Romney: "Not qualified to become president"

dockside_gwSeptember 22, 2012

Yep, he said that last July when he said that, if he paid more taxes than what he actually owed, "I don't think I would be qualified to become president."

Well, now that he has released his 2011 tax returns, it shows that he DID pay more than what he actually owed as he claimed $1.75 million less in charitable donations than what he actually donated. If he'd claimed all of his donations, his tax rate would have been just a little over 10% instead of the 14% he did pay. So, now we know why he waited to file the final return - he had to make it conform to his claim that he always paid at least 14% of his income in taxes each year.

Of course, that then conflicts with his statement that he wouldn't be qualified to be president.

Oh, dear. He's dam*ed if he does, dam*ed if he doesn't. It's just so hard for him to campaign with integrity. Unless, of course, he'd just release all his tax returns and keep his mouth shut about his being qualified to be president (which he isn't, IMO). But, then, anyone can grown up to be president, right? At least if they have millions of dollars and billionaire friends willing to buy the office for you.

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He's got a few years to amend the returns and take the rest of the charitable deduction and get a lower future tax rate. Like after Nov. 6th. when he joins the ranks of the hypothetical John Q. Public - albeit an uber wealthy John Q...

I didn't get through much of any of the PDF document before really losing interest - how'd they fare with Rafalca this time around? I did read somewhere that the 77k loss claimed on the 2010 returns only generated a $50 tax deduction. Guess even the Romneys don't look a gift horse in the mouth... not even for $50.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:43PM
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He really has a knack for that open mouth, insert foot syndrome, doesn't he?

What's with the releasing of a "summary" of previous tax returns? How does that tell us anything? They say he paid 20% in taxes during that time. But, when asked how they computed that 20% they just took an average of the percentages over those years. Just shows how stupid they think the average American is. And, unfortunately, I'm sure plenty will think that is a valid way to do it.

I think releasing this summary shows they really are scared. Can't release the actual tax returns because it must show something that will not look good. But, knowing that releasing 2011 tax returns as promised will renew the calls for previous years. So they decide to release a summary to try and shut everyone up (or "quit it" as Ann says). Bad move, I think.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I agree... bad move. A goodly portion of the citizenry will not be satisfied viewing a... a what? A summary guesstimated at 20%? Alrighty then... what the hell is that?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Perhaps Obama should have shown a "summary" of his birth certificate, instead... would that be ok? I'm guessing not.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:15PM
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david52 Zone 6

I can't understand why he even did it at this time - nobody was talking about his 2011 returns and the entire hidden tax returns issue was starting to fade away in the face of the 47% insult.

And now here he is deliberately and blatantly not taking a valid deduction so his claim of 14% somehow rings true?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Well, he did promise to release the 2011 tax returns once he filed. So, they released it at 4pm on a Friday hoping nobody was paying attention. I think releasing the "summary" was a mistake. It just opens more questions about why he won't release the actual returns. If there was nothing to hide, you'd release them. If there is something to hide, but afraid of the questions again, manipulate the numbers and release a summary. That's all "you people" are going to get.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:10PM
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david52 Zone 6

And yet he demanded 10 years of returns when vetting VP candidates.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:41PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

It just opens more questions about why he won't release the actual returns. If there was nothing to hide, you'd release them. If there is something to hide, but afraid of the questions again, manipulate the numbers and release a summary.

Maybe he was advised to release the summary to inoculate himself against the point being raised - no release of 2011 IT data - during the debates. Or else his advisors are as tone deaf as Mitt Romney.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:01PM
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It was such a strange statement for anyone to make unless they are playing to the tea party in the cheap seats!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:10PM
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This is part of the "new" Romney Revival Tour. A feeble attempt at distraction from his latest gaffes which is why they released it on a Friday afternoon.

They are desperately trying to resuscitate this campaign in an attempt to fix the major damage that he has done over the last months and especially the last few weeks.
He is down nationally, and more importantly down in the key swing states among voters who he thought would support him no matter what.

Obama walked away with a 40 point lead among Hispanic voters since the Univision appearance. Mr. Romney walked away sporting nothing but his bad, fake tan.

I wonder how many orange Romney's will be walking around this Halloween?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:23PM
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" At least if they have millions of dollars and billionaire friends willing to buy the office for you."

