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Romney, The Inevitable Nominee


Michael Hardner

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Probably by not raising taxes on his income / capital gains / business.

The problem is that politicians of every stripe have been slashing income and capital gains taxes for about 35 years, and the president has no constitutional power to impose taxes or tax hikes anyways.

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Exactly. It doesn't make much sense, unless there's something he's purposely hiding. Why else would he do it? I'm sure he got fairly good grades.

Theres a pretty big difference here... Obama never really faced any political damage from not releasing his student records. If he did he would have weighed that political damage against the potential consequences of releasing the information.

What is going on with Romney is very very simple. His campaign has decided that at least for now, Romney faces less political damage from NOT releasing them as he would from releasing them. That might change or it might not.

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Can't say I disagree. When something is not put out in the open, it grows in people's minds. People will make of it whatever they want, as there's no evidence put out by Romney to refute it. His refusal to release them doesn't make one conclude that there's nothing in them that he doesn't want us to see - quite the opposite.

And THAT is the crux of the issue. It IS damaging to allow this kind of speculation... so from that we can learn something about whats in his tax returns... We know that his campaign thinks whats in them is MORE damaging than the speculation, at least for now.

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The question people like me are asking is why the Mitt Romneys of the world should be part of that half that pays no taxes.

Let's keep in mind who these people who pay no income taxes are. Most of them are retirees, students, and the unemployed. Some of those unemployed may be the chronic deadbeats that we hear about, but many-- probably most-- are temporarily unemployed people who will be back to paying taxes sooner or later. The students will also be paying taxes sooner or later.

Well that's nonsense. The financial news of the past several years has had numerous examples of profits that were created despite generating nothing of value. A couple of examples:

-the mortgage shenanigans in the United States. Risky mortgages were bought, then repackaged into complicated financial products, and sold as "AAA"-rated investments to people who had no way of knowing that what they were actually buying was risky mortgages. Generating a profit by buying risky assets and deceiving your customers into thinking they're safe investments is clearly not "creating value for society". The "value" added by the financial institutions that made their profits this way was created entirely by deception.

-Nortel was able to show profits for years, boosting their share prices so that their executives could obtain ludicrously large bonuses. But these "profits" were generated using accounting tricks that couldn't be sustained indefinitely, and when the jig was up, the stock price collapsed and countless investors were left high and dry.

Yes, it's a wonderful system. You get your strawberries, and the vendor made a sale. Everybody wins! Yay!

But we're not asking why the free market system is a good thing. We're asking why the Mitt Romneys of the world ought to pay less taxes while American Woman and Bush-Cheney2004 pay higher taxes.

Your delightful little tale about the strawberries adds no insight to that question.

Sticking with the strawberries, though: let me give you a couple of scenarios and you tell me which is better for the strawberry merchant.

(1) A tax cut of $1.2 million per year for Willard, balanced by a tax increase of $1200/year for AW and BC2004 and 998 of their friends.

(2) A tax cut of $1000 per year for AW and BC2004 and 998 of their friends, balanced by a $1.2 million tax increase for Willard.

Well, in situation 1, 1000 people have $100 less per month of disposable income. They might have to cut some things out of their budget. They might not buy strawberries. Willard has more money to buy strawberries with, but he's just one guy. He can't eat that many strawberries.

In situation 2, 1000 people get $100 a month more to spend on strawberries or whatever else it is that they want to spend it on. If you're the strawberry merchant, you've got to like that scenario better.

The people who support tax cuts for rich-guys will say "Bah! You've vastly oversimplified this! There are many great reasons why it would be smarter give the tax cut to the rich guy! He could do great and wonderful things with that money! He could put 2000 people to work and the strawberry guy would have twice as many customers!"

Well, maybe, but if that's the theory, then we *do* care whether those benefits trickle down and whether he's actually using his $1.2 million to put Americans to work and so on.

I agree that your strawberry merchant creates value. I'm considerably more skeptical about Goldman Sachs and Bain.

Apparently people have been conned into thinking that if you oppose tax-cuts for rich-guys then you must Hate Capitalism. :rolleyes:

-k

Very impressive, kimmy, an excellent read.

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citation request

Do the math. In 2010, Romney paid $3 million dollars in taxes. Now, I admit, kimmy could be doing pretty well. So she may pay more taxes in her lifetime than $250,000 per month as it works out to be for Mitt Romney. The point is, he pays taxes. Let's all do away with the hyperbole.

