It’s Not Just that Romney is So Rich

So what if Mitt Romney is worth $270 million? So what if he made more than $20 million last year without working a day? And so what if he paid less than 15 percent in taxes? There’s no law against any of it.

There’s no law against keeping some of his millions in a Swiss bank and more millions in the Cayman Islands. Uncle Sam doesn’t seem to mind.

John Kennedy was rich. FDR was rich.

This is America. It’s OK to be rich. And until Congress does something about our cockeyed tax code, it’s OK to take advantage of loopholes in the law. Not admirable, of course. But OK.

But there’s a catch.

Even if you are that rich, if you run for president, there’s an unwritten law that says you should have the ordinary American’s best interests at heart.

And that’s where Mitt Romney fails.

Rich as he is, you would think – as they say back in Jamaica – his belly would be full by now. But apparently, he can’t help wanting more.

His mindset is so elitist that he thinks corporations and banks are “people.”

And if he is elected president, he plans to lower his own taxes by a bunch while raising ours!

In fact, everything he says shows he is primarily interested in making himself and his pals richer – at our expense.

Take his recent comment on America’s tragic foreclosure crisis:

Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.

How’s that for sheer heartlessness?

And, as it turns out, for sheer selfishness?

According to an article in Salon.com today:

A ThinkProgress examination of Mitt Romney’s presidential personal financial disclosures from May 2011 reveal that the former Massachusetts governor and his wife own or owned millions of dollars worth of a Goldman Sachs investment fund invested heavily in mortgage-backed obligations. And the current owners of those mortgage debts began foreclosure proceedings against thousands of Floridians.

Along with his investments in Bain Capital funds linked to offshore tax havens, the Romneys have large investments in the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund (institutional class). The firm’s March 2011 annual report for the fund notes that about 8 percent of the fund is invested in banks and 24.5 percent is invested in mortgage-backed obligations. Romney’s form says he has invested between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 in the fund and his wife Ann has invested an additional $1 million-plus. Since the 2008 economic meltdown and the enactment of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, this fund has done quite well, growing 7.88 percent between April 2010 and March 2011.

The mortgage-backed securities in the fund include adjustable rate mortgages from Bear Stearns, Countrywide, IndyMac, and Washington Mutual. A 2009 Center for Public Integrity report identified all four of those companies as among the top-25 subprime lenders in the lead-up to the market’s collapse. Countrywide ranked first in that report and Washington Mutual ranked second. While the remnants of those companies have been purchased by major financial institutions, an array of mortgage loan service companies bought up the individual mortgages.

In other words, as Salon points out, letting the foreclosure crisis “hit the bottom” may be disastrous for homeowners but it makes the Romneys richer.

Yes, Jack Kennedy and FDR were rich, very rich. But can you imagine either of them being as heartless and selfish as Romney?

Click here to read the Salon article.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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