Mitt Thinks the Middle Class is 250k or Less and Obama Agrees with Him

Liberals have been blasting Mitt Romney for his absurd claim that those making 250k and less make up the middle class, but here’s something they won’t tell you, President Obama agrees with him.

More proof that Mittens and Obama are more alike than either side care to admit.

 

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Leaked Documents Show Mittens Used ‘Blockers’ to Avoid Taxes

More than 900 pages of private audit and finance records that were recently leaked reveal that Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, used Cayman Islands based funds to avoid paying U.S. taxes. The documents were posted on the website Gawker.

Some of the financial statements contained the creation of ‘blocker’ funds, noting that it ‘intends to conduct its operations so it will not be subject to United States federal income tax or withholding tax.’ A blocker is a paper company that serves as a buffer between the investor and the fund holding the investments. That means the investment income can be counted as a dividend and in some cases avoid income tax. Critics have long pointed to Romney’s alleged use of investments in offshore funds as an example of how America’s super rich avoid paying taxes.

‘The only reason they structure it that way is to avoid tax,’ said Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel with the group Citizens for Tax Justice to ABC News.

‘It just confirms what everyone already believes about the tax system — that it’s rigged. That the rules are rigged to favor the well off.’

Repeatedly asked about his tax history, Romney says he has never paid less than 13 percent tax and called the fixation on his wealth ‘small-minded’.

‘I just have to say given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty — the fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues we face,’ he said in June.

‘But I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that.’

The confidential records also provided financial statements and investor information on 18 Bain investment funds and three hedge funds in which Romney, his wife, Ann, and his children have invested. Some of the assets listed included loans to companies ranging from health care firms to a casino owned by major GOP donor Sheldon Adelson. In several of the funds, the family owns more than $1 million each in holdings.

 

Navy SEALs Slam Obama for taking Credit for Bin Laden Killing

Serving and former US Navy SEALs are speaking out against President Obama for basking in the glory of the killing of Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as a political tool for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to http://www.dailymail.co.uk after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’ a few months back.

 

In addition to the ad, the White House marked the first anniversary of the raid that killed bin Laden with a series of briefings in addition to an NBC interview in the Situation Room to highlight the “gutsy call” made by the President. A news conference was also used to imply that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney would have let bin Laden live.

“I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,” Obama said. “If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”

in 2008 Romney expressed reservations about sending troops into Pakistan.

Ryan Zinke, a Republican state senator in Montana who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: “The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call. I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.”

Mr Zinke added that Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid.

“The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.”

The president has even faced criticism from those on the left. Arianna Huffington, a liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: “Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart, But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.”

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: “In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.”

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.

A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

 

Members of Congress Demand Mittens Romney Release his Tax Returns But Won’t Release Theirs

According to Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s refusal to release more than two years of his personal tax returns makes him unfit to hold the highest office in the land.

Sen. Reid took it a step farther saying that Romney’s refusal makes him unfit to be a dogcatcher.

They do not, however, believe as public servants that that same standard of transparency applies to them. The two Democratic leaders of the Senate and the House are among hundreds of senators and representatives from both parties who refuse to release their tax records. In all a total of 17 out of the 535 members of Congress released their most recent tax forms or some similar documentation of their tax liabilities in response to requests from mcclatchydc.com over the last three months. 19 replied that they wouldn’t provide the information, while the remainder ignored the query outright.

Congress stands to gain or lose by the very tax policies it enacts, and tax records, more than any broad financial disclosure rules now in place , offer voters a chance to see whether the leaders of the government stand to benefit from their own actions.

“Senior public officials, especially members of Congress and presidential candidates, should be required to disclose their tax returns so that the public can monitor potential conflicts of interest,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee and co-author of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, who critics say lacks any real teeth, was also among those who elected to not release their returns.

Challenged at a recent news conference to release hers, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said she wouldn’t because she wasn’t running for president.

“I file full financial disclosure required under the law,” she said.

What’s required by law was written by Congress itself, and is a broad financial-disclosure statement that has no direct information on tax liabilities and does not require the reporting of the amount of spousal income, other than the source, over 1,000. There’s little way of knowing whether that spousal income is $1,001 or $1 million.

Several members of Congress have wealthy spouses. Topping that list are Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, whose wife is an heiress to the Clear Channel Communications fortune, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., whose wife is the heiress to the Heinz ketchup fortune. Pelosi’s husband heads Financial Leasing Services Inc., a San Francisco-based venture capital and real estate firm.

Missouri Democrat McCaskill was one of the few senators who provided her tax return. Her 1040 form lists her as married filing separately, showing an adjusted gross income of $193,384. Her husband, Joe Shepard, is a wealthy businessman who had investments in a reinsurance company in Bermuda, the same country in which Romney’s investments have been criticized by Democrats. Shepard no longer holds those investments after Republicans made allegations in 2009 of tax dodging.

