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  1. #41

    International Man of Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by "kuri":2dwdb6su
    I hear some interesting bits from my sig other who does intl tax work. Pretty much de rigeur for corporations to hire teams of professionals versed in methods of shifting and hiding profits.
    Indeed! There is no value added to this work. It is a great example of why our corporate tax system is a failure and needs to be reformed - even if it means massive job losses for tax accountants and lawyers.


    Quote Originally Posted by "kuri":2dwdb6su
    Catching some NPR this morning they cited the figure of $21 trillion is how much wealthy Americans have stuffed in offshore tax havens. Add to that America is the easiest country in which to anonomously establish a shell corporation in order to avoid taxes.

    Funny aside in that Mr. Middle of Nowhere's Bain reportedly has north of 100 sub-companies in the Caymans for just that purpose. In other words he has profited by offering investors easy tax shelters.

    I'm no Buffet but $21 trillion if it were taxed at 30% would = shit-ton that is needed in education, infrastructure etc...
    The report says that amount is the global total. Our share is probably equal to our share of the world economy - about 25% - so the tax to be gained by bringing these $$ under control might be 30% of 25% of $21T or $1.575 - which is enough to repay Obama's failed stimulus and some of the deficit.


    Quote Originally Posted by "kuri":2dwdb6su
    Just yesterday due to state budget shortfalls because of reduced federal funding a local school district fired 250 teachers, and transferred more than 300 others. 500 teachers gone in one district. Imagine the awesome quality of education those kids will now get? And this is in Nike's neighborhood, but I suspect Phil Knight's kids aren't going to those schools...
    The school board didn't list reduced federal funding in the revenue shortfall. The actual number of teacher cuts reported in the local news is closer to 200. Most of those let go are the most recently hired teachers. There were fewer reductions in the non union staff, because they agreed to salary cuts and job modifications - options the union declined. The city also refused to increase revenue via the general fund to cover the $37 million shortfall. This is the 5th year in a row this school system has gone through a forced budget cut. Why doesn't the local community want to pay for schools? How is this Romney's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by "kuri":2dwdb6su
    See Tom, when Romney says shit like he's "proud" to pay as much taxes as he does, but then refuses to release even a few years of returns after it turns up he's sticking money offshore despite paying 14%, some of that gained from outsourcing jobs. Then has the balls to suggest deeper tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to programs for the needy....

    That's what pisses people off.
    Not everyone

  2. #42

    International Man of Mystery

    It's probably a waste to post this link as there are those who can't comprehend that they can be wrong (see Dunning-Kruger).

    Or this link from someone who actually worked at one of the Bain affiliates. Of course the reporters know better.

  3. #43

    International Man of Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by "TomK":72sudp02
    Indeed! There is no value added to this work. It is a great example of why our corporate tax system is a failure and needs to be reformed - even if it means massive job losses for tax accountants and lawyers.
    As you said before to justify tax avoidance it is client demand that drives action. Therefore it is the corporations/Wall Street that need to be reformed. They own the politicians who decide tax legislation, therefore nothing will get done as long as the financial sector continues to subvert democracy by acting out of narrow self interest by manipulating laws to maximize it's own profits at the expense of everyone else.

    It is the financial firms and corporations who feel entitled to avoid taxes while sucking up resources that provide no value. Perhaps if we again separate banking from the casinos then the story will change.

    You know damn well nothing will change without going upstream to the source. The politicians are not the source, and neither are the accountants. Those who run firms such as Bain are.

  4. #44

    International Man of Mystery

    Kuri, why does it upset you that people would rather keep their own earnings versus letting the government take it and waste it? Some of us are tired of busting our butts and then the government creating a whole class of people dependent on handouts, inefficient programs, government employees overpaid, etc.....

  5. #45

    International Man of Mystery

    Because, as pointed out earlier, he hates the rich, HATES corporations (they are all evil), is disgusted by people who "create no value" (yet works in a career that also doesn't) and generally parrots what he considers the important issue without fully looking at all sides.

    BTW kuri, the original article points out that Romney paid $6.2 million in federal taxes for 2010 & 2011. How much did you pay?

