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First Look at Romney's Tax Returns

The Romney Campaign has sent out a summary of the tax returns it will be releasing today.

Mr. Romney reported $21.7 million in income. He paid $3 million in federal taxes, slightly more than the $2.98 million he made in charitable donations. At least $1.5 million of his charitable donations went to the Mormon Church.

Of Mr. Romney's 2010 income, he noted a capital gain of $12.6 million, taxable interest of $3.3 million, ordinary dividends of $4.9 million and smaller sums of gains and losses on business income, refunds and other income.

His tax rate comes out to 14%. Why so low? The rate on investment income (15%) is lower than the rate for salaried income (35%.) Who is responsible for the big disparity?

That preferential rate for investment income, which was instituted as part of the Bush tax cuts to spur investment, is the basic reason why the Mr. Romney and his wife have an effective rate of around 15%.

His off-shore investments are not tax shelters. He pays the capital gains rate on those. He's worth between $84.8 million and $264.7 million. [More...]

He also keeps a lot of the money in tax-deferred individual retirement accounts (IRA's.) Income from IRA's isn't taxed until it's distributed. When he does withdraw it, it will be taxed at a higher ordinary income rate rather than the lower capital gains rate.

It's not a sophisticated tax scheme. It just happens to be how the tax rates are applied.

Romney is hardly the only wealthy Republican to run for President. Huntsman was worth between 15 and 66 million, and his father was a billionaire. But Republicans are probably dumb enough to think an ego-maniacal, delusional professional pol like Gingrich is better than an ultra-wealthy conservative who shares their values like Romney.

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  • Warren Buffett yesterday (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by desmoinesdem on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:28:20 AM EST
    made a compelling argument about Romney's tax rate--though it would be more compelling if Obama were actually trying to raise the tax rate on capital gains. Link:

    Warren Buffett, the billionaire calling for more taxes on the rich, said Mitt Romney's U.S. tax rate of about 15 percent reflects poor laws rather than failings by the candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

    "It's the wrong policy to have," Buffett told Bloomberg Television's Betty Liu in an interview today. "He's not going to pay more than the law requires, and I don't fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me earning enormous sums to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that's about half what the average person in my office pays."[...]

    "He makes his money the same way I make my money," Buffett said. "He makes money by moving around big bucks, not by straining his back or going to work and cleaning toilets or whatever it may be. He makes it shoving around money."



    "I'm also unemployed" (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:13:26 AM EST
    and then he chuckled.

    "The indisputable fact is that unemployment benefits, despite a web of regulations, actually serve to discourage some individuals from taking jobs, especially when the benefits extend across years."

    I bet the 20 million++ would love to be so unemployed.....

    "Indisputable Fact" (none / 0) (#189)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:59:52 PM EST
    And that's what poisons us.  People who BELIEVE in such "indisputable facts."

    Romney and others of his ilk have no way of knowing first hand about unemployed people and/or the motives of unemployed people.  Yet they make such statements as "indisputable facts."

    While there are a very few who do run out unemployment before seeking work, their numbers are small and don't justify curtailing long term unemployment benefits.

    The idea that law should be made to thwart a few at the expense of many is the same as saying Medicare should be eliminated because of fraud.

    Parent

    Two-third of us pay 15% or less (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    in federal income taxes, including half who pay nothing, according to a wire service story in my paper a few days ago.  (Probably a story set up by the Romney camp in preparation for this release.)

    So the focus may end up being more about avoiding Medicare taxes, Social Security taxes, etc. -- and both Romney and Gingrich can get caught on that, I gather, so I wonder if this all will devolve into complicated discussions, noise, that cancels out any onus on either one for GOP voters.

    Of course, no doubt the third of us who do pay more in federal income taxes and pay Medicare and Social Security taxes are more likely to vote Dem, so this debate on taxes also won't really matter in terms of voters deciding between Romney and Gingrich.

    We should always point out (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:51:25 PM EST
    Those every low tax rates:

    Two-thirds of us pay 15% or less in federal income taxes, including half who pay nothing

    Are because we have so very many people who are only able to earn very little money.

    It's a symptom of our times that the middle class is shrinking and the numbers of working poor are swelling.

    Parent

    While there are way too many people (none / 0) (#190)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:00:27 PM EST
    who make way too little...

    At the NYT, Bruce Bartlett points out that between 2000 and 2008, during the presidency of George W. Bush, the percentage of filers who paid no federal income tax rose from 25.2 percent to 36.3 percent. During this time, Bartlett says, Republicans added a significant child credit to the tax code, resulting in a rise in nonpayers.

    In fact, the number of filers paying no federal income tax has hovered between 40 and 50 percent for the past several years.

    In 2010, 45 percent of households paid no federal income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center. In 2009, it was about 47 percent. In 2008, 49 percent were exempt from federal income tax.

    All in all, according to the Tax Policy Center, there will be 76 million nonpaying "tax units" in 2011. The Center defines a tax unit as "an individual, or a married couple who file a tax return jointly, along with all dependents of that individual or married couple."

    And not all of those tax units represent the working class.

    Nine million nonpayers, or 12.8 percent of the total, are in the middle income quintile. Another 1.9 million -- 2.6 percent of the total -- are in the second-highest quintile, and some 443,000, or 0.6 percent of the total, are in the top quintile.

    The Tax Policy Center breaks down that last number a bit further: There are 78,000 non-paying units in the top 95th to 99th income percentile, 24,000 in the top 1 percentile, and 3,000 in the top tenth of a percentile.

    This group has a nickname, too: they're the HINTs, for high income, no taxes.

    These might be people who get their income from tax-exempt bonds or overseas sources, as CNN reported last year.

    Or they might be people who have incurred losses from partnerships or S Corporations. Or people who have run up "extraordinary" medical or dental bills. As The Fiscal Times noted in December, these are other ways to realize one's HINT status.



    Parent
    Romney after being goaded by Gingrich (5.00 / 4) (#79)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:32:20 AM EST
    released two years of income ($45.2 million for 2010 and 20ll) and Gingrich released just one year.  While providing quantitative information that will continue to be reviewed, we learned what we qualitatively knew: Romney is a man of great wealth and has an astronomical annual income, especially for someone who claims to be "unemployed".

    But, to me, Romney underscores the inequity of the tax code, such as the large proportion of "carried interest", taxed not as compensation but as return on investment, thereby subject to capital gains tax (15%) rather than ordinary income (35%).  Unlike real capital gains, where their is risk by using your own money, carried interest uses someone else's money--less risk same tax rates.  And, of course, that "carried interest" is not subject to the 7.65% (2010) and 5.65% (2011) on the first $107,000 and l.40% on the remainder--social security and medicare.  

    Gingrich, the "anti-establishment" guy, shows in his tax return ($3.16 million for 2010) that he is anything but.  He is the consummate Washington insider who has made his money peddling influence and trading on access.    His streamlined contract with Freddie Mac, for example, paid him $25,000 per month for "providing consulting and related services as requested.."  No further requirements, just a wink and a nod.  And, Gingrich has accused the lending company of causing, in large measure, the housing crisis.  

    Now, being rich, or the means by which the money was made, is not likely to adversely  affect Republican primary voters--tax loopholes, tax avoidance, off-shore IRA structuring to avoid UBIT, and  power brokering  illustrate the hypocrisy and cynicism of the right wingers.  Maybe, they will be faulted for their poor judgments--Romney for not putting his returns out way back when, and Gingrich, for being too extravagant with that Tiffany revolving account on a relatively small income.

    heh (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:34:45 AM EST
    Newt, the Tiffany populist.

