Mitt Romney

Guy Who Tried to Ransom Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns Regretting His Choices Right About Now

Are you frustrated by Donald Trump's evasive attitude about releasing his tax returns? Were you and some co-conspirators considering a harebrained scheme to claim that you had obtained copies of his returns and would demand a ransom to prevent their release? While this may sound like foolproof plan, may I suggest you reconsider? I only […]

#TBT: PwC’s Letter to Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney About His Taxes

You may have heard that it's a presidential election year. And perhaps you've heard that one of the candidates is a carnival barker that spray tans with Krylon Pumpkin Orange. And maybe you've even heard that said carnival barker has not released his tax returns for public consumption despite decades of precedent. It's all good […]

Your High Tax Rate Doesn’t Make You More Patriotic, Presidential Candidate Dummy

Jeb Bush recently released 33 years of his personal tax returns. Why 33 years of 1040s? For the youth vote. Millennials are sure to vote Jeb once they see his return from 1989 — you know, because the Taylor Swift album. But Bush 3.0 pissed me off when, in his tax return release, he made […]

Maybe Mitt Romney Can Recommend a Savvy Tax Planning Professional for Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore recently became a very wealthy man (well, wealthier). Good for him, right? This is America after all, where the rich are important and the important are rich and if you're neither then, well, you're probably not working hard enough.   Anyway, if you're wondering how Vice Prince Albert made his […]

Tax Shaming Works

Martin Sullivan cites a KPMG study from 2005 that was ahead of its time:  "The main point is not that accusations are often unjustified, but the fact that they are made at all. Tax has news value now and, although often unfounded, 'naming and shaming' attacks on alleged tax avoiders can damage their reputations in the eyes […]

Cory Booker Wishes President Obama Could Have Used His Perfect Comeback to Mitt Romney’s ‘New Accountant’ Zinger

"I wanted to scream out, Obama, say, 'keep your accountant, they're allowing you to pay only 13 percent in taxes,' " Booker said. "The rest of us should have accountants like that." But, Booker conceded, the "right advice" for Obama was to "stay presidential." [The Hill]

Corporate America Encouraged By Rhetoric From Presidential Candidates

Yesterday we attempted to make some sense of President Obama's statement about ending "tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas." His was attempting to discuss corporate tax reform, although Mitt Romney had never heard of any such thing and wondered aloud if he needed to gleefully fire his accountant. Anyhoo, in the first […]

Let’s Try to Make Some Sense of President Obama’s “Tax Breaks for Companies Shipping Jobs Overseas” Statement

One other major point of contention (that relates to taxes) in last night's debate was President Obama mention of "tax breaks [given] to companies that are shipping jobs overseas." It's not entirely clear what he was talking about, so let's do our best to sort this out. From the transcript of the debate, here's what […]

Mitt Romney Left Tax Policy Wonks Feeling a Little Unsatisfied Today

Maybe you didn't hear about it, but last night Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were on TV engaging in a war of words. LOTS OF WORDS. The consensus is that Willard emerged the big victor while remaining pretty vague on details: Romney fiercely objected to Obama’s characterization of his tax plan as a $5 trillion […]

What Are People Saying About Mitt Romney’s Tax Deduction Cap Idea?

Late yesterday, Mitt Romney threw out the idea of limiting tax deductions to $17,000 as part of his strategy to keep his tax plan revenue neutral. Up until this point, the Romney campaign had provided bupkis for details and that annoyed quite a few people who like details. Despite everyone's begging, they continued to stall […]

All of Mitt Romney’s Fancy Schmancy Tax Planning Strategies Should Serve as a Reminder That We Really, Really Need Tax Reform

Yesterday, we told you about Jesse Drucker's stellar report on Mitt Romney's "I Dig It" trust and how it allows his family to pass along wealth to the younger generations with relatively little taxes being paid. It was the latest of many reports and scoops on Willard's finances and really, we shouldn't be surprised. He […]

All This Focus on Mitt Romney’s Taxes Could Ruin Things for All the Wealthy People