Advocacy groups think that financial-disclosure reporting should be expanded to capture spousal income more fully, and argue that tax data would be a useful tool.

“As public officials, potential conflicts of interest caused by their wealth and assets are a public concern,” said Holman, the Public Citizen lobbyist.

Obama The Hypocrite in Chief Attacks Mittens Romney Over Taxes

The Obama administration has been attacking presidential candidate Mitt Romney with some hard hitting questions over his refusal to release more than two years of his tax returns. It’s fairly obvious to most people that Mr. Romney is trying to hide what ever nefarious ways people as rich as him become as rich as he is, but is President Obama really the guy to chastise Romney over tax issues? Especially considering the fact that in 2010 as many as 41 people in Obama’s white house owed a total of $831,055 in back taxes.

Among the stand out tax delinquents connected to the white house were Tom Daschle, who was the president’s top pick to run the Health and Human Services Department, but it turned out that the former Democratic senator owed around $120,000 to the IRS, Daschle withdrew his name with the revelation. Chief performance officer nominee Nancy Killefer, withdrew her name from consideration after it was revealed that she had a $947 tax lien filed against her in Washington for not paying unemployment compensation taxes for a household employee. The husband of then Labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis paid $6,400 to settle numerous tax liens against his business dating to 1993 after being confronted by USA TODAY.

The most embarrassing or perhaps brazen of the president’s appointments has to be Timothy Geithner who at the time of his consideration owed something like $42,000 in back taxes and penalties to the IRS, which is one of the agencies that he is now in charge of after being confirmed as secretary of the Treasury.

Here is a video of Ben LaBolt, the president’s National Press Secretary, laying out some questions concerning Mitt Romney’s offshore bank accounts and tax returns.

 

Apparently the president has a problem with the highest office in the land being occupied by someone who is using loopholes in the tax code for his own benefit but has no problem with surrounding himself with tax cheats and tax dodgers.

President Obama Begs Campaign Donors For More Cash

“The majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time,” the president said in a highly unusual  fundraising pitch from Air Force One on his way back to Washington from assessing the horrible wildfires in Colorado Springs. A special phone on the government aircraft is dedicated to political calls that are paid for by the campaign.

“I’m asking you to meet or exceed what you did in 2008,” the presidential pitch continued, speaking to donors who were invited to dial in based on their contributions during the last election. “Because we’re going to have to deal with these super PACs in a serious way. And if we don’t, frankly I think the political [scene] is going to be changed permanently. Because the special interests that are financing my opponent’s campaign are just going to consolidate themselves. They’re gonna run Congress and the White House.”

Continuing his desperate plea the president said “In 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign, and now I’m the incumbent president. I’ve got gray hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately. And it turns out change is hard, especially when you’ve got an obstructionist Republican Congress.”

But lest any of his donors believe the president sounded defeated, Obama quickly added: “Nevertheless, we’ve gotten more done in the last three years than most presidents do in eight years … I just hope you guys haven’t become disillusioned. I hope all of you still understand what’s at stake and why this is so important … I still believe in you guys, and I hope you still believe in me and the possibilities of this campaign.”

Obama went on to lament the cash advantage of Republican nominee-designate Mitt Romney, but offered his superior ground game and popular message as hope for his reelection. “We don’t have to match these guys dollar for dollar because we’ve got a better grassroots operation and we’ve got a better message,” he said. “The American people—the nice thing is they agree with our message when they hear it. We just can’t be drowned out … A few billionaires can’t drown out millions of voices.”

Obama noted that campaign-finance law requires both him and Romney release monthly reports on fundraising—“and that could be a double-edged sword,” he said. “The downside is that the media hear these numbers and hyperventilate over it, and there’s a tendency to blow them out of proportion. But it does make the process more transparent. We see where we stand. And right now on a month-to-month basis, we’ve fallen behind.”

The president added: “Last month the Romney campaign raised $76 million. We raised $60 million.” That determines “our planning for whether or not we are gonna go on the air in Florida or Ohio or any of these battleground states, how much advertising we buy, what we spend when it comes to organizing teams.”

He added: “The truth is that early money is always more valuable than late money. And what we don’t want to do is be in a situation where, because everybody thinks that somehow we’re gonna win or people will just think Mr. Romney doesn’t know what he’s talking about—and then suddenly we get surprised later because it turns out that a couple of billionaires wrote $20 million checks and have bought all the TV time and we find ourselves flat-footed in September or October … We’ve got to make sure that we purchase advertising through August and September before the conventions,” he went on. “I think it’s fair to say that if we wait till the last minute we could be in for a pretty rude surprise, and that’s part of what we’re trying to avoid.”

The president warned: “I can’t do this by myself, and the progress we’ve made could unravel pretty quickly.” He urged his listeners on the conference call to contribute “today or as soon as possible” because “we’ve got to have the resources to make the choice crystal clear for the American people both in the air and on the ground.” Obama’s solicitation was followed up by an urgent email from campaign manager Jim Messina asking recipients to write a check immediately.