    Parent
    Newt would be hilarious (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:16:22 PM EST
    if he weren't so despicable and dangerous.

    Parent
    Romney's not stupid. (none / 0) (#1)
    by EL seattle on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:07:21 AM EST
    Over the past few years, he's probably been making investments and paying taxes in a way that he thought would look pretty good when running for president. And whether he wins or loses, this whole thing will likely wind up being a promotional windfall for the LDS.

    Ever since this whole tax mudfight started, I haven't been able to get this appropriate tune out of my head.  But that ain't necessarily a bad thing, I think.

    Romney's not stupid, but (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:16:58 PM EST
    he is a little out of touch---He had a Swiss bank account, but recently closed it after being advised that it would not look good.    Someone must have told him, "you're running for president, for Pete's sake."

    Parent
    what I dont understand (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:48:54 AM EST
    is if they are not tax shelters why are they off shore.

    do we know?

    Romney doesn't do "shelters" (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:55:25 AM EST
    Think mansions....ha, ha, ha....

    Just the rhetoric one uses....

    Parent

    but seriously (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:58:17 AM EST
    what reason is there to have money off shore?

    whats wrong with good old mainland american banks?

    I know squat about money so its a sincere question.

    Parent

    check here (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:13:36 AM EST
    According to the info at Jeralyn's link ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Erehwon on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:45:53 AM EST
    Benefits of Legal Offshore Banking may include:

    • Earned interest on offshore accounts and investments is paid without the deduction of tax.
    • Reduce  tax liability in  home country by transferring savings and investments to an offshore bank account.
    • Added benefits include high levels of confidentiality, security and convenience, as well as global access.

    So I don't know whether Mitt can argue with a straight face that he hasn't benefited from some degree of tax dodging or just hiding his net worth.

    So what else is new?

    Parent

    Really? (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:39:42 AM EST
    So I don't know whether Mitt can argue with a straight face that he hasn't benefited from some degree of tax dodging

    The linked article says that it is up to the individual to report his earnings. Because if he did, he dodged nothing.

    Do you have any proof that Romeny didn't report his earnings?

    Parent

    Might help you to read more carefully ... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Erehwon on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:27:03 AM EST
    "So I don't know whether ..."

    In any event, it's not up to me to prove, but for Romney to prove that his reasons for keeping his money offshore were all okay. The court of public opinion is not a regular criminal court where innocence must be always assumed, as you should know.

    Parent

    heh (none / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:33:54 AM EST
    The court of public opinion is not a regular criminal court where innocence must be always assumed, as you should know.

    Especially when the main stream media is 99.9999999% carrying Obama's water.

    Parent

    If you can't win, ... (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:27:43 PM EST
    ... blame the refs.

    Parent
    Or that fool who can't field punts (none / 0) (#165)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:19:32 PM EST
    Ha! (none / 0) (#178)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:51:11 PM EST
    FOX is carrying Obama's water? That's a good one.. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Farmboy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:40:46 PM EST
    I suppose next you're gonna repeat the line about how Newt cheated on his wife for six years and wanted an open marriage because he loves his country so much.

    Parent
    Make that 99.99999999% less FNC (none / 0) (#184)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:47:03 PM EST
    heh

    And I'm still waiting for proof on what you claimed was the reason for the 90's economic boom.

    Parent

    and less at least one bloviating Limbaugh- (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:07:11 PM EST
    Hannity-Michael Savage clone on the radio in every major city..

    And less any number of major-circulation neocon rags kept afloat by the the Scaifes, Coors, and Rev Moons of the world..

    Other than all that, everyone's in the tank for the secret-Muslim, secular-socialsist.  

    Parent

    Tax avoidance vs tax evasion (none / 0) (#202)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:48:13 PM EST
    And, at this time, the Romneyesque version will not play well in Peoria or most places outside the Hamptons or the Cayma n Islands. (I've got to reread Grisham's The Firm & his Caymans description.)

    Parent
    thanks (none / 0) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:55:35 AM EST
    (and thanks for deleting the tipsy comments :)

     but the only benefits listed there was tax benefits with the exception of this:

    Added benefits include high levels of confidentiality, security and convenience, as well as global access.  

    so I guess I still have the same question.

    Parent

    I'd also recommend (none / 0) (#29)
    by dk on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:50:47 AM EST
    this Boston Globe article from a few days ago for additional context.

    The overriding point, I think, is that the use of offshore accounts are really more for the benefit of Private Equity firms and Hedge Funds as a whole (primarily to attract non-U.S. investors into their funds).  Of course, since Romney made most of his money via Bain's success, he benefitted.  Also, there may be some additional tax advantages to Romney personally, though likely small relative to the larger issue, which is that the capital gains tax rate is so low.

    Parent

    thanks (none / 0) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:18:40 AM EST
    if they are not tax shelters (none / 0) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:46:21 AM EST
    .

    "...if they are not tax shelters why are they off shore..."

    Because if you have foreign investors they don't want to be involved with the IRS.  Our tax laws promote the off-shoring of some investment funds.  No doubt in the name of fairness.

    .

    Parent

    Romney's Cayman investments (none / 0) (#52)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:01:43 AM EST
    are probably in various funds raised by the private equity firm. As pointed out, these funds are often domiciled offshore because foreign investors often want to avoid investing in a US entity and being subject to US taxes.

    Private equity and hedge funds, as well as venture capital funds, raise large funds to invest. The funds then invest in multiple companies or types of assets. The investors are not allowed to withdraw their investments. The investors have to wait for distributions to be made or for the fund to be liquidated. Those decisions are made by the people who created and control the fund, i.e. the private equity or hedge fund managers.

    While Romney may be part of the manager groups, he wouldn't have control over distributions or liquidations.

    Parent

    Exactly. The point is that his tax returns (none / 0) (#157)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:04:20 PM EST
    can and should be used to shine a light on the operations of the 1%. If he had the political skills of a golden retriever he could neutralize the impact, but he can't.

    Gingrich's on the other hand will probably be shady and bordering on fraud, like everything else he does.

    Parent

    Don't you think the average likely voter (none / 0) (#158)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:06:47 PM EST
    knows there is a lower fed. tax rate on long term capital gains than on ordinary income?  This ain't news, is it?  

    Parent
    I think it will be to a lot of people (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:15:42 PM EST
    No one here, but I think the public at large may be surprised - if they are tuned in to this at all.

    Parent
    When I first learned... (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:46:10 PM EST
    of the discrepancy years ago I thought (and still think) that ain't right, income is income is income, by crook or by sweat...then when I learned gambling wins were taxed at a higher rate than "capital gains" gambling wins I was really pissed!

    If only wage earners and honest gamblers had a lobby to write the tax code...we'd be sorted;)

    Parent

    Me too (none / 0) (#204)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:58:13 PM EST
    Kdog:  all the distinctions that we are making here will fall on a lot of deaf ears...and lead to many concluding what a number have long viewed as an unfair game that excluded the average guy.  With what we have had to traverse in the economy these past few years, it shouldn't be a surprise if the privileged havens come to be viewed by mor as inappropriate and unfair...and that those who would be President might not want to have themselves too linked to what may be seen as the fundamentally unfair practices of the Cayman Islands.