  6. #46

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    International Man of Mystery

    Actually the rich got that way under a far more progressive tax system than we now have. Eisenhower 90% top rate, Kennedy 60%, Clinton 39% IIRC. There likely is a connection. This applies especially to the new rich. Old money tends to want to hang on to what they have, which does not produce the dynamic economies we once experienced.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    International Man of Mystery

    Old money tends to want to hang on to what they have, which does not produce the dynamic economies we once experienced.
    This leads to a big philosophical question I've been struggling with, as someone who hasn't studied economics. When the incentives all point toward making as much as you can and hanging onto it forever, doesn't that eventually lead to hoarding and rent-seeking, rather than productive investment?

    We know that a healthcare system that depends on employer-based coverage acts as an incentive against hiring full-time workers. The cost of my family's health insurance has doubled since I became self-employed in 2004, and almost all that increase has come since 2008. The fewer people who have insurance, the more expensive it is for everyone else, and the less incentive there is for employers to bring in new full-time workers -- especially if they can get more or less the same work from independent contractors.

    If the economy were booming they'd have no choice but to hire new full-time employers, no matter the cost of benefits. But of course it isn't, and they don't. The biggest problem in the economy now is the same as it was last year, and the year before, and the year before that: too much leverage, which depresses consumer demand.

    But people can't pay down their debt when they're unemployed, underemployed, or fully employed but falling behind because of rising health-insurance costs that their employers are passing on to them in the form of lower wages or higher copays.

    The healthcare problem could be alleviated with a single-payer system of portable insurance that's available to everyone, no matter where or how they're employed. That frees up talent to take more risks without fear of losing insurance coverage.

    It doesn't necessarily address the leverage problem, except in a circular way -- people who're free to change jobs, go freelance, and/or start up new companies would be more productive and innovative, which over time should help boost the economy.

    Problem is, there's no political consensus to do anything at the federal level, and tremendous political and institutional forces pushing back against any tax increase that would make federal spending possible.

    So we end up stuck in the mud and spinning our wheels: Businesses aren't investing because of low consumer demand. Consumer demand is low because people are overleveraged. People are overleveraged, in part, because of the rising cost of healthcare. It will take tremendous government intervention to control healthcare costs, but nobody wants to pay for it, even though over time it would benefit everyone.

  8. #48

    International Man of Mystery

    http://www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson/ I had this book referred to me by a economics professor. It is a good read and I would recommend it to anyone. Kuri, you may enjoy the read to understand where some of us get our views on taxing the masses. Personally, I don't envy the rich. I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboards , and my family.

  9. #49

    International Man of Mystery

    Just catching up here. Been busy hiring a new employee, growing a small business, and helping some rather wealthy (among others) people become healthier.

    Oh my bad! That doesn't gel with the narrative our resident grumpy wingnuts would like to imagine so as to more easily keep living in fantasy land and dismiss legitimate concerns about the financial dealings of a Presidential candidate.

    What I mean is I was out waiting for free stuff from the government and implementing Obama's secret plan to incarcerate the wealthy in giant Planned Parenthood camps.

    It will take tremendous government intervention to control healthcare costs, but nobody wants to pay for it, even though over time it would benefit everyone.
    Indeed, and for as long as one party can take no real action for fear of being labeled socialistcommienazis and risk losing seats by the other nothing will happen. Add to that what Lou mentioned about political and institutional opposition to tax and regulatory reform and... well. One has to think change will happen though.

    The question is how.

    I'd rather live through slow incremental reforms than have someone like Mitt turn the screw back the other way and causing further economic distress for a majority of the population.

  10. #50

    International Man of Mystery

    A series of papers and articles, including that by the Tax Policy Center, which are taking a closer look at Romney's tax plans and there are no surprises. The math on trickle down economics doesn't work.

    So with this framework in mind, what’s the problem with Romney’s plan? What it wants to do is lower taxes on each group and make up that difference by reducing the tax expenditures each group receives. But remember that he doesn’t want to touch the tax expenditures in the third set, all the ones for savings, capital gains, and dividends, which go overwhelmingly to the top one percent. So he wants to lower taxes on the one percent, and he has to make the lost revenue up by cutting a set of tax expenditures for them that largely go to either the working poor or the middle class.

