The Billionaires’ Tea Party – How the Koch’s and Other Billionaires Have Bought Mitt Romney and America
Please watch the entire video.
Mitt Romney has disqualified himself from the presidency. He probably had done that already by showing his incompetence and dishonesty during the crisis in which Americans were killed in Libya, and when he was caught writing off as “freeloaders” half of the country, but now he has declared himself, in his own words, to be disqualified to be President.
See this video as one example.
This, of course, has to do with his intentional manipulation of his 2011 tax returns in which he took fewer deductions than allowed. Why would he do this? Especially after having declared that only a fool would do so?
For political expediency, of course.
Mitt made a political statement saying he paid “over 13%” in taxes all of those years. Except his 2011 taxes were about to prove otherwise. So he told his tax preparation team – the same ones who hide millions of dollars of income overseas to avoid paying any federal income tax on it – to “miss” taking deductions. To artificially pump up his tax rate over 14%. To keep from being called a liar.
His loss, right? Well, no. He won’t lose a cent.
Right after the election, when no one is paying attention, Romney will immediately file an amended return to claim all of the deductions he and his highly paid team of professional tax lawyers somehow “missed.” So he will retroactively get all those deductions he “missed.”
Kind of like he “retroactively” retired from Bain Capital. And yet somehow still gets paid by them today.
So whether Mitt and his team of professionals are incompetent or dishonest isn’t really important. Either disqualifies him from being president.
CNN has a good analysis of why Mitt Romney chose to be dishonest in the release of his 2011 tax returns and why he is still hiding his previous tax returns even though he gave them to John McCain four years ago (ever hear of a copy machine?).
UPDATE: The Romney campaign has issued a statement declaring that, in fact, they manipulated the tax return purely for political purposes.
Mitt Romney’s secret video is all over the internet. The one(s) where he disdains all the elderly, working poor and others who don’t pay federal income taxes. The one(s) where he shows how he repeats known falsehoods to play to the super-rich and the bigots of the party. The one(s) where he presumes all Palestinians to be terrorists and completely writes off the two-state solution that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority want. Yea, that one.
Okay journalists. Now ask him how he would “elegantly phrase” his false contentions, which is virtually everything he said. Go ahead – ask him to explain “elegantly” why he said 47% of people are lazy – you know, all those elderly people, those working mothers, those unemployed, those millionaires. Go ahead, ask him what he thinks about the programs expanded under Ronald Reagan that help some of those people pay no federal income taxes. Ask him how much those same people pay in payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and all the other taxes they pay. Then, journalists, ask Mitt Romney to show you his tax returns and how he hid hundreds of millions of dollars from any taxation in Swiss bank accounts, front corporations in Bermuda, and tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Ask Romney if he considers himself a freeloader because he doesn’t pay taxes on the vast majority of his income. Then ask him why his running mate, Paul Ryan, is proposing to eliminate even the tiny 15% capital gains tax and the estate tax that only helps about 1% of the population. Go ahead, journalists, ask him to explain all of that.
Elegantly, of course.
Let’s take one of the numbers tossed out by the tea party ideologues and parse it because it demonstrates the kind of mindless regurgitation without any attempt to understand that dominates their thinking.
8.3% unemployment it was 7.8 when Obama took office
Any chart of the unemployment rate will show you that the rate had started a steep climb during the last year or two of the Bush administration. It was at 7.8% when Bush left office, but had been at 4.6% in 2007. Within the following year, still while Bush was in office, it had skyrocketed up to over 6% on its way up to the 7.8% when Bush left office and Obama was inaugurated.
Let’s stop here and remind people that unemployment rate is a lagging indicator. That means it slow to react going up or down. So the recession that started in 2007 under Bush took a while to have an impact on the unemployment rate. But when it gets going it keeps going. Big…and fast. So the rapid increase at the end of the Bush administration was guaranteed to keep skyrocketing for a long time. Which it did until it peaked at just over 10%.
It then started dropping, and this drop coincided with the stimulus package monies putting put into use. In short, Obama’s stimulus package helped stop the loss of jobs that Bush had started and started creating jobs. And we’ve been creating jobs ever since – 29 straight months now of private sector job creation. The unemployment rate is stuck around 8%, in part because Europe is dragging us down because they chose to fight the near depression by instituting austerity programs just like the ones the tea party has been trying to do here in the US. Overall, things are getting better.
