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View Diary: Rolling Stone Magazine Exposes how Mitt Romney Dodged his Taxes (252 comments)

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  •  Since the IRS jailed Al Capone, why can't they (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grumpelstillchen, a2nite, elwior

    jail Mitt Romney? What is stopping them from investigating the charges stated here? Throw the book at him!!!

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 11:41:31 AM PDT

    •  because everything mentioned there is legal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn Russell, raincrow, VClib

      as far as I know. If he did take the amnesty in 2009 it would have been, well 'amnesty' from prosecution. The other stuff seems to be legal too. Just incredibly disgusting for someone who wants to lead this country.

    •  shann - I have yet to read anything from (0+ / 0-)

      a tax professional who thinks Romney has ever done anything that is actually illegal. That's why people like Romney hire tax firms like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and have as many as 50 tax lawyers and CPAs working on each tax return (according to the Boston Globe).

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:30:53 PM PDT

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      •  VCLib, are you the best dkos troll? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WiseFerret, madhaus

        you seem to spend your time here trying to refute and deny anything that questions Rmoney and his enablers. I know you do it very subtly and generally use the old "?" question mark liberally but taken as a whole your time here seems to actually be an artful defense of Rmoney and other GOP crooks.

        I'm of the opinion that you are the #1 GOP troll on dkos and not only that you've been able to convince some kossacks you're actually "discussing" things with your undermining of people diaries and hijacking threads with questions.

        Plus your use of people names everytime irritates me no end.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:42:47 PM PDT

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        •  cacamp - as I have noted before (0+ / 0-)

          When I am answering a specific person I start with their "name" because in these long threads sometimes the original comment and the answer can be far apart.

          I just don't have the same view on these Romney tax issues as nearly everyone else at DKOS. I believe that no one has any patriotic, ethical, moral, or legal duty to pay more than the law requires. Wealthy people hire very skilled tax professionals who then have a fiduciary duty to minimize their client's tax liability. I haven't read anything here on DKOS, or anywhere else, that looks like illegal activity as it relates to Romney's taxes. I also have worked with (not for me personally) professionals at the national tax practice for PWC and respect their work. It's my view that they would not engage in illegal behavior for Romney, or any other client.

          I have a longer comment in this thread that includes a quote from Judge Learned Hand that states, in one short paragraph, my view on paying taxes. It's worth reading.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:12:05 PM PDT

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          •  VCLib, but you always protect the rightwingers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, madhaus

            For the past year you've made it your job to come on dkos and defend republicans in diary after diary. As I said you're subtle about what you do and don't go too far out on a limb so you can do what you're doing to my question i.e. present some bullshit logic on a specific question without really addressing the question about being, overall, a troll.

            It's you overall body of work here that I question not one specific comment in this diary. In this diary you're doing what you always do... argue the GOP side of the question. But in doing so for such a long time you've disrespected what the site and most kossacks are all about... defeating Rmoney, reelecting Obama and restoring the middle class.

            If you at some point took a position on the democratic side of a question I wouldn't question you, but you never do. It's an everyday, every diary thing with you to come on the GOP side of every question. I read you and to me you are the very best troll ever to work among us. You've done it for a very long time and lucky for you I'm not the owner because I'd have sent you packing a long time ago.

            America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

            by cacamp on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:53:51 PM PDT

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            •  I agree with you 100% that this poster is (0+ / 0-)

              not at all honest in her/his interactions with us, and will continue to call out said dishonesty and deceitfulness.  What's worse, this troll often implies expertise that s/he has never, ever, ever, ever demonstrated.  When you read a poster's body of work, you get a sense of what their background is and how authentic their knowledge is.  Not with VClib. This one tries as hard as Mitt Romney to hide its biography.

              It also has another Troll Tell.  Many of the trolls here use a blatant account name to claim they are what they aren't, e.g. placename-liberal term. But VClib is ambiguous.  S/he's been asked whether the lib is for liberal or libertarian, and has repeatedly refused to answer.

              Also note this poster doesn't comment on the politicians themselves, just on financial issues.  Why someone would come to a liberal politics site and not discuss support or opposition to any politicians is rather indicative of what we're dealing with here.

              In capitalist America, bank robs you!

              by madhaus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:37:57 AM PDT

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        •  The law is what the law is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          As far as I can tell, Vclib's has the tax law right.  We can debate what the law should be... and I think a strong argument can be made that someone like Romney, who sees it as fun to game the system, isn't the person to oversee changes in the law.

