I don’t like your attitude very much. It seems very entitled and imperious. You say you have done everything legally required, and there will be no more tax returns. Not only do you say it, you say it with a snarl, as if those you’re asking to vote for your husband are simply too stupid to understand what a tax return filed by a Very Wealthy Couple looks like. As if you’re saying “we’ve given all you people need to know.”
Oh wait. You actually said that.
Ma’am, you’ve released *one* return. ONE. If we’re really lucky, we’ll get to see the second one 15 days before the election, when it’s too late to really understand how you and your husband run your finances.
Here’s the thing. I’m not looking for a fight with a woman who is fighting for her husband’s election, but you’re simply wrong about your pronouncement that what is in those returns isn’t relevant, doesn’t matter, and won’t matter if you do release it. You assume the reason we’re asking for these returns has to do with some sort of attack on you.
Don’t you understand the attacks are happening because you refuse to disclose this information to people who you’re asking to trust for four years? Or are you just above it?
Here is a list of legitimate, real reasons why voters are entitled to access to your tax returns, whether you like it or not:
- The next President of the United States must lead an effort to reform our current tax code. It’s long overdue and must be done. We’re entitled to understand how you approach your own taxation, and what interests your husband will serve if he were leading that effort. Simply put: Will a Romney Administration consider the needs of the working poor over the needs of corporations and the wealthy?
- Ordinary people don’t have offshore tax shelters. Why do you? Why do you consider it American to shelter income from taxes offshore? Why would your investments take precedence over patriotism?
- Americans deserve to fully understand how Bain benefited your family. It’s well established at this point that Bain Capital was in the business of mergers and acquisitions. People lost many jobs to offshoring, mergers, and just plain asset-stripping. It’s fair for them to understand what kind of profit you took from those lost jobs, particularly when you claim you know how to create them.
- Ordinary people endure far more invasive inquiries for minimum wage jobs. You can get all high and mighty with us, but to get an $8.50 per hour job, many ordinary people have to endure (and authorize) a credit check, and in the case of government jobs, a background check. In many cases, they have to submit to a drug test, too. That drug test requirement isn’t because their potential employer believes every applicant is a drug addict. It’s because they want to make sure this applicant isn’t one.Similarly, we’re entitled to know whether any possible future President is a tax dodger. From the one single return released, it certainly appears that there are some dodgy tax items that deserve closer scrutiny. The problem is, we don’t have enough information to say one way or the other, and you think we shouldn’t see it.
You say to us: “Trust me.” I say to you: “Why?” What have you done to earn my trust? You treat me like I’m some kind of scum for asking reasonable questions about issues that truly do matter. We’re entitled to know how you manage these things, how you approach taxes, how we can expect to be treated in a Romney administration. Telling me “you people don’t need to know” does not foster trust. It fosters resentment.
You haven’t given us one single reason to trust you. You say, well, we tithe, that makes us good people. No, it doesn’t. Anyone can write a check. So what? A central tenet of LDS doctrine is the requirement to tithe, at a minimum. a very bare minimum. That’s not evidence of integrity; it’s evidence that you seem to place the LDS doctrine above the tax laws currently in effect in this country. That’s hardly reassuring.
You say to us: “You don’t need to have that information.” I beg to differ, for the reasons I’ve stated. Here’s what you risk with this attitude, Mrs. Romney. You risk alienating voters who might have been in your camp. I say might, because there are plenty of other reasons not to vote for your husband. But by shoving your puffed-up chest and a mighty attitude of high dudgeon in our faces not once, but several times, you exclude those who might otherwise be convinced.
You want your husband to represent me, Mrs. Romney? You want him to have that job, a job I pay for? Then both of you need to submit to my hiring requirements. This election is a by the people, for the people moment, not an appointment by the oligarchs, no matter what you might think. We, the people, are your Job Interviewers, and right now we’re inclined to say we’ll get back to you with our decision after the returns are released.
The fact that you would place yourself and your husband above even one other person in this country tells me you and your husband are unfit to occupy the White House. That you do it to the voters who are entitled to know exactly who they are voting for disqualifies you entirely.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy your retirement to California. Bye, now.
Damn straight. Anne Romney is the type of arrogant snob that I wouldn’t give the time of day to. I wouldn’t trust her or her crooked husband as far as I could throw either of them. As for me, I couldn’t really care less whether or not they release the tax returns. It will have no bearing on my vote. There isn’t enough of ill-gotten Bain money to buy it. Unlike our politicians, I am not for sale.
She definitely does not represent the 99%. Not long ago, she said, she knew what it was like to do without. When they were in college, they had to sell stock to pay the rent. The woman doesn’t have a fucking clue.
THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT STATES ANYONE HAS TO SHOW THEIR TAX RECORDS…UNDERSTAND!?! THEY DON’T HAVE TO SHOW ONE PAGE TO ANYBODY…BUT THEY DID…SO GET OVER IT!!!! I WOULD NOT HAVE SHOWN ONE PAGE UNLESS OBAMA SHOWED HIS COLLEGE RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO STOP YOUR CRAZED IDIOTIC COMPLAINING!!!
You nailed it right on the head with your letter. But I think it will fall on ears that don’t care. The only thing Ann Rmoney cares about is getting power. Both of the Rmoneys and Ryan are applying for the big job in America, but they don’t want to go through the process of applying. Witholding the tax returns proves that. Unfortuantely I don’t think there is anyway that Rmoney will see the error in her attitude, and their joint refusal until they are the losers on election day.
I LOVE this!!! I’ve been pissy all day after seeing clips of that arrogant woman’s interview this morning. Thank you!!!!!
Her “you people” comment is going to haunt the campaign.
My husband is a federal employee. He has to submit credit reports from all three agencies every ten years. We have to ask security for a “soft check” when we want to buy a car. We want to move but a charge account that is 8 years old was labelled incorrectly (paid/not closed) and DoD doesn’t want anything else on our credit until that account is changed to “paid/closed.” just to get the job, which is a low level clearance, he had to submit high school transcripts & tax returns, all of his past employers were contacted, his military record was gone over with a fine tooth comb, and more.