Or if they seal their school records and can read a teleprompter, I guess they get a pass too.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:25PM
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Oh my god. Obama sealed his school records! No wonder you are voting for the other guy. Nothing could be as bad as that. Not an illegal war, or theft from the people, or high unemployment or poverty. Nothing.
Because school records are sooo important. They tell us everything about who the man will become.
How about releasing your school records, Big Papi?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:53PM
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How about immunization records? I want to know if these candidates have had their shots.

As a genuine Independent I dont actually believe I have any right to see Mitt Romney's tax filings any more than he has the right to see mine though I am free to speculate on what is in them. I grant him the right of privacy that I would expect however since he had run very strongly on his business acumen I would expect some examples to demonstrate that and his taxes and business records certainly would help me to judge his abilities-I am certainly not going to take his word.

The idea that the entire life of a candidate is up for public dibs is not healthy in my opinion. I remember Bill Clinton actually told what sort of underwear he wore in a comic bid to show he wasn't holding anything back(ahem).

Big Papi-everyone uses teleprompters. You need to find some other dead horse to beat-it is like note cards or talking points written on your hand-just a tool to help a person stay on point. It makes you sound sort of Neolithic. Keep on fussing about those school records though-must be some sort of horror buried there. Maybe he got a C in Algebra or something.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Here is the debunking, yet again, of the lie about Obama's college records being sealed.

Here is a great picture of Romney using a teleprompter.

Anything else?

Here is a link that might be useful: source

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:33PM
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As long as he is filing his taxes within the law I don't understand why everyone is so "excited" over his tax returns. He is not doing anything illegal.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:56PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Big Papi is another one of those Democratic secret weapons.

Reading the 538 is really good. Thank you David and all for suggesting..

Watching those Senate Races that are trending Democratic. But this caught my attention,

if the trend continues, the question may no longer be whether Republicans can win the Senate � but how vulnerable they are to losing the House.

Reasons......Romney or my description Victorian extreme" views performing poorly.

I would think that the majority of society really do not think of me, myself, and I and would prefer a society of caring.

Throw in women and we are not ready to go backwards. We make our own money, buy our own houses, cars, we can choose a mate for love and not financial support. Listening to the Conservatives on this HT forum would make a blind man run to the nearest Democratic candidate.

Add a few of those crazy ideas that Obama President of the Harvard Law Review needs to hide his college records, going to take away their guns, the President and his entire family is taking free vacations every week and people realize 9/11 will look like a party if these yo yos get total power.

They do not know how stupid this sounds because they continue to repeat the same bat crap crazy stuff over and over.

You have to be a grade school drop out to not know that if you see someone was President of the Harvard Law Review that person does not have a need to hide any education accomplishments. Do you people have any pride? Are you ever embarrassed?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:19PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

As long as he is filing his taxes within the law I don't understand why everyone is so "excited" over his tax returns. He is not doing anything illegal.

Hmm, maybe ggm just maybe, it has to do with this idea.

Romney may have not done anything illegal, but, he wants to be President of the United States, you know the supposed leader of the free world.

He's running on his record of being a business man, he knows what it takes to get the economy going, to create jobs and all that other good stuff that he claims he know and can do and all from his experience at his company Bain Capital.

So it might be nice, just kind of nice to see something about his tax returns, and how he manages his money etc.

Might have something to do with the fact that he pays so little in taxes because, OMG, ready for this GGM? he has his money in all these off shore, foreign bank accounts.

Sure it's legal, but it just doesn't sit right with the voting public, GGM. Do you have any idea why? I'm guessing you don't.

But this is what the issue is GGM.

Mitt Romney want to be President of the United States, the supposed Leader of the Free World.
He claims he has the knowledge and experience to do this, knows how to do it, and we are supposed to believe him on all of this stuff he says cause he says so.

He's a millionaire 250 times over because of his employment at his company that he was CEO of, Bain Capital.

But, he won't show the people his Tax Returns, like other candidates have done. He refuses to do so with a very smug attitude about it.

The returns he has released, including 2011 released yesterday, show that he barely pays taxes on the money he makes, and has an extremely low tax rate compared to the average Joe Blow in this country.

Legal yes, right thing to be this way, heck NO.

But the biggest kicker in all of this stuff is that Mitt Romney has this idea that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.

