By Rawlein G. Soberano, Ph.D.
GERMANTOWN, MD (March 1, 2012) — Willard Mitt Romney has been running since 1994. He has an income of at least $20 million a year, with bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Switzerland, while still collecting from Bain Capital.
He may be the first presidential candidate to bank overseas. The choice among Republicans is among a habitual flip-flopper/corporate raider/pension plan looter, or a far-right, fear-mongering, anti-women, homophobic, fundamentalist evangelical, or a lobbyist/influence peddler/3x-married, self-proclaimed conservative. There is nothing wrong with being rich but whether one cares for the middle-class. However you dissect it, with his income and less than 15% he pays in taxes, Romney is an embodiment of unfairness and what is wrong with America’s top 1%.
Why put your money overseas, if there is nothing to hide, which is the standard modus operandi of the top 1%. Were there years in which he did not pay taxes because of the “losses” his investments suffered? How many deductions did he use? What were they? Americans want to know. He just doesn’t get it!
In NH, he won the primary. Supposedly it was his second primary victory till his win in IA was reversed in favor of Rick Santorum by 34 votes. By this time, conservatives have gotten a little bit more organized as to who is going to be their candidate. It was definitely anyone but Romney (ABR)! When he lost in SC, the standard big-guns of the GOP, the king-makers, got their guns ready to fight for Romney as to why he would be best for America but also for their clients’ pocketbooks.
There is no limit as to the damage they can cause; they just want Romney to win at all costs. They are putting their necks and reputations on the line to support a candidate who cannot seem to connect with the electorate. Santorum trounced him in CO, MN and MO. In the ME caucus, his victory over Ron Paul is questionable. Though he comes from the same upper-class back- ground as Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and JFK, he finds himself awkward in connecting with the average voter.
He doesn’t even seem to know who he is because there seems to be more than one Romney. One portrays his time at Bain Capital as providing experience turning around failing companies, while the documentary “Super Pac” called Winning Our Future paints a dark portrait of Romney as a corporate raider who bankrupted firms for personal profit. Peter Boyer, an ex-Romney adviser gave us an exclusive look at him as a “greedy, job-killing corporate raider, more ruthless than Wall Street.”
How many Americans have Swiss bank accounts and requisitely file Form 926, “Form by a US Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation” or Schedule M of Form 5741, “Transaction between Controlled Foreign Corporations and Shareholders or other Related Person,” which are attached to his return?
In the debates Romney comes across as a male, whiny version of Michelle Bachmann whose every other statement, when she was running earlier, was to attack President Obama incessantly. I guess we can expect more of these attacks–personal, untrue, half-true, malicious pandering and pimping to the GOP base, now that her campaign manager is in the payroll of the Romney campaign.
With Sarah Palin and Herman Cain leading the charge for the Tea Party crowd, it will be a bloody battle of nincompoops, resulting in a violent cannibalism and blood-curling fight to the finish. The only thing that holds them together is their hatred for BHO exacerbated by the monthly report of a recovering economy in spite of the Republican effort to undermine it. Are you listening, Mitch McConnell?
That’s why they have turned to social issues. The GOP has killed democracy in America, and we are trying to spread this GOP brand to other parts of the world? What kind of democracy is it when one candidate tries to destroy another by spending $16 million in the FL primary to nuke the latter? There has been no case of voter fraud in the past 10 years. Why spend millions of dollars to fire up GOP political rhetoric to deprive others (targeted groups = 5 millions voters) their right to vote? This is the group that wants Mitt Romney (or Santorum or Gingrich) to lead them in the 2012 election.
After it was evident that he could not wiggle his way out of his vast holdings/net worth, he tried to face his critics head-on. What does he have to satisfy them? His trust fund of $100 million for his five sons, who are unlike Jon Huntsman’s sons for their service in the Navy, just showed us that the tax code has long cheated middle-class Americans. His statements about the goals of private-equity capital is to create jobs sound fake and hollow, when everyone knows it is there to create profits for its investors. His net worth is around $250 million, definitely putting him at the top of the top 1%, who do not pay their proportionate share of taxes. He is now perceived as the strongest GOP challenger, so the king-makers say, but more information on Romney is also very embarrassing in that he turned out to be a supporter of federal stimulus packages, government bailout for the Olympics in UT but opposed same for the auto industry in Detroit, and an originator of reforms that that eventually became Obamacare.
