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There's a lot left to discover about Mitt's taxes -- especially his offshore accounts and his more than double Madoff-type returns on his IRA.  Mitt and his surrogates are swearing up and down that everything he did was completely legal.

But even if Mitt's offshore, IRA and other tactics are legal, isn't the other important question

Should they be legal?
If elected, would Romney work to eliminate the kinds of legal tax advantages that he uses now? Mitt is defending his tax schemes solely on the basis that they are "legal." But his tax proposals contain little or nothing to limit the ways in which he has (we assume for now) legally saved millions.

For example, does he agree with Obama's plan to

Change rules allowing U.S. companies to defer taxes on overseas profits until the future, even as they take deductions on foreign expenses now.

Reduce the credit firms get for paying taxes to other countries.

Compel companies to acknowledge their offshore subsidiaries for tax purposes.

Have foreign financial institutions share information they have on offshore bank accounts.

The answer is No.  Romney would not only keep the provisions that enabled him to save hundreds of millions in taxes, he would expand them.  For example:
Romney has proposed to overhaul the tax system so that the foreign profits of U.S. firms aren’t taxed in the United States, even when repatriated.

Unlike Obama, Romney has not offered proposals to eliminate the deductibility of moving expenses for outsourcing jobs or provide tax incentives for insourcing.

As Josh Marshall writes today:
Having vast wealth and aggressively working the law and tax code to avoid taxes is a very different thing if your policy agenda is geared almost entirely to benefit the super wealthy. If you’re a gazillionaire and your main pitch is to cut taxes on gazillionaires that’s just gonna put a bit more emphasis on your wealth. This logic should not be difficult to grasp.
So while we're waiting and demanding more disclosure from Romney, I would love for at least some journalists to ask Romney whether he thinks the ways he saved taxes with offshore accounts should continue to be legal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 12:27:20 PM PDT

  •  It could all be perfectly (3+ / 0-)

    legal - that's not really the point.  It's finding out someone worth $250 million pays an effective tax rate that is half (maybe even less) of what a middle class person pays.  It's the fairness.

    •  That's essentially my point (3+ / 0-)

      even if it's legal, should it be.  And Romney should be asked that question.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 01:10:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Upper West - US tax policy for foriegn earnings (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, leftynyc

        are currently out of sync with all the other developed countries. The President's proposal would make the US tax policy  even more out touch with the rest of the world.  

        "Romney has proposed to overhaul the tax system so that the foreign profits of U.S. firms aren’t taxed in the United States, even when repatriated."

        This is how all the other members of the G20 deal with earning of their companies outside of their borders. Why should the US be different?  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 02:03:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent point, assuming they are legal, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West

    should they be?  And I would love to hear Obama ask this of rMoney if and when they debate.  

    He is running for President of the entire country, not just his elite wealthy greedy friends who want more zeros in their portfolios.  

    I'm guessing the average tax payer will not be impressed with the shenanigans used by the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of taxes---legal or not.

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 01:45:52 PM PDT

  •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West

    Jon Stewart put it best.

    He showed a clip of Romney defending his 14% tax rate thus "I don't think Americans want their president to pay more taxes than he owes."

    Replied Stewart:

    "No.  But we do want a president who thinks it [14% tax on gazillionaire] is wrong."

    And you don't have to ask Willard that question (which I predict he will answer something like "Obama promised a chicken in every pot!  yesterday, I got a pheasant.")

    There is tape of him some years ago being asked if he favored keeping the loophole that allows hedge fund gazillionaires to pay 14% tax rates (it was being debated in Congress, and lobbyists got it killed).  He said he was all for the loophole.

    Now what you want some intrepid journalist asking is, "Mitt, do you still favor that loophole?  And doesn't the public have a right to see your tax returns, to they can see what other advantages have been written into the tax code for wealthy people like you?  So they can ask you if, as president, that's the kind of tax policy you will perpetuate?"

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