He has all his money and he has a goodly portion of it in off shore, foreign bank accounts and that is fine with him and his supporters. It's legal but is it right to be able to do? Heck NO.

Mitt Romney want us, the people, to elect him President of the United States, the leader of the free world, yet the banks in the United States are not good enough for him. He has to have a goodly portion of his bank accounts in foreign bank accounts. Legal yes, but why does he do this? Because he doesn't have to pay taxes on that money.

No wonder he's got so much money to his name. he has it free without paying taxes on it, but the rest of us don't have that kind of money, can't put money in off shore, foreign accounts.


To Mitt Romney, that's OK with him, he doesn't need the rest of us, he said so, didn't he.

Well from where I stand GGM, and it sure is looking like the majority of us, have a problem with this smug, entitlement attitude that Mitt Romney has.

Our banks aren't good enough for him, but the rest of us have to use them, well I guess he's not good enough for us, good enough to be President of the United States.

And that GGM, in a nutshell, is just one of the millions of reasons why Romney is not worthy to vote for to be President.

The reason GGM, for everyone being "excited over his tax return", is his defiance in not doing it, the implications that he is hiding things that he doesn't want the electorate to know and see.

It's that Romney attitude, the one that MA residents are so familiar with, know so well. It's the smugness, that high and mighty I'm better than you attitude that he has, that no one makes the rules for me. I follow my own rules and will not do what you want or say.

There is such a thing as legal and doing the right thing, the moral thing and they may not always be the same thing.

Romney does the legal, but he has no idea what he right thing, the moral thing is and never will.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:20PM
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I'd put that in the same category as the president saying that he would be a one term president, or that you can't change Washington from the inside. Just childish jabs from both sides, back and forth.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:01AM
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lily316(z5PA) save me a lot of typing. A BIG ditto to everything you said.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:16AM
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Well, now that he has released his 2011 tax returns, it shows that he DID pay more than what he actually owed as he claimed $1.75 million less in charitable donations than what he actually donated. If he'd claimed all of his donations, his tax rate would have been just a little over 10% instead of the 14% he did pay. So, now we know why he waited to file the final return - he had to make it conform to his claim that he always paid at least 14% of his income in taxes each year.

Is also why Romney doesn't want to release older tax-returns--he can't manipulate them anymore.

As for the "charity" donations. Donating to "charities" who in turn use the money for political purposes (Mormons in California on Proposition8), or funneling it directly to these groups (NOM). That is not charity.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:57AM
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It's a scary thought that a man who wants to hold the highest office demands more of those around him than he does of himself... scary, indeed... and sad.

Everyone knows that a sign of good leadership is having the ambition to roll up your sleeves and do more than those you lead. We lead by example... something that seems to be lacking these days.

The fact that Romney won't show good leadership skills tells me everything I need to know... he's not good leadership material, at all.

And then... here we go again with the fact vs. fallacy brigade, a seemingly necessary part of these discussions. Why is it that facts are discarded in favor of fallacy and talking points? I don't get it. I'd be embarrassed to show the level of ignorance that emanates from the far right. I'd be embarrassed to just open my mouth and repeat what I heard without vetting any of it to ensure it contained truths, to ensure its authenticity, and to make certain it was logical.

When a man graduates from one of the most highly respected, accredited colleges in the nation, has been President of the Harvard Law Review, and goes on to become a state Senator... a fact that's always left out, for some unknown reason... it's accurate to say that he's earned his place in life. It's also a little discussed fact that only students have access to their school records. We've seen the President's birth certificate, and we've seen his Harvard degree, and we've watched him perform as an Illinois state Senator, and now as the President... what more could people possibly need to vet this man?

When a man wants to lead a nation, though, on the merits of his business acumen, it's reasonable to ask to see proof of that business skill. A "summary" of tax returns is a ridiculous notion, and bound to only satisfy those without critical thinking skills.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 11:19AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Littleone can attest to the need for the demand to see his tax return better than any.

It is not about privacy with this candidate. There is something he knows would be more damaging to his bid for the Presidency that he does not want the public to know. He would rather people imagine than know for sure.

He said trust me "Romney lied about state residency" he is not above lying and should be required to prove because of past behavior. You have to prove yourself to me once I am aware you have a problem with truth.