    Parent
    So a groundswell will happen (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:17:23 PM EST
    and suddenly mortgage interest will no longer be deductible--to make the 1% pay more!

    Parent
    With my luck that is (none / 0) (#179)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:04:31 PM EST
    exactly what will happen. Tax Reform!

    Parent
    While tax rates on long term capital (none / 0) (#175)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:36:18 PM EST
    gains have been at higher rates than the current 15%, the tax rates on capital gains have almost never been as high as the tax rates on ordinary income.

    Parent
    Charlie Pierce sums it up (none / 0) (#167)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:23:12 PM EST
    nicely:

    That's when it happened. As Gingrich swung, so did Romney. "Do you tax capital gains at 15 percent or zero percent?" he asked.

    "Zero," Newt answered.

    "Under that plan, I'd have paid no taxes in the last two years," Romney said, and with that, despite the tepid nature of the exchange... both men went down. The affably repellent met the repellently affable, and both of them lay stretched out on the canvas.

    They had both lowered their guard, you see. Newt, in trying to show himself clever, had revealed that if elected he's going to make sure that guys like Mitt Romney don't pay any taxes at all. Mitt, in trying to provoke a reaction against the idea of a guy like him paying no taxes at all, revealed that, well, he's a guy like Mitt Romney.



    Parent
    Last night's debate (to me) had those (none / 0) (#168)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:26:03 PM EST
    two battling to the mat and then agreeing w/each other.  Bizarre.  

    Parent
    Who is responsible for the big disparity? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Left of the Left on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:54:07 AM EST
    I hated the mans presidency as much as anyone here, but I cant hold this one solely against him by now.

    That said (none / 0) (#9)
    by Left of the Left on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:55:30 AM EST
    Romneys camp was foolish to let this become an issue. Of all the things to be caught flat-footed on.

    Parent
    A non-issue (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:21:53 AM EST
    He's rich.  We're all shocked.

    So is everyone who is a serious candidate for POTUS.

    Stop the presses.

    Not like this (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:14:48 AM EST
    And not when you want to raise taxes on the middle class and lower them on his bracket.

     

    Parent

    or when his (none / 0) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:17:46 AM EST
    tax rate is half of yours and mine

    Parent
    Maybe (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:47:37 AM EST
    But if you look at the amount of taxes paid - over $3 million was it? Do you pay that?

    I just think this is one of those issues where it really isn't a deal breaker with most voters.  And the tax rate certainly won't be an issue with Republican voters.

    Parent

    it will certainly do one thing (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:54:17 AM EST
    it will help everyone understand how absurdly unfair the tax code is and hopefully help to change it.

    Parent
    The tax code is not unfair (none / 0) (#92)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:42:25 AM EST
    Investment income is taxed twice.  It's taxed when it's earned and then when it returns an investment it's taxed again.

    No matter how the IRS writes the rules a few simple things will be true...

    1. Rich people will hire tax lawyres to get the most benifit out of the rules.
    2. Rich people will always be richer then poor people
    3. The IRS will collect approx 18% of GDP in taxes.

    So call it unfair but all you're basically saying is that it's unfair that he doesn't give more money to teh government.

    What if he put all the money in a safe in the basement.   He would then pay zero taxes.  Would that be unfair?

    So he takes the money and invests it in companies, monies he's already paid taxes on, then that money is used to start business and higher people and for his efforts uncle sam gets to double dip on the profits.

    Yeah, real unfair.

    Parent

    Not true (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:49:28 AM EST
    You are assuming a corporate tax for corporations....

    A "small" limited liability company or partnership of a few partners will get taxed only once.  This is where the real "Bain" money comes from.

    And, no, there is no rule about 18% of GDP being collected.  Higher collection rates have been achieved--in good economies to boot.

    Parent

    Where does the first money come from? (none / 0) (#125)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:30:17 PM EST
    A "small" limited liability company or partnership of a few partners will get taxed only once.  This is where the real "Bain" money comes from.

    Do you think that you can just tell the Feds that:

    "Hey, I'm gonna invest this money I just earned so I don't owe you any tax???"

    Parent

    Some tax comments. (none / 0) (#159)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:07:08 PM EST
    Yes, it's true that the income of the private equity fund LLC or limited partnership fund is not taxed twice. Only taxed when distributed to the LLC members.

    However, any income of the portfolio company or companies of the LLC is taxed at the portfolio company level. Most big companies are C Corps, which are taxed twice: at the company level and when distributed ot the shareholders.

    As has been pointed out, money that is invested in a private equity fund is generally "after-tax" money, i.e. taxes have been paid on it.

    Parent

    So, where did the money (none / 0) (#185)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:49:36 PM EST
    that was invested to get the income come from?

    It was taxed.

    Parent

    Partly true and not true (none / 0) (#180)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    I am guilty of overspimplication in regards to double tax.  Good and balanced link.

    Conclusions:

    It is technically correct in some situations but misleading as a generalization to claim that capital gains are double taxed. The effective tax rate on capital gains can be zero, or it can be twice the top individual rate. When high effective capital gains rates do occur, the main culprit is the corporate tax (assuming the burden of the tax falls on shareholders). Instead of providing special relief for capital gains, it would be far better to address this problem by reducing the corporate tax rate or by integrating the corporate and individual income taxes. We have a corporate tax problem, not a capital gains problem. If high levels of inflation return, tax relief for all types of capital income should be considered -- with capital gains receiving the lowest priority.

    See attached chart regarding taxes collected.  It varies some but bottom line you're only going to get so much out of the rich.

    Rates have changed dramatically along with laws but since the Great Depression we've never collected more then 21% in taxes and we won't no matter how high the government sets the rates.  

    The only real way for the government to collect more revenue is for the economy to grow.

    Parent

    Aha, then your last sentence (none / 0) (#181)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:20:55 PM EST
    Slado, explains why these candidates are providing their tax statements to cause this kerfuffle.

    Having the public talk about two rich guys' taxes certainly is effective in deflecting discussion from them to the public about how they would create more jobs so that more of the public can pay more in income taxes, growing the economy and all that stuff that seems to keep slipping off their agendas.  

    Parent

    Once upon a time in a far away place (none / 0) (#193)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:14:02 PM EST
    I had a job. I was paid a salary and I paid taxes on the salary.

    I then took some of that money and started a savings account.

    Every year I was taxed on the interest I had collected.

    Finally I had enough money so I went and bought some stocks.

    When I sold the stocks I paid taxes on the gains.

    By my count I paid taxes three times.

    Will somebody explain to me how I only paid taxes once?

    Parent

    jb, in a thread about (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:19:27 AM EST
    Romney, you (in other posts) mention Rev. Wright, call Obama a "liar," and ridicule his having written two books.

    Dreams of My Fathers is very well written book, a very entertaining read, and full of interesting ideas.  It shows a very gifted mind.

    And, the disappointment about Obama is over policy?  It seems very personal.

    You sure are boosting Mitt here....

    Parent

    Reading is fundamental (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:32:59 AM EST
    You should try it sometime.

    In the one post I called all politicians liars and gave examples of famous quotes where Bill Clinton and GHWB and Obama lied.  I could find more, but I thought it illustrated the point fairly obviously.  In yours andvthe capr's case, apparently not.

    I also responded that many people get very wealthy for a variety of reasons that you may find a waste.  I think writing 2 autobiographies and getting rich off of it  before you've gone anything is arrogant.  YMMV.

