In December 2011, here’s how Romney described his living “conditions” in France — when he was a Mormon missionary (and when he obtained deferments from the Vietnam War draft):
“At a campaign event in New Hampshire on Sunday, he gave a rare account of his two and a half years from July 1966 as a missionary in France, which he described as “not exactly a Third World country”. He was forced to live off $110 a month. “So, I lived in a way that people of lower-middle income in France lived,” he said. Explaining that he often had no working lavatory, Mr Romney said: “We had instead the little pads on the ground There was a chain behind you with a bucket”.
“There were also no baths or showers, said Mr Romney. “If we were lucky, we actually bought a hose and we stuck it on the sink … and wash ourselves that way,” he said. “Most of the apartments I lived in had no refrigerators,” Mr Romney added. He remembered saying to himself: “Wow, I sure am lucky to have been born in the United States of America”.”
Wow, indeed. Especially when the house Romney stayed in is described SO DIFFERENTLY by everyone else who was there:
“…the Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as “palace”. It featured stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy. Although he spent time in other French cities, for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. “It was a house built by and for rich people,” said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney’s stay. “I would describe it as a palace”.
“[...] “They were very big rooms,” said Christian Euvrard, the 72-year-old director of the Mormon-run Institute of Religion in Paris, who knew Mr Romney. “Very comfortable. The building had beautiful gilded interiors, a magnificent staircase in cast iron, and an immense hall.” [...] Mr Anderson said that as well as a refrigerator, the mansion had “a Spanish chef called Pardo and a house boy, who prepared lunch and supper five days a week”.
“It was “well equipped” with all modern conveniences, including a combination washer-dryer machine, Mr Anderson said. “I never saw anything like it in another private home at that time.” [...] The mission home in Paris was fully plumbed and central heated. “All of the missionary rooms had something like a bath or a shower attached to it,” said Mr Anderson. “The home had several”. This was in stark contrast to lodgings in working class areas given to other missionaries in Paris at the same time. “It was much better than the other places,” said one, Alan Eastman. “Most of us stayed in rented apartments quite a way from luxurious”.
“[...] Regarding spending money, Mr Romney “would have been on the same amount of money as the rest of us, about $125 per month,” said Mr Eastman – about $813 per month in today’s money.”
He suffered, y’all. Big time! They had only ONE houseboy.
“I have no idea why Reid decided to go all-in on this point. I don’t have any idea whether Willard Romney paid no taxes, or some taxes, or paid an annual tribute to Anubis, Egyptian God Of The Dead, over the years in question. Neither, I would point out, do Glenn Kessler, or his tax experts, or the PolitiFact elves, or Reince Priebus. This is because Willard Romney, unlike any presidential candidate of my experience, declines to share those details with The Help as he seeks to be appointed CEO of America. But neither am I morally outraged that Reid is playing the kind of politics he is playing with this. That is because, when I consider what he’s doing, I do not think of Joe McCarthy. I think of Vince Foster, and I am conspicuously unmoved.” — Charles Pierce, Let’s Stop Being Upset with Harry Reid Already
Also? Rachel Maddow reminds us who we should be focusing our attention on (it’s not Harry Reid):
This sort: The Republican Party, the tea party, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Paul Ryan, Mitt and Ann Romney, John Boehner, CEOs of the most profitable corporations, and “Christian” leaders and the conservative voting base because ideology now matters more than their fellow citizens.
What the wealthy don’t know is that it only takes a difference of a few dollars in the average person’s paycheck to change their entire life dramatically — for good or bad. So shame on the conservative voting base because they know that all too well and still they turn on their own.
Believe it or not.
“Over a four years period from 2008 to 2011, Corning Inc. was one of 26 companies that managed to avoid paying any American income taxes, even though it earned nearly $3 billion during that time. In fact, according to Citizens For Tax Justice, the company received a $4 million refund from 2008 to 2010. That didn’t stop Susan Ford, a senior executive at the company, from telling the House Ways and Means Committee this week that America’s high corporate tax rate was putting her company at a disadvantage…” — Corporation That Paid Nothing In Taxes For Four Years Tells Congress It Pays Too Much In Taxes | ThinkProgress (via: diegueno)
And who wants to bet that the employees of Corning haven’t had a raise in pay or benefits that’s equivalent to the ever-increasing bonuses handed out to its CEOs?