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Do the math. In 2010, Romney paid $3 million dollars in taxes. Now, I admit, kimmy could be doing pretty well. So she may pay more taxes in her lifetime than $250,000 per month as it works out to be for Mitt Romney. The point is, he pays taxes. Let's all do away with the hyperbole.

It's really not hyperbole.

The Paul Ryan tax budget, that Grover Norquist and his minions in Congress are clamoring for, would have reduced Mitt's 2010 tax rate from 13.9% to 0.86%.

0.86% isn't "nothing", but it's the next best thing. The Paul Ryan tax plan would reduce Mitt's taxes from $3 million to $185,000.

Why don't you explain for us, Shady, why you people think it would benefit America to reduce Mitt's taxes by $2.8 million and take that $2.8 million out of the pockets of lower and middle-class Americans.

-k

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The Paul Ryan tax budget, that Grover Norquist and his minions in Congress are clamoring for, would have reduced Mitt's 2010 tax rate from 13.9% to 0.86%.

Not Mitt's tax rate, the capital gains tax rate.

0.86% isn't "nothing", but it's the next best thing. The Paul Ryan tax plan would reduce Mitt's taxes from $3 million to $185,000.

Once again, not Mitt's taxes, but the capital gains tax rate.

Why don't you explain for us, Shady, why you people think it would benefit America to reduce Mitt's taxes by $2.8 million and take that $2.8 million out of the pockets of lower and middle-class Americans.

Who's taking $2.8 million out of the pickets of lower and middle-class Americans? :blink:

Anyways, in terms of macro-economics, encouraging investment through the non-taxation of capital gains would benefit the economy as a whole. Stronger economic growth, stronger job growth, less unemployment, etc. Investment income is treated differently than regular income for various reasons. But it's minions like yourself that would rather see somebody else pay more in taxes, but result in a poorer economy, than see somebody keep more of what they risk and invest, and see a stronger economy. It's policies such as yours that lead to hurting the very people you think you're trying to help. It's actually counter-productive.

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Not Mitt's tax rate, the capital gains tax rate.

(...)

Once again, not Mitt's taxes, but the capital gains tax rate.

Yeah, Mitt and thousands of other extremely wealthy individuals for whom capital gains constitute most or all of their income.

Who's taking $2.8 million out of the pickets of lower and middle-class Americans? :blink:

Well they're committed to giving tax-cuts to rich-guys, and they're committed to cutting the deficit, so simple math and process of elimination ought to tell you whose pockets Mitt's $2.8 million are coming out of.

I guess in Shady-Speak it would be "reducing entitlements" or something like that, and in Paul Ryan Speak it would be "reducing tax expenditures", but however you want to phrase it, it means that the vast majority of Americans will have less money to spend.

I mean, you can go through the whole double-speak exercise. "We are not increasing taxes! We are rationalizing the tax code! We are reducing entitlements! We are being fiscally responsible!"

But the reality of it is this: if you slash Joe's tax deduction for healthcare insurance, that's money out of his pocket. And on and on, with each and every "entitlement" you want to cut. Call it what you want but the reality is that it is money coming out of the pockets of the vast majority of Americans that isn't going to be spent on new cars or new houses or any of the other goods and services that employ the vast majority of Americans.

Are you guys so dishonest that you think that if you call it "cutting entitlements" that people won't realize what it means? Or are you so gullible that you believe it yourself?

Anyways, in terms of macro-economics, encouraging investment through the non-taxation of capital gains would benefit the economy as a whole. Stronger economic growth, stronger job growth, less unemployment, etc. Investment income is treated differently than regular income for various reasons. But it's minions like yourself that would rather see somebody else pay more in taxes, but result in a poorer economy, than see somebody keep more of what they risk and invest, and see a stronger economy. It's policies such as yours that lead to hurting the very people you think you're trying to help. It's actually counter-productive.

In terms of macro-economics, the thing you people keep forgetting is that a free market economy isn't going anywhere without a market.

Consumers are tapped out. Personal debt is at an all-time high. Willard can promise that if you cut his taxes by $2.8 million, he'll start a widget-factory that will employ 100 Americans. But his widget factory is going to go out of business because consumers don't have disposable income to buy his widgets.

And by this time we all know that Willard isn't going to use his $2.8 million to open a widget factory anyway. He's going to take it to Goldman-Sachs and have them invest it in phantom financial products that don't actually benefit anybody except Willard and Goldman-Sachs.

-k

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Yeah, Mitt and thousands of other extremely wealthy individuals for whom capital gains constitute most or all of their income.

Actually, looking into it, that's not what they want to do. I'm guessing you were reading a leftwing blog. You'd best re-check your facts honey.

