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Member since: Sat Sep 4, 2004, 10:01 PM
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Muncie Star Press (Indiana) - OUR VIEW: Romney must release tax returns to restore credibility

Romney insists there is nothing hidden in his taxes, that his finances are above-board and held in a blind trust managed by a trustee. But in a radio interview last month, he told the interviewer, “I don’t manage them. I don’t even know where they are. That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There’s nothing hidden there.”

He went on to suggest that Obama is making taxes an issue to deflect attention from a weak economy and jobs.

So at this point, we have to take Romney on his word, and that’s been known to change.

Romney just last week has said he’s paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes for the past decade. Unfortunately for him, because he’s stalled on this issue for so long, the only way to restore his credibility is to actually release his returns.

Otherwise, this issue just won’t go away.


Salt Lake City Tribune: Why examine Romney’s taxes?

Why examine Romney’s taxes?
By maria magers roberts
First Published 7 hours ago • Updated 7 hours ago

. . .

• On his recent trip abroad, Romney skipped Italy, for good reasons. Bain Capital, with Romney as CEO, made about $1 billion in a leveraged (minimal cash outlay – low-risk) buyout of an Italian company. Bloomberg News reported that Bain funneled its profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate way to avoid taxes in other European countries. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now is valued way below what it paid Bain and other investors for the business. The shock waves of this transaction are still felt in Italy.

• In Romney’s self-directed individual retirement account, he used heavy leveraging and a "blocking company," thereby avoiding the "unrelated business income tax" normally imposed on such gains in IRAs. His IRA’s growth to $100 million is astounding in light of contribution limits of $30,000 annually. On its face, the IRA was likely funded in part with stock shares valued well below market.

• Presidential candidates generally avoid betting the U.S. dollar will lose value by speculating in Swiss francs. Yet such speculation was the stated purpose of Romney’s "blind" trust Swiss bank account, which was closed in early 2010. Was the income reported on earlier tax returns? Did Romney timely file disclosure forms to the Treasury Department?

. . .

• Romney’s apparent disdain for tax obligations is clear from his role in Marriott International’s abusive tax shelter activities. From 1993 to 1998, Romney was head of the audit committee of the Marriott board of directors, with responsibilities that included tax planning. The so-called "Son of Boss" tax shelter helped Marriott sell $81 million of mortgage notes, reporting a $71 million "tax loss." Romney was an insider with perspective on the motivation and lack of substance in the transaction, fully understanding the tax avoidance game. Romney reportedly was the board member most familiar with the transaction.

This shelter, used by Marriott and others, represented one of the largest tax-avoidance schemes in history, costing the U.S. billions in lost tax revenues. In 2008, the U.S. Federal Court of Claims ruled against Marriott, which appealed and lost again. The appeals court sided with the Department of Justice, calling Marriott’s transactions "fictitious," "artificial," "spectral," an "illusion" and a "scheme."

. . .


Tampa Bay Times: Nation still waiting for Romney tax returns

If Mitt Romney wants to put an end to speculation over his personal finances, he needs to release multiple years of tax returns. His assurance last week that he paid at least 13 percent of his income in federal income tax annually for the last decade won't do it, and he should not be so offended by the requests for more openness. Nothing more is being demanded of Romney than has been routinely asked of and received from most other recent candidates for president, and there is no reason to treat him differently just because of his wealth.

Romney's response to a reporter's question in South Carolina was an attempt to quell the unsubstantiated claim by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier this month that Romney paid no taxes some years. But in fact, Romney's answer just reinforced that wealth sets him apart — he paid a lower percentage of his income in taxes than many other upper-income Americans — and he won't give voters a chance to verify his claim for themselves.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain was an outlier in releasing only two years of tax returns in 2008. Every major party presidential nominee in recent history has released multiple years of tax returns to enable voters to evaluate their financial interests and potential conflicts. That includes Romney's father, then-Michigan Gov. George Romney, who released 12 years of tax returns in his 1968 bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Much has been made of why Mitt Romney isn't willing to do the same. Economists who have examined his tax returns for 2010 and a summary of 2011 say they raise more questions than answers. How, for example, did Romney come to have an individual retirement account worth $100 million? What was the purpose of offshore accounts? And some have even wondered if Romney is refusing to release returns because he may have taken advantage of an IRS amnesty program in 2009 that allowed Americans to return funds to domestic accounts with minimal penalty.

. . .

That's a curious position for a candidate who in recent weeks applied the same scrutiny he's shying away from. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan turned over "several years" of tax returns to the Romney campaign for vetting before he was added to the ticket. And Romney turned over several years of tax returns to McCain in 2008 when McCain was vetting potential running mates. President Barack Obama has released every tax return since 2001.

Romney knew to expect this scrutiny, yet he still resists. His personal wealth does not entitle him to a different standard of openness.


Come on, Governor Romney, dozens of federal and state agencies can review your tax returns

Why can't the people you are asking to vote for you look at those returns?

Federal law covering disclosure of tax returns is located at 26 U.S.C. 6103. If you can't sleep tonight, you can read it here -


The laundry list of exceptions to the privacy of tax returns is very long - almost every state tax and law enforcement agency can access them. The Chairmen of the Senate Finance, Joint Taxation and House Ways and Means Committees can review them in closed session. Plus there are many other exceptions to tax return confidentiality.

You won't release them to the American people even though you want them to vote for you? Why not?

In Forbes: 13% of What Mr. Romney?