A few more 1040s are more than reasonable for the public to request of a man who wants a job that includes sole authority over the nuclear football.
I posted your letter to facebook and twitter. It said what I’ve been feeling. I too have had to give fingerprints, taxes and drops of blood for jobs and these snobs treat us like they don’t have to answer for the lowliest of government agencies. Who do they think they are? And the GOP dared to put this man before the public because our joke of a Supreme Court said our elections can now be bought by the highest bidder? My ancestors go back to the revolution and have fought in every war including myself. Never in my 65yrs did i think i’d live to see this day. Everything we ever fought for is dying in America. It is truly scarey.
WAH, WAH. WAH…..CRY ALL YOU WANT! THE SIMPLE FACT IS THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT STATES HE MUST SHOW HIS TAX RECORDS….NOT ONE!!! IF YOU WANT HIS TAX RECORDS TO PROVE SOMETHING, WHY DO YOU LET OBAMA SLIDE ON NOT SHOWING HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE OR EVEN HIS COLLEGE RECORDS!?! I SWEAR, YOU IDIOTS THAT VOTE FOR OBAMA NEED YOUR VOTING REGISTRATION REVOKED WITH A LOBOTOMY ON THE SIDE!!! HE HAS DONE NOTHING GOOD FOR AMERICA….UNLESS YOU LIKE NOT HAVING JOBS…OR YOU LIKE HAVING THE GOVERNMENT DETERMINE IF YOU GET HEALTH CARE OR NOT…YOU IDIOTS MAKE ME SICK TO MY STOMACH!!!
Jim, this is the last comment I’m going to allow to be posted that has this tone. I’m a believer in freedom of speech, but not when you repeat yourself across more than one thread with the same nonsense while insulting others. Expect the rest to be removed.
“Simply put: Will a Romney Administration consider the needs of the working poor over the needs of corporations and the wealthy?”
“Simply put: Will a Romney Administration consider the needs of the working poor over the wants of corporations and the wealthy?”
Fixed that for you.
Well written and well said. I myself wonder at the arrogance it takes to actually stand in front of a camera and say: Yes we want to be able to make poicies that affect your life, but we don’t want or need you up in OUR business. It’s mind boggling to me. Keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight.
Agree, Karoli. Thank you for this open letter to that superior-acting and miserable human being.
I absolutely love this! So right!
Great letter. Ann Romney is the poster wife of rich elitism and snobbery. She is not doing herself or her husband any good talking to the press. I cannot believe she thinks so little of us voters. They will not get many votes with that attitude.
Do pay some mind to what this woman has said. We don’t have kings in this country. We, by extension, have no queens. You have such gall and arrogance. It is very unbecoming and completely outside of the spectrum of how a First Lady should comport herself. You are an outrage and should sincerely apologize for your higher-than-mighty attitude.
Right on, right on!! Could not have said it better.
Outstanding letter! I’m beginning to think – and I’m not the first to suspect – that perhaps Mittens is intentionally trying to throw this race. Why else would they say such stupid things?
Dear Karoli, Your open letter was spot on! America needs to demand candiadates to be open and honest. If the Romneys have nothing to hide, just release the tax returns and move on. No one should be above the law!
Excellent letter, well-expressed.
Thank you for putting to words what so many of us are thinking and are maybe a touch too angry to speak to it as graciously as you did here.
I saw Mrs Romney comments. How arrogant. But if I had betting money. I smell a felony in the Romneys taxes.
Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!!!
Ann Romney knows that everything you said is not only true but valid and more than reasonable.
The Romney’s, in their heart of hearts do NOT disagree with our need to see their IRS returns.
The Romney’s just know that to reveal those tax returns WOULD “CEMENT” HIS ELECTION THE SAME WAY “CEMENT” GUARANTEES THAT THOSE WITH IT ATTACHED TO THEIR ANKLES DO NOT RISE TO THE SURFACE OF THE HUDSON RIVER.
All Ann’s talk of being attacked is just a desperate Palinesque way of getting past the interview until they are off camera and can down a shot of whiskey and cuss a blue streak.
What is almost as bad is that Romney has been planning on running for President for a long time and he did nothing to proactively avoid this situation. Poor planning and judgement for a would-be-president.
What is funny and sad at the same time is that there is even some speculation– I believe article on Huffington Post, about whether Romney is trying to “throw” the election for some weird reason.
What a sad sad “legacy” this son gives his father as well as himself to have it even thought of that he could be “throwing” the election. A very weird possibility but not impossible given the nut jobs that have come out lately in the GOP: Palin, Mr. “999” Cain, Bachman, Brewer in Arizona.
Obama still has not released school records, medical records…..Was he a foreign exchange student???
School and medical records have nothing to do with this discussion. If you want to believe the crazy, suggest a visit to Alex Jones’ site or NewsMax. Barack Obama has released 10 years of his tax returns. Mitt Romney has released one. That is all.
The previous commenter was correct. College transcripts are very important because they point to an issue that has never been addressed and refuses to be addressed by the President. This is much more serious because it is very possible that he obtained the office of the President illegally. It is an even more serious matter than the one of which you speak. There are 2 sides to this coin. Maybe you should send a letter to Ms.Soetoro.. I mean Mrs. Obama.
If you’re that concerned about his college years, I highly recommend David Maraniss’ book, where he interviews Columbia and Harvard classmates. He also has a lengthy chapter with diary excerpts between Barack Obama and his girlfriend in that book. The transcript canard is simply another effort to suggest he was an affirmative action case. He wasn’t.
Also, all of the institutions of higher learning on his resume have had every opportunity to correct inaccuracies, if any existed. Obama was high profile very early and the subject of a 1990 New York Times profile when he became the first Black person to be elected head of the Harvard Law Review when he was in law school. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/06/us/first-black-elected-to-head-harvard-s-law-review.html
Actually, he was an affirmative action case..he’s not that bright..never wrote anything. The one book he did write went no where until Oprah talked about it…other boo, was written by someone else
Karoli…whats crazy…he has spent millions keeping his past sealed…release the college records…Mcain released 2 years..Obama had no problem with that.Reid and Obama are just trying o change subject…Obamacare gutted 700 million from medicare…
<-- takes a deep breath... Dana, do you actually look at facts or are you content to accept what NewsMax and Fox News hand you as their version of facts? If you would like facts on the Medicare provisions, I'll be glad to provide them. But if you're content with Fox News' version, then tell me and I won't waste my time.
