Romney’s Odd Definition of ‘Not Following the Law’
I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.
— Mitt Romney, speaking to ABC’s David Muir, July 29, 2012
Sooo … Romney sees no difference between committing a crime—tax evasion—and consciously choosing to not employ every tax dodge conceivably available in order to barely skirt the line of legally.
And he thinks people wouldn’t want a president who chooses not to do the latter.
I keep arguing that Obama should take this guy at his word—okay, his words—that he can’t distinguish between apples, oranges and elephants, and regularly conflates two or three obviously distinct facts or concepts. And that maybe this isn’t really guy to get the economy moving on a faster track, or the guy to make commander in chief.
I’d say Romney just admitted that he is not qualified to be president based on his 2011 taxes. He paid more in taxes than he needed to..
stop being so logical.
i don’t like Romney any better than you do. maybe less.
but “following the law” to get all the tax breaks you are entitled to (hah… is that an entitlement?) seems perfectly okay to me. i do it myself. i may think the law is stupid and aggravating. would prefer a simple graduated tax myself. but as long as we live in the world we live in, we need to be at least reasonably careful to protect our own interests.
i do draw the line at hurting people and dogs, but i shed no tears for the taxman.
Coberly, the issue isn’t whether you think there’s a problem with Romney’s tax avoidance as long as it complied with the law, but instead whether you think there would be a problem with a decision by a very wealthy person to not go to extreme lengths, albeit lengths within the law, to avoid paying higher taxes.
The term “compliance with the law” normally means staying within the law—i.e., not breaking the law. Romney claims that term means instead both not breaking the law and not doing something beyond the minimum required by law. Is that what you think it means, too? And do you think that a decision to go beyond the minimum required by law renders someone incompetent to be president?
Tax evader, wouldn’t “voluntarily” contribute of what O. W. Holmes said was paying for a civil society for the 100%. Applies tax evader ethic with his class. It is as if Caius Julius Caesar would not jonthe legions in Gaul! Or Octavian forgoing riunning his own legions to knock off Antony!
Romney has yet to cross the street to help the US government, who wants someone like that running it?
In 1968 he went to France to convert French people to Mormonism, about then 50,000 American men and women made the ultimate proof of their patriotism.
Wild definition of patriotism.
Nothing about serving and protecting except maybe for the .1%.
beverly and ilsm
be careful about reading into what i am saying.
i don’t like Romney. I suspect he did break the law. I am sure he and his friends wrote the law, so if he did not break it he is still not an honest man.
your logic is so convoluted i can’t quite follow it. i don’t know that Romney means to be saying that if he did not exploit every loophole he would be wrong in the eyes of his followers. it is entirely conceivable, given who they are, that he would be.
all i said was that given what the law is, i cannot be outraged at someone. who exploits it to the fullest. i can argue for changes in the law.
well, maybe convoluted isn’t the word. trying too hard, maybe?
oh, hell, beverly
i read what he said again, and i am now having a hard time not reading it your way.
i think he may just be too stupid to realize what he said.
Romney released is 2011 tax returns. He paid $1.9 M in taxes (14%) and donated $4M to charity. Some tax cheat.
I missed that, Sammy. Where did Beverly say Romney was a tax cheat? Let’s see the quote.
The reality of Romney et al’s lives is that they prove society can never possibly write enough laws to assure responsibility.
Either the understanding of to whom or what one is responsible for is present by the time they are considered an adult and thus receive all of the rights and privilages that go with adulthood or it is not.
This is the letter of the law vs the intent of the law. I had assumed rulings by judges was how the people learned the intent. But, with so many lawyers voicing their understanding of law as the letter…I’m believing to many people went to law school not to server the law, but to learn how to have the law serve them.
To many of those people are now sitting judges.
Sammy, more correctly Romney paid $1.9 million in federal income taxes, and had $5.7 million in itemized deductions. The latter includes charity, investment interest (payments to three family trusts), state and local taxes, and job expenses (partnership, S corporation and estate and trust).
Most Americans do not deduct their charitable contributions on their federal income tax form. They give anyway, without getting tax break for doing it.
but see, if you deduct it the government is paying for your charity. it’s a win win.
also, of course, you get to brag about R’s giving more to charity than D’s.
coberly, Wouldn’t we all love to find out from these guys/gals just what deductions they would eliminate if the decision were their’s alone? I mean would they admit that self interest contributes to perception of value?
