July 26th, 2012
By Thurman Leopold -- Mitt Romney is, I fear, caught in the plutocrat politician death trap. There is very little else that you could say about Mitt Romney that would be unequivocally true -
- but it appears to be unequivocally true that Romney knew how to make money. But there are funny things surfacing almost everyday -- resulting from the drips and drops that the Romney campaign team have fumbled or drop-kicked onto the public record.
First, when not so flattering information surfaced regarding the fact that Bain Capital's tactics and tools for making money included bankrupting companies and skating on the pension fund responsibilities -
- at U.S. tax-payers expense -- and out-sourcing, downsizing, and using tax loop-holes and tax hedges and dodges to shelter money in off-shore banking and other accounts -- the Romney campaign revealed that Mitt Romney no longer worked there when these seeming anti-middle-class tactics took place. Mr. Romney had departed the day-to-day operations of Bain in 1999, the campaign said. Then, when official, legal documents surfaced in which Mitt Romney was listed on legal documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission as the current and active, President, CEO, Chairman of the Board, and in some cases the "sole" shareholder in Bain Capital as late as 2002, the time-lapsed explanation was that Mr. Romney actually resigned in 2002, but resigned retroactively to 1999. In other words, Mitt Romney visited Mitt Romney's "land before time" in which he went back to before there was time by effectively resigning today at a time three years ago -- or something like that. The confusion created by these statements was explained in language that went something like: "Business is often more complicated than what meets the eye, particularly for rich men like Mr. Romney with rich-man complicated business matters and taxes." The issue was further complicated by the fact that official Bain Capital financial records show that Mr. Romney was paid $100,000 per year for services rendered, which Romney says were not rendered, and for a period of time in which Romney and the Romney campaign both allege he was not there, did not work there, and during which no services were rendered -- because he wasn't there when the bad things were done and therefore was not responsible for them -- and the records showing that he worked there and was receiving a salary from Bain during that time -- were simply the obvious, but confusing evidence supporting the fact that Romney did not really work there during that time --- its just that all business is once again pretty complicated and rich people -- for a variety of reasons have really complicated lives and business arrangements -- which do not yield the true facts readily upon careful examination -- just more confusing rich people, super-complicated things which seems confusing but aren't really to the people who live these lives and work in this every day. Oh, we see.... I guess. It seems that Mitt merely appeared to work at Bain during this time by an oversight on the part of everyone involved and the money he seemed to have received in salary was not really received as salary for something done in the present -- but something already passed or something in the future, just not at this time, for which he either would be paid or should be paid -- but whether or not he was -- we aren't sure. It's just a clerical, accounting error kind of thing -- requiring an official re-statement -- or a refiling of payroll tax or income forms or something like that -- we're not sure. Except it sure is confusing.
For ordinary people, it's simple. Mitt Romney got paid $100,000 per year for several years for doing what he didn't do at a company he didn't do it at, and from which he had retroactively resigned --
and with which he therefore had no on-going managerial or financial relationship -- other than whatever was involved in the non-job he wasn't doing during the time he didn't do it, at a time when he did not work there, and in fact therefore was not earning any money doing anything -- except for the $100,000 dollars that he got, of course, which was unrelated to that job he did not have doing the things he did not do at Bain Capital, the company which paid him for not doing whatever it was worth that much money to pay him to not do. You see, it doesn't appear to be the potential lies themselves that are causing the Romney campaign problems. It's the lies to support the previous lies and the lies to cover up the ill-advised lies that get kind of tongue-twisty and complicated to keep straight about.
When first questi0ned regarding why he wouldn't release his complete tax returns, Romney said that he had released as many tax returns as John McCain had when he ran for president -
- ignoring the fact, of course, that John McCain had been in the Senate for decades and has filed financial disclosures as required by law for Senators for years and years -- and was a fairly well-known entity in American politics besides. Romney also pointed out then, that John Kerry's wife, the hier to the Heinz fortune, had not disclosed her income tax when John Kerry had run for President -- ignoring also the fact that Ms. Heinz was not, like Mitt Romney currently is -- running for President. Then Mr. Romney said that he had released all the tax returns that he was going to because -- well, you know --- even if I did release more tax returns -- all Obama and his research people would do is pore over the hundreds and thousands of pages and find things to use to embarrass me -- or distort and lie to the public about. The thing is, though, Mitt --- if you release the your tax returns -- they can't lie about them and distort them because they will all be public. So all they can do is talk about what is in them -- what is revealed about you and what you did with your money -- and how much average tax percentage you paid on your income. Is that so bad, Mitt? Oops! I'm sorry! I should never have asked that!
And then the Romney campaign trots out Ann Romney. And she does her "wifely" thing. She tells us what a good guy Mitt is.
She tells us he gives a lot of money to his church. "A man like that", she said. "Is he going to do something wrong with taxes - I don't think so." And then she gets a little "high horsey" and condescending -- shaking her head haughtily and tossing her mane, and says, "You people have seen enough", she said -- like we all had peeped through the key-hole while she and Mitt were having their (ugh!) "private time" or something. And then she too said that the reason Obama wanted the Romney tax returns released was so they could pore through them and dig around and find things to criticize her and Mitt for, and to lie about -- and distort. "That's it", she said. "We're done." Well, maybe you are, Annie dear. But the American people may not be. We're just not quite "done" with you and Mitten's tax return evasive-ness -- not yet. And not until we take a little closer look.
And then Mitt himself came out this week and said that he had done everything required by law and that he wasn't going to do one thing more than the law requires. He also, once again, could not resist complaining again -
- that even if he did release them -- all that would happen is the Obama campaign would go through his tax returns and find all the things they could to embarrass him --- or to lie about -- 0r distort -- so the public would think badly of him. And he just was not going to allow that. Rich people have their rights, he seemed to be saying. And it's not the "small people" and the media's business what my taxes and financial situation is -- it's just not.
Well, Mitt -- it's true in a way. We ordinary Americans are a little funny about money and rich people. In the first place we are a little distrustful of someone who made their money in a ruthless, predatory,
bend the rules to the max to the detriment of middle-class people sort of way. And even if it was legal to cheat on your commitment to pay pensions for workers at companies you bought and parted out -- and even if it was legal that you filed bankruptcy and reneged on your pension and retirement obligations to workers -- we still think that to foist those off onto the American tax-payer and walk away with millions --- seems a little too slimy for us. And the lying and dissembling around the times and conditions of your employment at Bain -- in an obvious effort to escape or minimize your responsibility for disreputable acts at Bain Capital -- is a little disingenuous, a little sketchy with the truth -- and a lot out-in-the-open and in the broad-daylight of politics -- a little too cowardly for us to feel good about in an political candidate who presumes to have the qualities we want in a President of our country.
But the really damning thing about your tax returns, Mr. Romney -- is simply what both you and your wife Ann have told us repeatedly. You both said that if you turned over your tax returns -- the media and the Obama campaign would just have a field day with it. They would dig around in it you said -- the the hundreds and thousands of pages -- and just find things that embarrassed you -- or made you look bad. Or they would take things out of context, lie about them -- 0r distort them and tell the American public about them -- to try and make you look bad. Gee, Mitt -- gee, Ann. You guys are good. You have really got my curiousity up now. Because if you're that worried about what is in there -- that would make you look bad -- I am almost obsessed with taking a peek at them now. If you're that worried -- then I am double - triple curious to see them. Release them, please, I can hardly wait. Oh, my God! What could be in the returns that the Romneys are so afraid for us to find out about. Let's face it, Mitt. If you can't release them -- then I can't vote for you for President!