Archive for investments

Obama To Big Business, Be Scared. Be Very Scared This Time

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scared

Washington is fighting. Nothing too new there. Call it almost business as usual. Republicans and Democrats not seeing eye-to-eye. No big deal.

But this time it's gone a bit farther, and for the first time in 17 years we have a shutdown. But that's not too earth-shattering. It's happened before and will probably happen again. What's the concern?

The concern is that Big Business relies on the GOP to protect them. To fight all regulations and allow them to run wild in the streets. In return the Republicans are given money for their campaigns. It's a vicious cycle and one that costs the middle class both fair representation and money.

What has changed and the president made it clear in his Thursday meeting with titans of big business in a private White House meeting, is in the recent past, there was a spokesperson for the GOP, someone who represented their unified party.

That no longer exists -- it's like trying to negotiate with a foreign government in the middle of a civil war. Who really represents the country -- or in this case, the party?

We know who it isn't. It's not John Boehner. It also isn't Mitch McConnell who wasn't even allowed to speak after the closed door session with the leaders of both houses in the Oval Office.

On appearances, there's Senator (Rafael Cruz) running the House of Representatives, and a small faction of the House majority party. At the same time he's being shunned in his own chamber, the Senate. His objective appears to be destruction of the United States. Total anarchy. It's the asylum being run by the insane inmates and there's no one to negotiate with. Certainly nobody sane.

Under this uncertainty, Big Business can't thrive. So they're switching beds. They're leaving the comfort of their money stuffed Republican mattresses and coming over to sleep with the Democrats. It's an uneasy alliance at best, but until the Repubs can get their House in order, the certainty, and the will of the people, is being represented by Obama and the Democrats.

Here's how PBO put it to CNBC's John Harwood. It's the same dire warning "O" gave big business. The first day of the government shutdown, the market dropped. The second, a day after meeting with the president, the market's crashing big time. So fear has gripped Wall Street. It should ripple and reach the Republicans soon -- or they won't have two nickels to rub together come next election. It seems this assessment is enough to leave more than the president "exasperated."

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Romney's Bain investment record: Three times the bankruptcies of fed investments

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Cartoon via Lalo Alcaraz

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Jon Stewart lacerated the myth of Romney's alleged expertise as a venture capitalist the other night. (See video here.) Quite simply, under Mitt's leadership, Bain Capital had a worse investment record than the federal government's backing of alternative energy companies (e.g., Solyndra).  

In fact, Romney's record at Bain showed him picking firms that went into bankruptcy at three times the rate of the fed record.

Stewart started by quoting part of Romney's "closing argument" to the American voters:

The government of the United States is not a very good venture capitalist …. [Obama] doesn't just like picking winners and losers, he likes picking losers.  Half of the ones [alternative energy companies that the government has invested in under Obama] have gone bankrupt.

[...]

Whoa! So Romney's accusation of a 50 percent bankruptcy rate as a result of Department of Energy financial support (in loans and subsidies) to alternative energy firms is at best actually 8 percent. [...]

So that's 8% failure for government investments in alternative energy firms vs. a 22% bankruptcy record under Mitt Romney's leadership at Bain. [...]

When Romney's bankruptcy record, as he ironically promotes himself as a "job creator," is just about three times the rate of Obama's as president, it's clear the "job creator" is really (particularly when combined with his slash and burn labor strategies) a job destroyer.  He's also a liar, and his dissembling is meant to hide one of the greatest myths of the campaign: that private investment is more effective at stimulating the economy, when Romney's own record as the CEO of Bain Capital shows that it isn't.

Please read the entire post here.

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Video- Debate 2012: President Obama To Romney: My Pension Isn't As Big As Yours

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Heh. Via TPM.

Channeling NPR here:

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VIDEO- Romney: “There was no reduction- not 1 dollar reduction in taxes- by virtue of having an account in Switzerland or a Cayman Islands investment."

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Via from an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

“There was no reduction --  not one dollar reduction in taxes -- by virtue of having an account in Switzerland or a Cayman Islands investment."

“The conduct of the trustee in making investments was entirely consistent with U.S. law and all the taxes paid were those legally owed and there was no tax savings by virtue of those entities."

“I could have said, ‘Don't make any investments in any foreign companies, in any foreign bonds, in any foreign currency, only U.S. entities. And by the way, don't buy any foreign products, don't have any Japanese TVs, or foreign cars.’ I could have done that."

Yes, you could have done that.

We interrupt this post for a Willard Whopper Alert! Incoming! The majorest of major whoppers in 5... 4... 3... 2...

“But you know, I did live my life and I expect that by virtue of disclosing all of these things, people can take look at it and see whether that’s something they’re comfortable with or not. I’m not going to try to hide who I am and try and manipulate my life to try and avoid the truth.”

Some of us beg to differ: VIDEO: Mitt Romney won’t discuss his record as Mass. governor. No worries, we’ve got it covered.

