Is Mitt Romney over?
Romney On Controversial Fundraiser Remarks
Pirate Capitalist Romney vs The Average Joe
It used to be politicians presented themselves as being just average folks, part of the American middle class or, as in the case of a rich guy like FDR, at least understanding the needs of the middle class and working people. The idea that a rich donor might give money to a candidate’s campaign and then expect that candidate to vote their way was shocking. It was considered bribery. In 1952, when Senator Richard Nixon was running for Vice President, Democrats pointed out that he’d taken $18,000 – around $150,000 in today’s money – from some fatcats donors. Americans were so shocked by the allegation that Nixon had to go on national television to address them. It was his second most famous speech of all time, right behind his “I am not a crook” speech, as he tried to reassure Americans that he would never, ever cast a vote in a particular way or enrich himself because of his position as a senator.
We also liked candidates who were “average people” or at least could understand average people. Harry Truman drove back to Missouri and lived in a modest home until his death. Jimmy Carter walked to his inaugural, as the Washington Post noted right afterwards: “But what undoubtedly will be most remembered about Jimmy Carter’s inauguration was that long walk from the Capitol to the executive mansion. It took him 40 minutes to cover the mile-and-a-half. As he walked along, with Amy prancing, jumping and dancing along at his side, he was shattering recent presidential practice and legend-the idea that a President must be remote and removed from the people.” After he left the White House, Carter chose not to get rich but instead to build Habitat For Humanity houses and work for world peace. Even Richard Nixon knew how important it was to seem like an average American when running for public office –
Then came Reagan and “greed is good” with lavish inaugaural ball – costing millions, paid for by millionaires and billionaires. It was beamed by satellite to 100 cities where other rich people had parallel Reagan inaugural balls.To paraphrase John Steinbeck, after the Reagan era, American working class people began to believe they’re merely temporarily inconvenienced millionaires. And so today we have a quarter-billionaire, Mitt Romney, who refuses to reveal the last decade of his tax returns or the full details of his net wealth, although Vanity Fair has found that he has bank and brokerage accounts in a variety of tax havens. That Includes an account in Bermuda – the value of which was not disclosed in tax returns. It also includes $30 million stashed away in the Cayman Islands – where there are no taxes.
Then There’s the 3 million tucked away in a Swiss bank Account. And Romney also has an undisclosed amount of money sitting in bank accounts in Luxembourg and Ireland as well. Devin Dwyer of ABC News notes that what little we do know about Romney’s efforts to hide his wealth both from the American people and from the IRS are pretty surprising: “The company in question – Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. – is described by government financial documents as “a Bermuda corporation wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney.” Yet, as both Vanity Fair and the Associated Press note in new reports, it has never appeared on the candidate’s financial disclosure forms. Limited details on its existence only recently came to light when Romney released his 2010 tax return under public pressure.”