Or is it even more of a “business loss” when the horse doesn’t make it to the individual medal competition?
christopherstreet: And you call yourselves poor?
We were once a great country that proudly built things, exported goods, and earned a living wage—in large part because we had thriving labor unions. We also had a healthy public sector employment rate, which contributed to employment, the economy and America’s overall success. Over the past 30 years or more, we’ve been outsmarted with tax laws written to benefit the one percent, had our labor unions and government workers demonized by conservative ideology, and we were Bain Capitalized out of our manufacturing base—we were Bain Capitalized to death. The GOP and their wealthy benefactors have killed America’s middle class for nothing more than greed—and here we are today.
According to a recent survey by The Associated Press, the number of Americans living at or below the poverty line will reach its highest point since President Johnson made his famous declaration of war on poverty in 1964.
Close to 16 percent of Americans now live at or below the poverty line. For a family of four, that’s $23,000 a year. On top of that, 100 million of us — 1 out of 3 Americans — manage to survive on a household income barely twice that amount. How is this poverty crisis happening?
[...] One half of all jobs in the U.S. today now pay less than $35,000 a year. Adjusted for inflation, that’s one of the lowest rates for American workers in five decades.
There’s a common perception that somebody who’s poor or living below the poverty level is lazy or simply living off government handouts. Edelman says the actual average poor person is working.
[...] Many economists say that when the economy does recover, a lot of the jobs that were lost won’t be coming back. That suggests the possibility of significantly high unemployment for a long time — maybe even a permanently large class of Americans who live in poverty. Blackwell says we can act to prevent that future. “And it’s not rocket science.”
“We know now that by 2018, 45 percent of all jobs in this nation will require at least an associate’s degree,” she says. “We could invest in the system of training — particularly focusing on community colleges and preparing people to go to four-year institutions and improving our high school education.”
“We actually have extraordinary infrastructure in this country, from the manufacturing base we once had,” she continues. “We need to retool it, we need to refit it, we need to make sure that it’s ready for the kind of advanced manufacturing that we’re seeing develop in other countries.”
What we don’t need is to be “Bain Capitalized” further — or more of those “great” ideas like outsourcing work that can be done locally in the public sector. To let Republicans find more ways to cut spending, more austerity cuts for 99% of us—just to give the wealthiest even more tax breaks—costs our society, and our people, in too many ways to count.
The French don’t like Mitt Romney because he’s both uninteresting and he’s an American Republican:
“On paper, he is not uninteresting. He is a moderate, almost classic, Republican,” observed François de Rugy, a Green Party MP who served as vice president of the France-United States friendship organization in the previous legislature. But de Rugy added, “There is very little known about him because he has no international experience.” To make matters worse, the U.S. Republican label is not ideal in France. “Republicans suffer from two stereotypes in France: one advocating a lawless capitalism and the other advocating racist policies. [...]
“Mitt Romney suffers from two things,” said Durpaire, who is putting the finishing touches on his new book, “The United States for Dummies.” First, the French have a much greater enthusiasm for Democrats, a sentiment that predates Obama. “The Democrats are the darlings of the French” for reasons of philosophy and political culture, Durpaire said. Second, Obama himself has a very positive image. “He will always be the first black president of the United States,” noted Durpaire. “Furthermore, his health insurance reform provided the impression that he was closer to French policy positions.” Even right-wing French elected officials are in no hurry to defend their conservative counterpart. In 2008, few officials from Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement openly supported the presidential candidacy of Sen. John McCain, a pattern that is likely to be repeated in 2012.”
And Italians don’t like him because he pulled a Bain Capital on Italy like he pulled a Bain Capital on the United States:
“That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day. Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.
“[...] In Italy, the deals have spurred at least three books, separate legal and regulatory probes and newspaper columns alleging investors made a fortune at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Boston-based Bain wasn’t a subject of the inquiries, which didn’t result in any charges. The sale of the government’s directory business is “a dark chapter in the country’s privatization history, one that has hurt Italians deeply,” said Bernardo Bortolotti, an economics professor at Turin University who advised the Italian Treasury on asset sales from 2002 through 2005. “It was a mistake from the start, damaged by a lack of transparency and the use of offshore funds.””
No one likes Mitt Romney. This is like a badge of honor to people in the tea party, but they’re also crazy and racist.