To go all Seinfeldian for a moment, what's the deal with Republicans and their refusal to provide details? Remember this collection of GOP evasion and secrecy?
Etc., etc., ad nauseam.
Republicans just can't seem to learn from their mistakes, because here we go again. Then again, if Americans knew the details of their plans... fugetaboutit.
Today at a press conference, John Boehner said the following:
There has been no serious discussion of spending cuts so far. And unless there is, there is a real danger of going off the fiscal cliff. [...] So right now all eyes are on the White House…It’s time for the President, Congressional Democrats to tell the American people what spending cuts they’re willing to make.
So your 2011 position still stands, then? I mean, are you still offering, those talks from 2011, is that still the basis here?
Listen, I’m not going to get into the details, but it’s very clear what kind of spending cuts need to occur, but we have no idea what the White House is willing to do.
Pot. Kettle. Elusive.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called on President Obama and Democrats to specify entitlement cuts that could balance their desires for tax increases in a hypothetical deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” even though only Republicans have demanded spending cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security. Despite their support for putting entitlement programs on the chopping block, GOP lawmakers have refused to specify how, or by how much, they would cut the programs.
First, it's not a "fiscal cliff," more like a "fiscal bluff," and a crisis of their own making. Second, they're not entitlements, they're earned benefits.
And third, killing Medicare is not an option, voucherizing is not an option, avoiding direct questions is not an option, but this sure is: Liberals double down: No entitlement cuts.
So will anyone care enough to report this widely now that we're only a week out from Election Day? And now that we have Hurricane Sandy to contend with?
Willard M. Romney can hide, he can run, he can even run and hide, avoid and deflect, but somebody's going to find his tax returns, or at least divulge more about them.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney used a loophole to “rent” the Mormon church’s tax exemption status and defer paying taxes for 15 years, according to a new report.
Tax returns obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request indicated that Romney set up a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) in June 1996 just before Congress cracked down on the loophole in 1997.
The charitable remainder unitrust, as it is known, is one of several strategies Romney has adopted over his career to reduce his tax bill. While Romney’s tax avoidance is legal and common among high-net-worth individuals, it has become an issue in the campaign. [...]
In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity -- the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing -- to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefiting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In general, charities don’t owe capital gains taxes when they sell assets for a profit. Trusts like Romney’s permit funders to benefit from that tax-free treatment, said Jonathan Blattmachr, a trusts and estates lawyer who set up hundreds of such vehicles in the 1990s.
“The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said. Despite the name, giving a gift or getting a charitable deduction “is just a throwaway,” he said. “I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero.”
Michael Arlein, a trusts and estates lawyer at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, said, "The Romneys get theirs off the top and the charity gets what’s left. So by definition, if it’s not performing as well, the charity gets harmed more.”
Sound familiar? Remind you a little of Mitt's Bain Capital days? They profit, the business from whom they make money loses. See: Sensata, Bainport, Illinois.
Follow the link for more.
Oh suh-nap! The Secretary of Explaining Stuff does it again, and in 30 seconds. There's your "zinger," Willard.