Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mitt Romney's money

 Chuck Morse Speaks: 
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Mitt Romney is not releasing more tax returns due to his accurate observation that Obama will dissect them and lie about them. Meanwhile Obama tried to make an issue over the fact that, according to Romney's 2010 returns, he paid 15% of his income in taxes and 10% in tithing to charities. I would imagine that Romney probably paid a lot more in taxes than did others of comparable wealth such as John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi not to mention the left-wing 1%rs, many of whom have hobbies at least as expensive as those of the former Massachusetts Governor.

How does Mitt Romney stack up in terms of wealth and taxes when compared to presidential candidates in recent elections? Romney is, after all, being criticized for being rich but how did Romney make his money when compared to other candidates?

Let’s start with Massachusetts other recent presidential nominee, 2004 Democratic Senator John Kerry. Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr has noted that Kerry, the richest member of Congress in history who is worth just shy of a billion dollars, lives off the fortune of “his second wife’s first husband's trust fund.” While Kerry married his money, and is three times richer than Romney, Mitt Romney earned his by working as a founding partner of Bain Capital which was worth $37 million at its founding in 1983 and which is worth over $66 billion today. Romney did not inherit his wealth.

Bain Capital has been an incredible success story with over 70% of it's investments turning a profit and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs but Obama would prefer to focus on the failures of Bain and not on his own. The 2000 Democratic nominee, Vice President Al Gore, is another case in point. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Al Gore Jr. was the beneficiary of a stock portfolio set up by his late father, Senator Al Gore Sr. when he was CEO of the division of Occidental Petroleum that was involved in strip mining the tops off of mountains and polluting Love Canal in upstate New York.

The wealth and tax returns of Bill and Hillary Clinton are legendary. Benefiting from an insider cattle futures trade that turned a couple of thousand bucks into a hundred thousand overnight, Clinton’s wife was then appointed to the board of several major corporations with lucrative benefits, including Wall Mart, while Clinton was Governor of Arkansas and while the corporations in question were doing business in his state. The Clinton’s were involved in the notoriously unethical but technically legal real estate deal known as Whitewater which involved such charming aspects as throwing elderly owners of units out on the street if they were a day or two late on their mortgage. Meanwhile, Clinton’s tax returns revealed tax deductions for soiled underwear.

The Clinton's went on the receive multi-million dollar advances for their memoirs after leaving the White House and Clinton garners six figures for speaking engagements which brings us to the present occupant of the White House. Besides making millions in advances from his books, and admitting to receiving a sweetheart real estate deal from Chicago convicted felon Tony Rezko, President Barack Obama was accused of profiting from drug company stock while serving in the Senate overseeing drug regulation. Then Senator Obama did nothing illegal as, apparently, this has been the practice of several senators and representatives of both parties in recent years. Classic examples of Democratic Presidents born into fortunes who never had a job would be John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

The important question to ask of a presidential candidate is not whether they are rich but how they obtained their wealth. Romney made his money the old fashioned way, he earned it. The even more important question for the voter is how much money the candidate, if elected, will take out of their wallets. The answer to that is obvious.

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