Joe Devney: “Mitt Romney seems proud of the fact that he doesn’t pay ‘a dollar more’ in taxes than he has to. I came across this quote on The Hill’s website yesterday: ‘I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.’ I’m puzzled by this attitude. Mr. Romney seems to be saying that those of us who don’t pay accountants and lawyers to find every possible tax avoidance mechanism are [not qualified for leadership roles].”
I will tell you that as a private equity guy, I’m familiar with many of the things that he did. And I know many people who have done many of the things that he did. I do not know anyone who did everything that he did.
Some of what he did, like the [up to $100 million] IRA, I have asked fellow private equity guys . . . none of us had even known this was a possible trick, if you will. He has pushed the envelope all the way to the edge, to his benefit, and I think that Americans would find that pretty distasteful.
Sam Stein provides context: “Rattner, who hails from the world of private equity, has occasionally served as a voice of sympathy for Romney as his business career has come under heavy attack. His comments, then, carry a bit more weight than the average criticism from an Obama ally.”
MITT’S TAX CUTS
Would lower the burden on the rich but raise the burden on the not-rich, as explained here.
MITT’S HEALTH CARE
Look Who’s Praising Socialized Medicine. Even though, of course, he’s against it.
Paul Krugman in the New York Times:
Mitt Romney’s inability to stay on script is really getting surreal. Today he lavished praise on the Israeli health care system, which has indeed done a fine job of controlling costs while maintaining high quality. But as everyone who knows anything about it quickly pointed out, the secret of Israel’s success is … intense government involvement. It’s a single-payer system; but unlike Medicare, it also sets a budget per capita (adjusted for health status), so that the nonprofit plans are in effect forced to set priorities for treatment and also negotiate hard over provider payments; think of it as price controls plus death panels. . . .
People used to mock John Kerry for “being for it before I was against it.” Terrible thing to change one’s mind when circumstances change or new evidence is presented or, in that case, to make a statement of principle.
Mitt Romney has the ability to be strongly for and against something simultaneously. Romneycare in Massachusetts? A proud achievement. Romneycare for the nation — an atrocity in need of immediate repeal. Not in need of thoughtful adjustment, as its implementation unfolds — complete repeal. Maybe so we can adopt the Israeli model? Socialized medicine? I don’t think that’s where Mr. Romney plans to take us.
A MODEST PROPOSAL
Stewart Dean: “Jump-starting our economy has focused on badly needed restoration of America’s infrastructure. But let’s do something more, something new: let’s extend fast cheap Internet service to all America’s homes and business to re-invigorate America and make us globally competitive, to bring us together and into the 21st century. It took me 8 years of prodding and follow-up to get Time-Warner’s Roadrunner extended to our stretch of road. Even then it was a near thing. So now I have an ‘up to’ 10 Mbps service that’s often half that with a going rate of $52 a month, while Japan’s largest cable company was offering 160Mbps for $60! in 2009! Americans suffer from third-rate broadband at high prices. Moveon.org has created a new site for citizen petitions, Signon.org, so I created a petition there calling on Congress and the President to take this initiative . Take a look and sign it if you feel so moved.”
Quote of the Day
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.~Abraham Lincoln
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