Today, a Bloomberg article by Jesse Drucker called attention to Mitt Romney's "intentionally defective grantor trust" aka "IDGT" or "I Dig It" trust. For the seasoned estate tax planning or wealth preservation professional, this is old hat, but for many people this is quite exciting. And by exciting I mean, "Holy shit, they can do […]

Mitt Romney: Yeah, about those tax cuts…

Everyone needs to adjust their expectations: “By the way, don’t be expecting a huge cut in taxes, because I’m also going to lower deductions and exemptions,” Romney said, according to various news media reports.  Um, yay? “All the rates come down,” Romney said. “But unless people think there's going to be a huge reduction in […]

Election 2012: Here’s Who the Big 4 Are Throwing Their Money Behind

One of my many ultra liberal friends was yammering on about presidential campaign contributions last night and I, being the skeptical libertarian I am, decided to dig a little deeper into the numbers to prove that be it Republican or Democrat, you're still getting pretty much the same thing. It's sort of like picking a […]

Summing Up Tax Policy in This Presidential Election

Tax Analysts' Chris Bergin doesn't like what he heard from Mitt Romney yesterday: In a taped interview, host [Meet the Press host] David Gregory repeatedly asked Romney for details of his tax plan. He ended up practically begging for just one detail – any morsel, please. He got zip, zilch, nothing. […] I can think […]

David Cay Johnston Sticks Up for Tax Nerds Being Picked on By the Romney Campaign

The Romney campaign isn't crazy about the Tax Policy Center's critique of their tax plan presumably because it casts a bit of an unflattering light on it (i.e. isn't mathematically possible, leaves out a lot of details). Yes, some people with the campaign or the Wall Street Journal editorial board might tell you different, that […]

Did Someone Really Steal Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns From PwC’s Franklin, Tennessee Office?

By now you've probably heard that an anonymous group – no, likely not The Anonymous – is claiming they got into PwC's Franklin, Tennessee office and nabbed Romney's tax returns, which they will apparently release September 28th unless they're given $1,000,000 USD (or, alternatively, "one milllllion dollars") in Bitcoins before that date. If someone desperate […]

Let’s Take a Peek at Some of Mitt Romney’s Investments

Earlier today, Gawker's John Cook dumped nearly 1,000 pages of "internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested" for all of the Internet's viewing and dissecting pleasure. It's quite a lot to digest and he's looking for help digging through all of it but it's pretty […]

Romney Tax Returns to Be Released By October 15th Advisor Says, To Which We Respond, “Duh”

Ed Gillespie, "a senior Romney advisor," provides precisely zero insight as to the timing of when his boss's tax returns will see the light of day:  "Look, October 15 is the deadline for the IRS on an extension. We have said as soon as they're ready we're going to release them. And I believe they'll […]

Mitt Romney Dug Out Some Old Tax Returns and Crunched Some Numbers

Are you happy, rubes? Mitt Romney said on Thursday that he had not paid less than 13 percent of his income in taxes during the past decade, but he called the continued focus on his personal tax returns “small-minded” in the face of the nation’s problems. Speaking to reporters during a stop in South Carolina, Mr. […]

The Wall Street Journal, For One, Has No Problem Making Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Mathematically Possible

Late yesterday (or for you nostalgic types, in today's print edition), the Wall Street Journal published an editorial that goes after the Brookings Institution and Tax Policy Center for their analysis of Mitt Romney's tax plan. The long-short of the analysis is that, given what has been said by Mittens re: tax reform, there is […]

Have We Reached the Nadir of Tax Policy Discourse?

