Friday, January 20, 2012

Mitt One-Percent

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

To refer to ultra-rich presidential candidate Mitt Romney as being among the wealthiest members of our society is actually quite disingenuous.  Not only is Mitt in the top one-percent economically, he is in the top one-percent of the top one-percent!  The man who loves to share an aw-shucks smile as he states that he is unemployed, is filthy rich.

But we all know that, and we have known that all along.

Now, however, as the Republican race tightens, more of the candidates are beginning to lob insults and accusations at the front runner - and much of that political vitriol is focused on Romney's obscene wealth - money he says he did not inherit but rather made himself.  Though that claim is specious at best, even if the Mittster did make his own money, the methods in which he made it are now coming into question - and into daylight.

We have been hearing stories for weeks now about Romney's company, Bain Capital, buying distressed companies and then selling off assets and firing people in order to make a profit for Bain - and for Romney and his partners.  Romney, of course, is trying to claim that Bain was actually creating jobs, but the evidence for that appears to be scarcer than rainfall in Phoenix.

Now the focus is shifting to tax returns - an objective measure that can be used by average Americans to make their own determination of a candidate's income.  Romney said that he didn't make much actual money by working last year- just some speaking fees.  That "not much"  is apparently $374,000 - a figure that, by itself, would place him in the one-percent category!  (According to, Mitt and Ann Romney own three homes worth a total of about $14 million, so $374,000 really isn't much considering the upkeep that would have to go into residences like that.  Maybe he used illegal immigrants as groundskeepers because they were all that he could afford!)

But of course Mitt Romney made much, much more than $374,000 last year.  Well, he didn't roll up his sleeves and make it, he put his musty money to work making more money.  He is an investor, a rentier.  But just how much money did his money make?  We won't know that until he tells us - or until he releases his tax returns.

Newt Gingrich has just released his tax returns and has challenged Mitt Romney to do likewise - but Mitt is resisting.  He says now that he may release his current return in April (probably long after he has been crowned King of the Krazies).  He also has begun desensitizing that information by announcing that he pays a tax rate of around fifteen percent.  He gets away with that outrage because the tax rate on money "earned" from investments in fifteen percent.   Members of the United States military pay considerably more, but they have not had lobbyists in Congress for generations writing tax law that favors them.

President and Mrs. Obama pay 26% in income taxes, and even that is lower that what some in the true middle class pay.

Mitt Romney may be able to cruise all the way to November without ever having to stand firm on any issue or tell Americans how he really feels about the big concerns of the day, but he will not be able to escape the numbers.  Sooner or later the public will see him for what he is - a child of privilege who is protected from the realities of the world by immense and vulgar wealth, a dilettante who feels some sort of divine right to rule based on his position in society - another George W. Bush.

And do we want or need another George W. Bush?

Hey Mitt, show us your money!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

While it may be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the gates of Heaven, it sures seems like it is easier for a rich man to rise in politics. There may be a correlation here.