didn’t build the infrastructure that supports it.  Watched or read in context, “that” references our infrastructure, not your business.

But what’s context to his desperate opponents, who are coming to the sad, slow recognition that their own candidate is fatally flawed?  From Fox News to conservative bloggers and pundits to Mittens himself, GOP/conservative land is pouncing on Obama to express their gleeful outrage that he’s anti-business and anti-capitalist, that he made a completely nonsensical statement that business owners don’t build their businesses.

Obama isn’t the one spouting nonsense.  That would be Mittens, arguing that he shouldn’t release more tax returns because Teresa Heinz Kerry didn’t release hers, arguing that he had nothing to do with Bain after February 1999, even though he was president, CEO, and sole owner.

McCain Steps in It

John McCain says he didn’t decide against Mitt for vice president because of his tax returns, but because Sarah Palin was “the better candidate.”

Yes, he said that, really.  This is the kind of stuff people say about Mitt when they’re trying to be helpful.

Mitt was so desperate to be veep that he gave McCain 23 years worth of tax returns.  But since this happened in 2008, Johnny Mac never saw Mitt’s 2009 returns, which is the year we think Mittens may have paid zero in federal taxes, rubbing our noses in the fact that we taxpayers are the “little people” Leona Helmsley scoffed at.

GOP Exasperated with Mitt

Bill Kristol expressed the fed-up sentiments of many Republicans/conservatives today when he said on Fox News Sunday that Mitt needs to release more tax returns:

“He should release the tax returns tomorrow.  It’s crazy.  You got to release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns.  Take the hit for a day or two.”

In interviews with five TV networks on Friday, Mitt was adamant that he won’t release more returns beyond 2010 and 2011 (so far just estimated, not final).  He gave 23 years of returns to the McCain campaign when he was vetted for vice president in 2008.