Daily Intel reports on the Bob Schieffer ‘exclusive’ fail interview with Romney-Ryan:
“Romney praised Ryan’s (questionable) knack for bipartisanship several times, and looked on with approval as his charismatic running mate attacked President Obama for his “fundamental lack of leadership.” The duo are apparently so in step that they’ve started wearing matching outfits, and even share the same policy on disclosing financial information.”
But Daily Intel notes a curious turn in the interview when they began discussing tax differences between the aristocracy and the peasantry:
Bob Schieffer: You say of course the wealthiest people pay the larger share, but don’t they also pay at a lower rate? When you figure in capital gains and all of that?
Mitt Romney: Well, it depends on the individual, what their source of income is. But if you look at the top one percent or five percent or quartile, whatever, they pay the largest share of taxes. And that’s not something which I would propose making smaller.
Then Ryan jumped in to elaborate on Romney’s plan:
What we’re saying is take away the tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by people in the top tax brackets so they can’t shelter as much money from taxation, should lower tax rates for everybody to make America more competitive.
Huh? Suddenly Team Plutocracy is “proposing” taking away the tax shelters from the super rich? Here’s video via PoliticsUSA — watch Mitt’s face transform from pleased with himself (normal) to disapproving daddy in 11 seconds flat:
Daily Intel notes, “As Jonathan Chait has discussed several times, a recent study by the Brookings Institution and the Tax Policy Center concluded that Romney’s tax plan would require a tax increase for the middle class, while the richest Americans would pay lower rates and a lower share of the tax burden.”
And we already know that Romney chose the one running mate whose tax plan would lower Mitt’s effective tax rate to less than 1%. There is NO WAY that Romney-Ryan are going to eliminate the very loopholes, shelters, and tax rates with which Romney has padded his fortune and is now angrily hiding from the American people. Remember this is a guy who took a $77,000 tax deduction on a horse in 2010 (who knows WHAT he’s deducted in the past 10 years). I’d like to hear Mitt Romney say that he thinks the highest incomes should pay more in taxes than they do now — and he never will. Because that is exactly what would happen without those shelters Ryan mentioned. Gaffe?
UNLESS, of course, Ryan forgot to mention (and Bob Schieffer helpfully let slide) that if Romney plans to take away tax shelters, he more than makes up for that by lowering the effective tax rate for top earners, and increasing it on the rest of us, which works out to the super rich paying even less in taxes either way.
Ha ha. How does fairness work?!
Rep. Paul Ryan’s major votes and their impact on the deficit:
msnbc: From Up w/Chris Hayes
Ezra Klein says “But the real north star of Ryan’s policy record isn’t deficits or spending, though he often uses those concerns in service of his agenda. It’s radically reforming the way the federal government provides public services, usually by privatizing or devolving those public services away from the federal government.”
Jonathan Chait points out that Ryan “spent the entire Bush administration either supporting the administration’s deficit-increasing policies, or proposing alternative policies that would have created much higher deficits than even Bush could stomach, but came away from it with a reputation as the ultimate champion of fiscal responsibility.”
Paul Krugman says “Paul Ryan starts by claiming to be a deficit hawk. Push him really hard, however, on why in that case he advocates big tax cuts, and he’ll shift to arguing that big government (as opposed to not-paid-for government) is the real problem… But if you push hard on that, it turns out that there’s yet another layer: the claim that things like taxing the rich to help pay for social insurance are immoral, because people have a right to keep the wealth they created — which is why suggesting that no plutocrat is an island is heresy. This onion structure is why you should never believe reasonable-sounding conservatives who say that you’re attacking a straw man, that ‘nobody believes’ that wealth creators owe nothing to society. Oh yes they do — it’s usually hidden inside a couple of more socially acceptable excuses, but at their core Ryan and people like him believe that they’re characters in Atlas Shrugged.”
The President welcomed Ryan to the Romney ticket and discussed how Romney’s choice affects the issues and problems Americans are currently facing:
ABC News: CHICAGO — Just over 24 hours after Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, President Obama today welcomed the Wisconsin congressman to the race, branding him the “ideological leader of Republicans in Congress.”
Addressing donors at a campaign fundraiser on the south side of Chicago, Obama slammed his rivals’ belief in “top-down economics” as a solution to the nation’s economic woes, insisting the approach has been tried and failed.
“This kind of top-down economics is central to Gov. [Mitt] Romney and it is central to his running mate,” Obama told roughly 1,000 donors huddled inside the Bridgeport Arts Center.
“Just yesterday, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan. I want to congratulate Mr. Ryan. I know him. I welcome him to the race,” Obama said.
Some members of the crowd began booing at the mention of Ryan, but Obama cut them off.
“He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision, but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” he said.
“Mr. President, take your campaign out of the gutter. Let’s talk about the real issues that America faces.” — Mitt Romney, at a Wisconsin rally on Sunday night.
Suddenly talking about Mitt’s vast “business experience”, his actual history with Bain Capital, and his lack of tax returns (and how much federal tax he actually paid as compared to everyone else) is “gutter politics.” Uh huh.
Romney’s insistence on keeping his financial background secret by not releasing more than two (heavily edited) tax returns would be considered more than hinky in some circles — they’re still “working on” last year’s return! That tells me everything I need to know about Willard and how he feels about his past (all that “business experience”!) by what his returns would tell us. And it confirms why I would never risk putting this character in the White House.