Sammy, I’m confused. You seem to be saying that his income tax return for 2011, showing that he paid taxes at a rate of 14% for that year, shows that he did not initially hide income for several years before 2009 in his UBS account and then, in 2009, take advantage of the IRS’s temporary amnesty program to quietly pay the back taxes and civil penalties. So please explain how his 2011 tax return shows that he did not. Because, well, it’s just not clear to me how you draw that conclusion.
“I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.”
Romney is an oblivious moron. Because he is EXACTLY describing the FULLY LEGAL tax strategies of the overwhelming majority of the 47%. First you take your income and deduct your Standard and Personal deductions (a step I suspect RMoney takes as well). If your total income doesn’t exceed those vanilla deductions YOU DON’T OWE TAXES. And per RMoney would be some sort of incompetent chump IF YOU WENT AHEAD AND DID.
Now for a lot of lower income working folk this elementary 1040EZ strategy wouldn’t quite wipe out your entire tax burden. Instead you might have to LEGALLY claim such things as EITC or the Child Tax Care Credit. Which might well lower your LEGAL TAX OWED to ZERO. Or BELOW. Kind of like a bunch of Fortune 500 ‘People’ who get PERFECTLY LEGAL REFUNDS.
If reducing your tax burden via legal means to as close to zero as possible is tantamount to a minimum qualification for President then RMoney just gave a big ass shout out to those members of the retired population and working poor who know enough to find their way around a Form 1040 and its associated schedules and instructions. Because per Mitt those who successfully pull off that trick are eligible for Citizen of the Year.
It’s Cognitive Dissonance amounting to Deafness. Because Willard, contrary to the Randites that consider them to be simple insect parasites and leeches: “Poor People are People Too My Friend”. Especially the ones that get efficient help filling out their tax forms for such things as EITC.
In my heart I know you are right. But just to be obnoxious..
willard isn’t complaining that those people are breaking the law
he is complaining that the law leaves them paying NO TAXES AT ALL and that’s why they don’t vote for him. they don’t pay taxes and they live off of his and “your” taxes… if you are a good Republican who at least imagines he pays taxes and would be a rugged individualist if only the government would leave him alone.
actually, i kind of hope your and beverly’s view is widely shared and determines the future electoral politics in this country. because i am rather sick of hearing from those good Republicans.
Dale with respect you missed the point.
Romney claims that the highest form of citizenship, and BTW the one that MOST qualifies him to be President, is to legally reduce his tax burden to as close to zero as possible.
“frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.”
Yep screw the “Natural Born Citizen” stuff, it doesn’t matter whether you are white, black or brown, a member of a sect with doubtful connections to our “Judeo-Christian Founders/Regiment of Preachers” or not, what REALLY qualifies you to be President of the U.S. is the fact that your effective rate of taxation EVEN ON YOUR OWN CALCULATION falls less than 50% of the statutory target for people of your income.
I thought it was Leona Helmsly who claimed “only the Little People pay taxes” and not the fricking authors of the Federalist Papers.
I mean it wasn’t me that chose RMoney’s specific metric here.
It is very easy for Romney to reduce his tax burden to zero. All,he has to do is reduce his income to or below the lower 47% of the population. He too can be one of the unclean.
you may be right and i am too tired to go back and analyze the “logic” strictly (i think there may be some confusion between “All X are Y” and “Some Y are notX” or some such. In any case it doesn’t matter at all.
Romney was not being “logical,” and either way he is an idiot.
oh hell: “i would not be qualified to be Pres if I did not take all deductions due me.” is not logically equivalent to “What is wrong with people who pay no taxes is that they are taking all the deductions due them.”
and he certainly didn’t say “what MOST qualifies me is…”
but like i said, it doesn’t matter.
Dale it wasn’t intended to be a geometric proof.
But however you look at it RMoney is drawing a moral distinction between capitalists who have a duty to reduce their own taxes and ‘Lucky Duckies’ who have an obligation to increase theirs. Because he can’t cast it simply in terms of pure burden sharing (i.e. everyone should have skin in the game) when he already explicitly accepts preferential tax treatment for capital gains under the current tax code and implicitly accepts total elimination of tax on capital via endorsement of the Ryan Budget and its underlying Ryan Roadmap to Prosperity.
But no it doesn’t add up to a neat Medieval Scholastic Quod Erat Demonstratum (i.e. QED). I am afraid Romney’s thinking is not organized enough for that kind of critique to bite.
exactly. applying the standards of (a serious attempt at) logic to ordinary discourse is almost certainly a (logical) mistake.
i agree with you entirely that Romney is wrong either way you slice it.