Oh, Goodhands. PLEASE. PLEASE think for yourself. PLEASE. You’ll see that money taken out of medicare was taken from INSURANCE COMPANIES and bureaucracy and is the same amount Romney would remove…except he would take it from recipients rather than from the companies trying to profit from it. It’s not hard to see that because these are FACTS and can be researched as long as you aren’t watching FOX News or other right wing media. I’m sad for you. I really am. You’ve fallen for one of Romney’s many lies.
AH…Amy..typical liberal…calling people names that you don’t agree with.
By the …FOX news is top rated…you just don’t like the talk shows.
I do think for myself sweetie….learn some manners
Amy…big list of Obamas lies…by the way..I am not calling you names..you have resorted to that
Are you aware that there is a federal law (FERPA, Google it) that makes it ILLEGAL for schools to release a student’s academic records to a third party without express and specific permission from the student?
Are you also aware that no other President has been asked to release academic records, and Bush’s only got leaked because some @$$h@t released them? That was wrong, you know. And illegal under FERPA.
It would behoove you to examine the data at this link, and to take off the tinfoil hat:
The problem with people with you is that you receive your information from one source and are content with that, rather than following up on that information, asking questions, and forming your own opinion based upon this fact. Its also people like you that are causing the crap that my generation is going to have to clean up because you refuse to make educated decisions based on the facts at hand and would rather live your life as a sheep, bleating far-right propaganda speech as your led by politicians like Romney and Ryan to the proverbial slaughter house.
Also, who the hell cares if Obama is an affirmative action case? He has paid his dues, and didn’t rely on Daddy’s money to get him where he is, unlike Ryan and Romney.
Don’t you think that if there WAS a problem that back in 2007-2008 Hillary Clinton would have BEEN ALL OVER that? If any of what you are claiming is true she would have used it and secured the democratic nomination. What about his run for Senate? it would have come up, believe me. There’s a LOT of people that want to be president, they don’t just let anybody run, let alone win. Conspiracy folks like yourself are driven by hatred for those that don’t think the way they do, they are also acting on intense racism. Would we ever question Mitt Romney’s citizenship? What if his rich parents were on vacation in France and he came out a few days early? Obama’s mother is an American citizen, he was raised by his American grandparents, his father was out of the picture. His mother was educated and did field research abroad, taking him with her, but not until after he was born here. Like I said, it’s the easiest thing in the world to prove, he has. If he couldn’t then Hillary would be the president right now, you don’t think the Clintons have connections? You don’t think they would have dug something like that up? You’re an idiot if you think believe that they would have let that slide.
You wrote a wonderful, clear and to the point letter. You absolutely speak for me. Thank you!
Why would you defend a plutocrat from having to prove how much of his money he is hiding from the taxation laws of this country? Could it be that the Romneys are concerned with what those returns will tell the American people?
Francie….Romney has followed the law…or IRS would have gotten him already..Educate yourself..law does NOT require you to release tax records
Surely you’re aware that the Internal Revenue Code is built to support a robust wealth preservation industry? No one has said he isn’t following the law. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to understand how our laws work for him as opposed to the rest of us.
Francie implied he is not following the law….
Romney had a Bank account in a Swiss bank that was targeted by the IRS to bring American Citizen Tax evaders and cheats to justice. They offered Amnesty to those people who held those accounts if they simply paid the taxes they owed (i.e. they wouldn’t be prosecuted if they owned up, and paid up). This Amnesty program started in 2009. Romney closed his account in that very same bank in 2009. Romney refuses to release any tax returns before 2010.
It doesn’t pass the stink test. His refusing to provide 2009 returns as well as earlier returns screams “Tax Evader”, “Amnestied Felon” and “Crook”.
Then you must say the same about Obama not releasing his records…
Are you 12? “Francie implied that?” “Well, if he does then he should???” You don’t actually go point by point as Karoli as in her letter and provide any kind of counter-argument. You bring up this ridiculous notion about Obama’s college records. In the past, no other president has had to release any college records, it was taken as fact by seeing the diploma or having other people talk about their time at school with that person. HOWEVER, they have all released tax records. If there was TRULY no problem with them, then Romney would release them. If you honestly have nothing to hide, then there should be no issue here, just show us the tax records. It’s like the commercial for Carfacts. When you don’t dispute an argument but instead lash out with some ridiculous riposte like “Obama needs to show his college records” then it’s clear that, deep down inside, you know you’re on the losing side and you’re blindly and mindlessly fighting a losing battle.
in tax law if there is fraud/error a wealthy person can easily have their lawyer request amnesty provided things are patched up. If this was the case this would show up in his records that amnesty was granted. If the public found out about this of course this tells them that he DID hide things/misrepresent his income at one point, even if he paid his fines and kept legal standing. It would NOT paint a great picture. McCain got over 10 years of Romney’s returns in his search for a VP running mate and we all know he went with unknown Palin over his former rival. Perhaps he saw something that was too big a hurdle.
I am not so sure I understand where or why you think that they are doing anything out of the ordinary?
They paid what is legally expected, i mean, it is the law. You have an issue with the LAW and our government, not the Romney’s. Have you ever taken a gander at the Obama’s tax returns? Or Mrs Obama’s $6,990 blouses? There are many peculiar expenses that we are paying for for the Obama’s, why aren’t you questioning that?
Do you pay more then your share in taxes?
When you get your taxes done each year, do you add a few thousand to the check, just cuz you think you should pay more>
How much do you believe is fair for the “rich” to keep from every hard earned dollar?
Why should they be punished for being rich? Or is it just republicans?
Who’s punishing them for being rich or Republican? Every candidate since George Romney has released their tax returns. Why not Mitt Romney?
