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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gives a statement to reporters gathered at Middlesex Truck and Coach after he toured the facility during a campaign event in Roxbury, Massachusetts July 19, 2012. REUTERS
"Get your mitts off my IRA! I builtexploited those loopholes with my own hands!"
Individual Retirement Accounts were designed as a tax-free way for middle-class Americans to plan for their retirement. The annual contribution limit is $6,000, but somehow Mitt Romney managed to to build his IRA into a $100+ million treasure chest. Without specifically naming Romney, House Democrats are saying they want a review of the loopholes that someone like Mitt Romney would need to exploit in order to generate such a massive amount of tax-free wealth in an IRA:
Now top Democrats on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Education and Workforce Committees want to know how people of Romney’s wealth can end up with 100,000 times that much money in a single IRA, and how much the tax and investment strategies they employ cost the Treasury in revenue every year.

In a letter Thursday to senior officials at the Treasury and Labor departments, Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) want to know: Is this legal? How easy is this strategy to get away with? How much does it cost the government every year? And what can be done to end the practice?

“[W]e are alarmed to learn that wealthy taxpayers may be taking advantage of a tax subsidy that is designed to provide for retirement to instead accumulate massive amounts of tax-sheltered assets,” the lawmakers write. “Given your commitment to the rule of law and equitable treatment of taxpayers, we hope that you will evaluate this issue carefully to ensure that a select few are not being provided with a loophole that allows for wrongful tax evasion.”

Even if Romney broke no laws, the stated purpose of IRAs certainly is not to allow people like him to build $100+ million fortunes without paying any taxes, so at a minimum he exploited a loophole to gain an unintended benefit. That in itself isn't an attractive quality in a president, but Romney doesn't just want to game the system, he wants to preserve the system that he gamed.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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