    I just find it ridiculous and hypocritical that some around here will bend over backwards to tell us how wonderful His Awsumness is, while criticizing anybody else for the same  kinds of things.

    And yes, it is personal - when so much potential has been wasted.  And when I could see 3 years ago that things were not going to be so grand with someone who was in over his head.  It affects me and those I care about personally, and all we hear are excuses and rah-rah for our side and boos for the other side.

    Yes we can - what a joke.  

    Parent

    So Romney is the answer? (none / 0) (#86)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:38:34 AM EST
    Pushing back against Howdy's constant (5.00 / 4) (#97)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:54:30 AM EST
    assertions, predictions and bets about Newt is not the same as advocating for Newt's current nemesis - Romney; I can't speak for jb, but my sense is that she's trying to bring some different perspective and opinion to the shape of, and reactions to, the Newt-Romney contest, not that she is defending or advocating for anything Romney stands for.

    Speaking for me now, as someone who doesn't feel the least bit invested in the outcome of the Republican steel cage death match, I think it's a lot easier to be objective about it, and to see who is invested - for whatever reason - and how that investment colors his or her comments.  


    Parent

    WHAT (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:06:06 PM EST
    a surprise.  I am stunned

    Parent
    Your dogs could have predicted this (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:13:38 PM EST
    and (5.00 / 0) (#110)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:16:03 PM EST
    have.  they are nodding and smirking as we speak

    Parent
    Did they help with the remodel? (none / 0) (#113)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:17:08 PM EST
    ha (none / 0) (#116)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:18:05 PM EST
    only a bit with the destruction part

    Parent
    So you and she say (none / 0) (#109)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:14:06 PM EST
    I see a booster for Mitt.....

    Parent
    You should get a job (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:49:51 PM EST
    In the WH press shop.  What would be clearly evident to Howdy's dogs, but not you and Howdy, obviously, is that pointing out the fallacies of your arguments / fantasies is nit an endorsement of Romney, bur it's great spin.

    The thing is, I think you and Howdy both know that but are just being deliberately obtuse because "Obama is awesome or at least doesn't suck as much as the other guy."

    Your schoolgirl crushes are pretty funny.

    Parent

    I don't know if Romney is the answer. (none / 0) (#128)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:32:37 PM EST
    But Obama has proven that he is not.

    ABO, Capt. Anybody but Obama.

    Parent

    ya think? (1.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:20:31 AM EST
    You are projecting your own views (none / 0) (#78)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:29:23 AM EST
    onto a hypothetical public that does not exist.

    Polling shows people support raising taxes on the 1%.

    Parent

    Capt, there is a reason his tax rate is (none / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:56:25 AM EST
    what it is.

    You really need to try and understand a few basic facts about the subject.

    Tax Rate on Short-Term Capital Gains

    Capital gain income from assets held one year or less is taxed at the ordinary income tax rates in effect for the year, ranging from 10% to 35%.

    The above should be self explanatory.

    Tax Rate on Long-Term Capital Gains
    Capital gain income from assets held longer than one year are generally taxed at a special long-term capital gains rate. The rate that applies depends on which ordinary income tax bracket you fall under.

    The tax rate for long term capital gain is 15%.

    Link

    Now, pull up a chair and let's look at why that's true. The difference between the tax rates is driven by this.

    The government wants people to invest in companies. Investment starts companies, investment expands companies. Investment creates jobs.

    But, the companies must have enough time to execute their strategies.

    So the government says, hold on to the stock for longer than a year and we will tax you at a lower rate. (I think it should be two years, but that's just me.)

    Dive in and out of the stock market to just make money in the market, the money you make will be taxed just like wages of Joe and Jane Sixpack except they will probably pay a lower rate than the "rich" stock market player.


    Parent

    I dont do taxes (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:04:43 AM EST
    but at the risk of confusing ann with reference material I refer you to this which I was just reading:

    Fact Versus Fiction in Latest Supply-Side Debate


    Capital gains tax cut in 1997 had little noticeable effect on the U.S. economy

    When President Clinton proposed tax rate increases in 1993 to help close the federal budget deficit, acolytes of the supply-side theory of economics, including the Heritage Foundation itself, gravely warned of catastrophe, predicting slower growth and fewer jobs. Of course, we know now that none of that came to pass. In fact, the economy thrived under the Clinton tax code, a truly uncomfortable fact for supply siders.

    If supply siders admit what almost everyone else knows, that the economy performed extremely well after President Clinton's tax hike, then it would undermine their entire worldview.



    Parent
    The economy expanded under (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:38:08 AM EST
    Clinton because of:

    1. Cheap oil.

    2. Internet boom.


    Parent
    It's easy to make stuff up, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:24:49 PM EST
    Not remotely convincing, ...

    ... but easy.

    Parent

    The economy expanded in the 90s because (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Farmboy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:54:44 PM EST
    1. gov't funding for education and business assistance was increased, leading to
    2. more people with decent jobs, which led to
    3. middle class income levels increasing, getting more folks off public assistance, allowing for
    4. increased income which meant increased discretionary spending, raising all boats, and also allowing for an
    5. increase in revenue which lowered the deficit and eventually created an annual surplus.

    And in one year the GOP cancelled as much of 1 and 5 as they could, which shot down 2, 3, and 4.

    Parent
    Oh really???? (none / 0) (#155)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:03:40 PM EST
    Then why hasn't it worked this time??

    Oh, wait. The GOP has had control of Congress.

    You know, I couldn't make your claims up.

    Parent

    Easy (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:45:07 PM EST
    Oh really?  Then why hasn't it worked this time??

    1.  Because the economy has to be dug out from the hole Bush and the Republicans drove it into.

    2.  Because the stimulus was: a) not large enough to dig out of Bush's recession, and 2) comprised of a large portion of tax cuts, rather than increased spending, which are not nearly as stimulative as spending.

    Anything else?

    Parent
    Gee...uh...got some evidence that it breaks (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:39:43 AM EST
    down to just that?

    Parent
    So you think (none / 0) (#123)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:25:34 PM EST
    expensive energy expands the economy???

    Check the oil prices from around 3/2008 til 12:19PM CST 1/14/12.

    The Internet bubble grew until 4Q1999. It then started bursting. Stocks and employment followed. The NASDAQ fell 50% from 3/2000 til around 2/2001.

    People were calling 1929 redux.

    Now. I guess you are gonna tell us taking money out of the economy and giving to the government expands the economy?

    Parent

    It's called "causation", Jim (1.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:47:34 PM EST
    You can't just point to the rooster and claim his crowing caused the sun to rise.

    Not that it's ever stopped you before ...

    Parent

    This is not evidence (none / 0) (#136)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:53:10 PM EST
    that indicates that the great economy under Clinton had simply to do with cheap oil and the internet.  This is zero evidence of something that because we DO HAVE economists that publish economic breakdowns you should easily have.  Nobody was making what was driving the economic boom classified.

    Parent
    So cheap oil and the Internet boom (none / 0) (#153)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:00:13 PM EST
    didn't cause the great economy under Clinton...

    But raising taxes did?

    Oh please, stop it. I've laughed so hard my ribs hurt.

    And show me some evidence that increasing taxes caused the boom.

    Parent

    Try reading it sloooooowly (none / 0) (#174)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:36:13 PM EST
    The only other explanation is that your misrepresentations are intentional.