Politics is a dirty sport and while name-calling is certainly standard operating procedure, it seems extra petty when we're discussing about tax policy: Mitt Romney on Tuesday defended his tax plan after President Obama said it amounted to “Romney-hood” by taking from the poor and giving to the rich, labeling the charge “Obamaloney.” Since politics […]

Poll: Americans Would Rather the Next President Get Some Jobs Up in This Piece Rather Than Stick the Rich with Higher Taxes

Surely most people wouldn't mind if the 1% were paying a little bit more in taxes but when compared to other issues, Gallup found that it's a pretty low priority: Creating good jobs, reducing corruption in the federal government, and reducing the federal budget deficit score highest when Americans rate 12 issues as priorities for […]

Mitt Romney Is Pleased with PwC’s Tax Services

In an interview with ABC News yesterday, Willard shared a few new tidbits about his life as a taxpayer: 1) He's not sure if he's ever payed less than a 13.9 effective tax rate 2) he's had the distinct pleasure of being audited by the IRS and 3) the crack squad in PwC's Boston* office […]

Kirsten Gillibrand Shows Mitt Romney How It’s Done

Releasing tax returns, that is: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has released five years of federal and state income tax returns on her website — the first senator to release returns from her entire public career, according to her office. Spokesman Glen Caplin said that Gillibrand wanted to contribute to the “ongoing national debate” about releasing returns. […]

If Mitt Romney Releases His Tax Returns He Could Be the Next Richard Nixon

As we all know, 1% posterboy and GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney hasn't released any of his tax returns. Check that – he hasn't released in tax returns that anyone cares about. Mittens is of the opinion that 2010 and 2011 are the only tax returns we need to see. Many people disagree. As […]

Sandy Levin Will Try (and Fail) to Get Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns the Old Fashioned Way

You almost get the sense that ol' Sandy is wagging a finger at Mitt and saying, "A real Michigan man offers up twelve years of tax returns. But in your case, I'll settle for ten."  Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., the ranking Democratic member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, plans to introduce legislation […]

FYI: Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get to Use Form 1040EZ

Have you heard? People want to see Mitt Romney's past tax returns ASAP. Some people are so desperate to get questions about his taxes answered that they're throwing digits at the presumptive GOP nominee.  Mittens has said that he'll release his 2011 return just as soon as it's ready (that task presumably falls to PwC's David Feheley, […]

Bill Clinton Is Stumped By Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns (or Lack Thereof)

"It's typical, I think — we all release 10 or 11 years," he told NBC's "Today" show. "I am a little surprised that he only released a year's worth of tax returns. … That's kind of perplexed me." [The Hill]

David Cay Johnston Would Just Like to Confirm That Mitt Romney Isn’t Like Richard Nixon, That’s All

And he's so excited to do it, he's throwing digits in Willard's face! Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy [via TaxProf]

Mitt Romney Would Like To See You Try Scoring His Tax Plan. Just Try It.

Fresh off his Super Tuesday meh, Mitt Romney went on CNBC and made a strange admission that his tax plan is not a real plan, per se:  “What I put out in my plan was a series of principles that allow our economy to grow and at the same time maintain a neutral budget impact,” […]

Accounting News Roundup: The Frenzy at MF Global; Transocean’s Tax bill; NYC’s Sketchy Tax Preparers | 03.01.12

Fast, Furious at MF Global [WSJ]At 4:53 p.m. five days before MF Global Holdings Ltd. collapsed, an employee in its Chicago office asked a co-worker to move $165 million from one of the securities firm's bank accounts to another. "Approved," came the response one minute later, according to an email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. […]

Grover Norquist Has a Suggestion for Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich nemesis Mitt Romney told Larry Kudlow last week that "phase two" of his tax plan was in the works but Godfather of Anti-Tax Policy Grover Norquist thinks he should save his energy. “The smart move is to say, ‘I’m with Paul Ryan,’” Norquist says. “Then it’s not ‘his plan,’ and [Romney] can simply […]

What Are People Saying About Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns?