At a news conference, Romney said that he filed as a part-year resident for 1999 and a nonresident for 2000. He amended those returns, claiming Massachusetts resident status, on April 2, a week after he announced he was running for governor of Massachusetts and four days before the state Republican convention that endorsed his candidacy.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:27PM
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david52 Zone 6

So does anybody want a government that runs its finances the way Romney does his, with all kinds of iffy, sniffy investments, self-serving trust funds, and above all, in-your-face secrecy - Its none of your business, peon?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Thank you, litteone. Perfectly said. Unfortunately, it will land on deaf ears, as do all the other facts brought to their attention.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:35PM
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You nailed it Littleone. You so very often do.

Marquest, posted at 12:27 - second paragraph.
Bingo, exactly right. I suspect that if somehow he knew that he would lose the election for sure unless he showed the last say, 8 years of returns - he would STILL choose not to show them.
I suspect his trusted advisors for this campaign knows the reasons for witholding the tax returns and completely agrees that the show and tell would be the end of his run for office.

I suspect they would be entirely too revealing about the little problem he has regarding about what he *says* versus who he is as demonstrated by what he does.

He is so adamant about NOT showing them that obviously, he has something to hide.

A man running for President - as did his own father, who was the first to show a great many years and set the standard.....a man who is running knows the expectation of showing the tax returns. That he flat refuses to show anything but two years shows that those are the only years he had time to polish up. I would agree with Patricia that perhaps the expectation of complete transparancy about things that really are none of our business (like the details of tax returns) is something that should probably be addressed. If both main parties agree to outline and detail what is expected and what is not allowed to voluntarily offer for inspection (to prevent future expectations) then fine. Set it up right after THIS election when there is no dog in the fight because the fight is now over.

But neither party did this. Romney's own father set the president for showing many years of tax returns to demonstrate what exactly?

For the reason that the person running is demonstrating that he follows the same rules we all do, that he doesn't lie, that he doesn't try to benefit from something that would embarrass him or his party or his family or himself. That he has nothing to hide.
If he doesn't want to leave that impression and he doesn't have anything to hide - like the demand that Obama show every form of birth certificate there is, then he can most CERTAINLY show the citizes his tax returns - a common practice.
But, of course he won't because he can't afford to.
And who knows, I wonder if it might get him in dutch with the Mormon church too, if he shows them.
Ten percent is an awful lot of money to donate to one single place - which is wealthy already and really doesn't count as charity when using the word in the spirit intended. The Mormon church is wealthy. But if Romney isn't donating aka tithing aka charity his 10 percent .....he would be in VERY big trouble. His church takes tithing very, very seriously.

Somebody in this thread (I'll name no names) doesn't understand the meaning of graduating magna cum laude.

Somebody really should study up on that (the search engine is your friend) lest somebody makes too big a fool of one's self. Again.

I'm off now, to catch some Z's

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:55AM
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Magna cum laude would mark a graduation "with great honor". It's a Latin term, an honor bestowed, indicating the level of distinction with which an academic degree is earned.

"Generally, a college or university's regulations set out definite criteria to be met in order for a student to obtain a given honors distinction. For example the student might be required to achieve a specific grade point average, to submit an honors thesis for evaluation, to be part of an honors program, or to graduate early.

These honors, when they are used, are almost always awarded to undergraduates earning their bachelor's, and, with the exception of law school graduates, much more rarely to graduate students taking their master's or doctorate degree. The honor is typically indicated on the diploma. Latin honors are often conferred upon law school graduates receiving a Juris Doctor or J.D., where they are generally based upon class rank or grade point average." - Wikipedia

With that in mind, one shouldn't need to delve any deeper into college records. That honor bestowed pretty much tells us all we need to know.

Romney, on the other hand, is telling us to look at his shrewdness in business as an indicator of his qualifications. One would think tax returns to be an open book, then.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:40AM
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Is an attempt to derail the thread. But then, we all know that. KT debunked this "why are Obama's school records sealed???"-BS months ago. Not that that will stop them from continuing with the lying.


Marginal rates for married couples filing jointly: 10% on taxable income from $0 to $17,400, plus
15% on taxable income over $17,400 to $70,700, plus
25% on taxable income over $70,700 to $142,700, plus
28% on taxable income over $142,700 to $217,450, plus
33% on taxable income over $217,450 to $388,350, plus
35% on taxable income over $388,350.

So. Romney's tax-rate was 14.1%. And he's crowing about that? Really?