    Parent
    Yes, that is the stated justification (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:21:08 AM EST
    It still elevates people who make money by pushing it around over those who make it through the sweat of their brow.

    Romney is a moneychanger.

    Parent

    Were do you think (none / 0) (#83)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:36:52 AM EST
    those pensions get their money???

    Parent
    From their hard work (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:39:28 AM EST
    The hard work of laborers (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:39:48 AM EST
    The laborers contributions are not (none / 0) (#98)
    by BTAL on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:58:11 AM EST
    sufficient to pay out all the benefits.  Hence, all pension funds are invested.  You know, like in hedge, venture and private equity funds.

    Parent
    With a "small" fee to those (none / 0) (#118)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:20:07 PM EST
    who "place" the funds.  Who pay a lesser tax rate than the workers who earned the money.

    Moneychangers......

    You know what should be done with moneychangers, right?

    Parent

    Yes, I know all about private equity (none / 0) (#120)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:22:59 PM EST
    people who often call themselves "angels."

    Have worked with them here in California.....Biggest bunch of arrogant arses....

    Parent

    So have I and no one has ever said they are (none / 0) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:41:58 PM EST
    nice people.

    But if you need money.... do you want a nice broke friend or an a%66&ole with money?

    Parent

    I don't want to elect one President (none / 0) (#154)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:01:15 PM EST
    A call for a (none / 0) (#53)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:02:15 AM EST
    flat tax?

    Parent
    Also, Romney (none / 0) (#64)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:14:46 AM EST
    donated far more to charity (as a percentage of income) than one Mr. Barack Obama....and Obama was raking in healthy money on his memoirs.

    Parent
    Mitt Romney sd. he did not inherit his wealth (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:56:30 AM EST
    his wife nor did his wife. Which piqued my curiosity.  

    Rich Dads open doors (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:16:24 AM EST
    before they die.....

    Parent
    He has said (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:25:34 AM EST
    He gave his inheritance to charity.

    Parent
    Wow, I wish I was a charity (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:40:39 AM EST
    Do you believe that? (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:47:22 AM EST
    Sure (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:00:54 AM EST
    As far as I believe anything that comes out of a politician's mouth.

    In 2006 Romney gave an interview to Brian Lamb on CSPAN and said this:

    Romney answered, "Well, he didn't have as much as I think some people anticipated. And I did get a check from my dad when he passed away. I shouldn't say a check, but I did inherit some funds from my dad. But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor. ... And that's where his inheritance ended up."
    According to a short history of the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU, the family provided an endowment in 1998, within a few years  of GeorgeRomney's death.

    I think there was a Mother Jones article that postulated that some if the money was "passed through" and set up in trusts for the Romney kids.

    Parent

    heh (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:29:30 AM EST
    "passed through"

    Im sure

    Parent

    Like I said (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:40:24 AM EST
    Trust him as much as any politician

    "I did not have sex with that woman."

    "Read my lips - no new taxes."

    "Had I heard those statements in the church, I would have told Reverend Wright that I profoundly disagree with them."

    All liars.

    Parent

    You Forgot the Best Two.. (5.00 / 0) (#91)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:41:11 AM EST
    ... and I am paraphrasing:

    "We do not torture."

    "Iraq has WMD's"

    And the Funniest one of all time, "Mission Accomplished".

    Parent

    Nope. Didn't forget (none / 0) (#111)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:16:51 PM EST
    I figured someone like you would show up.

    BTW - I know you don't understand, but "Mission Accomplished" has a definitive meaning to military people. The ship and its crew had accomplished that.

    Parent

    What, Stuffing Bush's Cod Piece ? (none / 0) (#121)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:23:28 PM EST
    something (none / 0) (#127)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:31:16 PM EST
    has to, right?

    Parent
    Well, I said that you didn't understand (none / 0) (#130)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:39:02 PM EST
    So I'm not surprised that you demonstrate you don't.

    The "Mission Accomplished" sign was posted on the ship for the President's visit.

    The ship's crew was saying, "We have accomplished our mission."

    Parent

    Well Jim (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:01:13 PM EST
    You got me, does "End of major combat operations in the Iraq War" work for you, which I might added actually ended 8 years later.

    And I still stand behind my assertion that it was one of the funnies Presidential quotes ever.  

    And I think only truly deluded really believed the skippers explanation of the sign.

    Parent

    More lies, Jim? (none / 0) (#152)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    Contrary to Bush's claims, the "Mission Accomplished" sign was supplied by the White House.  It was Bush, taking credit for an "accomplished" war in Iraq (heh), not the crew of the ship.

    After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the "Mission Accomplished" phrase referred to the carrier's crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the "Mission Accomplished" message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship's crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

    Oops!

    (Again)!

    Parent

    Jim Goes Dark (none / 0) (#182)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:25:14 PM EST
    When those pesky facts clash with republican talking points/non-sense.

    Parent
    Scott (none / 0) (#194)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:19:16 PM EST
    You may have not noticed but my New Year's resolution was to not pay any attention to Yman because I consider him a stalker who doesn't debate but just seeks to do personal attacks and insults.

    Now you know.


    Parent

    lol (none / 0) (#191)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:01:36 PM EST
    Mission Accomplished was about the President executing a successful carrier landing -- and absolutely nothing else..

    With the ability to execute those kind of contortions Jim, a man like would never be alone; even in solitary confinement.

    Parent

    Yep (none / 0) (#115)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:18:03 PM EST
    Politicians lie every time they open their mouths.

    Nothing new here.

    Parent

    Mitt is a Mormon first, foremost and (none / 0) (#169)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:27:12 PM EST
    always.....

    His charitable contributions went the LDS Church.....

    He may have been smart enough to avoid directly contributing to antigay Prop 8.

    Parent

    I'll put it this way (none / 0) (#172)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:34:40 PM EST
    I'm sure he did not get anything that resulted in having to pay inheritance taxes.

    Parent
    Romney's (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:57:54 AM EST
    tax returns seem to be making less of a commotion than Newt's are.

    Because it's no big deal (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:03:54 AM EST
    He's filthy rich.  So what?

    Parent
    He's filthy rich... (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:46:59 AM EST
    and he never manufactured anything, built anything, invented anything...that's what.

    I like how Bill Maher broke it down on his show Friday...Henry Ford got filthy rich making cars, Steve Jobs got filthy rich making computers...the right way.  Mitt got filthy rich grifting, the wrong way.

    Thats what so many people have a problem with.  It's not the wealth, it is how it was amassed....shadily.  Legal, but shady.  Not something to be proud of, or brag about, or claim as qualification for president.

    Parent

    I'm not arguing the merits (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:51:40 AM EST
    Of course, Bill Maher got filthy rich by being funny sometimes and offensive other times. Barack Obama got filthy rich by writing multiple autobiographies - because writing one book about yourself just isn't enough.  So what?

    But it isn't a shocker that Romney is rich.

    Parent

    No Offense... (none / 0) (#99)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:59:13 AM EST
    ...both both examples were providing people a product/service that they wanted.  I would also argue neither is filthy rich.

    Argue all you want, moving our economy from manufacturing to service oriented, and mostly made up financial services that we don't want/need, is the reason we had out last major recession.  

    Who really wants their mortgage used as some financial instrument on Wall Street.  I don't.  That whole industry is made up to make themselves loads of money, it serves no purpose to the people who actually have mortgages, if anything it hurts them.

