Monday, July 16, 2012

Catnip 7/16/12: The Baining of America


The summit of Mount Diablo. Pretty. 1000 px here.

Bain, Bain, Bain, taxes, Bain....

Bain timeline. Mother Jones went all out on this one, take a look. The New York Times also has a nice write-up on the story so far. And we haven't even gotten to the campaign bundlers yet.

CNN reports that Romney once called on his 2002 gubernatorial opponent Shannon O'Brien to release tax information when it served his campaign purposes, but at the same time refused to release his own. Different set of rules for Mitt, that's just how he rolls.

Bain privatized profits and socialized losses. "He did so, in large part, through heavy use of tax-deductible debt, usually to finance outsized dividends for the firm’s partners and investors. When some of the investments went bad, workers and creditors felt most of the pain. Romney privatized the gains and socialized the losses." It's the Republican Way.

35 Questions Romney needs to answer about Bain before it goes away. Nice thought (for Mitt) about "going away", but something tells me those answers will only lead to more questions, so don't hold your breath waiting for answers.

Shiny VP object! Coming this week! And rumor has it that it's going to be Pawlenty or Portman, and then America will be so bored they will just fall asleep and forget all about the Bain issue. Good luck with that.

Thomas Edsall takes on the meritocratic elite in the New York Times, explaining how the wealthy have already gamed the system for their benefit, and how Mitt Romney is their man to continue (and enhance!) those policies. Nugget: "Not only would Romney’s tax, regulatory and spending proposals reinforce the leverage over public policy now exercised by the affluent, but he would leave untouched the post-Citizens United campaign finance regime that gives corporations, unions and billionaires unlimited opportunities to shape election outcomes." Unions? Don't be silly. The numbers so far: Romney and conservative groups have spent $125 million, liberal groups, $35.2 million.

Comparing tax plans. Call it "The Baining of America." Krugman has a great column showing how the personal reflects the policy, ties in with the story above. After pulling out a chart over the weekend that was drawn up in March that shows how Romney would slash taxes for the wealthiest among us and increase taxes on the poor, the professor comes to this conclusion: "Thus the entirely true charge that Mr. Romney wants to slash historically low tax rates on the rich even further dovetails perfectly with his own record of extraordinary tax avoidance — so extraordinary that he’s evidently afraid to let voters see his tax returns from before 2010." Greg Sargent takes a look at Obama's tax plan in a pretty chart, and shows it barely makes a dent in the wealth of the 1%.

Dems are ready to play hardball on taxes and the "fiscal cliff." No, really.

American voters want to cut defense spending, even when it benefits their own districts. Neither party wants to go as far as the public on this one.

Turns out those GOP governors aren't opposed to more government spending for Medicaid - they just want the money up front in unmarked bills so they can decide which one of their rich campaign contributors will benefit from those federal tax dollars. "Block grants" has become code for "no accountability" - just give them the cash, whether or not they spend it on what it is intended for is none of your taxpayer business.

Says a lot about the state of the Republican Party when they are afraid to let their rising stars speak at their own convention for fear of all the crazy coming out at once and parading around in front of the American people.

Are we having fun yet? Off to face the world...