Where is the ‘punishment’ thing coming from? He’s asking voters to hand him the keys to the country so he can drive it. I’m entitled to make sure he’s qualified.
exactly. If he wants to be the #1 public representative he has to concede the fact that his life and details will become public for all to see, that is the sacrifice of seeking public office. He could easily disappear back into being an executive in corporate America and not have to show anyone ANYTHING if he wanted.
You can easily take a gander at Obama’s and Biden’s tax records. They actually created a website and posted the last 10 years of their tax records for all to see. I believe that’s called honesty and nothing to be ashamed about, worried about, or scared about. When you hide things, it’s clear there’s something you are either ashamed, scared, or worried about.
Ann is both dumb and arrogant. Therefore, this intellectual approach of writing of facts and sense are unlikely to go anywhere in her upstairs. The best way to get rid of her, her tax felon husband and his accomplice in crime Ryan are by rejecting them in the elections so bad that they will never dare to destroy America.
Dear Karoli Super! I would have added one ore very impotent point that no one is hitting her with particularly that commentator yesterday. When she says, “Just trust us Mitt is honest”, the response is not just WHY. we clearly should rebut that we should not trust them because Mitt HAS lied about his taxes before when he ran for GOV in Mass. he was told he could nt run because he was living in Utah, refused to give his tax returns claiming we should trust them that he had. Well guess what. He HADNt it got found out and he was forced to pay back taxes in MASS. retroactively. Rachel maddow covered this but mainstream media has NOT. http://www.alternet.org/hot-news-views/rachel-maddow-goes-deep-mitt-romneys-tax-return-hypocrisy http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/48497173#48497173 This is video from NBC!!
Yes, I had actually forgotten that. Excellent point.
yep, in order to run for Governor in MA they need the candidate to have at least 7 recent consecutive years of residency in the state. His main residence was in Utah, but he filed his taxes in MA…but not all 7 years. By the time they proved that he lied he was already in office…how convenient. I guess it gave him the confidence to try to hide his taxes yet again in the race for the presidency…sounds pretty arrogant to me.
could’nt have said it better, great comments, true to the point!!! nice job karoli
It’s rather sad, really, that such a health-vulnerable woman (her multiple sclerosis) would risk her health by getting this involved in her overly ambitious husband’s political campaign — to the point where she’s shaking with rage and her face is twisting in emotion as she vociferiously argues about the Romney income tax report obfuscation.
She’s risking a relapse by spiking her hormone levels and indulging her own ambition and sense of entitlement. If she doesn’t watch out, even riding a dancing prancing tax deduction pony won’t help her.
Didn’t you think it was rich hearing Mrs. Romney crying about that her husband is being attacked personally when her husband and his Bain money had just finished carpet bombing all other potential GOP presidential candidates with personal attacks….too funny!
WASHINGTON — Rep. Nancy Pelosi was emphatic. Mitt Romney’s refusal to release more than two years of his personal tax returns, she said, makes him unfit to win confirmation as a member of the president’s Cabinet, let alone to hold the high office himself.
Sen. Harry Reid went farther: Romney’s refusal to make public more of his tax records makes him unfit to be a dogcatcher.
They do not, however, think that standard of transparency should apply to them. The two Democratic leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives are among hundreds of senators and representatives from both parties who refused to release their tax records. Just 17 out of the 535 members of Congress released their most recent tax forms or provided some similar documentation of their tax liabilities in response to requests from McClatchy over the last three months. Another 19 replied that they wouldn’t release the information, and the remainder never responded to the query. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/07/18/156632/most-members-of-congress-keep.html
I see this whole thing about Romney’s tax returns just a big bunch of nothing. There’s quite a bit of Romney financial data out there http://www.mittromney.com/learn/mitt/tax-return/main
I’d love for Romney to say he’d support flat taxes. Everyone pay x% – it would simplify the whole return submission process; we could reduce the size of the IRS and it would be FAIR because everyone pays the same %.
believe it or not, a flat tax is far from fair. when lower income people have to spend a higher percentage of their earnings on necessities, a flat tax impacts them more greatly. if a person making $8.50 an hour (working 40 hours a week) has to pay $500 a month in rent, that’s 35% of their pay. do you think that someone making $250,000 a year pays $7291 a month on rent or mortgage?
a flat tax IS NOT fair.
Agreed. A flat tax is regressive.
Well here’s my un-American retort to that. Life isn’t fair. Not everyone can live where they want to – I can’t live in LA/San-Fran/NYC.
Get a room mate if you choose to live somewhere that you can’t afford. Another alternative to not being able to afford matters is to obtain skills/education elsewhere. Heck join the Peace Corps (which I think will be my next employer).
Please help me understand why – when I was earning minimum wage and realized it wouldn’t work for me and my desired lifestyle didn’t match up I thought to myself “Hmm, what can I do” to achieve my desires?
Why isn’t a flat tax fair? EVERY STATE in this UNION uses a flat % to calculate child support…..
Look I’m neither Republican nor Democrat – neither party seems to combine the values I (as a single, childless female) I deem near and dear to my heart. But you fail to mention there’s a ton of financial data from Romney http://www.mittromney.com/learn/mitt/tax-return/main
You fail to mention Romney left his active role at Bain Capitol in 1999. As as a 28 year employee of IBM I continue to witness daily the devastation of off-shoring (and fully expect I will be laid off as a result of this practice within the next 2 years). A company that I continued to stay with through the lean years of the 90’s ; a company that stripped me and its loyal employees of their pension plan and this year stiffed it’s North American workforce with “no raises” (not that their raises happen yearly or are of any significance) in order to award its Indian workforce with double digit raises.