By now, you've probably heard that ultra-rich dude Mitt Romney released his tax returns last night (and a 2011 estimate this morning) and everyone is jumping on the returns like his grandkids on a decapitated piñata. He's running for office, for Pete's sake, why wouldn't we want to take a peek? The most unsurprising thing […]

David Cay Johnston: Mitt Romney Is Going Through the Wringer Unless He Releases Tax Returns From His Bain Years

DCJ lays it out for Willard: Unless he releases the tax returns from his Bain Capital years he will surely be pressed about how much, if any, of his fortune has yet to be taxed and how long he deferred paying on the portion that has been taxed. He will be asked about Bain accounts […]

Oh, Mitt Romney, How You Tease Us with Your Approximate Effective Tax Rate

As we know, inevitable GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney hasn't been too forthcoming with his 1040, basically saying to hell with tradition and his own son Tripp Kip Skip Flip MATT! suggested (jokingly but sorta seriously) that just as soon as Imam Obama released his birth certificate, maybe dear ol' dad would dig out the […]

While You Were Out: Mitt Romney’s Son Was Kidding (Probably) When He Suggested Dad Would Match Obama’s Birth Certificate with His Tax Return

Since it's the first day back and many of you have spent the last week or so in alcohol and food-induced stupor (and are, therefore, unable to email us anything of interest), you won't mind that we throw out this little story from a few days ago. As you may have heard, eventual-GOP-presidential-candidate-that-no-one-wants Mitt Romney […]

Grover Norquist Thinks This Donald Trump Debate Is a Dynamite Idea

Perhaps you’ve heard that oafish hair transplant recipient Donald Trump is going to moderate a GOP debate. Shockingly, a number people aren’t taking this idea too seriously and for good reason! The man is rich. And busy. And important. Plus, he has young kids at home. You know how kids are. How could he possibly squeeze such an important event into his schedule? Seems impossible. Oh, and then there’s the part where he’s an egomaniac that pretended he was thinking about running for President while maintaining that the President was born on Mars or some damn place. That too.

But you know who thinks this whole Donald Debate is fabulous idea? Yep:

I am assured that Donald Trump will be a fair-minded moderator and joined by serious journalists. This contrasts with several debates that have already occurred which have been moderated by hostile members of the left wing media. I strongly urge all GOP candidates to attend this debate.

At this time we’ll presume that being MIA from the debate will not equate a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge but Mittens is skipping this circus, GGN’s choice may be easy.

[via ATR]

Gingrich, Romney Currently Leading the Race to Be Grover Norquist’s Whipping Boy

Did I say “Grover Norquist”? Sorry, sorry. By that, I meant, “the American People.”


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hear that, Mittens? You need to do a re-write, or the the citizens of this great land will have you by the short and curlies. Get on it.

[via The Hill]

Romney Trumps Obama in Accounting Firm Donations to Presidential Candidates

You may have heard that there’s a bit of a campaign going on for the world’s worst job. For whatever reason, the process of electing the leader of our country’s government drags on like Titantic. Right around, erm, now you’re probably ready to gouge your eyes out with a rusty spoon every time you see an ad for a candidate or debate. Unfortunately we’re powerless to stop it, thanks tycle.

ANYWAY, one of the more useful things we learn during this process is where the money comes from and who it goes to. Now, you may be screaming, “Koch Brothers!” or “George Soros!” and while they can afford to throw around some cash, these stories are old hat and are best left to political bomb throwers with jostling jowls.

For our purposes of informing you, dear GC readers, we’ll give you the lowdown on what kind of cash people from the largest accounting firms are throwing around and who they’re throwing it to. Accounting Today has a full report out today based on data available from the Federal Election Commission and here are the highlights:


Ernst & Young – E&Y donated the most cash, with personnel contributing more than $89,000. 18% went to President Obama, Mitt Romney received 39% and Rick Perry 37%. Personally, I feel like this money would be better spent throwing it at people in Albany.

Deloitte – Total of $57,490 in donations. Mittens received 41%; Obama 37%.

PwC – $36,520 total donations. Romney received 51%; Obama 48%.

KPMG – The one Obama stronghold. The President received 47% of the total $15,000 in donations. Romney received 32%; Perry 17%.

Grant Thornton – Obama doesn’t win. GT peeps gave $23,050 and 97% went to Mitt Romney.

What about the other candidates? Well, Newt Gingrich received a grand total of zero dollars from anyone at these accounting firms. Ron Paul received less money than Jon Huntsman. Yes, I know you’ve never heard of him. It’s this guy. Google Rick Santorum just for fun. And check out Michelle Bachmann’s manicures. That’s about all you need to know.