  11. #51

    International Man of Mystery

    Transcripts. Let's see those transcripts.

    Here's my gut belief: Obama got a leg up by being admitted to both Occidental and Columbia as a foreign exchange student.
    Wouldn't that be the shit.

  12. #52

    International Man of Mystery

    And through it all we are getting to see what a douchebag the current occupier is. The guy who in 2008 campaigned to bring everyone together has done nothing but attempt to drive a wedge between us all.

    He's someone to be proud of.

  13. #53

    International Man of Mystery

    Bob why don't you start a thread about Obama's past, whether it imagined, rumored whatever...

    Meanwhile issues of actual relevance The New Yorker this week had a little article about Romney's foreign misadventures and one juicy tidbit is he held a $50,000 per plate fundraiser hosted by the Barclay's CEO Robert Diamond who just resigned in disgrace after his firm got caught manipulating rates.

    Reportedly RMoney received a mittfull (cough) of checks from Barclay's executives who could face investigations by regulators Mitt would appoint as prez. Wonder how that would come out?

  14. #54

    International Man of Mystery

    I thought this was the rumor thread.

  15. #55

    International Man of Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by "OldGuy":ypvm1t8s
    I read that the other day and wondered why such an educated , honorable man as BOH,would need to keep his transcripts sealed.

  16. #56
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    International Man of Mystery

    I love this:

    By attacking Romney’s tax records, Obama’s socialist cabal creates a problem that doesn’t exist.
    That's how you know you're dealing with a credible, thoughtful source.

    If anyone should have questions about Obama’s record at Columbia University, it’s me. We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of ’83. We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors. And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia. I certainly thought I’d heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors. But not Obama (or as he was known then- Barry Soetoro). I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia have ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.
    I've been hearing about this guy off and on over the years. He's been beating this dead horse a long time.

    Columbia has 27,000 students. Maybe it had fewer then, but the point is, it's not high school. Nobody knows everyone. My alma mater was only a little bigger at the time I attended. A few years after I graduated, Brad Pitt, Sheryl Crow, and Elizabeth Vargas all attended the university at the same time, and I don't believe there's any evidence the three of them ever met while they were there.

    For that matter, Tim Kaine, former governor of Virginia and current Senate candidate, graduated the same year I did, and I never met him. Does that mean one of us wasn't there?

    Recently, David Maraniss, a legit journalist, a Pulitzer Prize winner and editor at the Washington Post, who releases an in-depth biography on Obama that goes so far as to uncover his love letters to an old college girlfriend.

    Don't you think that if Obama had some deep secret in his college years, it would've emerged by now? If nothing else, wouldn't Harvard Law School have seen these transcripts, and denied him admission if he really had poor grades?

  17. #57

    International Man of Mystery

    Sounds to me like both sides are using the same excuses.

    For some, Romney's lack of detail in the tax history is very disturbing, and although there's no proof of wrongdoing, it could perhaps be that he hasn't ever paid taxes possibly. Maybe.

    No matter whether people believe that or not, the simple way to diffuse the issue is to just release the tax records.

    For others, Obama's lack of transcripts is very disturbing, and although there's no proof of background falsification, it could perhaps be the case that he never went to Columbia possibly maybe.

    The simple way to diffuse the issue it to just release the transcripts.

    When it's my guy hiding something, I assume it's all okay, reason away the concerns and tell people to stop the witch hunt. When it's your guy, I assume the worst and know there are dozens of rotten skeletons in the closet.

  18. #58

    International Man of Mystery

    No time for a detailed response, but this article touches on RL's point:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/08/opinio...html?hpt=hp_c1

    The reason that Democrats want to see the tax returns is not because they think he did something wrong but because he did something that might look unseemly. Like he was a rich guy taking advantage of loopholes. That virtually anyone in his position would do so is irrelevant. It's all about the smear.
    The same is true with the attacks on Romney's tenure at Bain Capital. Romney is not being attacked for breaking the law (except by a few semanticists, who seem to be naïvely, yet deliberately, suggesting it was not possible for him to be chairman on paper but to be taking a leave of absence from daily operating responsibilities).