I look at this brouhaha over the Romney returns on par with the Obama birth certificate nonsense. Why? Because does anyone honestly think if there was something illegal, untoward or shady going on the IRS wouldn’t have been all over it? What bothers me more in this country is how there seems to be something evil with someone being rich. Isn’t this supposed to be the “land of opportunity”? I’m almost embarrassed to admit my income because people might think I’m rich. No – I worked hard, kept my skills sharp, lived BENEATH my means and never expected anyone, including the government, to bale me out of any bind I got myself into. I’ve endured 2 divorces; I also made the mistake of helping out a single mother (my pet sitter) by letting her live in my rental and that was a $10,000 mistake. Turns out she’s one of those Americans out there that think their lot in life is the fault of everyone else except herself. It’s a dangerous belief I see all around me. I will tell you this, if I’d been the lone Powerball winner from Michigan you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be looking for every legal loophole in the tax law to minimize my taxes and I bet everyone who’s rallied behind your indigence over ten years of Romney federal tax returns would do the very same. So go have a field day looking at the financial disclosures Romney has made public and
I think you missed the part where I gave reasons that have very little to do with what you describe above. This isn’t about demonizing people for having wealth; it’s about getting a very real understanding on where their heart is if they were to govern the country.
Tax policy will be a critical feature of the next administration. Congress will either craft something that’s fair for everyone, or they’ll craft something that’s fair for Mitt. Because everyone is not Mitt Romney.
Most people applying for an everyday job have to submit to drug testing, credit and background checks. For a job that probably won’t even pay the bills. Anyone with a government security clearance, as you’ve seen in the other comments here, will have to submit tax returns, as well as undergo periodic credit and background checks.
Moreover, the imperious dismissal of these concerns is a pretty clear picture of a Romney administration in full-throated opacity. We can expect to receive no disclosure, for our government to have no accountability and our concerns to be dismissed as simply something silly, because real people with real money only talk in “quiet rooms.”
It’s not about demonizing the rich. That’s what Ann Romney wants us to believe. It’s about having an honest look at what we can expect to see in a Romney administration. Remember, where the heart is, there also is your treasure.
I watched the interviews you linked to and I didn’t find Ann to act either imperialistic or dismissive. Yes she used “you people” but she also stated why they’re reluctant: attacks; wanting more disclosures etc. Do you not believe you get an adequate enough picture of their financials from what’s already out there? You think the “1” return has some “dodgy” items. That to me supports Ann’s declaration that it’s never enough. Like I previously said, I’m certain the IRS has scrutinized it and if I too were filthy rich I’d try to keep as much of my $$ as I legally could and I bet every American you’d ask would say the same.
If “we” Americans think candidates should have to disclose 10 or 12 years of returns then lets rally to make that the law.
Regarding any revisions that may happen to tax law – we all know a President does not pass laws the Congress and the Senate do. And there is a Congress and a Senate to help prevent one ruling party from “crafting something” that will benefit the president. Did he get Massachusetts to craft something favorable for him when he was Governor? He didn’t even take a salary for that position!
I believe your posting does demonize the rich you use words like “above us” and “ordinary people don’t have offshore tax shelters” and “Ordinarypeople endure far more invasive inquiries for minimum wage jobs” and “Will a Romney Administration consider the needs of the working poor over the needs of corporations and the wealthy“. I’m so sick of American’s thinking their lot in life is someone else’s fault. Get training, get skills, get education – I worked full time and went to college part time (my job covered tuition; I paid for books and fees unrelated to tuition). Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Don’t have kids you can’t afford. That’s the where I identify with Republicans. At the same time I’m pro choice, for gay marriage, and hate how big corporations can and do take advantage of their employees and get away with it, legally. That sounds like a Democrat to me. Unfortunately, I loath both parties. Our political system is a mockery. Everyone panders to special interests who contribute to their campaign and no matter how much scrutiny one places whether it be on tax returns or birth certificates it won’t make a bit of difference once they’re in office.
You don’t have to agree with me on her tone. That’s purely my impression. Feel free to disagree.
But it is true, you know. Ordinary people don’t have offshore accounts. They just don’t. And there’s only one reason for anyone to have them: To defer and/or duck income tax.
If I earn 10,000 and pay 15% in income tax, 7.2% in payroll tax, I’m left with $7,780. If I then spend one-third of that on items which are subject to sales tax/gas tax, etc. here in california, I pay another 2%, for a total tax rate of 24.2%.This assumes there is no further extension of the earned income credit, by the way.
Contrast that with Mitt Romney’s statement today claiming that he always paid at least 13% every year. Hmmm. How does that work? Answer: It doesn’t, unless there are some serious tax deferrals. So your below-poverty level wage earner — let’s call that person the kid who works at McDonald’s — pays around 24% in taxes, while the guy making bazillions on passive income; that is, income for which he did nothing to earn it, pays 13%.
This isn’t envy. It’s about fairness. It’s about the patriotism involved in paying taxes to support a country that enabled him to get wealthy not by the sweat of his brow, but by the way he played the investment game. The investment game, by the way, that cost many to lose their jobs and even more to lose their homes when everything came crashing down not once, but twice.
Whatever you may think of Ann Romney’s tone or my tone for that matter, this is a question that really does matter to every person in this country regardless of their wealth or station. Did Mitt Romney avail himself of offshore tax shelters to avoid paying income taxes in this country? Only Mitt and Ann know the answer to that, and they don’t think the rest of us should care. I beg to differ with them.
The rest of what you say, particularly with regard to “don’t buy things you can’t afford” is why we are in this mess. People aren’t buying things they can’t afford but which they need. Therefore, demand is way, way down causing a drag on the economy. Every worker, government or otherwise, who is laid off isn’t buying what they need. Students aren’t going to college because they can’t pay the tuition, and so they don’t qualify for the higher-paying jobs. And so it goes, around the circle.
This is 40 years in the making. The time is nigh to begin walking toward tax equity and yes, transparency. If the Romneys think they have the keys to that question, let’s see whether they will actually let us in on it.
From what I can tell payroll tax is paid by the EMPLOYER ( http://blogs.library.duke.edu/answerperson/2004/09/21/what-is-the-difference-payroll-and-income-tax/ ) so if you’re taxed at 15% income tax you’re left with $8,500.
You’re also assuming this individual at a 15% income tax rate isn’t able to take deductions on their return to further lower their burden (either with standard deductions or by itemizing).
Furthermore, does the Romney family have some special non-sales/gas taxes waiver.
