Who knew at the beginning of campaign season that modest Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware and mighty New York and Pennsylvania would be key to Mitt Romney’s all but certain capture of the republican nomination for president? Now, let’s check out the Federal Prison facilities in these states. Pennsylvania’s got a bunch. Wouldn’t that be ironic, what with Santorum being from the Keystone state and all. There’s one in Danbury; New York has a few. It could happen. Nominee Romney, if his finances were thoroughly vetted, could wind up residing in any one of the three named states.
I’m not suggesting Romney’s a crook. I am suggesting we take a deep and penetrating look at his finances apropos of anyone seeking the highest office in the land.
There are enough red flags in his minimal release of just two years of tax returns to proceed with a full-bore inquiry of his finances. If Greg Palast is busy elsewhere, it won’t happen because we have no other investigative reporters (just as the corporatist media planned it).
Frankly, I don’t believe a damn thing Romney says about his money. And why should I? The LA Times reported in January there were 23 funds and partnerships listed on Mitt’s tax returns that didn’t show up in his personal financial statements as required by the Federal Election Commission. And has he released all of his reports of Foreign Bank & Financial Accounts (FBARs) as required by law? My takeaway – if financial stuff isn’t showing up on his personal financial statements, what isn’t showing up on his returns?
And look at what Romney didn’t disclose on those personal financial statements. Of the 23 funds and partnerships, 11 were overseas investments in funds in the tax-avoiding Cayman Islands, Bermuda and a Swiss bank account held in a blind trust for Romney’s above criticism wife, Ann. It was opened in 2003 and closed in 2010 after enormous heat came down on Romney’s Swiss bank. The account, held in a blind trust for Mrs. Romney supposedly held $3 million dollars and Romney’s trustee insists it only paid out $1,700 in its last year. All transactions within a blind trust are supposed to be implemented by a trustee without the knowledge of the money provider. So Romney didn’t know what was going on in that Swiss account? Right!
Romneys Swiss bank of choice was Switzerland’s largest – UBS (United Bank of Switzerland) AG. Yes, that’s the same bank fined some $780 million by U.S. authorities in 2009 when it was found UAB was enabling 17,000 wealthy tax cheats to evade taxes, not to mention helping these cheats to lie to custom’s officials and encrypt laptops. Let’s be clear, at this point Romney has not been mentioned as one of those cheats. Even under the pressure of the fine UBS still refused to divulge the names of 50,000 other holders of secret accounts.
Then there was the other 9 figure fine on UBS’ books. Here’s another stark example of the type of bank that Romney (‘er Mrs. Romney) chose to hide his/her money in. Back in ’04, UBS took a 100 million dollar hit when it was fined for sending dollars to the likes of Iran and Cuba, long designated as state sponsors of terrorism. It’s against American law to do financial business with such sponsors. Libya, also a UBS favorite, was removed from the list 3 years after the Romneys opened their account. For a guy who wants to bomb Iran on his first day in office, he had no trouble patronizing one of its patrons.
It’s highly instructive that Romney closed Ann’s UBS account claiming it wasn’t worth it for the mere $1,700 in interest in the final year. You want me to believe that high-roller Romney parks $3 million somewhere and his trustee can only squeeze it for an interest yield of $1,700? Most savvy investors could make that on a $20,000 investment. Romney claimed the Swiss account was for ‘diversification’.
A final Swiss point. How do we know Romney hasn’t parked Tens of millions in Swiss bank accounts? You can use any name or cover you damn well please over there. He could very well be the Roofdoggie Inc. account in any one of the multitude of Swiss Banks sucking up billions in interest, the taxes from which should be going to the U.S. Treasury Department.
UBS is still a going concern. I recently visited their Website and under the heading ‘UBS Wealth Management Global’, appeared the following paragraph. “UBS offers high net worth and affluent individuals around the world a complete range of ‘tailored’ services.” Wink, wink, nudge, nudge! No question, Swiss banks have been extraordinarily successful in being the recipients of what amounts to an open spigot of American money of questionable intent that the banks effectively launder of tax obligations.
If you believe his tax returns, Mitt’s even bigger in the Caymans with at least a dozen accounts, many in Bain Capital funds. One account address is a PO box in the Cayman capital. And he uses Ireland just like Google did with holdings squirreled away in Dublin.
Goggle’s ‘round the world’ strategy allowed the company to avoid a total of $3.1 billion in taxes over a recent three-year period. In fact, Google’s average percentage of corporate taxes paid was 2.4% during that period. What Google did was shift it’s profits to subsidiaries in low-tax accomplice nations like Ireland, the Netherlands, Bermuda and the like. That’s the reason you park funds, investments and profits overseas. Right Mitt??? For Romney an estimated $250 million net worth simply isn’t enough.
Then there’s Romney’s Bain Capital investment in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg tax-avoidance (consultants call it tax ‘efficiency’) system is one of the most complex and advanced in the world. Once you pay an ‘entry’ fee, there are endless fiscal roads available to cheat America out of virtually all tax obligations.
Mitt Romney should be investigated in infinite detail. He should release the same number of tax returns as his father and the president and American voters should reject him. Here’s a guy who lived the American dream through a system that rewarded his father’s efforts that enabled Mitt to matriculate at Stanford, BrighamYoung and Harvard, teaching Mitt every thing he would need to know to carve out a hugely-successful career.
He thanked the nation he professes to love by evading millions upon millions of tax dollars. You want a guy who scours the world seeking out every avenue of tax-avoidance to be your president? Didn’t think so.
My wife also questioned how such tax-avoidance strategies create jobs? Remember, Romney insists we not increase taxes on the wealthy because of all the jobs they create. Thank you dear.
As Dr. Billy Graham observed in a recent column; “Self-indulgence of any kind is spiritually dangerous, for only God deserves to be first in our lives.”
Let this money glutton return to his first love…Mitt!
Image: Ron Paul Exposed