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Thursday, August 09, 2012

More evidence for the Huntsman/Reid theory

Is there an independent source for the rumor that Jon Hunstman is Reid's source on the Romney "no tax" allegation?
A reader emailed me a little while ago, asking me if I’d heard the rumor that Harry Reid’s source for his statement that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years is none other than Jon Huntsman. Yeah, that Huntsman. The same Jon Huntsman who called Romney “dishonest” during the Republican primary campaign,  and who still hasn’t endorsed Mitt Romney, fellow Republican and fellow Mormon. It makes you wonder….
In point of fact, Huntsman did endorse Romney. Politico called it "a cold embrace." Apparently, Huntsman was hoping that his rival would offer jobs to some suddenly-unemployed Huntsman campaign staffers. But the Romney camp made no such offer...
But the real obstacle, another Romney source explained: “You help your friends,” which the two are most certainly not.
Huntsman’s endorsement was chilly...
A month later, Huntsman was talking about the need for a third party...!

Is it possible...? Even I have had a difficult time accepting the possibility that Romney paid no taxes for the better part of a decade. I've presumed that the tax bill was surprisingly tiny, and that Reid's source, in a bit of jolly hyperbole, rounded that low figure down to zero. However, this excellent piece demonstrates that rich people do indeed have ways of offering zilch to Mr. Tax Man...
John Paulson, the most successful hedge-fund manager of all, bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made himself $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero.
Frank and Jamie McCourt, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers, have not paid any income taxes since at least 2004, their divorce case revealed. Yet they spent $45 million one year alone. How? They just borrowed against Dodger ticket revenue and other assets. To the IRS, they look like paupers.

In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.
One reader wrote to this blog arguing that, even if Reid is right, this brouhaha amounts to nothing, since Romney no doubt stayed within the law. I'm sure he did. But if more Americans understood how the law works, they would demand change.
"But if more Americans understood how the law works, they would demand change."

I know you are serious, but it's a funny statement to me after the 2008 election.
First of all, 2008 was not about tax policy.

In a more general sense, the American people DID want change in 2008. They didn't get it -- not to anywhere near the degree they expected. That's why Obama entered this election season with a pissed-off and dispirited base.

The base finally rallied to his cause, not because Obama became more attractive but because the Republicans were and are weird, frightening and just plain unlikable.

I mean, moreso than usual.
The punishment for a bait and switch president is a somewhat disheartened base. Well no need to worry the next one wont do it.

Out with a couple of absurdly rich relatives last night -( I am literally the poor relation). One of them (who was a big fan of GWB) is rooting for Obama. His reasoning? Obama will continue to maintain the sickly status quo. Romney might be dumb enough to try some more austerity/supply side nonsense. If you thought the last election was bad seem what happens this time if he tries that.

Me personally, I think its all good at this stage. A working class American is screwed. Totally screwed even if Obama is elected. Your only hope at this point is to discredit the ideology of austerity and cut backs.

I know its not much of a chance but I dont really see another.

And after Obama? You will just have delayed the inevitable for one term. Better to break the system now.

You nailed it. Would not be surprised to find out that the Romneys legally paid close to zero in federal income tax. They are the poster children for tax reform.
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