So who gets your imaginary contributions? I imagine most of you out there in Internetland have no plans to fork over any of your meager bonuses to a Presidential candidate but IF YOU DID, who would it be? And feel free to discuss your firm’s generosity or political leanings as you see fit.

Accountants and Firms Fund Presidential Candidates [AT]

Somewhere in Mitt Romney’s 59-point Economic Plan, There’s Something About Tax Reform

That’s right boys and girls. Our economy is such a jumbled clusterfuck that Presidential Ken Doll Mitt Romney and his team had to lay out 59 specific proposals to get this thing turned around. In a USA Today op-ed, Mittens laid out a little preview of this plan and it includes – YEP! – cutting taxes and ultimately overhauling the tax code:

Marginal income tax rates and tax rates on savings and investment must be kept low. Further, taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers should be eliminated. Our corporate tax rate is among the world’s highest. It leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage and induces them to park their profits abroad, benefiting the rest of the world at our expense. I will fix these problems with permanent solutions. Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation.

Romney seems to be following Jon Huntsman’s lead but for fortunately for Mittens, Huntmsan’s plan wasn’t bulleted and no one heard the speech.

Romney: My plan to turn around the U.S. economy [UST]

Analysis: Corporations May Be People But They Are Definitely Not Humans

The Iowa State Fair is going strong and because Election 2012 is in full throttle, the GOP Presidential candidates have been posing for photo-ops and making statements with varying degrees of stupidity.

One of the most logical things uttered, I dare say, was done so by Mitt Romney. By now you’ve probably heard that ol’ Mitt, in between corndogs, got into a bit of a verbal joust with a few of the fair goers. Here’s the soundbite:

The statement has been examined and debated with most intelligent people coming down on the side of Romney. That is, human beings – whether it’s shareholders, employees or customers – eventually bear the cost of the taxes paid by corporations. So while a whole host of humans, including the majority Supreme Court of the United States, are stuck on this “people” thing, it’s worth noting (mostly for the sake of stupid fun) that corporations are definitely not “humans.” Maybe that’s overstating the obvious but English is complicated language and this exercise is not without its merits.

Humans, at their best, are capable of being compassionate, loving, generous and all that crap. Corporations are not. At worst, humans are disgusting, vile creatures capable of ridiculous behavior and we know this to be true mostly because of reality TV. Corporations are certainly capable of deplorable behavior but this behavior is usually at the behest of a human being’s decision.

Accordingly, let’s examine some thing that demonstrate that don’t make corporations “human.”

• Corporations don’t flash women who aren’t the age of consent.

• Corporations don’t use your bathroom and help themselves to the Goldbond Medicated Powder to an extent that you wonder if someone left the window open during a snowstorm.

• Corporations don’t eat corn dogs (humans shouldn’t either).

• Corporations can’t sign a taxpayer protection pledge.

• Corporations don’t “try out” 18 year-old women, take them over state lines and then take money in order to “protect” them.

Feel free to volunteer other examples of “human” versus “people” below but what’s important to note here is that while both humans and corporations may be people, all humans are people and it’s clear that corporations are not humans.

And if that still doesn’t help you understand the difference, just remember this – no matter the situation, for better or worse, humans are the ones who get screwed. Got it?

Mitt Romney Unable to Resist the Siren’s Call That Is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge

In a political move akin to etching your name in to the conservative, low government Book of Life, GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has signed the Grover Norquist’s sacred Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

It’s not a terribly surprising move, as this play will cater to the tax-hating Tea Party crowd as well as the tax-hating-rich-people-not-so-unlike-Mitt Romney crowd.

“By signing the Pledge, Governor Romney keeps the faith of the American taxpayer by taking tax hikes off the table as President,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Politicians in Washington should be focused on reducing government spending.”

Of course what this move also does is protect Romney from any sternly worded letters or other communication from Americans for Tax Reform that would place him the squarely in the camp of that taxpayer Judas, Tom Coburn. Regardless of some people having the audacity to deem the Pledge meaningless.

[via ATR]