          But the law is what it is.  I wish it were different.  But it is not.  That doesn't make Vclib a troll.

          One would think that people would want to know what the law is so they can change it.

          •  yes, that works a few times (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, madhaus

            my complaint is that for a long, long time VICLib has defended Rmoney and the GOP in every financial diary that is put up. Of course one wants to know the truth and we want to change it. But VCLib argues every case on behalf of the GOP while I've never seen him argue on behalf of democrats or Obama.

            I may not convince those who don't read his comments as much as I do and in the end my criticism isn't any big thing since I'm just a powerless commenter here. But over this long election season I've come to believe VCLib is the very best troll dkos has ever had, bar none. It's an opinion. He certainly has one of us fooled.

            America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

            by cacamp on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:01:10 PM PDT

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            •  I lurk in all the tax diaries (0+ / 0-)

              Why? Because I do it for a living and because I have an interest, professioanl and scholarly, in tax policy.  VClib and a couple of others are fellow travelers.  I can say, uniformly, I've never seen a substantive tax comment of VClib's with which I disagree.  Unfortunately, the tax law being what it is, that doesn't fit the pre-existing narrative that many of us here want to see.  I'm sorry for that, but it doesn make VClib a troll or me a fool.

              Peace.

              •  Ok I can prove it's wrong (0+ / 0-)

                Because VClib claimed above that it never read anything here that looks like illegal actions wrt Romney's taxes.  That's a demonstrable Falsehood. Several nationally-known tax experts have weighed in on this topic and have been quoted saying the conversion of management fees to carried interest wouldn't stand up in an audit, or the stock in the IRA being issued at a low basis and earning 30x its value would also be a red flag.  There were other techniques mentioned as well that went "beyond aggressive." And of course, if he did take amnesty (and I would certainly bet ten thousand dollars that he did, given how the UBS holdings didn't show up in disclosure until 2010), then *by definition* he broke the law.

                You're being baffled by its bullshit because you are accepting its framing.  Its framing is usually deceptive.

                In capitalist America, bank robs you!

                by madhaus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:46:42 AM PDT

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                •  I'm not baffled (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  The problem is that there is a significant difference among (1) criminal tax fraud, (2) taking an aggressive but arguably supportable position on a tax return, and (3) making a mistake on your taxes.  They are all possibly "illegal" in that they do not necessarily comport with the tax code... but in reality, they are very different things.

                  If he had asses in a Swiss bank account and did not report them, then that is out and out tax fraud.  There is no legal position to support not reporting them.  The problem is there is a lot of conjecture and cirucumstance to indicate it is a possibility, but no proof that it did.  IF he did, then by definition he broke the law.  But the IF is still a big IF and in the absence of evidence you can't assume it.  That's the way the law works.  

                  On the carried interest, tax practitioners have an argument that supports the fee conversion.  Many tax experts - me among them, by the way (I'm on private boards with some of the very people you quote) - think that this argument is bad, its bad tax policy, and if litigated or such it would be a big loser.  But it hasn't been litigated.  There is no settled precedential law on this issue.  Scholars and practitioners debate in the literature, but the law is unclear.    It is an aggressive position, supported by some technical argument, therefore it is not criminal.  It may ultimately be found not to work they way that Romney thinks, and he will pay penalties and interest and rightfully so.  But it's not criminal tax fraud.

                  The IRA is a red flag.. which means we should look at it BUT it doesn't mean that there is anything illegal.  I suspect that what happened is certain assets were valued aggressively for purposes of putting them in the IRA, primarily because those assets were saddled with a lot of debt.  Valuation questions are common in the tax law... the vast majority of cases in the tax court are about valuation.  Valuation is a battle of experts.. he has his, the IRS has there, they settle in the middle.  Disagreements on valuation are not tax fraud.  If so, every individual who ever filed a gift or estate tax return would be subject to potential crimina tax fraud.  Again, the IRS may disagree, they may settle, they may litigate, and if he is wrong, he will pay penalties and interest.

                  I am not baffled by any bullshit.  I actually want to see evidence of wrong doings, not IF he did this, or red flags, or aggressive positions.  You are simply making assumptions that I am not willing to make in the absence of proof  .... other than the fact that he's a greedy asshole.  Unfortunately, that's not criminal either, although it should disqualify you from being president.

