Robert J. Samuelson: Defending his past will test Mitt's political skills

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 18, 2012 10:52 p.m.


    I"m sure you pay more taxes than Romney, and where's the Harvard transcripts? The president doesn't even know how many states are in the country.

    Our country went a hundred thirty seven years without income taxes. It's a scam that's making beggars of our people and destroying our country.

    A ten percent fee on imports is all our government needs to run on.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:35 p.m.

    romney enterd politics after making money in the private sector. obama, gingrich, santorum and perry all had average money before entering politics and now they all have millions. do i want a president that makes his money in office or one that made it before? i say there is only one choice, romney! all the others are the problem, get rid of them.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 2:10 p.m.

    'I'm sure the IRS has seen them.' - worf | 11:03 p.m. Jan. 17, 2012 (Romney's tax records)

    What a horrible double standard.

    When Dr. Chiyome Fukino verified she had seen Obama's birth certificate...

    not once...

    not twice....

    but THREE TIMES!

    "I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen."
    - Hawaii: Obama birth certificate is real - USA Today - 07/28/09 - By Dan Nakaso, The Honolulu Advertiser

    It 'wasn't enough.'

    Obama had to get a Hawaiian exception, and release his 'long form' birth certificate...more than x2 years LATER.

    And now, conservatives are 'sure' that Romney is fine.

    If you cannot adhere when people you the same tactics YOU use...

    maybe you shouldn't hope our country 'fails.'

    **'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails - By Faiz Shakir - Think Progress - 01/20/09

    "Limbaugh told his listeners (sic) So Im thinking of replying to the guy, Okay, Ill send you a response, but I dont need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Are you kidding me?

    "When will we see his tax records?

    I'm sure the IRS has seen them. Try to be more legit."

    Lets roll back the clock here about all these claims for being open to share everything - how everything will be out there unlike our current President...

    And yet, the State of Hawaii from the beginning claimed the birth certificates was legit.... and you all still were not happy. Harvard has validated that Obama was the head of his call... and you all were not happy.

    But now, we get "I'm sure the IRS has seen them. Try to be more legit.".... the lack of a response means that everything must be ok for Romney. How things are different if you are a white middle aged Republican. Same level of scrutiny not required evidently.

    And the most ironic thing is that it was Mit's own dad who set the precedent by releasing 12 years of returns when he ran.

    The good thing we do know now is that Mit does have something in common with the poor - he pays in the lowest tax bracket and pays no social security tax because it was all from "investments" .

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Democrats who criticize Romney's involvement with Bain Capital are either very niave or hypocrites. They praised Obama for bailing out Chrysler and GM but the first things they did after taking over those struggling companies is to consolidate them by down sizing and closing thousands of dealerships, elimating less profitable Pontiac and Oldsmobile divisions. Thousands of people lost their jobs during this process. I am waiting for a TV ad interviewing even one of those poor people who Obama threw out of a job by his "vulture capitalism". By the way, when will tax payers see an accounting of exacly who received the bailout money, especially who got it at Chrysler and GM? We will NEVER know the answer to that, because Democrats do not want YOU to know how much of your money the UAW got in a payment for their votes!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:03 p.m.

    one old man | 8:21 a.m. Jan. 17, 2012
    Ogden, UT

    >When will we see his tax records?"

    I'm sure the IRS has seen them. Try to be more legit.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    @Invisible Hand
    "So I still don't see why his taxes are relevant to anything (unless he did something illegal)."

    Romney pays roughly the income + payroll tax rate (remember only a small percentage of his income is subject to payroll taxes since it's capped at affecting only the first ~120k) as I do and I only make very slightly more than the poverty rate. That's fine, it's how the tax code is set up and I assume he did nothing illegal. Here's where it does matter. The Republicans, and Romney have been pushing this idea that the job creators (read: rich) are overburdened with taxes and regulations and that they're carrying the tax load for those freeloaders. I I'm paying the same rates as Romney is, and his tax plan increases taxes on the poor and cuts it for the rich, then I think it's perfectly valid to point to his tax returns and say this is nonsense. He's not overburdened with taxation. The poor are paying practically the same levels as he is; the middle class is paying more. Why would we want or need his tax plan that provides ~140k in tax cuts to each millionaire?

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Jan. 17, 2012 5:53 p.m.

    OUR success is hardly guaranteed, as Romney's experience shows. More than four years after the United States fell into recession, many Americans have resorted to raiding their savings to get them through the stop-start economic recovery. (Like the run on the Banks that caused the Great Depression in the 20's that lasted into 1945). In an ominous sign for America's economic growth prospects, workers are paring back contributions to college funds and growing numbers are borrowing from their retirement accounts. Some policymakers worry that a recent spike in credit card usage could mean that people, many of whom are struggling on incomes that have lagged inflation, are taking out new debt just to meet the costs of day-to-day living. American households have been spending recently in a way that did not seem in line with income growth. So somehow they've been doing that through perhaps additional credit card usage. Just as Americans used to borrow against the value of their homes before the property crash, now many are taking out loans from their 401(k) retirement savings plans.

    I told you I would tell you the truth about "the anointed one" Mitt Romney.