Here is a link that might be useful: Source.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:20AM
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But maddie, where is that source that says he cheated on his taxes?

I hope everyone doesn't end up with tendonitis. Patting each other on the back about who can diss Romney the best. I've said it before. Those of us who plan to vote for him don't need to see anymore of his tax returns. For those of you who would never vote for him, who cares?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:51AM
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Of course I never said that. But then, we all know that.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:06AM
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Posted by maddie_athome (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 19, 12 at 7:29

Romney is a tax dodger.

To his constituency that'll matter diddlysquat - they will vote for him just the same. Birds of a feather.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:12AM
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Where does it say tax-'cheater'?

Either find a post. Or stop lying.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:17AM
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ohhhh I see..we are parsing how about a link that shows he's a tax "dodger".

Definition of 'Tax Evasion'
An illegal practice where a person, organization or corporation intentionally avoids paying his/her/its true tax liability. Those caught evading taxes are generally subject to criminal charges and substantial penalties.

Sounds like a cheat to me...but call it tax cheat, tax dodger, tax evasion....a link?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:42AM
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He manipulated his taxes to make sure he paid over 13.9 percent. Unlike many Americans, he decided to NOT take some of his LEGAL deductions. Because he could AFFORD to do that. After he said he would not do that.

More flip flop.

Now he says that uninsured people should go to the Emergency Room to get care.

"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

This constitutes a dramatic reversal in position for Romney, who passed a universal health care law in Massachusetts, in part, to eliminate the costs incurred when the uninsured show up in emergency rooms for care. Indeed, in both his book and in high-profile interviews during the campaign, Romney has touted his achievement in stamping out these inefficiencies while arguing that the same thing should be done at the national level.

And while Romney refused to agree on Sunday that the government's role is to ensure that every American has health care, he has endorsed such an idea in the past.

When asked in a March 2010 interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" whether he believes in universal coverage, Romney said, "Oh, sure."

"Look, it doesn't make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way," he said.

If you don't care that your candidate can't remember what he was for before he was against it - on dozens of topics! - then good luck with that. Luckily there are many Americans that do care about that and will not vote for him as a result.

Here is a link that might be useful: source of course

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Spare us your pathetic attempts at spinning this. You have already been told to stop lying.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Littleone said it all so well. Clearly Mittens has something to hide, from his artful dodger behavior. There is no comparison with Romney's obfuscation about his tax returns as compared with Obama's school records or birth certificate.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I've already been told to stop lying maddie? In regards to?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:29AM
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david52 Zone 6

Tax evasion would be the situation where Bain Capital changed their management fee - taxed as ordinary earned income 35% into carried interest, taxed at 15%. I posted about this already, in the long running thread series "Sleazy Bain Capital I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI " *

The problem is that it is not legal. Because the deals vary in their aggressiveness, there is some disagreement among practitioners about when it works and when it doesn't. But in my opinion, and the opinion of many tax practitioners, the practices that were common in the private equity industry in the 2000s became very, very questionable, and it's unlikely that they would have stood up in court.

Fund VII. Gawker today posted some Bain documents today showing that Bain, like many other PE firms, had engaged in this practice of converting management fees into capital gain. Unlike carried interest, which is unseemly but perfectly legal, Bain's management fee conversions are not legal. If challenged in court, Bain would lose. The Bain partners, in my opinion, misreported their income if they reported these converted fees as capital gain instead of ordinary income.

Here's one example, from Bain Capital Fund VII LP (2009), pp. 13-14 (see here). In any given year, the manager (Bain) can waive its management fees, and allocate the fees instead to a particular investment in the fund. If that investment appreciates in the future, the general partner (Bain) takes a "Priority Profit" off the top. While Bain did not waive its fees for this fund in 2009, it had done so earlier in the life of the fund, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. (5% of its total holdings of Bombardier Recreational, for example, came from fee conversions - making the fee conversions alone worth about $7 million in 2009).

*Installment XII should be out later this week

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:41AM
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marquest(z5 PA)


Declaring a dual-state residence was and is illegal in Massachusetts and in Utah for purposes of driving, taxes, and participating in elections.

Here is a link that might be useful: Romney Tax and taxes

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:48AM
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He manipulated his taxes to make sure he paid over 13.9 percent. Unlike many Americans, he decided to NOT take some of his LEGAL deductions. Because he could AFFORD to do that. After he said he would not do that.