                  •  Elaine, thanks for this reply (0+ / 0-)

                    This is specific and addresses many of the instances mentioned in the article.  You're right, there isn't proof Mitt took amnesty.  But his complete refusal to release the 2009 and earlier returns is a big old honking red flag, given the appearance of the UBS account in the 2010 return when it was never mentioned in previous disclosures.

                    The bullshit here I am referring to isn't Mitt's (although he has plenty of bullshit as well).  It's VClib's.  S/he's so slippery I wonder if s/he's channeling Mitt.

                    In capitalist America, bank robs you!

                    by madhaus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:29:55 PM PDT

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          •  Thanks Elaine! (0+ / 0-)

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:16:07 PM PDT

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            •  How convenient (0+ / 0-)

              A poster I've never ever seen before pops in to defend you.  Isn't that something.

              In capitalist America, bank robs you!

              by madhaus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:47:39 AM PDT

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              •  She has been here at DKOS since 2005 (0+ / 0-)

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:40:17 PM PDT

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                •  So? (0+ / 0-)

                  Lots of deeply embedded longtime listener trolls here.  Date of joining proves nothing.

                  I am done engaging with you, VClib.  The purpose of this site is to elect more and better Democrats.  Your purpose here is to apologize for Republican arguments in the realm of finance and tax.  You dishonestly reframe things.  You derail conversations. You distract, distort, and discredit.  You hide your own background yet claim expertise you do not ever demonstrate. You flat out lie about common knowledge on politics by hiding and misdirection. You refuse to answer basic questions about your motives, background, or knowledge.

                  I will call out your slimy techniques wherever I see them. If I reply to you, it is in aid of informing the audience, not to persuade you.  You are not what you claim to be and deserve to be called out for the disrupter you are.

                  And every time I see you jumping a tip jar I will call you out again.  Folks, consider hiding this troll on sight.

                  In capitalist America, bank robs you!

                  by madhaus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:38:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Really. (0+ / 0-)

                    I've been here forever.  I live blogged the election in Indiana when where took over 3 hour seats.  I was at Democratic HQ when they called it for Baron Hill.  At that time, I got to meet many of the posters that are from Indiana.  I had drinks with Kos in Bloomington IN, for heaven's sake.. we both went to BU Law.

                    I am not and never had been a troll.  I'm sorry you don't like the fact that I may disagree with you, but that doesn't make me a troll and it doesn't make VClib one either.  

                    •  Elaine, I don't know enough about you to (0+ / 0-)

                      question your motives, but honestly, I've been here since 2004 and I never noticed you before.  That could very well be because I didn't read all the state or local races. If you say you worked at Dem HQ during an important race then that's good enough for me, and I humbly apologize for questioning your intentions.

                      But VClib is very clearly here to disrupt us, and I'm not the only kog to come to this conclusion.  Tell me, how many of his/her comments have you read?  This is something that becomes clearer with more exposure.  Have you ever seen him/her enthusiastically support a Democratic candidate?  Have you ever seen him/her post on a financial/tax topic and not take the side of the corporation or the Republican?  If you noticed someone posting pro-corporation, pro-Romney, and pro-finacier talking points (some of which have been discredited multiple times) over and over and over and over and over and over and OVER, wouldn't you begin to wonder what someone like that was doing on Daily Kos?

                      What if I told you that this poster repeatedly (as in dozens of times) claimed that the Bain model did not make money on firms that went bankrupt?  What if I told you this soi-disant corporate finance/tax expert then claimed s/he meant the investors in Bain funds, not the partners... when the context has always been how Mitt Romney made money with Bain?

                      Look at this diary.  It's about a kick-ass Rolling Stone piece, which goes into great detail about tax-avoidance techniques used by Romney.  Does VClib, who claims to be some kind of finance/tax expert (who won't tell us exactly what kind of expert, but insists s/he is one and that we should accept this without any proof whatsoever) go into the meat of the article and explain what is and isn't reasonable?  NO.  What s/he does is seize on tiny little pieces of the article, question them, and attempt to move the discussion away from where it was going.  If I had a corporate tax background and saw an article like this with some bad assumptions, I'd respond to the article, not take little sashays at commenters who discuss tiny little pieces of it, trying to convince them their little piece is in error.

                      That is why I claim s/he's a troll.

                      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

                      by madhaus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:13:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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