A single year

A single year’s tax return information for Romney exceeds 500 pages.  Which is not surprising given the complexities of his assets and the income they generate.  Yet, again, he seems oblivious to the idea that this underscores the difference between the Romneys and regular folks.  You know, the people who have to make decisions about how to budget a finite amount of money every year, or month, or week. For many, those decisions are hard ones, because there isn’t enough of that finite money to cover everything. For many, the tricky part of their bank account is keeping enough money in it to avoid overdraft penalties while actually paying all or most of their bills.

Yet the Romney family had Swiss bank account in his wife’s name from 2003 until 2010.  It would seem that among the Romney’s tricky challenges of bank accounts was repatriating the funds before it was politically awkward.  Too late; many of us are old enough to remember when a “Swiss bank account” was the hallmark of the ultra wealthy, mainly because the Caribbean tax havens hadn’t been created yet.  Of course another tricky part could have been repatriating those Swiss funds before things got awkward legally – the timing is suspicious in that regard.

Worth emphasis, again, is that the public discomfort with this isn’t envy, it’s about the inequity. Or, as Elizabeth Warren put it plainly:

Mitt Romney pays fourteen percent of income in taxes, and people who get out there and work for a living pay twenty five, twenty eight, thirty, thirty three percent. I get it. Mitt Romney gets a better deal than any of the rest of us, because he manages to earn his income in a way that has been specially protected for rich folks. I think that’s wrong.1

It’s not about envy – it’s about equity.  This isn’t hard stuff.   And it really isn’t fair that the system is rigged to favor the people with that kind of money.  But as more information is uncovered from the (completely inadequate) tax record release, it could get more interesting.


1 Quotation can be found here




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