Mitt Romney’s taxes are once again coming up in the president campaign. With the Congress at a stalemate over whether to extend all current rates for another year and class warfare rhetoric ever-present, this is an issue where President Obama’s campaign and Democrats feel that Romney is vulnerable.
With that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has taken it upon himself to float a baseless claim that the reason that Romney hasn’t disclosed more of his tax returns is because he didn’t pay any taxes at all:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed Tuesday in an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns because he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.
The interview, published Tuesday by The Huffington Post, includes several swipes by the Senate leader at the GOP candidate.
“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said in reference to George Romney’s decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.
Reid suggested that Romney’s decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from “a person who had invested with Bain Capital,” according to The Huffington Post.
Reid said the person told him: “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.”
Note: I’ve adapted these 10 things from this post about Christians and atheists. It’s not a complete rip off (or an endorsement of that post), but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.
We fight all the time. Every problem America has is because of them. They did this to our country. The bickering will continue forever, but there are a few things Republicans and Democrats all need to be able to agree on.
1. Both sides have done some awful things.
Let’s stop pretending we’re perfect and admit that both parties have pushed some bad legislation on America. This act where we pretend we’re perfect and they’re pure evil is pretty pathetic.
2. Both sides really believe what they’re saying.
The Democrats really do believe they can fix our problems by taxing the rich. Republicans really do believe that tax cuts stimulate job growth. The other guys aren’t trying to trick you – right or wrong, they really believe in what they’re saying.
3. For the most part, we want the same things.
It’s important to remember that we really do want the same things: a better America, opportunities for our children, a chance to succeed. We differ in our views on how to reach those goals, but it’s important to remember that we have many of the same goals in mind.
4. There are good people on both sides.
Team Obama must be seeing serious negatives stemming from his comments a little more than a week ago. During a campaign stop in Roanoke, Virginia, President Obama explained his view of the economy, saying, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” According a memo obtained by Buzz Feed, the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s campaign are going to target Romney hard on the economy, which figures to be the most important issue concerning voters:
In conjunction with OFA, we’re going to turn the page tomorrow on Mitt Romney’s trumped up, out of context fact-checked-to-death BS about the President and small business and set the record straight on how Mitt Romney has a horrible record on small business, a failed record on jobs and who is advocating for policies that are great for millionaires, billionaires, big oil and corporate America - but that would devastate small businesses and stifle job growth and small business expansion. We’ll being done this with on the ground events in states which are coming together as we speak and with a national press conference call which will include small business owners and others - including at least one person from MA - who will speak about Romney’s failed record and failed policies as well as President Obama’s record as a consistent advocate for small businesses.
And yes, the title is meant to be funny. Venezuela’s socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez, recently said some nice things about President Barack Obama and took some shots at this opponent, Mitt Romney:
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has signaled a preference in the U.S. presidential campaign by comparing Mitt Romney to his own challenger.
Chavez, who is up for re-election a month before U.S. President Barack Obama, has in recent weeks expressed a clear preference for the man currently in the White House.
In a campaign speech Saturday night, Chavez equated the agenda of his challenger, Henrique Capriles, with that of Romney, saying both men represent the callously selfish capitalist elite.
“I believe the person to best explain the loser’s agenda isn’t Barack Obama but rather Romney, because it’s the extreme right-wing agenda that borders on the fascism of the United States,” Chavez told tens of thousands of supporters in the western city of Maracaibo.
“In the end, it’s the same project,” Chavez said, referring to Obama as “a good guy.”
The question of who Mitt Romney will choose to serve as his running mate has been a source of considerable speculation over the last couple of weeks. The New York Times ran a story on Tuesday giving some inside information about the grueling vetting process for prospects. But obviously, that doesn’t put to rest the seemingly endless speculation. Will his running mate be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? Or could it be someone off the wall, like Condoleezza Rice, whose name was dropped into the discussion over the weekend. Every guess is as good as the other.
Many commentators downplay the effect that a potential running mate can have on a ticket, but numbers indicate that it does indeed matter. And while the suggestion has been both dismissed and praised by Republicans, a new Fox News poll shows that Rice, who served in the Bush Administration as National Security Advisor (2001-2005) and Secretary of State (2005-2009), may actually help Romney’s campaign. But conservatives want someone more exciting given that Romney does little to inspire them.
Who were the conservatives in the colonies during the Revolution? They were those loyal to the Crown. They were those who supported the status quo because of the state privileges that they received. Unfortunately, today’s conservatives do the exact same thing.
