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View Diary: Obama campaign to Romney: Release just five years of returns (updated 2X) (315 comments)

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  •  Wee M - in large part because of his tax advisors (0+ / 0-)

    PriceWaterhouseCoopers has been Romney's tax advisors for a long time. They would have never let him have an undisclosed foreign account and I don't think Romney is involved enough in his personal finances to hide one.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:17:19 AM PDT

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    •  Let? (18+ / 0-)

      I'm sure that they do what the client orders. And what about his campaign has convinced you that he isn't involved in his own affairs? What I see is someone who has control, and perhaps isn't listening to his advisors.

      You can't take the sky from me!

      by wrights on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:27:26 AM PDT

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    •  Who were the accountants at Marriott when (18+ / 0-)

      they were doing son of BOSS deals?



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:44:44 AM PDT

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    •  Let's just unpack your reasoning there for a (14+ / 0-)

      minute. Ordinary folks who do their own taxes or run down to H&R Block don't have the kind of money that you need to have to even begin to think about stashing some in a Swiss bank account. Only the big boys do that.

      And people who have that kind of money to work with almost always have competent accounts and tax advice. They are the people who take aggressive tax positions and are willing to litigate those positions if necessary. It makes financial sense, because the amounts of money involved are so large.

      Romney approved of the Son of Boss tax dodge. He could easily have hidden money in his Swiss accounts, too.

      •  elmo - who knows? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, justmy2, Wee Mama, Mickeyd

        Romney isn't capable of working on his own taxes. An article in the Boston Globe estimated that as many as 50 tax lawyers and CPAs work on the Romney return before it is filed. Even though he has both a JD and MBA Romney is not a tax expert by any means. All the big CPA firms will take aggressive positions, and PWC is right up there, but an undisclosed foreign account is not an aggressive position, it is illegal and the tax professionals could lose their licenses if they were a party to hiding foreign accounts. I just don't see it happening, but we are all speculating because none of us knows any definitive facts.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:05:35 AM PDT

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        •  Romney is a shambles in many areas but money (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini, 2thanks

          is not one of those areas.  Romney knows his money.

          Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

          by 88kathy on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:13:52 AM PDT

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        •  I think you are very wrong. (7+ / 0-)

          Half of Romney's signature strategy is making money through tax dodges. He isn't in the business of actually producing anything, he skims from moving money and tax avoidances make up a large portion of that.

          It's not how much you make, but how much you keep.

          •  When in Rome - I dont' agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sharman, nextstep

            The core business, and the current partnership tax law, allows investment partnership managers to take their incentive compensation as a capital gain. There are no tricks required, the tax law has been the same for 40 years. All the major investment managers raise money in parallel partnerships, one US based for US entities and tax payers, and one based in a tax haven for non-US investors. The managers end up with an ownership position in assets held in the tax haven, but those gains are subject to the same capital gains taxes as assets held in the US. The overwhelming majority of Romney's assets are held in the US and most of his foreign accounts came from the Bain Capital funds that were formed outside the US. The private equity business is actually very simple but few people here at DKOS actually understand how it works and most of our fellow bloggers have developed an uninformed understanding.

            The standard private equity model, and it represents most of what Bain Capital does, is to find a company with predictable cash flows, low debt and high taxes. They purchase the company from the existing owners, public or private, give the management a 10 - 20% ownership, leverage the equity capital they invest with debt at at 3-5 times the equity, grow the business and sell it or take it public for a higher value than they purchased it. What leverage can do is significantly increase the return on equity. If BC buys a company for $400 million, invests $100 million and borrows $300 million and the company value increases to $500 million BC has earned 100% on its equity investment even though the company's value only increased by 25%. That model does not need any fancy tax planning to generate long term capital gains for both the investors and investment managers. US tax payers owe the same amount of tax regardless of where the income producing assets are held anywhere in the world.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:16:22 AM PDT

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            •  I have yet to read a post of yours that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              I agree with.

              •  WheninRome - that's OK (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nextstep

                I have very low approval needs and like to often provide readers with additional information that they don't receive from many of our fellow bloggers here at DKOS. That's what makes this site so good, we have lots of different areas of knowledge and points of view.

                I have never worked at a private equity fund but as the former manager of a Fortune 500 pension fund my company was a limited partner in several, so I probably have more background than most of the other people here. Nearly every Fortune 1000 pension fund, large public pension funds, and university and foundation pension funds are investors in private equity. It's nearly universal for large funds.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:36:59 AM PDT

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        •  Did the accountants who audited Enron's financial (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          statements allow illegal things to happen.  Of all the professions, CPA's seem to be the most malleable when it comes to skirting around the edges of legality, and I would bet $10,000 that they would sign off on illegality if the probability that they would not get caught were large enough.

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:13:50 AM PDT

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          •  MrJ - what happened to Arthur Anderson (Enron) (0+ / 0-)

            sent a shock wave through the now "Big Four". AA was put out of business, 50,000 employees lost their jobs and the partners lost hundreds of millions of capital. That was a serious wake up call.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:51:22 AM PDT

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    •  Romney doesn't care about a lot of stuff but money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, elwior

      is not that stuff.  It is Romney's spinach.  Toot.  Toot.

      Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

      by 88kathy on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:12:01 AM PDT

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    •  VClib you make very good points (11+ / 0-)

      And you may well be right.  But it could be that Romney had an account in Switzerland since the 90's, before he had political aspirations, and that PriceWaterhouseCoopers may have done what any reasonable accounting firm would have done once they saw his name on the list of 4000 released by UBS - they would have told Romney he needed to pay the fine and accept the amnesty, and they would have documented that on the 2009 returns.

      I'm one of those who instinctively "feels" that Romney got caught up in the UBS disclosure...  You are right that he's probably avoided new instances of felony tax evasion in the decade since 2002 through his allegedly "blind" trust and his army of accountants, but you can bet he was evading taxes for the decade before he started running for office.  Even his supportrs point out that he's a compulsive, detail-oriented guy.  He loves money and will have been obsessive about seeking any possible way to shelter his fortune from taxes, and he's not ethical or moral enough to have followed the letter of the law before he decided to have a political career.  This allegation rings true because it so closely reflects his very nature.  I'll gladly eat my words if he releases the returns... but his current army of tax attorneys may be unable to cover the enduring stain 15 or 20 year old tax evasion on Mitt's 2009 returns.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 09:31:03 AM PDT

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