I’m also completely perplexed why you think submitting to drug testing or a credit report is more invasive than releasing a decade or more of tax returns? After my tenant screwed me over by (a) failing to pay a full months rent for 6 months (the last month she remitted nothing) and then (b) left me with thousands of dollars in repairs – all for trying to “help” a single mother, her mildly autistic child and her mother …. subsequent tenants who desired to live in my lovely property had to submit to both a credit report, a confirmation of employment and earnings and a check for previous evictions or criminal convictions.
I take issue that the kid at McDonald’s pays 24% taxes. At $8.50/hr * 40 hrs a week * 52 weeks a year would gross $17680. By the IRS tax table http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040tt.pdf a single individual who earned 17680 their taxes (using standard deduction) is $2219. If they were being taxes at 24% their tax burden would be 4243. Instead, their tax rate is just under 13%.
I’m all for fairness which is why I think taxes should be a flat rate across the board. I’m actually also for closing the tax loop holes. Especially the ones that have lead to massive CEO pay windfalls ( http://www.ips-dc.org/campaigns/uncle-sams-pocket/ ) and will be lobbying whomever is elected as my representatives will be.
And yes – people buying things they couldn’t afford like HOUSES and the whole crooked mortgage debacle certainly has contributed to the economic crisis this country now faces. Heck look at AIG in the report I linked above – Obama bailed out AIG and Citi and the execs at both those companies are back to being “compensated” with despicable pay relative to the rank-and-file. How can this be? They needed tax-payer bailouts and now they’re back to their filthy tax dodging ways?
As for students NOT attending college, to Obama’s credit he has attempted to ease this burden ( http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/student-loan-ranger/2011/11/09/learn-what-obamas-student-loan-plan-means-for-you )
Which brings me to the roommate I had back in 2006. He was raking in student loans and EVERY TIME he got a loan payment he would proclaim “Free money” and go on a buying spree. When I reminded him that he would have to pay back these loans he just shrugged his shoulders. Now mind you, he was a very intelligent person.
Then there was his sister who chose to get pregnant but really didn’t like the “father”. She ended up pregnant with twins, with a complicate pregnancy that actually required her being airlifted to a hospital at one point. Oh and she is one of the “working poor”.
American laws have long protected debtors. Hence there’s no debtor’s “prison”. Texas as an example, BENEFITS a debtor. I know this because during my first divorce I received bad advice. My marital home had a GI bill loan on it and was assumable. The couple that bought it couldn’t afford it – they counted on IBM moving them to California. They assumed our loan and quickly defaulted on it. As a 24 year old I didn’t understand how their failure to pay on the note came back on me. I learned the hard way. They lived in that home for half-a-year then declared bankruptcy further delaying the foreclosure. This was back in the 90’s and flash forward, what caused all the foreclosures recently?
So back to Romney. Let’s agree he’s using offshore tax shelters that under current IRS tax laws is allowed. Is he un-American for doing so? You say he didn’t earn his wealth from the “sweat of his brow”. Granted, he comes from wealth and up until I read your posting I honestly knew little of his background but from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_Mitt_Romney_acquire_his_wealth and others like it, it looks like he was key to Bain Capitol’s early success. And he left them in any active capacity in 1999.
So let’s get back to Romney saying he’s never paid less than 13% – well guess what, that reminds me of another event in my life. My last marriage, we fought to gain custody of his teenage kids. His ex had been enjoying alimony and child support and partying down on 6th street here in Austin. A couple of things she wasn’t interested in? Paying the mortgage on the marital home or other debts or finding employment. When we gained custody, we waived child support for another 6 months in hopes she’d wake up and realize she needed to GET A J-O-B. When she finally did, she failed to comply with court orders regarding disclosing her income. Long story short, when she was hauled back into court she squealed like a stuck pig when she realized the child support formula is a FLAT % (much like I propose for income taxes here in the great US of A). She could not seem to comprehend that 10% of her smaller income was no more of a burden than 10% of her ex-husband’s bigger salary.
Now I know you’re going to say, 10% of someone earning $8.50/hr hurts more than someone making 100,000. To that I will say to you, someone making 100,000 has more skills than someone making minimum wage. Is that unfair? I say no. Do I think actors and pro-athletes are over compensated? YES, but that’s how this great country works.
So if the Mc Donald’s worker is paying roughly 2200 in federal income tax and looking at Romney’s AGI (line #37) and using the 13% figure he’d owe 2,814,046 in taxes but he ended up paying 3,009,766 in taxes or more than your Mc Donald’s worker’s percentage.
Page 8 of the return shows he has some investment in Abbott Labs. That CEO is in the report I referenced earlier (excessive CEO pay) so that irritates me more than off shore accounts.
I really wished you hadn’t gone to the “patriotism” spectrum. Because clearly, I would then say I thought it was “patriotic” of Romney to forgo salary as Governor of Massachusetts. Again, something I didn’t learn until I started researching your claims.
And that brings me back to my point – I feel the Romney returns or the Obama birth certificate are smoke screens. I say that because, sadly, in our instant messaging, gotta get gratified now society it’s all about sound bites. Much like the far Right glommed onto Obama wasn’t born in America and it just won’t die … to the Romney tax returns. If it gets enough air time, enough facebook followers will “like” or “share” the story.
So the crux of your argument now seems to boil down to you’re having an issue that he has off-shore tax shelters and that he’ll make sure that tax loophole is preserved.
To that I say, I’m more concerned about the tax loopholes that allow companies to over compensate their CEO’s and avoid paying fair corporate taxes.
On a grander note I find myself deep in the political malaise that harms this country. The two parties are so bitterly divided and so unable to find common ground that I have little hope in this upcoming election. I have friends I see on these polar extremes. Neither party is entirely correct nor entirely a demon. That’s what concerns me more – how did we end up so divided?
Just for clarity: Employers pay half the payroll tax; employees the other half, or 7.2 percent. This is not offset by any income tax adjustments. Self-employed people pay the entire employer-employee amount.
Not taking a paycheck while serving as Governor of Massachusetts was a noble gesture. I haven’t knocked it, nor will I.
By his own admission, Mitt Romney has paid around 13 percent of his bazillions. Even if we put the worker I hypothetically posed at a rate of 10 percent, that extra 3 percent paid by Romney is far too low.
