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Obama Puts Tax Smear In New Campaign Ad

From an approving Washington Post:

Another Obama ad suggests that Mitt Romney paid no taxes in some years

By Rachel Weiner, Published: August 9

President Obama’s campaign is out with its second ad suggesting that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney skirted taxes altogether at some points in his career.

As with a previous ad raising the same idea, this spot combines facts about Romney’s money-management history with allegations that can’t be proved — at least, unless the Republican candidate releses [sic] his tax returns.

So this isn’t even the first time that the Obama campaign has raised this canard. But note the total lack of any condemnation from the Washington Post.

“Did Romney pay 10 percent in taxes? Five percent? Zero?” the narrator asks. “We don’t know.” A clip plays in which Romney says he’s “happy to go back and look” at his past tax returns.

The narrator continues, “But we do know that Romney personally approved over $70 million in fictional losses to the IRS as part of the notorious ‘Son of Boss’ tax scandal. One of the largest tax avoidance schemes in history. Isn’t it time for Romney to come clean?”

Romney chaired the audit board of Marriott International from 1993 to 1998, as detailed in a Bloomberg article in February. During that time, according to the article, the company set up a tax shelter known as “Son of BOSS,” an acronym for “bond and option sales strategies.” Companies could avoid taxes by off-setting gains with paper losses.

Son of BOSS is the nickname for a type of tax shelter that was designed and promoted by tax advisors in the 1990s to reduce federal taxes on capital gains from the sale of a business or other appreciated asset.

Son of BOSS transactions were marketed by tax advisers at accounting and law firms beginning in the late 1990s. Several thousand taxpayers used the shelter before the Treasury and Congress took steps to block its tax benefits, beginning in 2000.

Romney was the chairman of Marriott’s audit board from 1993 to 1998. And the claim is that Marriott used the Son Of Boss shelters.

The IRS lost billions to these schemes and began cracking down on them as abusive in 2000; Marriott’s setup was invalidated by a federal appeals court in 2009

And Marriott International paid $29 million in back taxes for their sins.

But, once again, the IRS did not put an end to the shelter until 2000, which is two years after Romney left Marriott. And, of course, he was never charged by the government with any wrong doing.

By the way, how would Romney’s returns from the last ten years address these charges from 1998, which is 14 years ago? Hint: this has nothing to do with those charges. In fact, this shows that releasing the last ten years of returns will just make them demand more.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly claimed that a former Bain investor told him that Romney did not pay taxes at all for 10 years.

Obama’s campaign has not endorsed that attack, but it continues to edge close to that line.

By the way, The Post claims the Obama campaign has not endorsed Harry Reid’s charge that Romney did not pay taxes at all for 10 years. But that it "continues to edge close to that line." Which is pretty laughable, since the whole point of this new ad is to imply Romney has cheated on his taxes, albeit more than 14 years ago.

Also note that this is from the Obama campaign. Not from the supposedly ‘independent’ Super PAC. So there is no excuse for Obama allowing such an obvious smear to be run.

But this is not your father’s Democrat gutter politics. This is not your father’s Democrat thuggery. This is a new low even by their low standards.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 10th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Obama Puts Tax Smear In New Campaign Ad”

  1. Petronius says:

    Like con artists and shysters everywhere, the Democrat Party depends on the gullibility of the American public for their electoral successes.

    For since when is tax avoidance a bad thing? After all, half the American voters pay no income taxes whatsoever. So isn’t this a case of beholding the mote in your neighbor’s eye?

    According to the US Supreme Court, “The legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted.” Gregory v Helvering, 293 US 465 (1935).


    So shouldn’t we be more concerned if Romney were not clever enough to understand the ins-and-outs of the tax code?

    And which party, by the way, has devoted its entire existence to finding new ways to make the tax code more onerous, complex, and confusing?

  2. Right of the People says:

    Like Goebbels and his propaganda machine a lie repeated enough times becomes the truth or what passes for the truth.

    The American public is extremely gullible and tends to believe what they hear on the boob tube. Instead of taking the time to check if something is true, they tend to take the word of the talking heads because they wouldn’t like, would they?

    I’m hoping that Romney is only waiting until he is the official nominee to unless the dogs of war and a full media blitz. September and October would seem to be the best times to spend the majority of their money on ads since the public tends to have a very short attention span. “Look there’s a squirrel!” And I get the feeling whoever gets in the last lick will be remembered by the lemmings when they go to the polls in November.

  3. fallingpianos says:

    From the same Washington Post:

    Capitol Hill employees owed $9.3 million in back taxes last year, data show

    From the article:

    And 41 employees at the Executive Office of the President owed $831,000 altogether…


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