Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Random Thoughts on the Presidential Campaign & Politics

I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time watching MSNBC (love Rachel Maddow), the endless Republican debates (thank you Brian Williams for silencing the audience), reading the amazingly informative, intelligent blog and comments at Skydancing ( and, of course, watching and loving The Daily Show. 

Initially my reaction to Mittens releasing his tax returns was “Ho Hum.”  He’s rich.  Knew that.  He pays his taxes at the legal rate.  Knew that, too.  Then I watched last night’s Daily Show and, thanks to the wonderful staff on the show, Jon Stewart provided some background information that it would be wonderful if every American knew.  Mittens was shown stating that he pays his taxes according to the law and that he didn’t think the American people would expect (or want) a candidate who paid more than they actually owed.  On the surface, that sounds reasonable.  But Jon pointed out that Mittens didn’t tell the whole story.  Back in 2007, Chuck Grassley (a Republican Senator) had sponsored a bill to raise the taxes on capital gains and carried interest.  Mittens and his hedge fund, venture capitalist buddies formed a lobbying group to fight this bill.  And, amazingly, the bill went nowhere.  The tax rate on these ‘funds” remained at 15% instead of being increased to 35%.  Watch the segment here:

On the same show, Jon’s guest was Elizabeth Warren who is running for Senate in Massachusetts against Tea Party favorite, Scott Brown.  Here’s a link for the interview, Part 1:   In the clip Ms. Warren says that the top 50 (I believe) companies in the U.S. spend more money on their lobbying efforts than they pay in taxes. 

But back to Mittens.  After The Daily Show I then moved on to Hardball.  Matthews talked more about Mittens’ wealth -he makes from his investments about $ 58,000 A DAY!  And he doesn’t actually WORK a single day a year.  That’s more than I make in an entire year, working 35 hours or more 52 weeks a year.  It got me to thinking about the Republican rhetoric surrounding the Obama Administration’s and the Democrats in Congress call for letting the Bush tax cuts expire for Americans making over $ 1 million dollars a year.  The Republicans rallying cry:  don’t increase taxes on The Job Creators!  Taxing them more would stifle economic growth.  It would prevent them from creating jobs to the unemployed and underemployed in America.  And I thought, just how many jobs has Mittens created with his tax break during the time he stopped going to work?  He left Bain Capital in 1999.  He served as Massachusetts governor from 2003 – 2007.  For all intents and purposes, Mittens has been “unemployed” for at least 4 years, years when our unemployment rate soared.  If he is the astute business leader he says he is, why didn’t he come to the rescue with his reduced taxes windfall and start a business?  Create jobs for people?  Put that money to work to improve the economic outlook for hundreds or even thousands of Americans?  How many of the other uber-wealthy like him who are living on the interest from their investments have taken the same path as Mittens?  How many have simply sat back and kept their hands wrapped tightly around their wealth while the middle class collapsed, thousands upon thousands of families lost their homes and the ranks of the homeless swelled across the country? 

The 1% are NOT job creators, they are wealth protectors – their wealth and that of their cronies.  It’s THEIRS, all theirs and damn it, they are going to keep it for themselves.  America, stop being fooled by the rhetoric, the empty catch phrases.  The 1% understand self interest and it’s past time for average, every day Americans to do the same.  Vote like your very life and livelihood depend upon it, because they do.  Vote YOUR self interest, not THEIR self interest. 


  1. This whole argument that taxing the wealthy stifles job creation or somehow prevents small business owners from putting their money into their businesses is complete and utter bullshit, and it makes me want to throw things at the television every time I hear it.

    The fact is that taxes only apply to PROFITS, as in the money that's left over AFTER you've paid your business expenses - like the cost of paying employees! If anything, raising taxes on business profits, or on wealthy people who might own small businesses encourages them to put more money back into their business, because that money is then sheltered from taxes, whereas profits are taxable income.

    The lies just make me CRAZY!!!

  2. Agreed. In addition,the 11 years of Bush tax cuts covers the worst economic times since The Great Depression. Instead of investing in people & jobs, those extra dollars went into gambling on the stock market. We've bled jobs & killed the housing market. Instead of looking at the reality, the "job creator" meme continues. Apparently the idea is that if you say something often enough - especially without being challenged - it then becomes FACT. It's the method my teachers used to teach us a new language - repetition, repetition, repetition.

    An upcoming post will need to focus on the ultimate Revisionist Historian, Newter Gingrich. If one believes Newter's version of his accomplishments one would think that he's the greatest statesman in the history of this country. Gosh, why isn't his face on Mount Rushmore?

  3. For more indo on Romney, check this our:

  4. Why has he only released one year's returns? Could it be that in some of these previous years he paid even less? Like maybe nothing? With all of his offshore accounts, I'd say that was a pretty safe bet.

  5. He fought tooth & nail to avoid releasing any. I imagine he released only what he had to. Amazingly he presented McCain with something like 23 years when he was lobbying to be his VP running mate in 2008. Personally I think his positions (ever changing) on the issues and his advisory team are more important in understanding how he would govern.