As for the political malaise, I would like to refer you to the verified reports (right out of the horse’s mouths) that the decided-upon Republican strategy on January 20, 2009 — the day Barack Obama was inaugurated — was to obstruct everything he did. Republicans decided that they would not compromise, would not give any quarter because that was their best shot at winning the Presidency in 2012.
If you want to find the root cause of division, start there. Layer on some Fox News, a little bit of Breitbart, Malkin and for good measure, Glenn Beck, and pretty soon you’ve got a country full of fearful (and often hateful) people. Fearful people tend to also be angry people. So you sprinkle some non-profit astroturf over all of it and your recipe for division is complete.
It doesn’t hurt to outright lie about the other guy’s policies, like they’ve done consistently with regard to Obamacare. Yes, the savings from the bonus to insurers eliminated by the ACA actually currently benefits Medicare beneficiaries. Today. They pay less for prescriptions and they get free preventive care. No one “stole” a darn thing, but don’t tell Fox News that. They’re having way too much fun trashing Obamacare with that lie.
If Republicans were to win the White House and keep their promise to repeal every page of Obamacare, seniors’ prescription drugs would cost more the day the repeal took effect. They would no longer enjoy access to preventive care examinations free of charge. That’s how seniors are harmed.
Those of us who have children — even single adult children — with pre-existing conditions would watch them languish while exhausting all of our resources to make sure they stayed healthy, leaving nothing for ourselves when we retire. And when the money ran out, it is not an exaggeration to say that we would leave ourselves and our children to die, or in the hands of what meager charitable gifts we could scratch out. This is what repealing “Obamacare” means to us.
So yes, there is division, a great deal of it. And yes, it’s personal, because as the parent of an adult, college-going son with a chronic condition which would disqualify him for insurance, I am unwilling to hear Republicans sentence him to a life of penury or worse, death. I am especially unwilling to hear it when the ones telling me to go to hell are enjoying their own health care without concern for pre-existing conditions on the taxpayers’ dime. Further, I’m unwilling to hear it when I know the hate lavished on it is the product of lies and propaganda spun by greedy insurance companies who really don’t give a damn for anything but the bottom line.
Ah, liberty. Yes, well. Liberty for all is limited to all who can afford it, it seems.
One final thought on this comment: If you think the President of the United States does not have any hand in crafting tax policy, I would like to direct you to the administrations of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as starters. Congress may pass it, but Presidents direct the meta.
if you think that the IRS is particularly hard on the super-wealthy, you are mistaken.
I didn’t say there were “particularly hard” on the super wealthy – I also don’t think they’re particularly easy on anyone. I just think the wealthy have more disposable income to find legal loopholes does that make exploiting those wrong? No I don’t think so.
Finally I find a point of agreement with you. Now let’s take it to the next level. We agree there are loopholes; we agree that they’re exploited by those with the means to hire the army to exploit them.
Presumably, tax code revisions would close some of them. Which ones do you expect President Romney to close? The ones protecting him from income tax or the ones most people use?
Paul Ryan hasn’t been overly specific. But if you go back to his original tax proposals, the loopholes he wanted to close were ones that homeowners use, for example, to deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages. That might raise revenue, but it doesn’t touch the loopholes used by wealthy individuals.
Dana, Quote from Forbes article: “2003 Massachusetts filing states that he still owned 100% of Bain Capital in 2002. And the Globe‘s review of Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.” THAT sounds like he was still a major player, maybe the only player.
Karoli your open letter is quite brilliant – I congratulate you. It should be on the front page of every newspaper, everywhere. Today, in a press conference, Mr.
Romney stated that those still asking questions about his taxes are “small minded”
omg – will the imperious arrogance never end?!!!
I sincerely hope that enough sensible people – on the right and the left – will see him and his cohorts for what they truly are.
Agreed — it should be everywhere. Best thing I’ve read on the Romneys, bar none.
I only wish more people would come to their senses about this Romney Tax issue. You are so right to question. There seems to be more and more ways the governments scrutinize the citizens every move. I don’t think I’m allowed by law, in NY to drink a soda pop of a certain size. I wonder many things about the Romney family. The lifestyle they live is inconceivable to so many of us. I think I already know what kind of people they are…the Romneys…and I already know that I don’t want a person that behaves as badly as him to be President of the United States. What I find so amusing is I think the Romneys believe they are displaying themselves in a fashion that all of the rest would strive for.
This is fabulous! Thank you for taking the time to so eloquently state what a great many are thinking and feeling.
To Mrs. Romney,
People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Think about it.
So why has Obama spent millions hiding his medical records and school records…all he released was a medical paper…Then the passport..how did he get into Pakistan to visit???
Care to link us to the proof of the “millions” he’s spent hiding these so-called records. Also, a president MUST undergo a medical check-up every year, it is required by law. This president has so what medical records do you think will suddenly reveal something. What and when are you talking about a visit to Pakistan? It must suck to be such a scared, frightened closet racist such as yourself.
You would think that a woman that married into a family that got its start on the backs of others and by winning a law suit against what was the family safe haven would be a little less of a snob… but then again… Miles Park Romney (Mitts Great Grandpa) used Mexico as a safe haven then Twenty-seven years after Miles fled from U.S. government agents and took refuge in Mexico, the Romney family was back in the United States. …. the U.S. government, which had once chased Miles to Mexico due to his polygamy, now welcomed the Romneys and other Mormons to the United States. Congress established a $100,000 relief fund that enabled the Romneys and other Mormon exiles to receive food and lodging. … the case of Gaskell Romney (Mitts Grandpa) v. Mexico for the loss of his home and possessions After fleeing the Mexican revolution was finalized in Salt Lake City in 1938. Gaskell requested $26,753 in damages. He was awarded $9,163, court records show — a sizable amount in the post-Depression years. The records say that Gaskell was to give half of the award to his son George (Mitts Dad), helping to set the family on firmer financial footing in the United States….This only shows me that this family has never actually WORKED for money… they just expect it…
For those of us struggling in poverty that never even got a chance to make it to the middle class no matter what we did or how hard we tried (due in no small measure to job discrimination on top of a real lack of enough jobs to go around for everyone in need of a job), $9,163 is a hell of a lot of money to us today in 2012. But back in 1938 when Mittens’ grandpa got his windfall, that $9,163 was actually worth $143,599.48 in today’s money.