More flip flop.

There will be an amended tax-return version lateron wanna bet?

As I said upthread, I don't think Romney donates anything. Apparently, others are reaching the same conclusion:

Digby takes a look at Romney's donations to "charity":

Let's take a look at what Mitt's charitable giving goes to, shall we? If the Mormon church were a business, wealthy adherents like Mitt Romney would count as its dominant revenue stream.

Its investment strategy would be viewed as risk-averse.

It would also likely attract corporate gadflies protesting a lack of transparency. They would call for less spending on real estate and more on charitable causes to improve membership growth - the Mormons' return on investment.

Those are a few of the conclusions that can be drawn from an analysis of the church's finances by Reuters and University of Tampa sociologist Ryan Cragun.

Relying heavily on church records in countries that require far more disclosure than the United States, Cragun and Reuters estimate that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings in some $7 billion annually in tithes and other donations.

It owns about $35 billion worth of temples and meeting houses around the world, and controls farms, ranches, shopping malls and other commercial ventures worth many billions more.

"Most of the revenue of the religion is from the U.S., and a large percentage comes from an elite cadre of wealthy donors, like Mitt Romney," said Cragun. " is a religion that appeals to economically successful men by rewarding their financial acuity with respect and positions of prestige within the religion."

The Mormon church has no hospitals and only a handful of primary schools. Its university system is limited to widely respected Brigham Young, which has campuses in Utah, Idaho and Hawaii, and LDS Business College. Seminaries and institutes for high school students and single adults offer religious studies for hundreds of thousands.

It counts more than 55,000 in its missionary forces, primarily youths focused on converting new members but also seniors who volunteer for its non-profits, such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, which bills itself as Hawaii's No. 1 tourist attraction, and for-profit businesses owned by the church.

The church has plowed resources into a multi-billion-dollar global network of for-profit enterprises: it is the largest rancher in the United States, a church official told Nebraska's Lincoln Journal Star in 2004, with other ranches and farms in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Great Britain, according to financial documents reviewed by Reuters.

Ranching and farm industry sources say they are well-run operations. So Romney is giving huge sums of money to a church which runs commercial ventures and has no obligatin to pay taxes on them. Sounds perfect.

If I didn't know better I'd have to assume that this charitable giving to a church that primarily operates highly successful commercial businesses is just another tax dodge.

Ya think?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Reform at the Center for American Progress Action Fund is asking questions (how dare he!):

  1. After the election, when the subject of your tax returns is outside of the public glare, will you file an amended tax return to claim your full deduction of charitable contributions? Was the tax rate you reported for other years similarly manipulated?

2. Why was your 2011 income $7 million lower than you estimated it to be in January? How does someone overestimate their income by $7 million?

3. Financial disclosures show that you have as much as $82 million in your tax-deferred Individual Retirement Account, despite the fact that tax rules limited contributions into such accounts to $30,000 per year. Did you lowball the value of the assets you put into your IRA, as tax experts suspect? And did you do the same with gifts into your sons' trusts?

4. What was the purpose of your Swiss bank account and the myriad offshore entities shown on your return, based in countries like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, if not to avoid taxes?

5. Can you explain what one tax expert has called a "mysterious one-time infusion of foreign tax credits" in 2008?

6. You have not disclosed any foreign bank account reports (FBARs). Did you file all FBARs on all of your offshore accounts with the Treasury Department by the legal deadlines each year?

7. You claim to have paid an average tax rate of 20 percent over the last 20 years based on a flawed calculation. What was your real tax rate?

8. Your 14 percent tax rate - not to mention the approximately 10 percent tax rate you would have paid had you not inflated it - is less than what many middle-class Americans pay. And you paid just 0.2% of your income in payroll taxes, while most Americans pay about 15%. Do you think that is fair?

9. Your tax returns show that the Marriott Corporation paid you $260,390 in directors' fees in 2011. When you were the company's audit committee chair in the 1990s, were you aware that the company was abusing a notorious illegal tax shelter?

10. You say you've made a "commitment to the public" that your tax rate should not be below 13 percent. If you believe that the richest Americans shouldn't be paying an exceptionally low tax rate, why don't you support President Obama's "Buffett Rule"?

Others have been audited for much less.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:07AM
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