Mitt Romney, Part 1: Of, By, and For the 1 Percent
No matter how hard he shakes his Etch A Sketch over the next seven months, Mitt Romney won’t be able to erase the fact the he and his policies are of, by, and for the wealthiest one percent of Americans — policies that will come at the expense of the other 99 Percent.
Here’s the rundown on millionaire Mitt Romney, Mr. 1 Percent.
- Millionaire Mitt Romney Would Slash Taxes for the 1 Percent, Raise Them on the Poorest Americans
Romney’s first tax plan was bad enough. It proposed $6.6 TRILLION in tax cuts, heavily weighted toward the wealthy and corporations. Each of the Koch Brothers alone would net at least $8.7 BILLION from just one part of the plan. It cut Romney’s own taxes nearly in half, but raised taxes on nearly half of middle class families with children.
Romney’s current tax plan is even worse. It cuts taxes on the wealthiest Americans another 20 percent on top of the Bush tax cuts — that’s an additional $264,000 tax cut for each and every one of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans. In total, each of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans would get more than a $1.1 MILLION annual tax cut under the Romney plan. Shockingly, the poorest 20 percent of Americans would actually receive a tax increase under Romney’s plan.
By any objective measure, the plan — which is four times costlier than the Bush tax cuts — would add TRILLIONS (around $10 TRILLION in total) to the deficit, despite ending Medicare, slashing Social Security, and implementing draconian cuts to everything else except defense spending in order to offset some of the cost of trillions in tax giveaways to the wealthy.
- Millionaire Mitt Romney Gives up His Medicare, Wants to End it For Everyone Else
Mitt Romney recently turned 65, but he declined to enroll in Medicare because he says he can afford his own health care. Unfortunately, Romney thinks the rest of us can afford to pay more for our own health care as well. His plan to end Medicare as we know it would not only eliminate the guarantee of Medicare benefits, it would shift thousands of dollars in annual health care costs off the government’s books and onto seniors. The Republican budget plan that Romney eagerly embraced doesn’t reduce health care costs, it just doubles the costs of the tab seniors have to pay each year.
- Millionaire Mitt Romney’s Campaign Complains About His $100 Million Retirement Account, Wants to Slash Social Security for Everyone Else
Through special deals available to only an elite few in the already-elite financial industry, Mitt Romney was able to amass an Individual Retirement Account worth $100 MILLION. (The average working person in their sixties has $144,000 in their 401k.) While most people would be very, very glad to have $100 MILLION socked away, a Romney campaign official actually complained to the Wall Street Journal that all of this money had created a “tax problem” for Romney, adding, “Who wants to have $100 million in an IRA?”
The “problem,” according to the Romney campaign, is that Romney will have to pay regular income rates on this money when he withdraws it, rather than the ultra-low 13.9 percent tax rate he currently pays thanks to various unfair tax loopholes. Romney’s tax plan, of course, would help solve the “problem” of him having to pay his fair share by slashing income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans by another 20 percent on top of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Meanwhile, Romney’s fiscal plan would slash Social Security by hundreds of billions of dollars, resulting in dramatic benefit cuts for those who can least afford it.
- Millionaire Mitt Romney Amassed His Quarter-Billion Dollar Fortune by Closing Factories, Laying Off Thousands of Workers
As has been well-publicized during the primary, Romney amassed his quarter-billion dollar fortune through his work at Bain Capital. Under Romney’s leadership, Bain walked away with billions in profits while workers were often left with nothing after Bain closed their factory or bankrupted their company.
Romney’s confidentiality agreements with Bain allow him to hide where much of his fortune is currently invested, though we do know he’s profited from companies in China (including those involved in the government’s extensive surveillance apparatus) and from banks foreclosing on homeowners. We also know that he’s socked away some of his fortune in a range of notorious tax havens like the Cayman Islands and, until recently, had a previously undisclosed Swiss bank account.
- Millionaire Mitt Romney Uses Special Tax Loopholes to Pay a Lower Tax Rate Than Millions of Middle Class Workers
Romney kept his tax returns hidden for the better part of two decades and when he finally released just one year’s worth of full returns (breaking with the precedent set by his own father, just one additional year will be released in two weeks), it was clear why he’d kept them under wraps.
Romney takes advantage of a variety of unfair tax loopholes, including some available only to hedge fund and private equity manages, to pay the shockingly low tax rate of just 13.9 percent — a rate lower than that of millions of middle class workers. For example, a typical worker making $60,000 in wages in 2011 would have paid a tax rate of 29.9 percent — more than double that of Romney’s.
Naturally, Romney strongly opposes the Buffett Rule — a plan the Senate will vote on in two weeks that guarantees that millionaires like Mitt Romney and the billionaires bankrolling his campaign pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent. Romney dismissed the Buffett Rule as “class warfare” and told the 99 Percent to stop being jealous, as wealth and income inequality are only to be discussed in “quiet rooms.”
IN ONE SENTENCE: Millionaire Mitt Romney and his policies are of, by, and for the wealthiest 1 Percent.
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