By Peter J Reilly, Contributor

Mitt Romney has kicked my BS detector into high gear. I’ve notice that when people either want to dramatize raw numbers or avoid talking about them, they shift to percentages. Like the time my boss told me that I got a higher percentage raise than he did. Romney has been accused of paying no income taxes for an unspecified ten year period. He responds by indicating that he looked back at his returns and notes that he paid at least 13% and last year he paid 13.6%. Now instead of going to that extra step of computing a fraction, why didn’t he just tell us what the numerators and the denominators were. We have a copy of his 2010 return and a draft copy of his extended 2011 return.

The 2010 return has total federal income tax net of credits on Line 55 of $2,976,345 which is 13.7% of his adjusted gross income of $21,646,507 on Line 38. Since he was a little vague about the 13.6% – “I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year.”, those are likely the numbers he is referring to. Since his gross income includes nearly $16,000,000 in capital gains and qualified dividends that is about what you would expect. On the draft 2011 return Line 55 is $3,213,051 while Line 38 is $20,901,075 which makes for 15.4%. The higher percentage is accounted for by there being less in the way of capital gains and qualified dividends.

You have to page a little further in the 2010 return to find another really interesting number, $4,844,089, Line 14 on Schedule D – Long Term Capital Loss Carryover. This means that Mr. Romney did not have capital gains in 2008. So if he had a tax liability for 2008 it was an even higher percentage of his adjusted gross income. Most likely though it was a much lower adjusted gross income and a much lower tax.

. . .

If Romney did participate in tax shelters that are now considered sketchy but were then blessed by prestigious national firms, I don’t think it says anything about him that we don’t already know. It just annoys me when people throw out percentages when the actual numbers are available.


Hollywood Reporter: Wire' Creator David Simon Slams Mitt Romney's Tax Admission

In an effort to quell critics and satisfy skeptics, Mitt Romney on Thursday told reporters that he has not paid less than 13 percent in taxes in any of the past 10 years.
Color David Simon less than impressed.

The politically inclined creator of HBO shows The Wire and Treme blasted the multimillionaire former investment banker on his blog, calling the admission "stunning." It's a tax rate a third less than what is normally paid by "a gentleman of his economic benefit," Simon said, which led him to a few angry rhetorical questions.

"Am I supposed to congratulate this man?" Simon asked. "Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?"

Simon says he hasn't paid taxes that low since he was a rookie newspaper reporter and that he had no qualms paying the higher rates that have come with his success and income.


Mitt Romney Tells Elmo to Get a Job and Pledges to Kill PBS

Source: Politicsusa

In an interview with Fortune, Mitt Romney admitted that one of the ways he will reduce government spending is to cut all funding for PBS.

Romney was asked by Fortune where he would cut government spending, and he answered, “There are three major areas I have focused on for reduction in spending. These are in many cases reductions which become larger and larger over time. So first there are programs I would eliminate. Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs — the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to strand (sic) on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”

Mitt Romney was essentially telling Elmo and the rest of Sesame Street to stop being a bunch of bums and get a job. Mitt Romney’s vision for America includes the death of Amtrak, slashed funding for the arts and humanities, and a privatized PBS.

If you want to know what PBS would like without government funding turn on A&E, History Channel, or the ever oxymoronic Learning Channel. These networks have been long held up by Republicans as the private sector alternative to PBS, but look at the programming that these channels actually contain. Would Sesame Street be replaced with Pawn Stars? Instead of Antiques Roadshow, how about Storage Wars? Replace Downton Abbey with Toddlers and Tiaras.

Read more: http://www.politicususa.com/mitt-romney-tells-elmo-job-pledges-kill-pbs.html

Evidence that "Special Ops OPSEC" is a Swiftboat-like organ of the right

1. Incorporated on June 21, 2012 in Delaware - that's eight weeks ago - just in time for the election. Not like this self-described "social welfare organization" has been around very long.

2. President Obama is the only politician attacked by name.

3. "Contributions" go to P.O. Box 320008 | Alexandria, VA 22314. There are apparently no "offices."

4. Website mentions no employees, officers or founders, though some suspects have been identified.

5. Many of the "disclosures" cited were revealed first by other nation's intelligence officials and/or others, or were "disclosures" that most people who passed high school social studies could figure out. The most hilarious - "disclosure" of Israeli and American involvement in Stuxnet, which damaged Iranian computer networks. Who could've thunk it?

Regarding Romney's tax returns . . . BigTree gave me an idea

I am sure someone has thought of this but . . .

BigTree posted Iglesias' article in Slate discussing Ryan's money dump from the "bad banks" into Goldman as the s--t hit the fan in 2008. Of course, that may be legal because Congress is exempt from insider trading laws.

But what about Romney? He is not exempt, as far as I know. Did he get the same info somehow? Is that what he is hiding? Wouldn't it be interesting to see his 1099-Bs and related filings from 2008?

Family of deranged man fatally shot by cops in Times Square upset over use deadly force

Source: NY Daily News

Relatives of the deranged knife-wielding man gunned down by cops in Times Square say they are upset about the NYPD’s use of deadly force in the confrontation.

“It doesn't take 12 bullets to kill one person,” the dead man’s aunt, Margaret Johnson, told The News.

“I think it could have been done another way.”

. . .

Kennedy grew belligerent, and when police attempted to cuff him, he struggled free, pulling an Ikea kitchen knife with a six-inch blade out of his pocket and waving it over his head.
He backed down 7th Ave for seven blocks as more cops amassed.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/family-deranged-man-fatally-shot-cops-times-square-upset-deadly-force-article-1.1134880#ixzz23O2DYrZp

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/family-deranged-man-fatally-shot-cops-times-square-upset-deadly-force-article-1.1134880

Watch the Daily News video. Draw your own conclusions.

Smoking weed one minute, dead a few minutes later.
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