While he hammered Newt for his involvement with Fannie and Freddie, he did not mention his investments in same which garnered him $1 million in interest last year. He also failed to mention the Medicare fraud while Bain owned stocks in Damon Clinical Laboratories and Romney sat on the board. His record as chair of the Republican Governors Association was a failure when he oversaw the loss of six governors’ offices, including his own in MA.
It’s not much to be proud of regarding his leadership. Until his failed leadership, Republicans held the majority of governorship since 1995 (28 Democrat and 22 GOP governors). He began planning his race for governor in 2003, obsessed with running and ended up hurting his performance as governor and the fortunes of the party in general. There goes the leadership claim out of the window!
Corning Clinical Laboratories Inc. reached an agreement with DOJ on behalf of a subsidiary, Damon Clinical Laboratories, which it acquired 08-04-93. Damon agreed to pay the US government $119 million to conclude all federal and medical criminal and civilian claims relating to its billing by Damon of add-on blood tests ordered with chemistry panel and agreed to a one-count criminal information plan. The settlement covers all matters investigated by DOJ on behalf of the IG of HHS relating to subpoenas issued to Damon beginning 08-24-93 to laboratory tests in question that were commonly released by physicians/clients and were billed by Damon to various federal and state healthcare programs between 1988 and 1993.
It is not a big surprise to hear Newt Gingrich call Mitt Romney a “maniacal liar.” It starts with his accusation against BHO as a radical leftist attempting a “fundamental transformation” of America. He might as well have said straight out to excite his base that BHO does not qualify to be president because he is black, is not one of us because of his race. He accuses him of making the recession worse, of not believing in opportunity or free enterprise, of having no understanding of the real economy, and of apologizing to America and appeasing our enemies.
This is a classic example of Republican rhetoric and septic talk, removed from reality, and spews out malicious lies about BHO, drawn from the pages of the GOP talking points solely focused to win elections at any and all cost. The crowds that gather at his stops are discouragingly small, like the one at the Ford Stadium where the Detroit Lions play. The stadium can accommodate as many as 65k. In his appearance there before the GOP primary, he was greeted by only 1,200. He is just not good in his job, just as John McCain wasn’t.
With the daily mud-slinging and the constant public airing of their dirty linens, Gingrich decried Romney’s carpet-bombing attacks on him after his win in SC, and fought back till the end, e.g., “Mitt Romney is a pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase, pro-gay rights cheat, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, enemy of religious liberty, buying the FL primary, with deep ties to Wall Street,” fielding almost 13,000 negative ads against Gingrich.
From then on, Gingrich’s campaign went south. Meanwhile Romney attacked Santorum for not being conservative enough, attacking his credibility and listing Santorum’s positions that “he had taken to support his party even though they defied his principles.” Santorum fought back, using campaign and media to lambaste Romney as a big-spending, big- government, “pro-choice, gay-rights supporting candidate” when he was governor of MA. Republicans are going to pay a heavy price for this internecine warfare in November.
It is doubtful that Romney will win the 2012 presidential elections. His endorsement by GOP governors of SC, CO, NM, MO were rejected by the primary voters. The endorsement of Jan Brewer of AZ was more hilarious than effective because it came at the tail end of the race when the winner was already known. It will be a tough journey to the nomination, especially if it ends up a brokered convention.
There’s just no fire in the belly. His endorsement by the top GOP big-wigs can be summed up in one line: Romney is an OK candidate but not a great one. He never came up with an original exciting idea on how to solve the unemployment problem, or create jobs, or stop foreclosures, or get the banks to start lending again. It’s not enough to attack opponents; the American people want to know “specifics” with regards to the economy, jobs, bringing people together, solving the national problems, working with members of the other party, and foreign affairs. Many Republicans have already kissed this race goodbye and are bracing for the 2016 race, the never-ending American pastime.
Rawlein G. Soberano, Ph.D. is the President of the Asian American Business Roundtable.