    IMO it's a bunch of lazy punks that don't want to really do anything but make a boat loads of cash by playing semantics with numbers.  And those same punks use these their ill-gotten gains to buy legislation that just so happens to make their tax rate 15%.

    When the people who provide products and services the country actually wants are left paying, in many case much higher tax rates.  

    It's BS, I don't want a President that thinks fortunes should be made by skinning the real contributors.  That's where all that money comes from, you and me, not some magical beast that prints money when you play semantics with numbers.  

    Rather than me voluntarily buying a Chevy, a book, or going to a comedy show and making an earned profit, they used my mortgage and abstract non-sense like derivatives schemes to milk the system of ill-gotten gains; non-voluntary gains taken.

    Parent

    Then you should really be angry (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:07:40 PM EST
    At the Democrats, who still take in more money from Wall Street than the Republicans. Both parties are scum and to intimate that one is "good" and one is "bad" is just nonsense.

    And I would argue that nobody "wanted" or "needed" Bill Maher or Obama's autobiographies until a good marketing took over (and no one still "needs" them).  This was not a case of a consumer looking for a better, newer car or computer - this was selling a "personality".

    Hedge funds suck.  But getting rich off pure spin - like the folks at FOX or MSNBC - that also sucks. They certainly do not add value to the economy or a product anyone needs, and in fact, most people would be better off without them.

    Parent

    Obama's first book (none / 0) (#171)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:31:28 PM EST
    first sold copies long, long ago....althouhg the sales have spiked for obvious reasons.....

    Gawd, Obama's books, all two of them, really draw your ire.   His first book is quite frankly one of the reasons I like the guy.

    Parent

    Congratulations (none / 0) (#183)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:43:49 PM EST
    I still think it's pretty arrogant to write an autobiography when you haven't done anything.

    It's on par with Lindsay Lohan's memoirs.

    Parent

    Admit it, jb (1.00 / 2) (#201)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:45:47 PM EST
    the only thing Obama could pssibly do that wouldn't immediatly be interpreted by you as arrogant, totally self-serving, disengenuous etc would be to publicly beg for forgiveness for having not dropped out in 2008..

     

    Parent

    It is part of well known genre (none / 0) (#188)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:52:33 PM EST
    strethcing back to Tom Jones and perhaps even beyond.....

    Young man coming of age......They use the fancy termBildungsroman

    Huck Finn, David Copperfield, and on and on...

    That it is non-fictiion doesn't matter....He doesn't say in the book that he is an important person of the world.  Think more Everyman than Julius Caesar's writings.

    Have you read the book?

    Parent

    Interesting that you mention fiction books (1.00 / 0) (#198)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:32:12 PM EST
    As his books, by his own admission, are partially fiction, or combined events and characters.

    No, I haven't read them.  So what?  You enjoyed them - good for you.  But that still doesn't address that it was acoroductvthat was neither wanted nor needed (and also was not written entirely by Obama).  So actually, he made millions off of someone else's labor.

    Parent

    I Wasn't Specifically Addressing Bain (none / 0) (#106)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:12:51 PM EST
    Obviously.

    Parent
    Well, it plays in the picture (none / 0) (#114)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:17:19 PM EST
    Since even their employees have given almost three times as much to Democrats than they have to Republicans.

    Now, Romney has obviously gotten more from Bain than any other federal candidate, but that's not surprising. But Obama is close behind, so I don't see this as being as big an issue for the Dems to pound on without looking foolish.

    During the last three election cycles, Bain employees have given Democratic candidates and party committees more than $1.2 million. The vast majority of that sum came from senior executives.

    Republican candidates and party committees raised over $480,000 from senior Bain executives during that time period.

    Recipients include Democratic senators facing tough reelection races this year, such as Jon Tester (Mont.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Bill Nelson (Fla.).

    The Hill reviewed contributions made from the 2008, 2010 and 2012 cycles.

    Romney has collected more money from Bain Capital employees than any federal candidate since the beginning of 2007, amassing more than $166,000 in contributions. He took more than $84,000 from Bain employees in the first three quarters of 2011.

    But President Obama received a sizable share as well. He has accepted more than $80,000 from Bain employees since the beginning of 2007. Bain Capital employees gave $27,500 to Obama during the first three quarters of 2011.



    Parent
    JD (none / 0) (#126)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:30:22 PM EST
    Trust me, democrats and their WS ties has severed my relationship with them.  I slip form time to time, they are the lesser of the two evils, but it's rare if I give them any meaningful praise.  If anything I probably dump on them more because the other party is beyond help.

    And your beef is with the marketing firm, which is where mine would be.  They made something out of nothing, but since people actually signed up with them and paid them voluntarily, who am I to judge ?

    And if you are trying to bait me with 'Obama is a bad guy' stuff, don't.  I think you would have to dig really deep to find anything here but comments of disdain for the man.  He is a bad guy in my book and so is the party for not at lest putting up a viable alternative for the primaries.

    Parent

    Wonder how Buffett would fare if he (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:52:55 AM EST
    ran for Pres,?

    Parent
    Buffet is too smart for that... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:21:56 AM EST
    take the money and run, give a ton away to ease any conscience pangs.

    Which is what Romney should do...take the money, buy a Caribbean island, and do no more harm! Please! ;)

    Parent

    Buffett's too smart, (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:38:57 AM EST
    And he's also too old.  He'll be 82 in August.

    Parent
    did we see his (none / 0) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:41:01 AM EST
    chinese new year appearance?

    Parent
    he brought (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:42:59 AM EST
    his ukelele and his model trains


    "I am Warren Buffett, and I'd like to wish all the people of China a Happy New Year in this Year of the Dragon. Your country has accomplished amazing things, and the best is yet to come," Buffett said before crooning the American classic "I've Been Working On The Railroad."


    Parent
    Too cute! (none / 0) (#54)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:02:50 AM EST
    Buffett is a real trip!  I like the way the two commenters called him "Grandpa Buffett" (or whatever the Chinese equivalent is).  I guess the Chinese still have that respect for age.

    (And at his age, and with his money, he can pretty much sing when and where he pleases!)

    Parent

    I was thinking (none / 0) (#105)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    when would you EVER see that on american tv.  not to mention on new years eve on american tv.

    Parent
    Inside trader (none / 0) (#47)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:48:29 AM EST
    He'd never survive a modicum of scrutiny.  Honestly, why anyone believes Buffet isn't the same kind of inside trader as any other, I don't know.  He's simply lived long enough and amassed enough wealth to be, essentially, politically untouchable.  Make no mistake, though, when you commit your life to stuffing money in your pockets, humble act or no, it reveals much about the real person behind the facade.  He talks a good game about tax fairness, but, IMO, it's nothing but noise to hype his image.  If he really believed it, he'd get out of the business he's in and do some good in that area.  Buffet is nothing but another empty suit, bereft of imagination as most people who devote their lives to money and nothing else.  One of those guys who "laments" how skewed our system is, but NEVER does anything about it, and who NEVER faults anyone for taking advantage and cheating others through that system.

    Parent
    Because (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:01:11 AM EST
    People who write about him and quote him on this kind of stuff agree with him politically.

    If John Boehner said this, people on this blog and other left leaning blogs would be all over it.

    Parent

    Buffet is apolitical, IMO (none / 0) (#144)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:24:39 PM EST
    He's a hedgemaster.  That he's having some pangs of conscience now about tax rates and inequity, I don't know, the more I've learned about him and Berkshire, the less impressed I am.  But at least, I suppose, he's making SOME effort, if no real sacrifice, in the service of a decent social message.