I don’t know you but I love you. I’m tweeting this right now. This is EXACTLY it!
I agree completely, Karoli! Why should we trust Romney when he has lied so much already?
This is a great article and you are clearly very educated on the topic. The “trust me” statements make me crazy because he’s been a proven liar over and over again. When he ran for Gov of Mass he said he filed 7 years of tax returns there (required to run) but that was proven to be untrue. He went back AFTER the fact and filed retroactively after he was caught in that lie. He has lied and lied and lied so why in the world should we trust him?
He Amy…sorry your so hostile….sorry you have to talk down to people you dont agree with….
read the Obama lies….try to be nice…
did you remember to polish the gem on your belly and comb your pink hair?
Just who is she talking down to? She says he lies. It’s been proven he lies or, let me speak to you in terms you’ll understand, he flip-flops. He’s flip-flopped about every single issue out there. Proven by video of him answering questions one way and then another.
Congratulations on this beyond awesome article. I am sharing this on my FB and other social media. I have read all the comments and your response( when needed ). Again you showed the people that FACTS don’t LIE – its people who do.
I came to this county as an immigrant less 8 years ago..I am a naturalized citizen and have been working full time job ever since… Same company which Dana works for – IBM. Not that I am particularly proud of what they are doing as a corporation and I think Dana already described it.
What I wanted to say here, the picture is so clear. If I as an outsider – with less then 8 years of experience in this country – can understand whats best for this country and middle class ( real hard workers ) – prolly every citizen should too. I don’t favor any party its just pure facts. As Dana mentioned our political system is a mess and I as a voter will choose the lesser of two evils that are presented before us.
Thank you so much for this article and now I will be a regular reader here.
This is a brilliant and insightful smackdown. You said everything I’ve thought about the Romneys but haven’t been able to articulate. The first time I read this I shared it on Twitter and FB, and now, after reading it for the second time, am realizing how righteously well-written it is. Hope it goes viral. And I REALLY hope these let-em-eat-cakers don’t win.
In an earlier interview, with Mitt at her side, she said “It is our turn.” I believe that says it all. She refuses to accept the meaning of the word are “elected”. Many years ago I worked for a company and attended a conference where the owner stated “I live by the Golden Rule: Those with the gold rule.” I worked there for a short time after that conference, but resigned because those words haunted me. The Romneys believe that their wealth/gold entitles them to rule.
Well said! I think it’s a bad sign that she is angry that people are “attacking” them. Has she not noticed that the size of Michelle’s butt gets ridiculed and analyzed by pundits even though Michelle is a healthy weight AND she dresses with great style and elegance? That her children are ridiculed just for being black? That Bush’s children were attacked for their partying in college and that Clinton’s daughter was criticized for not being pretty enough? Does she think that when (IF) she’s first lady she will suddenly be immune from inspection and criticism? That all attacks will stop and we will bow down to our new over lords? This is America! If they are elected, the attacks will have JUST BEGUN. If she can’t take it and is going to have a hissy fit reminiscent of Leona Helmsley every time some news person criticizes them, how will that make the public world wide react to her husband and the American government in general? We don’t need Antoinette Romney in the White House!
Other people have said other things I wanted to say, but I’ll just add this: You talk about what ordinary people have or don’t have. True enough.
But I don’t want ordinary people running the country. I want extraordinary people running the country.
I actually don’t like either Obama or Romney. Both are power seekers without the best interest of the country at heart. But using the metric of what ordinary people do or don’t do is a bad way to judge them. Thomas Jefferson was not an ordinary man. He represented the best and brightest of the world of the time, (and also happened to be quite financially successful).
To heck with ordinary people. If Romney was smart enough to do smart things with his money, then that’s fine with me. And if he’s smart enough not to give the Democrats ammunition for demonizing his success, then that just shows more intelligence.
The average federal income tax paid by middle income families was 5% last year. Since they paid 13% I presume everyone here hates people who make more than they do and believe 8% isn’t quit enough to penalize this family. Obama, Reagan, Clinton, etc. all made/make a lot of money. You don’t become elected without making a lot of money. It seems that everyone here is trying to find some reason to hate Republicans or the rich. This is one reason I can’t stand both parties or the individuals posting above.
I love your letter and posted it on my Facebook page, hope you don’t mind! It is so well-written really resonates with a lot of people — of many political persuasions. In addition to all of the well-articulated concerns you share, I added my own — the potential impact on foreign affairs aspect of the Romneys’ business dealings. Again, an area we know precious little about — but we know more than enough to raise alarm and concern. Thanks again for your most excellent post.
LOVE your letter and I would add what everyone seems to have forgotten, although you were close a few times. THEY work for US. We are not here to support THEM, THEY are charged with OUR BEST INTEREST. Before I hire someone to manage MY GOVERNMENT I want to see WHO THEY ARE.
Since I don’t believe one word out of either Romney’s mouth, I want to see the tax returns. He has outright lied so many times that if he were a character at a local theme park his nose could push Mars off its orbit.
And before you get going Goodhands, I don’t CARE anymore about Obama’s ANYTHING. I saw his birth certificate and now, almost 4 years in, he needs to prove nothing. Now It’s Romney’s turn.
Thanks to you all for the wonderful discussion and kind words. Agree or disagree, I appreciate the civility in the discussion.
People, people, PEOPLE!!!!! THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT STATES ANYONE HAS TO SHOW THEIR TAX RECORDS…..GOT IT!?! THEY DON’T HAVE TO SHOW ONE PAGE TO ANYBODY…BUT THEY HAVE….SO GET OVER IT!!!! I WOULD NOT HAVE SHOWN ONE PAGE UNLESS OBAMA SHOWED HIS COLLEGE RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO STOP YOUR IDIOTIC COMPLAINING!!!
Oh, of course. Just because you say so. I see it’s another “Trust me!” moment. Two words: Spiro Agnew.
Dude, stop spamming. Comments are moderated.