The fight today isn’t between conservatives who are interested in individual liberty and liberals who are interested in socialism. Neither party are interested in more freedom for you. They are interested in power and money. The both revel in the sovereignty of the state and the subjugation of the individual. That is no different then the attitude that King George had in regards to his “subjects” in the American colonies before the Revolution.
The Revolution of 1776 was the opposite of conservatism. It was a revolution of thought and reason in which the individual was sovereign and government was the servant. Like Judge Andew Napolitano used to say on Freedom Watch, “Does the government work for us or do we work for the government?” That is a fundamental question that the history of conservatives in this country have gotten wrong.
The victories of the collectivists in this country are never rolled back. The New Deal by FDR and the “war on poverty” by Johnson which are typically expounded by the conservative intelligentsia as the reason why we are living in an increasingly collectivist society have been cemented into America. If you want more freedom in this country today your best bet you are told is to support Republicans. But are they the party of liberty like they claim?
Among the distractions in the presidential campaign right now are calls for Mitt Romney to release more of this tax returns. He has released returns dating back to 2010, but that isn’t enough for Team Obama and campaign surrogates. They’re now speculating on what he may be hiding, goes so far as to say that he may have broken the law. The media, of course, is also dragging out the story for all it worth.
But during a press conference yesterday, ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has called on Romney to release more information about his taxes, became the subject of questions about her own tax returns. The questions came about due to a McClatchy report finding that only handful of members disclose their tax records. Pelosi initially reacted with contempt for the questions, explaining that when she runs for president, the media “can hold [her] to that standard.” But she quickly began downplaying the tax return issue, calling it a distraction:
[W]hile maintaining Romney should release more documents because of “custom” and “tradition,” Pelosi said the issue was trivial compared with economic issues.
“We spent too much time on that. We should be talking about middle-income tax cuts,” Pelosi said after answering two questions about the issue.
We’ve been given a taste of President Barack Obama’s campaign against Mitt Romney over the last few weeks. It’s going to be brutal, folks. Granted, Obama can’t run on his own accomplishments, or lack thereof, so the attacks against Romney are to be expected.
One of the most frequent lines of attacks are against Romney’s time a Bain Capital. Team Obama alleges that Romney shipped thousands of jobs overseas, rather than keep in them in the United States. Whether the attacks are true or not is irrelevant. As Matthew Yglesias explains, what Bain Capital did — which is actually “off-shoring,” not “outsourcing” — is nothing of which to be ashamed.
But what about President Obama, who, by the way, has taken plenty of money from Bain Capital employees? Obama’s own economic policies are sending taxpayer dollars overseas to foreign firms and through selling off our mounting national debt, as Brian Darling explains:
Over the past couple of days, there has been a back and forth between President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign over the threat, if any, that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez poses to the US. It started Tuesday when President Obama was interviewed about ties between Iran and Venezuela:
Obama had been asked by Miami’s America TeVe if he was concerned about what has been a public show of solidarity between Chavez and Iran.
“The truth is that we’re always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe,” the president replied. “But overall my sense is that what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.”
“We have to be vigilant,” Obama went on. “My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don’t always see.”
The hyperventilating overblown rhetoric that has resulted from hawkish neocon Republicans is of course predictable.
In a written statement, Romney assailed what he called “a stunning and shocking comment by the president.”
“It is disturbing to see him downplaying the threat posed to U.S. interests by a regime that openly wishes us ill. Hugo Chavez has provided safe haven to drug kingpins, encouraged regional terrorist organizations that threaten our allies like Colombia, has strengthened military ties with Iran and helped it evade sanctions, and has allowed a Hezbollah presence within his country’s borders,” Romney said.
Over the last week, Mitt Romney has received a storm of criticism over his personal wealth, including his off-shore bank accounts. This is in addition to the litany of ads being run by Team Obama and similarly-minded PACS hitting Romney for his time at Bain Capital and off-shoring (and, in some cases, for things that went on a Bain after Romney had left the firm).
Chris Barron probably said it best on Monday by pointing out that off-shore accounts have become the “new gay marriage.” That’s a interesting, yet profound statement. A few years ago, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) found himself in the middle of a scandal when it was alleged that he solicited sex in an airport restroom. The scandal was odd given that Craig frequently pushed the “pro-family,” anti-gay rights line. Craig eventually pled guilty to the charges and resigned from the Senate in disgrace.
Craig’s personal life would normally be irrelevant, but it is incredibly hypocritical for someone to preach a socially conservative agenda while at the same time engaging in the behavior they so frequently condemn.