    Parent
    Guess some of that new found (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by BTAL on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:34:07 PM EST
    effort will include ensuring BH clears the almost $1B in back taxes from 2002-2004 and 2005-2009.  Sounds like a perfect place for Buffet to start walking the talk.

    Parent
    No kdog (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:09:28 AM EST
    What Romney did was be part of Bain Capital. Bain Capital bought failing companies to try and make them profitable. Some did and some did not. But there's nothing dishonorable in what they did. And always remember. Without investors none of the companies would have been saved.

    There is much dishonor in what Maher does.

    Both Ford and Jobs founded companies and hired people to make the product they dreamed of. Actually Jobs co-founded but "Ski" turned most of the control over to Jobs. Both Jobs and Ford were "hands on" to the extent they wanted to control the end product. BTW - Jobs refused giving stock to at least one of the engineers who was there working in the garage. "Ski" gave the guy some stock.

    Jobs was a complex individual. But he wasn't a "nice" guy.

    Read the book. It is fascinating.

    Parent

    No, Bain was dishonorable (none / 0) (#84)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:37:33 AM EST
    It made money even though the companies it acquired failed.

    How is that honorable?

    If they had lost money on companies that failed, that would be one thing.

    But Bain always made millions of dollars.  Acquire a company, load it up with loans so that Bain could take its mulit-milloion dollar fee, then leave the carcass.

    It was a "heads-I-win, tails-you-lose" operation.

    Sounds like the lenders who marketed securitized, underwater real estate loans....

    Parent

    I don't know what the (none / 0) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:50:38 AM EST
    "fee" structure was and neither do you.

    Let me know when you have some facts instead of charges.

    Parent

    You had me (none / 0) (#70)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:18:20 AM EST
    until you mentioned Steve Jobs.

    He got rich stealing ideas from his friends and attempting to steal their stock options too.  

    Another example of ... the wrong way.

    Parent

    And (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:19:31 AM EST
    Steve Jobs believed that Chinese labor laws were a good idea...along with the fact that his ideas would never have gotten off the ground if HE had to implement them. He'd never have known how....why that man is sainted, I will never know...

    But back to the real thread.

    Parent

    He did make some stuff though (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:20:03 AM EST
    Yes, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:44:32 PM EST
    other people made his goods too. Here's an excerpt about a Chinese slave labor camp that made goods for Jobs.

    "A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company's dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. "The speed and flexibility is breathtaking," the (Apple) executive said. "There's no American plant that can match that."

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/soundeconomywithjontalton/2017319873_jobs_on_jobs_they_aint_co ming.html.

    Mr. Jobs does not fall into the "good ways to make money" camp.  I'll argue that the same can be said for most corporations in the US, but most corporate leaders aren't sainted the way Mr. Jobs was.

    Parent

    Why the Jobs hate? And why single him out? (none / 0) (#156)
    by Farmboy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:04:11 PM EST
    Foxconn manufactures electronics for US companies like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Netgear, and Vizio. Let's paint them all with the same brush, okay?

    Singling out just one company, and just one (dead) guy seems odd. Is Apple Foxconn's only customer? No. Did Jobs inherit millions like Romney? No. Did he get rich by stealing from others? No.

    And if ideas are all it takes, why aren't we all rich?

    Parent

    My point re Jobs was that (none / 0) (#197)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:26:19 PM EST
    he didn't personally build anything, but through his management/vision Apple was created and became successful. But he had tons of help.

    And if you read his biography you will discover he was a brilliant but, in many respects, a flawed person.

    As for stealing, you might take a look at how Apple got the "mouse" interface which is what actually put them on the way to success.

    And if ideas alone make success, Newt, who has about 10 a minute, would have been Prez years ago.

    Parent

    I've read his biography, and yeah, he was flawed (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Farmboy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:44:08 PM EST
    But so are we all. Apple's initial rise and phoenix-like resurgence was due to Jobs' vision and talent, and his ability to surround himself with others with vision and talent. That's just smart business, and completely different than Romney's business practices.

    Mitt was born rich, raised rich, and became richer due to preying upon others' misfortunes - and occasionally causing misfortune to others to line his own pockets. His life puts the lie to his claims of just being a regular guy or a self-made success.

    As for what made Apple successful initially, that was Job's vision of a computer for the masses. The Apple II, not the mouse or the windowing interface, was the onramp to Apple's road to success. And by the way, Apple licensed the mouse-based GUI from Xerox, then redesigned it to make it easy to use. That led to the Mac, which Microsoft was able to legally copy for Windows.

    When Jobs returned to Apple it was in a downward spiral. By Mitt's own history we know that he would have leveraged the company, killed it, and made millions while putting people on the street. Instead Jobs saved the company, benefiting customers, the stockholders, and the employees. He proceeded to build Apple into the largest tech firm on the planet. Despite his flaws, that's the most jarring difference between Romney and Jobs. Jobs built. Romney destroys.

    Parent

    Oops, trying that post again (none / 0) (#149)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:47:15 PM EST
    Jeralyn, please delete my previous post with the raw link...

    And other people made his goods too. Here's an excerpt about a Chinese slave labor camp that made goods for Jobs.

    "A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company's dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. "The speed and flexibility is breathtaking," the (Apple) executive said. "There's no American plant that can match that."

    Link

    Regardless of whether Mr. Jobs did at one time prototype his own goods, he does not fall into the "good ways to make money" camp.  I'll argue that the same can be said for most corporations in the US, but most corporate leaders aren't SAINTED, the way Mr. Jobs was and is.

    Parent

    Definitely not cool... (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:34:58 PM EST
    I don't mean to lionize the guy.

    It's been said there is good corruption and bad corruption.  Good corruption is a little money gets skimmed in the process but the project gets done and serves some good, vs. bad corruption where all the money gets stolen and the project is not completed and no good is served.

    There is good ruthless capitalist and bad ruthless capitalist...the good ruthless capitalist exploits and is overpaid but something gets built and people have jobs, the bad ruthless capitalist exploits and is overpaid and nothing gets built and no jobs.

     

    Parent

    Reminds Me of a Quote (none / 0) (#117)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:19:19 PM EST
    "The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account
    is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed."
    - Honoré de Balzac

    Or the more common paraphasing:

    "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."


    Parent
    Barak Obama (none / 0) (#93)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:47:31 AM EST
    Will also become filthy rich for being president.

    How fair is that?

    More importantly Henry Ford needed a lone to build his factory so he could become filthy rich.

    Someone like Romney gave him the money.

    People need to grow up about money and stop playing the class envy game.  It's a circular turkey shoot that just makes people look jealous.

    Rich people are rich.  Get over it.

    The other choice is communism where even a fewer amount of people are rich.

    I'll take our system.

    Parent

    If it weren't for the Dodge brothers (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by BTAL on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:01:01 PM EST
    Henry Ford would have gone broke.  Those evil private investment Dodge brothers...

    Parent
    But... (none / 0) (#119)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:20:38 PM EST
    ...what was their tax rate on those gains ?

    Parent
    In regards to income tax (none / 0) (#129)
    by BTAL on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:33:19 PM EST
    it was 0% since it was prior to the 16th Amendment.

    Parent
    If Ford had failed... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:53:49 PM EST
    would the Dodge Bros. have taken a loss?