    He is being attacked because it might look bad that companies he was involved with actually outsourced jobs or fired people. That he was fulfilling his responsibility to his shareholders in doing so and that the record of Bain was fairly good in terms of value creation is irrelevant when the objective is creating a negative narrative at all costs.
    We wouldn't buy into such tripe, right?

    This isn't coming from a Republican operative though:

    I have voted Democrat all my life. I served in the Clinton administration and worked for a Democratic congressman on Capitol Hill. I will vote for President Obama
    But of course, this is one dust-up that will never end. Because in modern politics it seems the goal is to constantly find ways to smear the opposition, facts and decency be damned. That's the reason the birther lie endures. That's the reason that John Kerry, whose military service was distinguished, could be besmirched by the "swift boaters" and a host of political opponents who hadn't anything like his record of service. And because both sides do it to one another, it is considered to be fair play.

  19. #59

    International Man of Mystery

    [font=Calibri:1x99nwhz]Something just occurred to me. Didn’t Mitt Romney serve as the Governor of Massachusetts? And, isn’t Massachusetts about as red as you can get? Given that he had to defeat a Democrat in a State that has been dominated by Democrats for the last what, 60 years? I’d have to imagine that any dirt digging that could have been done, was done and that this Gubernatorial vetting is pretty close to anything the current administration could probably come up with. [/font:1x99nwhz]
    [font=Calibri:1x99nwhz]Despite Harry Reid’s assurance that Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years I think any dirt that could have been dug up with regards to Romney’s history would have surfaced long ago. [/font:1x99nwhz]
    [font=Calibri:1x99nwhz]As an aside: What kind of nut job is stupid enough to infer that someone in Romney’s position had actually not paid taxes in 10 years? Someone get a net. [/font:1x99nwhz]
    [font=Calibri:1x99nwhz][/font:1x99nwhz]
    [font=Calibri:1x99nwhz][/font:1x99nwhz]

  20. #60
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    International Man of Mystery

    It's all just a distraction. As Kevin said, these guys have all been vetted many times over.

    I wasn't paying attention to Massachusetts politics when Romney was governor, but my understanding now is that there was a vigorous debate at the time about what Bain did and didn't do.

    In the 2008 primaries, you know the Clinton political operation looked at everything they could find on Obama. His opponents in Illinois probably did the same. In some corners people talk about the corrupt Chicago political tradition, but those same people forget that Obama got his butt kicked in one of his first campaigns there, when he ran for a House seat. He had enemies in Chicago, and I'm sure they did their digging.

    In the 2008 general election, McCain may have taken the high road on some issues (like the silly Reverend Wright stuff), but I can't picture him passing up anything truly juicy about Obama's background.

    The Swift Boat stuff worked in 2004 because no one saw it coming. Kerry was trying to have it both ways -- running as a war hero and antiwar activist -- in taking on an incumbent in the middle of a war. Granted, it was a war of choice the incumbent had started. But it was still a lot to ask of the electorate just 3 years after 9/11. I don't know if he lost because of the Swift Boat smears, but they sure didn't help.

    Now the Democrats are playing the same game. Romney is running as a successful businessman, and the Republicans have decided to call America's richest people "job creators." So the Democrats, using Rove's playbook, are going after Romney's strengths.

    To their shame, it includes creating innuendo about Romney's taxes, knowing that they can't really lose on the topic. If Romney doesn't release his returns, it's because he might be hiding something. If he does, it's yet another flip-flop, reinforcing a different but still potent narrative (which was also used against Kerry in 2004).

    Both sides are trying to distract us from the fact that neither is addressing the problems the country actually has: a stagnant economy, high unemployment, low taxes, humongous deficits. Obama failed to reform the financial sector when he probably had the chance. And now he needs the beneficiaries of that non-reform to bankroll his campaign.

    Romney, of course, is offering up policies that would double down on the current problems and make everything exponentially worse. It would be like Alf Landon running against Roosevelt in 1936 by saying Herbert Hoover was right about everything, and everything will be fine if we just forget the Depression even happened.

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