Well they're committed to giving tax-cuts to rich-guys, and they're committed to cutting the deficit, so simple math and process of elimination ought to tell you whose pockets Mitt's $2.8 million are coming out of.

No, once again, I'm not sure where you're getting that, but that's not what they want to do. Give tax-cuts to so-called rich guys.

I guess in Shady-Speak it would be "reducing entitlements" or something like that, and in Paul Ryan Speak it would be "reducing tax expenditures", but however you want to phrase it, it means that the vast majority of Americans will have less money to spend.

It's more like reality-speak. Anyone that knows anything about entitlements knows they're going to collapse upon themselves if not reformed. And if they're not reformed, and Americans face a debt crisis, they'll have even less money to spend.

I mean, you can go through the whole double-speak exercise. "We are not increasing taxes! We are rationalizing the tax code! We are reducing entitlements! We are being fiscally responsible!"

No double-speak, lower rates but eliminating write-offs and loops holes is necessary. Simplifying the tax code is necessary. Or is a 75,000 page tax code sound efficient to you. :rolleyes:

But the reality of it is this: if you slash Joe's tax deduction for healthcare insurance, that's money out of his pocket. And on and on, with each and every "entitlement" you want to cut. Call it what you want but the reality is that it is money coming out of the pockets of the vast majority of Americans that isn't going to be spent on new cars or new houses or any of the other goods and services that employ the vast majority of Americans.

Nobody's talking about slashing Joe's tax deduction for health insurance. Now, in terms of health insurance, Obamacare makes things much more expensive for Joe or Joe's employer. Which greatly impacts the vitality of the economy.

Are you guys so dishonest that you think that if you call it "cutting entitlements" that people won't realize what it means? Or are you so gullible that you believe it yourself?

Reforming entitlements doesn't necessarily cutting them. Raising the retirement, or means testing programs isn't cutting them. If you wanna talk about cuts, look into Obama's $700 billion dollar cut of Medicare to fund Obamacare. But you won't, because you don't care about that. Hyperbole is what you're interested in.

Consumers are tapped out. Personal debt is at an all-time high.

Wait until a debt crisis hits, and see just how consumers are tapped out. But personal debt isn't all the same. There's good personal debt, and bad personal debt. But again, you don't care about these types of differences. You don't bother to understand them. Hyperbole is what you're interested in. And in the United States, savings rates are at an all time high, not debt.

-s

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Anyways, in terms of macro-economics, encouraging investment through the non-taxation of capital gains would benefit the economy as a whole.

Not it wouldnt, and it hasnt. The US has been cutting investment taxes for decades and it has the highest unemployment rate in modern history and a massive structural deficit.

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it is expected in the next days that Obama will bring heavy emphasis forward in scrutinizing the Romney tax plan - relying heavily upon the recently released independent review/analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute:

Washington Post: Romney tax plan would result in cuts for rich, higher burden for others

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it is expected in the next days that Obama will bring heavy emphasis forward in scrutinizing the Romney tax plan - relying heavily upon the recently released independent review/analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute:

Washington Post: Romney tax plan would result in cuts for rich, higher burden for others

in the interim since the Aug 1st release of the referenced study, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center responded to conservative critiques with an Aug 16th response reinforcing its initial conclusion stands:

NYT: Tax Analysts, Responding to Critics, Reaffirm Findings on Romney Plan... of course, its quite rich that one of the 'conservative criticisms' is that the Romney Plan lacks sufficient detail to allow the Tax Policy Center to analyze so conclusively! :lol:

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, after considering conservative critiques of its recent, much-publicized analysis of Mitt Romney’s tax agenda, said on Thursday that its conclusion stands: His proposals would mean big tax cuts for the highest-income taxpayers and increases for everyone else.

“A reform proposal that meets the five goals” that Mr. Romney has outlined for overhauling the tax code “would have to raise burdens on middle-class households,” the three authors of the analysis wrote in a nine-page response to the criticism.

That is inevitable, they said, mainly as a consequence of two of Mr. Romney’s five goals: His insistence that any tax overhaul should be revenue-neutral, neither reducing nor increasing annual budget deficits, and that it should protect or even sweeten existing tax breaks for savings and investment like those for dividends and capital gains income.

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Not it wouldnt, and it hasnt. The US has been cutting investment taxes for decades and it has the highest unemployment rate in modern history and a massive structural deficit.

The US also had among the lowest rates of unemployment for decades (which is very impressive given the US population growth rate relative to other developed economies).