    Bain feasted on wounded animals...vulture-style.  Like when the mafia loans a struggling pub owner money, and precedes to bleed every nickel out of the place before torching it for the insurance money.

    Parent

    Dodge brothers would have (none / 0) (#141)
    by BTAL on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:16:50 PM EST
    owned all of Ford in the event the company failed.

    Dodge brothers also sued (and won) a suit against Ford forcing him to distribute dividends to shareholders vs sitting on the cash solely for reinvestment and reducing prices.  

    Parent

    Dodge Bros... (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:23:23 PM EST
    sound like a couple regular Bain-holes.

    Don't reinvest in the company, don't lower prices...feed the shareholders!  

    Parent

    There Were Income Taxes Before 1913 (none / 0) (#142)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:20:40 PM EST
    But that really wasn't the point.  The point is they weren't given some special tax treatment because they were putting up cabbage.

    Parent
    Nor would the govt have bailed out (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by BTAL on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:30:12 PM EST
    the Ford or Dodge companies.

    Parent
    True (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:53:41 AM EST
    But the only thing Obama has to run on is "class envy."

    So what you see here is Democrats buying into is campaign.

    Parent

    When the same grifters... (none / 0) (#101)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:03:35 PM EST
    cease trying to infiltrate and buy our representation, or be our representation...I'll be over it.

    Romney can grift to his heart's content, when he applies to be a "public servant", the grifting becomes relevant.  

    Parent

    14% tax rate (none / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:17:40 AM EST
    And his charitable contributions--to the Mormon Church.....

    Parent
    give it time (none / 0) (#25)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:30:26 AM EST
    they have been out what an hour

    Parent
    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:52:41 AM EST
    I doubt it is going do much because there's no surprises in his. They seem pretty straight forward whereas Newt has been skating the edge on cheating. I think Newt's cheating on taxes is going to make more waves than Romney's. I mean we already know that the wealthy don't pay much in taxes because of the way the system is gamed towards them. Romney's tax returns make a good case for changing the tax system in this country but Newt's are another example of him thinking the rules don't apply to him.

    Parent
    S Corporations (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:23:24 AM EST
    aren't cheating. If it was, about 5 million more people would be in jail. It's just part of the tax law.

    With regard to an S Corporation, "As is the case for any other corporation, the FICA tax is imposed only with respect to employee wages and not on distributive shares of shareholders."

    I'm not really interested in their taxes from the time candidates knew they were running for president. I'd like to see about 5 years worth at least. I have to supply mine by April 18th every year to keep my job, and had to provide 5 years worth when I started.

    Parent

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:34:40 AM EST
    but it's not that it's a S corporation so much as how the corporation paid Newt that's the problem. He took the money out in bonuses instead of pay to skate the tax laws.

    Parent
    Jamie Dimon (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:44:48 AM EST
    made "only" $1 million in salary, but he got  
    a $5 million cash bonus and $17 million in stock and options. JPMorgan increased his salary in March to $1.5 million.

    Link.
    Many of those who are highly paid get more in bonuses than salary.
    I don't like it, and I think the tax laws should be changed, but that's the way they do things.

    Parent
    It does make the Newt very Wall Streetish though (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:07:50 AM EST
    You able to make that choice for yourself?  I'm not, but he is and he went with the Wall Street fatcat model.

    Parent
    I do love the way (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:12:14 AM EST
    Newt disparages Mitt because Mitt was trying to portray himself as a "man of the people."  Well, the Newtster isn't a "man of the people," either.

    Parent
    Zactly (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:14:03 AM EST
    they are in fact (none / 0) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:15:50 AM EST
    very similar in many ways.  in positions they have taken in the past that trouble the base, their wealth, their flip flops

    there are two major differences.  no one can imagine Mitt cheating on his wife.  and Newt connects with the voters in a way Mitt never will.

    Parent

    I can't think of any (none / 0) (#87)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:39:20 AM EST
    current politician or would-be politician whom I would characterize as a "man of the people."  Not an awful lot in the past, either.  Maybe Harry Truman, and even characterizing Harry (much as I like him) as a "man of the people" might be iffy, given that he got his start in politics due to the good graces of the Pendergast Democratic Machine in Kansas City.

    Parent
    you know (none / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:10:06 PM EST
    I have to say, as close as there is in politics today - which is to say not that close - would be Ron Paul.

    too bad he is also a nut.

    Parent

    Gotta pay those Tiffany's bills somehow... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:15:01 AM EST
    you know those little blue boxes and their contents don't come cheap (hey, I wonder if Tiffany blue is the same shade as V!@gra blue?).

    Parent
    this is the point (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:40:04 AM EST
    he has been running for president for at least 6 years.  it would be great if he followed his fathers example but none of them will.

    Parent
    And what has Newt cheated on? (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:10:55 AM EST
    Come on, GA. That's a serious charge. Let's see some proof.

    Parent
    man (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:13:00 AM EST
    you sure know how to walk right into it.

    Parent
    Talk is cheap! (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    Let's see some proof.

    Parent
    come on man (none / 0) (#107)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:13:17 PM EST
    asking what Newt ever cheated on is like asking what Dubya ever said that was stupid.

    Parent
    Come on (none / 0) (#133)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:47:23 PM EST
    yourself.

    Let's see some facts.

    Parent

    Here is just one to start with.... (none / 0) (#170)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:30:04 PM EST
    besides the (at least 2) wives of course.

    Gingrich earlier admitted he had violated House rules ....

    Parent

    Saint Warren Buffett (none / 0) (#48)
    by diogenes on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:51:33 AM EST
    I'm sure that Saint Warren Buffett also takes tax deductions to the extent permitted by law.

    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:05:58 AM EST
    While asking for different laws to be passed at the same time and sharing his own reality with those he didn't need to share anything with.

    Only a fool writes a check to the IRS as a charitable donation.  Getting actual policy properly adjusted is very very important to the health and well being of our nation as a whole, and the only way we ever arrive at that these days is through suffering.  Warren Buffet should not enable our lawmakers to not have to do their jobs and be worthy of the votes of those they serve and also LORD over these days.

    Parent

    When I read about Buffet (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:14:30 AM EST
    and his cries that he doesn't pay enough...

    I always think of a lady dressed in leather with a whip saying, "You dog! Obey!" Crack! Snap! Pop!

    Parent

    You guys just love to hate on (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:18:16 AM EST
    real superheroes.  I know Jim, the straw superhero is superior.

    Parent
    If I could figure out what you mean (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:48:36 PM EST
    I'd try and respond.

    Parent
    Dude's no saint... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    he just seems to have a semblance of a guilty conscience...which makes him unique in his circles.

    He has the decency to at least admit he's been getting over.

    Parent

    Faith without works (none / 0) (#135)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    is dead.

    Translate: Talk is cheap. Might cheap.

    Parent

    Fair enough... (none / 0) (#140)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:08:06 PM EST
    still beats denial, a river in Egypt.

    Sh*t I don't know if raising c-gains taxes is right or necessary, but if c-gains cats like Romney want empire and war and drug war and crime war...as well as all the special perks afforded the 1%, they should at least foot the f*cking bill.  iow, pay for your own god damn protection racket.

    I wonder what those returns would look like without TARP?


    Parent

    I prsume you aren't (none / 0) (#203)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 04:52:38 PM EST
    referring to Buffett with that statement as he has committed to giving 99% of his wealth to philanthropy. You won't find much more "works" than that.

    Parent