    My truthful views.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    Bain Capital and Romney, raided companies with the only intention of making money and closing them down. Leving tax payers in one case to foot the bill for 44 million in pension payments. Romney isnt president, and never will be, but he has run up defecits. He is a fraud, and a clown. OBAMA 2012

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    I'm going ask, in the vain of Newt Gingrich, about these businesses that failed, who cares? Is that Bain's Capital fault? Is it Romney's fault? If I understand things right, these companies were going under anyway. End of story. It's called capitalism.

    Like Newt did with Juan's questions, Romney needs to stand up and with conviction say something like this. "It's private enterprise. Sometimes businesses fail, sometimes people lose jobs. Sometimes businesses prosper, sometimes jobs are gained."

  • Peter Piper. Houston, TX
    Jan. 17, 2012 3:30 p.m.

    What Mitt is capable of is exactly what he is accused of. Entering an organization and making it more effecient... and that does mean cutting jobs... likely starting with government agencies and that will trickle down to government contractors. Sounds like he has the exact skillset to do just what conservatives want... smaller government.

    It is NOT the governments purpose to provide jobs. That is the objective is more socialist/communist governments... One purpose of democratic capatalist government is to create an environment where individuals / businesses can generate profits and return value to shareholders.

    Regarding his income taxes... If all my income came from investments, my tax rate would be 15% too. This tax rate applies to all who are willing to invest. Those who invest wisely can become wealthy.

    If Mitt cannot turn these accusations to his favor... then maybe he isn't the man for the job.

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 3:25 p.m.

    @one old man: I agree that we should all pay the same tax rate. But you can't fault Romney for paying 15%. It's not his fault the tax code gives him that advantage. He's just playing by the rules. So I still don't see why his taxes are relevant to anything (unless he did something illegal).

    What is relevant is he could use his tax information to demonstrate why we need a major tax code overhaul. Romney should use this silly interest in his taxes to focus attention on what should be a major campaign issue: tax reform.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:55 p.m.

    Romney has a great background to fix government. If he said he was going to come in, fix the tax code, increase tax revenues, cut the defense department, fix Medicare...etc., he would clearly be the right guy for the job.

    But saying he'll do things as president that will cause the unemployment rate to go down is a different story. His actual proposals have to do with causing the rich to get richer, with only a vague hope that the rich getting even richer will trickle down to more jobs for the rest of us.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    @one old man
    Romney acknowledged today that his income tax rate is probably closer to 15%.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    "See, simple math is difficult. 77-14 = 63 or 90% success. Even with my error"

    Um... 63/77 is not 90%, it's 82%.

    This isn't difficult, when you read that 22% failed, you think 'roughly 1 in 5 failed' or 'about 1 in 4 failed' (depending on if you want to round up or down). You don't think 22 out of 77 failed and if you do then you just stink at math and that probably helps explains why people believe tax cuts lead to revenue increases.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    Invisible -- The tax return is important for what it will show, whether or not he cheated. It will show us that most of his income is from investments. Because it is from investments, you will discover that he pays a much lower percentage of total income than ordinary Americans pay.

    Why? Isn't this supposed to be a land of equal opportunity and responsibility? Why should anyone be paying a lower effective tax rate than anyone else? Aren't we all equal as citizens -- or are some more equal than others?

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    If Mitt presides (presidential) like he managed, then it seems probable that he would streamline government aand subsidized industry (ie, downsize, reduce jobs). He would likely streamline the military, since it is such a large component of our bureaucracy. Defense-dependent industries and contractors would be affected (ie, downsize, reduce jobs).

    These ideas are aligned with true conservative principles.

    Do YOU think he'll do those conservative things with government. Now, let's be honest.

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    @One old man: Why is the tax return so important? So you can say "Aha, I told you he was rich"? Do you think he cheated on his taxes? I don't get why it's relevant.

    Conservatives believe that we need to downsize government. So it seems like electing a guy who knows how to fire people would be a good thing. How can conservatives criticize him for that?

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    See, simple math is difficult. 77-14 = 63 or 90% success. Even with my error, Bain looks better than the author would have us believe. Nobody succeeds in business 90% of the time, except Las Vegas, and we love those guys without complaint.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    @one old man:

    When it is customary to diclose them, around April before an election. This question is as inane as, "when will we see his birth certificate?"

    Neither question has merit. Stop looking for ghosts.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:49 a.m.

    Let's see if I got this right?

    According to the author, of the 77 companies purchased by Bain, 22% ultimately failed.

    First: The author uses a common "how to lie with statistics" tactic to make it appear that the failures were higher than they actually were. There actually is a book in print which teaches how to do this.

    Makes it sound like 22 firms failed, when simple math will tell you that only 14 failed. That means that 55 prospered, whereas nearly 55 were failing before being reorganized, a net improvement of significant note. (do your own research.)

    Second: 80% of the reorganized businesses succeeded, an astonishing number if you know anything at all about rates of failure in business. When sports stars and teams go 8/10, we call them dynasties. If a batter hit 8/10, he'd get $100M a year. Puhols just got $25M for the next 10 years, and he is only 3 in 10.

    Why is it always more attractive to throw stones than to build with them. Bain Capital hit 8/10. If the Federal Government went 8/10 we'd have no debt and a flourishing economy. Hmmmm....

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    When will we see his tax records?

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 5:24 a.m.

    I'd like to see a legitimate rebuttal to a cusory fact-check on highly-moral Mr. Romney. I know it won't come.