Sunday, August 05, 2012

Mitt Romney's blind spot on his own wealth

It must be clear at this point, to anyone paying attention that Mitt Romney has a blind spot when it comes to his own wealth.

Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson Thinks Romney has a problem being wealthy. Not only is he uncomfortable by any discussion of his wealth, but he often seems oblivious to how his wealth separates him for working Americans.

Ann's 'couple of Cadillacs', multiple millions in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, $100M IRA, his buddies, the Nascar owners' and his disdains for Nascar fans in plastic ponchos and most recently Ann's dancing horse, Rafalca, one of Ann's many 'Austrian Warmbloods' Mitt tells us she prefers.

But in a sense, Rafalca belongs to all of us.  In 2010, Mitt took a $77,000 tax deduction for the care of their horses.

Carlson sees this deduction as just another example of Mitt's cluelessness,   
A presidential candidate who takes a huge tax deduction for such an elitist sport exhibits a cluelessness bordering on contempt. Romney has argued that dressage helps his wife’s multiple sclerosis. That’s all to the good, but dressage is to therapeutic horseback riding as caviar is to Spam.

Romney supporters know to dismiss as envious anyone who highlights the peculiarities of the candidate’s wealth. Most of them undoubtedly understand that his success is not the issue. The source of resentment is that Romney plays by different rules. He says he pays the taxes he legally owes and “not a penny more.”

That’s probably true. The investor class has shoehorned complicated loopholes into the tax code, keeping a flotilla of accountants busy sheltering their wealth from the U.S. Treasury.
This really does get to the crux of the matter.

No one really cares that Mitt Romney is wealthy. The problem is that he has so richly benefited from a system and tax code rigged in his favor -- in favor of all those fabulously wealthy -- that allows them to avoid paying the same taxes as wage earning Americans. And Mitt adds insult to injury because while he defends his right to $77,000 dancing horse deductions and a 13.9% income tax rate, he shows only disdain for working people and retirees who want government perks not for dancing horses but things like health care, medicine and food.

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