For some time, I have referred to Mitt Romney as the Panderer-In-Chief based on the corny speeches he has given on the campaign trail – “The trees just seem the right height here.” Now I realize that his tendency to lie and pander to any audience is the least of his obvious faults.
Recent investigations into his 2010 tax return and Bain Capital have yielded an array of offshore accounts and questionable investments, such as an I.R.A. account of $102 million, even though Romney could only legally put $2,000 a year into the account for 15 years and, depending on the type of plan he used, another $30,000 per year.
That’s some rate of return!
There’s also the matter of his accounts in tax havens such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In talking with bankers and economists, I’ve confirmed that there are only two reasons to open accounts in those places: Secrecy and Tax Evasion.
It’s clear that Romney is one of many who are responsible for an estimated $100 billion in lost annual tax revenue by sending their money offshore, costing ordinary taxpayers an average of $484 a year. In other words, you have to pay more taxes to make up for tax deadbeats like Romney.
Of course, as CEO and sole owner of Bain Capital, Romney practiced what his Republican rivals termed “Vulture Capitalism.” He bought up cash rich companies, took the cash, and charged the companies large sums for “management consulting.” Then when the cash ran out, he either fired the staff and outsourced the jobs overseas or dismantled what was left at salvage rates.
But that’s not the worst of it – at least for Romney.
The Boston Globe found that contrary to Romney’s statements, he was still involved in his company several years after he said he had resigned. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, except that it means Romney likely committed one or more felonies. You see, he filed a federal disclosure stating that he left Bain in 1999. Yet the company’s SEC filing in 2002 listed Romney as “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president.” This would make Mitt guilty of a federal felony for certifying on federal disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February of 1999.
If elected, Mitt could be our nation’s first presidential felon. Moreover, if he lied on disclosure forms, he may have lied on his federal tax returns. There are many other questions about Romney. But his business dealings and finances are shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, The Washington Post summarized the opinions of experts across the political spectrum by saying Romney’s disclosures were “the most opaque they have encountered.”
Now imagine the uproar if Teapublicans found that President Obama had offshore tax havens and shipped American jobs overseas. The torch and pitchfork crowd would’ve already surrounded the White House.