Nel's New Day

July 27, 2012

Romney’s Vision for America

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:44 PM
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Mitt Romney has been definite about only one thing on the campaign trail—that he would never, under any circumstances, release more than two years of his tax returns. Most of his other positions have been vague because, as he has frequently said, people might use these ideas against him during the campaign. He’ll just wait until he’s elected to let the people in the country find out who they get screwed over.

He has let a few fiscal snippets slip, however. One recent one comes from his spending plan. Swirling in the ether is the myth that “federal compensation exceeds private sector levels by as much as 30 to 40 percent when benefits are taken into account.” Romney pledges to “align federal employee compensation with the private sector,” and it cites studies showing that “federal compensation exceeds private sector levels by as much as 30 to 40 percent when benefits are taken into account. This must be corrected.” That means that everyone working for the government, including the military and veterans, will take a 30 to 40 percent hit from Romney’s magic plan. Border patrol, firefighters, food inspectors, researchers—everybody takes a 30 to 40 percent hit in their bank account. The military, however, will be hurt the hardest because 63 percent of federal works are employed by the Department of Defense.

Romney aides and supporters are trying to wade their way out of this mess, as usual disagreeing with Romney. They claim that they don’t actually mean a 30 to 40 percent pay cut; they’ll just take away health coverage, retirement, etc. Somehow those people running Romney’s campaign do not equate taking away these benefits with a reduction in pay.

As always, Romney believes in cutting taxes for the wealthy, maybe because he belongs to that class. He wants to take money from people in the bottom  90+ percent of the population and give it to the top two percent. While he cuts the salaries of people in the bottom 98 percent of the nation, here are some of the bonuses that he wants to retain for the wealthy, including himself:

The “Carried Interest” Handout to Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers. Cost: $15 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-2012) – Carried Interest is a share in a fund; wealthy investors can declare these as capital gains instead of wages at a much lower tax rate.

Offshore Tax Havens. Cost: $100 BILLION Annually – Only wealthy privileged people can afford this tax dodge.

Taxing Capital Gains at a Lower Rate Than Ordinary Income. Cost: $256 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-2016) – For the wealthy, capital gains from investments are taxed at 15 percent instead of 35 percent. The wealthiest 0.1 percent of people in the United States make half of all capital gains. Cutting capital gains tax would have zero benefit for the 73.9 percent of the middle class who have no capital gains.

Mortgage Interest Deduction on Second Homes and Yachts. Cost: $10 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-21) – The mortgage interest tax deduction is meant to encourage home ownership, not enable the wealthiest Americans like Romney to lower their tax burden because they can buy several multi-million-dollar homes.

Failing to Limit “Upside-Down” Itemized Deductions That Favor the Wealthiest Americans. Cost: $114 BILLION (Fiscal Years 2012-2016) – Tax deductions are meant to provide financial incentives for people in such activities as buying a home or saving for retirement. When only the wealthy can afford these activities, it’s called “upside-down” deductions.

Romney’s obsession with secrecy will also cost the country a bit of money. Before the end of his governor’s term in Massachusetts, Romney spent spending $205,000 for a three-year lease on new computers for the governor’s office and broke an earlier unexpired lease that cost the state half as much, according to official documents and state officials. He also spent state money replacing computers, buying up hard drives, and deleting emails in an attempt to hide records. Included in the purge were also 150 boxes of paper records. Romney feels that he has a lot to hide.

Although Senate Republicans  let a measure supporting reinstatement of pre-Bush taxes for the top 2 percent (those who net over $250,000) go to a vote this week, they knew the House would never agree. Part of the measure protected the rest of the population from having tax hikes that would average $2,200. The Senate vote to keep tax cuts for everyone except the wealthy passed 51-48. Democrat Sens. Mark Pryor (AR) and Jim Webb (VA) voted against the measure as did Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). The Republicans pushing the total over 50 were Sens. Scott Brown (MA) and Susan Collins (ME) voted with Democrats.  The Republicans will be more careful to invoke the ever-present filibuster next time.

The upcoming fight over taxes may be worse than the one over raising the debt ceiling a year ago. Last August’s debacle when Republicans wanted to default on the nation’s financial obligations ended up costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office. The New York Times reported that this is just the beginning; that loss of $1.3 billion could increase. The Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the Smithsonian, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the federal budget allocated to the Post Office—all enrichments to our lives that conservatives want to destroy–could easily be funded by this money that they lost.

These are just the fiscally selfish pieces of Romney’s approach toward controlling the people of the United States; he has many more plans in the social realm to ensure that women have no control over their own bodies and health as well as to guarantee that there will be no marriage equality. Romney wants to remove regulations so that people will no longer receive an education or have clean food, air, and water. Then there’s the rapidly disappearing freedom of religion. The list goes on and on!

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