On Gaming the Tax Code

The Mittster Busy Hiding his Dough

 Why Mitt Won’t Publish his Tax Returns

Mitt Romney loves to tell us how much he admired his father George, and is quick to evoke his dad’s rags to riches story as evidence that he knows what it’s like to be poor…even if its vicariously.  He followed in his father’s footsteps; up to a point.  He became a corporate CEO like his dad.  He became rich like his dad.   He even became a governor like his dad.  And now he’s running for President like his dad.  But there are some important differences.

George Romney was a captain of industry and a real “job creator” as President of American motors; which made American cars and employed thousands of workers in the manufacturing process.  Mitt was a corporate raider who kicked workers to the curb and fleeced them of their benefits to maximize the returns of his avaricious investors.

Dad was a producer Mitt is a parasite.  Dad was a compassionate progressive Republican and Mitt is a soulless reactionary.  Dad was a man of principle; Mitt’s ethical allegiance is dictated by expedience.  Dad set the standard for public disclosure of one’s financial assets and tax records at a minimum of 12 years.

Mitt has given us one year and only after constant admonitions from the press and persistent demands from his political adversaries.  This is the arena where Mitt departs most radically from his Dad’s legacy.  But considering all the flak it has caused, why is he resisting releasing more of his returns?

Mitt’s secretive behavior is especially puzzling  since the clamor is guaranteed to become more intense the longer he refuses to make more of his tax records, and hidden offshore assets, publicly available.  After all, it was his beloved dad who said that you couldn’t get a realistic picture of a person’s financial profile and tax behavior from a single return, because it could be a fluke; tailored to paint a false picture.

But Mitt is keeping his tax records under deep cover, issuing perfunctory statements about meeting all the legal tax requirements, while denying that he has any personal knowledge of what these assets and investments are because they are in a “blind trust.”

However Mitt seems to forget that we are living in the era of video tape and that he can be seen in living color explaining how blind trusts are a legal ruse rich people use to dupe the public, because the owner of the trust always knows what’s going on.  So his position now amounts to little more than dishonest lawyerly double talk.

Nobody believes that Mitt is stupid enough to engage in tax evasion; but everybody who understands how the game goes knows the only reason for setting up corporations and bank accounts in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda is to avoid paying your fair share of taxes.

The difference is the former is illegal and the latter is legal.  And that’s what frightens Mitt; his example supplies a strong arguent in defense of President Obama’s attempt to change the tax laws. We know that Mitt is already scandalously under taxed at 15% when working stiffs pay 33%.

But we don’t know what he pays on earnings accrued through his offshore corporations; since those earnings are not reported to the IRS.  However Mitt knows that while what he is doing may not be illegal, it is definitely immoral.  And moving money abroad to avoid paying American taxes – even when he is paying less than half the rate average people pay – is not what most Americans expect from a man who seeks to become their President. Espeially after you already have a reputstion for shiping jobs overseas!

That’s why President Obama is wise to continue relentlessly pressing the issue, while Mitt is desperately trying to keep us from sneaking a peek at his multi-year tax returns.  It may also explain why rapper Lauren Hill is off to jail; Wesley Snips in in jail, and Mitt is running for president !

 

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Playhtell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

July 11, 2012

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