Monday, October 15, 2012

Reagan Budget Director Calls Romney the Businessman Shady At Best

David Stockman, Director of Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan White House, had this to say about Mitt Romney's business record:

"Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way—out of inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market fostering a new product, service, or process of production. Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale—the faster the better. That is the modus operandi of the leveraged-buyout business, and in an honest free-market economy, there wouldn’t be much scope for it because it creates little of economic value."

Here's Stockman's full article at Newsweek/the Daily Beast. He characterizes Romney as The Great Deformer because of the way his financial manipulations built nothing and helped deform the American economy.

From Rolling Stone, there's this new article about the ways Mitt Romney evaded taxes, by hiding his money offshore. Every tax dollar he evaded was either paid by ordinary working people or will be paid by the children of ordinary working people.

Why has Romney been so secretive about his taxes? The reason might be more damning than you think.

"On his 2010 tax return, Romney disclosed that his wife Ann's trust held $3 million in a Swiss bank account at UBS, which had just been busted by the IRS for abetting criminal tax evasion by U.S. citizens. As part of a $780 million settlement, UBS was forced to turn over the names of thousands of its long-secret clients, who were then offered a partial amnesty: disclose their hidden assets, pay penalties and avoid prosecution. Romney – who had omitted the Swiss account on previous financial disclosures – suddenly came clean. Did he reveal his secret account to avoid prosecution for tax evasion? "He's not quite denied that," says Daniel Shaviro, a professor of tax law at NYU. The record of paying an IRS penalty on the Swiss account could explain why Romney has been so determined to keep his 2009 tax return under wraps."

But it's not the lies and evasions about his taxes that worry me most. It's his lies about OUR taxes. Romney has not been honest. His numbers don't add up. (They don't multiply or divide either.) Don't take my word for it. Listen to the Economist magazine, the Bible of the global economy and hardly a liberal Obama-loving publication. (They do believe and trust Obama's honesty though).

The Economist:

"It's the sheer tomfoolery that gets me. Mr Romney knows his numbers don't work, but he keeps insisting with bald-faced insouciance that they do, and using the most transparent used-car-salesman-style obfuscation to evade the question. He pulled exactly the same stunt during his debate with Barack Obama last week. Mr Obama charged that Mr Romney planned tax cuts of $5 trillion, and that his proposed limits on deductions could never make up for them. Mr Romney said the $5 trillion figure was wrong because it didn't include the limits on deductions. This kind of sophomoric mathematical double-talk wouldn't have fooled investors in Mr Romney's Bain Capital funds for a second. It does seem to be fooling a fair number of journalists and voters, though."

Why? Apparently because Romney appears "confident", "sure of himself". Confidence is key to success as a con man. Romney is a classic of the Con Man type. Handsome, breezy, evasive, cheerful, charming, dishonest, dangerous to know.

"Confidence Man": One who gains the trust, or "confidence", of his victims (often called "marks" in order to manipulate, steal from, or otherwise predate upon them. (U.S. slang, late 1800s)


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