“The good news is we’re spending a lot more money on our ground game and grassroots organizing and voter registration,” the president said. “We just can’t be outspent 10 to 1. That’s what happened in Wisconsin recently. The Koch brothers and their allies,” he said, referring to billionaire conservative super-PAC funders David and Charles Koch, “spent more than the other side’s entire campaign—our side’s entire campaign.”

Obama contrasted the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee last time around. “We’re facing a much different opponent than last time,” the president warned. “I don’t mean just the candidate—although last time we were running against somebody who at least believed in climate change, believed in campaign-finance reform, believed in immigration reform.”

“It’s also because the landscape’s changed because of the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United,” continued Obama. “We are going to see more money spent on negative ads through these super PACs and anonymous outside groups than ever before. And if things continue as they have so far, I’ll be the first sitting president in modern history to be outspent in his reelection campaign.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Says He Won’t Implement Obamacare

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says that his state will not implement the federal health care law because it’s bad policy and cost too much.

The governor told Fox News he thinks the law should be repealed, hopefully by Mitt Romney in November. But in the case that President Obama wins a second term he said Florida will not be setting up a health-insurance exchange nor will they expand Medicaid.

“We’re not going to implement Obamacare in Florida,” Scott told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren on Friday night. “We’re not going to expand Medicaid because we’re going to do the right thing. We’re not going to do the exchange.”

State Rep. Mark Pafford, the ranking Democrat on the Florida House committee that handles health care funding, said he was not surprised.

“This is a guy who was in the private sector. He created an organization to fight the Affordable Care Act,” said Pafford, of West Palm Beach. “He then was so upset that he became governor using his own money. So it wouldn’t make sense that he would do anything else.”

Under the Affordable Care Act law, states must implement a health insurance exchange by 2014, a Web-based marketplace where people can shop for insurance, or defer to a federal program. States need to submit plans to the federal government that demonstrate their readiness to launch health exchanges by Nov. 16. States also must decide whether to move forward with an expansion of Medicaid to reduce the number of uninsured residents.

In Florida about 3.8 million people, or 21 percent, are uninsured.

The Supreme Court ruling made it clear that states can not be financially penalized for non-compliance. The federal government has promised to cover nearly all of the costs of the Medicaid expansion in the early years, but Scott said Medicaid is already too expensive and the expansion would put further strain on the state budget.

“We care about having a health care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians,” Scott said on Fox. “But this is an expansion that just doesn’t make any sense.”

Many of the most popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act are already in effect and do not require state involvement. That includes provisions like prescription drug discounts for seniors, allowing young adults to remain on parents’ insurance plans and free preventative care.

Scott said other Republican governors agreed their focus should be fighting the law and supporting Romney, including Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

“Here in Louisiana, look, we refused to set up the exchange. We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal told POLITICO. “We have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we are not implementing the exchanges, we don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana.”

Scott said the governors arrived at the same conclusion that expanding Medicaid and creating exchanges are not good for taxpayers.

“We care about the citizens of our state,” he said. “We know this will be bad for our health care. We want jobs in our state. This is going to put American businesses at an unbelievable disadvantage as compared to businesses around the world.”

Scott cited the law’s requirement for businesses to offer insurance to employees. He told Van Susteren a story about a Florida business owner who said he may have to shut his doors.

“They walked up to me and they said, ‘Governor, is this really going to become the law? Because if it does, we’re out of business,’ ” Scott said. “ ‘We have 20 employees; we know we won’t be able to buy any health care for anybody.’ ”

The law actually grants companies with fewer than 50 employees an exemption from any requirement to buy insurance.

One of Scott’s biggest concerns is the cost of adding an estimated 1 million people to the Medicaid rolls.

“We can’t pay for that; there is no way Floridians can pay for that,” he said.

Democrat Rep. Pafford believes that Republican lawmakers should be embracing provisions that expand health care access, he said, and new revenue streams like a tax on internet commerce could help pay for it.

“We can afford it,” he said. “There are plenty of ways to do that. They just don’t want to afford it.”

The Legislature sets the budget, so it will ultimately decide whether or not to allocate money to implement provisions of the health care law.

Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz said he and incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford will work with the governor’s office in reaching a final decision. But for now, they are waiting on staff to digest what the court ruling means and its impact, Gaetz said.

“It’s not a matter of not having made up my mind yet, it’s a matter that this 110-page opinion, which is nearly as complex as the law itself, is not 48 hours old yet,” said Gaetz, R-Niceville. “I believe in ‘ready, aim, fire,’ not ‘ready, fire, aim.’ ”

Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said there isn’t an immediate need to move forward on implementing the law. There is no harm in waiting a few months to see if the outcome of the November election changes the political climate, he said.

“There is an opportunity to bring new leadership to the United States of America,” he said, “and if that happens it’s going to change everything.”

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