Duncan Black: ”Mitt’s had, at the very least, 6 years to know that he’d better make his tax returns appear to be a bit less corrupt than they presumably do. And he didn’t do it. Forget the tax shenanigans, it’s the judgment.”
digby: ”Mitt has known since at least 2006 that he wanted to be the leader of most powerful nation on earth and probably much longer than that. But apparently he’s never wanted it so much that he would willingly pay his taxes in such a way that they would be above reproach. Or to put it another way, if he thought he would be forced to choose between giving up a fair share of his vast quarter billion dollar fortune or leading the United States of America, he would have chosen his money.”
Paul Ryan told Bob Schieffer that even though he gave Romney “several” years worth of tax returns when he was being vetted as a running mate, he’ll show the American people only two returns to match what Romney said he’d show us (i.e. to make it seem that a presidential candidate who insists on releasing only two years of tax returns is somehow ‘normal’ or ‘accommodating’).
Then Ryan very quickly changed the subject which, naturally, Schieffer allowed without following up on the answer to his original question.
Politico reports that “Paul Ryan, in his interview with CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, said he gave the campaign “several” years of tax returns, something Tim Pawlenty also indicated he did, during the vetting process. But Ryan said he will release what Romney has released, which is two:
BOB SCHIEFFER: How many years of– tax returns did you– turn over to the campaign?
PAUL RYAN: Well, it– it was a very exhaustive– vetting process. It’s a confidential (UNINTEL) vetting process, so there were several years. But I’m going to release the– the same amount of years that Governor Romney has. But I got to tell you, Bob–
BOB SCHIEFFER: And how many was that?
PAUL RYAN: He’s– two. He’s– I’m going to be releasing two, which is what he’s releasing. What I hear from people around this country, they’re not asking where the tax returns. They’re asking where the jobs are. Where’s the economic growth. Those are the issues that matter. I think these are more or less distractions to try and take us off the fact that the President has given us failed policies that aren’t working, that are putting us deeper into debt that are costing us jobs. And so, we’re going to focus on what it takes to turn this country around and get people back to work.
“We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life.” — Ann Romney
Mitt Romney believes that the American people (the help) only need two years of his tax returns to know enough about his financial background to vote for him. Well, he doesn’t believe that — that’s just how it’s going to be, peasants. He’s said again and again we’re not getting more than two returns from him – “I’m not a business!” was his latest non-explanation explanation. Did Romney ask for only two tax returns from his potential running mates? Get real.
Buzzfeed: “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign requested “several” years of tax returns from potential vice presidential picks, senior adviser Beth Myers, who ran the search, told reporters Saturday. Myers said vetting documents were stored in safes in a secure room at campaign headquarters for review by attorneys. Asked what was inside the safes, Myers replied “tax documents, everything we used.” And how many years? “Several” she said, declining to provide a more specific number.
“Mitt Romney reportedly provided 23 years of returns to John McCain’s vetters when he was up for the vice presidential nomination four years ago. He has said he fears that the Obama campaign and the media will distort the contents of any other returns he might release.”
Reuters: “Mitt Romney released two years of his own tax returns to the public but that didn’t appear to be enough when he vetted running-mate Paul Ryan and other vice presidential candidates. The campaign team for Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, reviewed several years of tax returns from Ryan and others, according to the head of Romney’s VP search process Beth Myers. But Romney – a former private equity executive with an estimated net worth of up to $250 million – has refused to publicly release more than two years of tax returns.
“Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor who was a potential Romney running mate, said he also had to submit several years of tax returns during the search for a Republican vice presidential candidate. “So more than two?” asked George Stephanopoulos, the host of ABC’s “This Week.” “Well, we don’t get into the details of the vetting process, but I gave him a bunch of tax returns,” Pawlenty replied. “I don’t remember the exact number of years.”“
It’s as if Romney knows he’d need more than two tax returns to review a person’s financial history and background…
Apparently Mitt Romney is too “exhausted” to stop in Orlando today, and Paul Ryan has been removed from the ironically named ”Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class” tour bus and flown to Iowa.
Is the Romney campaign worried that Paul Ryan’s presence might inspire Florida’s seniors to ask questions about Ryan’s views on what he calls “entitlement programs” like Medicare, which could lead to some really bad PR if any are mocked and arrested again?
ABC: “Romney is said to be exhausted after 48 hours of promoting his new vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Romney’s Florida tour begins in St. Augustine, before heading to Miami this afternoon. However, his new vice president running mate Paul Ryan will be in Iowa attending the Iowa State Fair. Democrats suggest Ryan’s presence on the ticket could hurt Romney among Florida voters because of Ryan’s well-known budget proposals. They include drastic changes in the Medicare and social security programs.”
Orlando Sentinel: “Romney and his newly named running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, had been traveling by bus for the “Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class” tour, which got rolling Saturday in Virginia and continued Sunday in North Carolina. Romney was to stop in Orlando between the events in St. Augustine and South Florida at about 12:30 p.m. Monday. Instead, after an event in Wisconsin Sunday night, Romney will campaign Monday in Florida, while Ryan will travel to Iowa, Bechdel said.
“During Sunday’s Democrat rally in south Orlando, Democratic speakers seized on the schedule change to make light of Ryan’s absence from the Sunshine State. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz was at the event in Orlando and said she wouldn’t blame Romney for canceling a visit to Orlando because his new running mate has proposed redefining Medicare in ways that would add more costs to seniors.”