And there's this: VIDEO: Serial hypocrite Mitt Romney lied, pointed fingers in 2002 and got away with it. It’s now 2012: Blather, wince, repeat.

So by “not avoiding the truth” he means releasing one incomplete 2010 return and one 2011 estimate… And how about all the rest of Willard‘s lies?

As I said in a previous post, media, will you please take Rachel Maddow up on her request to insist that Mitt Romney (and Paul Ryan) give us some straight answers? Or “do you just write down what they say?”

“It’s not what they say, it’s about what they’ve done. And when what they say is some distance from what they’ve done, that distance is the story. This is what the press is for.”

Speaking of lies:

“Their campaign is trying to find something to say, ‘Gee, hey, he had a Swiss bank account,’ which apparently was done by the blind trustee. I mean, I had no involvement in this, but the blind trust said we’re going to have some currencies, U.S. currency and some in foreign currency, that tends to be something which investors do. But they’re trying to make that seem like it is some kind of unsavory action and frankly all of the taxes are paid exactly as owed and there were no tax savings by virtue of having that vehicle.”

"I had no involvement in this, but the blind trust said..." So now blind trusts can speak?

Blind trusts are people, too my friend.

Hypocrites can certainly speak. Remember this, Willard?

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VIDEO: "If you're trying to ingratiate yourself to birthers at this point, you're losing by a landslide."

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Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Joy Ann Reid nailed it in the last 7 seconds (above):

"If you're trying to ingratiate yourself to birthers at this point, you're losing by a landslide."

Actually, they all did. This entire segment was an excellent summary of exactly who Willard Rommey and Co. are:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

So Willard, we've all seen President Obama's birth certificate, but where are your tax returns, hmm?

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Inside Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes: The "mind-numbing, maze-like, & deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth"

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This is one of those times I'll simply give you the tease and ask you to link over to Gawker's The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes:

Today, we are publishing more than 950 pages of internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested... Almost all of them are affiliated with Bain Capital...  Many of them are offshore funds based in the Cayman Islands. Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama's fiscal approach and his money managers' embrace of those same policies. They also show that some of the investments that Romney has always described as part of his retirement package at Bain weren't made until years after he left the company. [...]

According to a 2010 investor letter from its advisors, the tenuous economic recovery underway in 2010 was at risk of a Republican victory in the midterm elections:

With an economy that is still highly dependent on fiscal support, the outcome of the midterm elections could lead to gridlock that would have major ramifications for the economy. An expiration of stimulus would be a significant fiscal drag.

Let that one sink in: An expiration of stimulus would be a significant fiscal drag.

As I said in a previous post, media, will you please take Rachel Maddow up on her request to insist that Mitt Romney (and Paul Ryan) give us some straight answers? Or “do you just write down what they say?”

“It’s not what they say, it’s about what they’ve done. And when what they say is some distance from what they’ve done, that distance is the story. This is what the press is for.”

Romney-Ryan-Akin: The "tell ya later" campaign.

Now go.

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Romney Said He Paid 13% in Taxes, But He Strategically Avoided Saying Income Taxes

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No Willard, we will not let the questions about your tax returns go.

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

In a Los Angeles Times article, there is reference to a campaign aide saying Romney was referring to federal taxes, but Romney never said that. ... Romney can, if found out not to have paid 13% on his income taxes, deny ever saying he paid 13% on his income taxes over the years, when he was referring to taxes in general. [...]

How then, if the BuzzFlash at Truthout possible scenario proves to be true that the Romneys are referring to all their taxes not just federal income taxes, could they arrive at 13% in taxes.  There are several ways.

If Romney received income as a sole proprietor, he had to pay 7.65 percent in Medicare and Social Security taxes (more than half his proclaimed tax payments).  Then you have retail tax, property tax (and they have plenty of property), you have state income taxes, etc. [...]

But supposing they paid some minor federal income tax – let's toss out 2%. How could that happen? For one thing, he has an IRA that has been estimated by some at $100 million dollars, which is nearly 2/5's of his estimated net worth.  Much of his current wealth, while he still is profiting from Bain Capital investments, was earned earlier -- and is in assets and offshore accounts.

Gary Berg, a BuzzFlash at Truthout reader, also points out another possibility:

I find it interesting that Romney pointed out his percent of tax paid. If he can remember his tax rate (which actually doesn't appear on the tax form itself), he should have a decent idea of how much he paid in absolute terms (which is, of course, prominent on the tax form); i.e., saying that you paid 13% in taxes represents clear avoidance of the tax question; e.g. he couid have paid 13% of $100 ($13) and have sheltered $100,000,000 through off shore tax vehicles.

[...]

They never used that phrase. Mitt only claimed to pay 13% in unspecified taxes. [...]

Not a major article in any paper questioned Romney's avoidance of using the term income taxes; instead, they wrote that he, in effect did say it, when any journalist worth his or her salt should be  be questioning why he and Ann Romney haven't used the specific term income taxes to discuss how much they have paid in taxes in general over the years.

Please read the whole thing here.

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