Mitt Romney is Very Very Rich — Get Over It

Just a short post today regarding Mitt Romney’s money sitting in Bermuda, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. So what? I watched an interesting debate over the weekend on MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes” where the question was posed, “is it immoral for Romney to tax shelter his money?” Everyone on the program seemed to acknowledge it was legal. So the question was, is it moral? I found the debate interesting primarily because I love watching debates but the answer for me was as clear as the stripes on the American Flag and as tasty as that first bite of apple pie. Yes, it’s completely moral.

There is a simple reality here folks. Rich people have access to services that the rest of us don’t. It’s a fact of life. The way we get that access is to become rich ourselves. Mitt Romney has legal means to pay as little tax as he possibly can and he just does it on a larger scale than the rest of us. Is it immoral for you to deduct your mortgage interest? Is it immoral for you to list your charities on your tax return? Do YOU bypass deductions so you can patriotically give as much money to the federal government as possible? Of course not. And if you don’t do it, why should Mitt Romney?

There is, to my mind, only one valid financial attack on Romney and that is the veracity of his claim of creating thousands of jobs while at Bain Capital. This is worth investigation because it speaks to one of his highly trumpeted qualifications for being President. Where Romney parks his money, as long as he does it legally, is a distraction.

One of the ways folks stay rich is to throw away as little of their money as possible. If you don’t like Mitt’s finances, vote for people who will change the tax code. Don’t blame Mitt for doing what any person with half a brain would do, namely use every legal means possible to stay in the 1%.

What do you think about how Mitt handles his money?


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The Price of Not Towing The Party Line

I sat back on Sunday afternoon and watched my TiVo’d recording of NBC’s “Meet the Press”. When it came time for the panel discussion, one of the panelists, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker said he found the diversionary campaign tactics of both parties “nauseating”. He said there was a proper place for private equity (in reference to Mitt Romney’s former place of employment, Bain Capital). He said that attacking a legitimate business instead of focusing on the issues was a mistake.

For speaking his mind and telling the truth, Mayor Booker has spent the better part of the last 24 hours explaining himself. The liberal pundocracy has gone bat-crap crazy over his remarks. I thought MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was going to have an aneurism.

What a damn shame. Isn’t it refreshing just once to see a campaign surrogate (as Booker plainly self-identified), tell the truth even at the risk of criticizing “his team”? Booker showing some shred of remaining integrity has only partly walked back his comments. Pro-Romney forces have already pulled a campaign ad together exploiting Booker’s supposed faux pas.

I say we need more of Cory Booker. This campaign is not about Reverend Jeremiah Wright or the President’s birthplace or the GOP candidate’s religion or the relative merit of the GOP candidate’s former employer. This campaign is first and foremost about who can accelerate this country’s economic recovery. Everything else is a side-show. To the extent that Romney uses Bain to prove he created jobs, it’s fair to examine the truth of that statement. But that doesn’t mean  we need to condemn the role a company like Bain plays in our capitalist system. That is a distraction. Booker knew it and Booker said it.

I always liked Cory Booker but I’m a bigger fan of him today. We always talk about the grownup in the room. Cory is the grownup. This election is serious business and it’s time folks started treating it that way.


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