The US currently has a high rate of unemployment due to the recession.. What is causing this recession to persist? Anyone who follows the markets could tell you the entitlements in Europe held us back from a recovery we were experiencing in late 2010. It all comes back to entitlements.

For the keynesians: if the failing eurozone countries weren't so laden with debt from entitlements, they could have invested heavily in a healthy recovery, rather than being forced into austerity by creditors.

I strongly feel that in a democracy there needs to be legislated budget constraints such that the ruling government is forced to pay off debt while in an economic expansionary period. Otherwise, democratically-elected governments will just continue promising the popular lefty entitlements of the day and be left going hat-in-hand to the IMF when a recession hits.

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in the interim since the Aug 1st release of the referenced study, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center responded to conservative critiques with an Aug 16th response reinforcing its initial conclusion stands:

NYT: Tax Analysts, Responding to Critics, Reaffirm Findings on Romney Plan... of course, its quite rich that one of the 'conservative criticisms' is that the Romney Plan lacks sufficient detail to allow the Tax Policy Center to analyze so conclusively! :lol:

Thanks for the links waldo. So my assertion was correct...

To cover the cost of his plan — which would reduce tax rates by 20 percent, repeal the estate tax and eliminate taxes on investment income for middle-class taxpayers— the researchers assume that Romney would go after breaks for the richest taxpayers first.

So unless one qualifies Romney as a middle-class taxpayer, his tax rate wouldn't drop to 0.86% or whatever wild hyperbole has been passed around by the usual purveyors of ignorance.

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Thanks for the links waldo. So my assertion was correct...

So unless one qualifies Romney as a middle-class taxpayer, his tax rate wouldn't drop to 0.86% or whatever wild hyperbole has been passed around by the usual purveyors of ignorance.

I would need 5 to 10 years of tax returns to tell what Rmoeny qualifies as from year to year. Until then we really know very little about where Romney fails from year to year on taxable income. Until then you don't get to talk about how Romney's plan will affect him. SORRY SHADY.

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Thanks for the links waldo. So my assertion was correct...

you don't get to cherry-pick your quote... what do you think this is - The Daily Caller, The Drudge Report... Fox News?

let's continue your cherry-pick:

They even look at what would happen if Republicans’ dreams for tax reform came true and the proposal generated significant revenue through economic growth.

None of it helped Romney. His rate-cutting plan for individuals would reduce tax collections by about $360 billion in 2015, the study says. To avoid increasing deficits — as Romney has pledged — the plan would have to generate an equivalent amount of revenue by slashing tax breaks for mortgage interest, employer-provided health care, education, medical expenses, state and local taxes, and child care — all breaks that benefit the middle class.

“It is not mathematically possible to design a revenue-neutral plan that preserves current incentives for savings and investment and that does not result in a net tax cut for high-income taxpayers and a net tax increase for lower- and/or middle-income taxpayers,” the study concludes.

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The "righty" entitlements cost just as much, if not more though.

If you mean "corporate welfare", then no they don't, not even close. Take a look at the budget for once in your life.

But I have a feeling you mean tax cuts/credits, as in letting people keep more of their own money, which is not an "entitlement". :rolleyes:

Edited by CPCFTW
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you don't get to cherry-pick your quote... what do you think this is - The Daily Caller, The Drudge Report... Fox News?

let's continue your cherry-pick:

The excerpt of your study seems to exclude the possibility of cutting expenditures. If tax revenue decreases by $360B, but Romney cuts expenditures by $400B, then he will have succeeded in avoiding "increasing deficits".

It is mentioned in the NYT article here:

Deep cuts in spending would have a similar impact, the authors added, hurting mostly low- and middle-income households because they disproportionately benefit from government programs and benefits.

But "the authors" should consider that taking free services/entitlements away from people isn't equivalent to raising their taxes. It's just giving them less of other people's money.

The quote in the NYT is pretty funny. The authors' argument is that the tax cuts would "burden" middle-class taxpayers, and they say cutting spending would have this effect because low/middle-income HHs disproportionately benefit from government programs. I'd hardly call not receiving a benefit a burden any more than I would say you were "burdening" me if you were writing me a cheque for $500/mo and then decided you could not afford it any more. Entitlement mentality gone wild.

Edited by CPCFTW
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If you mean "corporate welfare", then no they don't, not even close. Take a look at the budget for once in your life.

But I have a feeling you mean tax cuts/credits, as in letting people keep more of their own money, which is not an "entitlement". :rolleyes:

He might be referring to the social spending that conservatives are sometimes just as guilty of promising.

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