Not bad. Especially when you consider that the tea party-held Republicans in Congress have voted AGAINST every single jobs package offered. Imagine how much better things would be if the tea party had stopped holding back the recovery. It’s simple. Without the tea party holding back the recovery and increasing the debt even more, the unemployment rate would be lower and the middle class would be seeing more of the recovery (they don’t as much now because the tea party keeps voting to take money from the middle class and give it to the super-rich, who hide it overseas from taxation).
By now everyone has heard of Hilary Rosen and her comments related to Mitt Romney’s touting of his wife Ann as his go-to person on women’s economic issues. The Rosen comment is a perfect example of how the Republican party has devolved into abject dishonesty. After her comment the Republicans immediately extracted it from its context and created a completely new – and false – meaning for it, which they then have been browbeating to death. The goal is to distract from the original point.
So no, Rosen wasn’t saying anything against mothers, women, or any of the other straw men (or straw women) that the GOP has created out of whole cloth. She wasn’t even chastising Ann Romney for her choice to be a full time mom. Her point was directly, clearly, and unambiguously about the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney’s touting of his wife as some sort of mentor on “women’s economic issues.”
That concept is, of course, ludicrous. Mrs. Romney has zero experience dealing with “women’s economic issues.” She has enjoyed an economic life of comfort, attending private schools when young and then being considerably wealthy for most of her adult life (can we say “dressage”). She chose to be a stay at home mom to their five children and has endured serious medical issues, and done so with aplomb. Everyone acknowledges both her contributions and her tribulations. That isn’t the point.
The point is that she has had the major advantage of not having to worry about money while facing these motherhood and medical issues. “Women’s economic issues” were never even relevant to her decision-making or her ability to successfully raise a family. The same cannot be said for the other 99.9% of women and families. For the “not fabulously wealthy” of us, being a stay at home mom is not always a choice; it may simply be that day care costs would exceed the income generated from working outside the home. For most people a two-income family is a necessity, not a choice (even Mitt has admitted this as he sought to restrict funding for young mothers). And as far as Mrs. Romney’s medical issues, most people would have had to worry about both the costs of insurance coverage and the very real possibility that they would be dumped by their carrier for having the audacity to actually make a claim. Mrs. Romney did not have this concern.
In fact, Mitt Romney wasn’t even being serious when he said that he turns to his wife for “women’s economic issues.” He was merely trying to deflect an awkward question for which he knew he didn’t have an answer – why is the Republican party so arrogantly hostile to women? [The same can be said of the party being arrogantly hostile to gays, non-Christians, anyone not the super-rich, minorities, and a whole host of other groups that make up, well, the vast majority of Americans.]
It is this jokingly-offered ludicrous attempt at deflection to which Ms. Rosen was alluding when she made her comment. Romney’s stumbling assertion that a rich woman with no real economic concerns would be his source of insight for “women’s economic issues.”
But not wanting to miss a political opportunity, the Republicans took advantage of Rosen’s statement to create their lie and saturate the media with it. Their goal was to use a dishonestly reinterpreted comment by one of the thousands of self-avowed “strategists” as a means of distracting from the Republican party’s constant attacks on women’s rights.
Remember that prior to this fake controversy arising it was the Republicans who were spending considerable time arguing against something as basic as a women’s right to contraception. It is the Republicans who have been trying to roll back the legal right of women to make their own reproductive choices. It is the Republicans who have gone so far as to pass a law saying that women are pregnant two weeks before they even have sex, and that they must undergo an invasive medical procedure and be forced to adhere to the wishes of politicians prior to making the already difficult choice to do something they have the legal right to do. And those are only the most recent examples. The Republican party has a long history of attacking the very issues that allow most women to participate in the American dream. The very “women’s economic issues” Mitt Romney ridiculously asserted his wife is his source of guidance.
It’s clear why the Republicans have jumped at Rosen’s statement and intentionally reinterpreted it in their usual dishonest way – they recognize that American women are tired of having their rights attacked by Republican politicians and extremist religious zealots.