Friday, August 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Praises Tax Havens

"I know how to hide my money.  Do you?"
Mitt Romney is a complex man full of contradictions.  He is against the president's signature health care reform despite passing virtually the same exact thing in his state several years earlier, he touts his experience in business as a private equity guru yet he believes his business record should be off limits to political attacks, and he claims to be for closing tax loopholes while he has profited from many loopholes by sending his money over seas into shell corporations, buffer companies, and tax havens.  Yesterday Mitt Romney got a little more complex - he claimed big businesses are "doing fine," echoing a line he criticized Obama for uttering months ago, but the reason he gave for big businesses flourishing in this down economy was quite surprising.  Romney stated that wealthy businesses were able to get ahead because they had the resources to get loans and ship their money overseas.

"They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses," said Romney. "But small business is getting crushed."

Consider Romney's personal finances - Romney's estimated net worth is around a quarter of a billion dollars and it has been revealed that Romney has shipped his money overseas to places like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda enjoying a tax rate one-third of what the average American pays.  Romney, wealthy like big businesses, has the resources to seek out loopholes and set up accounts offshore while the poor and middle class are struggling to get by, and by the way, Romney's policies aim to strip much of the protections that keep those less fortunate from falling further down the ladder while the rich and super-rich would get taxx breaks.

In a report, it was found that Paul Ryan's budget (a budget that Romney has endorsed but has since backtracked) would actually raise taxes on everyone but the wealthy.
Under the Wisconsin congressman's plan, the bottom 80 percent of American earners would have paid about $1,700 more in taxes on average than under President Obama’s plan, according to an analysis by the progressive Center for Tax Justice. Despite the boost, the government would have lost out on $183 billion in revenue 2011 and at least $2 trillion over a decade, thanks in part to tax cuts for the top 20 percent.

It seems that the only Americans getting a tax break under Ryan’s plan are the super-rich. Those in the top 1 percent in terms of income would receive a more than $200,000 tax cut, compared to Obama’s budget proposals, according to the Center for Tax Justice analysis .
Also consider the fact that 96 percent of small business owners benefit from the middle class tax cuts, with only 4 percent being negatively affected should the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy go up. While the president supports maintaining those tax cuts for the middle class (and the vast majority of small business owners), if Romney were to adopt his plan, which he said was almost identical to the Ryan plan, then the vast majority of small business owners would see their taxes increase while those big businesses and their executives that are "doing fine" will see their taxes shrink.

All that doesn't seem to matter though - Romney is making headway with the small business owner demographic, with a recent poll by an online small business organization pointing to Romney with a lead Obama.  While Romney has slipped a little in the numbers, it appears the empty rhetoric from the Republican candidate is working in preventing a mass exodus of businessmen from flocking to Obama.  One promising thing to consider in the online poll is that a good amount of business owners expressed having an open mind and are paying attention to the candidates and how they address issues close to them.  Romney praising the sustainability of big businesses because they have the resources to game the system and hide their money (like himself) might not go over well with those not-so-big businesses.

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