Posted by: mulrickillion | April 10, 2012

‘Ritchie’ Romney’s Swiss Bank Accounts, Offshore Accounts, Confidentialities, Non-Disclosures, Secrets, and on and on

By M. Ulric Killion

obama_romney_sings_120201_620x350

Photo Source; “The Post’s report gave the Obama campaign the opportunity to fully embrace the line of attack that Romney’s GOP rivals have used in the primary, casting him as a self-interested corporate raider, part of the unfairly privileged 1 percent of society. On CBS’ Face the Nation last Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden said "Romney is a little out of touch" with the middle class. This election, he said, "is about the middle class and none of what he is offering, does anything." Attacks casting Romney as a wealthy elite — illustrated by his ties to the company he founded, Bain Capital”; by Stephanie Condon, Wealth, transparency issues dog Romney campaign, April 6, 2012; (Credit: AP Photo).

Recently, President Obama with his campaign manager Jim Messina, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Ill.), rightly brought to the attention of potential American voters what defies description of being anything other than the exotic financial portfolio of Willard Mitt Romney.

What is even more alarming is Willard’s inability to understand that while he intends to hide his exotic portfolio from the eyes of an America public, he reveals more about himself than he neither imagines nor desires.

For instance, Willard earlier offered a very limited amount of information regarding his holdings, which were “only” his 2010 tax return and tax estimates for 2011. However, as Stephanie Condon (CBS news) correctly observed, and presenting a problem for his candidacy,

Romney’s disclosure reports do raise serious questions about the nature of Romney’s investments, as well as the level of transparency that should be required of politicians. As the Post points out, Romney used a legal loophole to give a limited picture of his assets, leaving it unclear whether his wealth is invested in controversial companies. He declined to identify the underlying assets in 48 accounts with Bain Capital because they are covered by a confidentiality agreement with the company.

Apparently, he wants to reveal as little about himself as humanly and legally possible, such as Willard employing an obscure ethics exception to avoid disclosing his wealth, especially his Bain holdings. He still refuses to release his tax returns.

Sam Stein writes,

But in the course of calling for millionaires to pay higher tax rates, the participants began working to depict the presumptive GOP nominee as the embodiment of an unfair tax code, while urging him to make more information about his financial portfolio public.

"Romney should meet the same standard now so the American people can judge whether he would be a suitable president and whether there would be any conflict of interest that could cloud his judgment," Messina said. "I see no reason why he would give John McCain 23 years and the American public only two."

There is also the earlier controversy regarding his earnings from the sales of security cameras to the Chinese government. In this example, when revealing as little as possible about his holdings, he would do so while hiding behind a confidentiality agreement with Bain Capital.

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Photo Source; “Rick Perry upped the ante on his criticism of rival Mitt Romney on Tuesday, likening the former Massachusetts governor’s company, Bain Capital, to a band of "vultures" who wait to loot failing companies”; by Rebecca Kaplan, Perry labels Romney, Bain Capital as “vultures”, CBS News, January 10, 2012; Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a campaign stop at the Sun City Lake House, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, in Fort Mill, S.C. (Credit: AP Photo/David Goldman).

During this earlier period of the GOP primary race, the American public was already beginning to see the emergence of a discernible pattern about Willard, which commences the process of confirming our worst suspicions about his self-interested corporate raider image, corporate buyout specialist image,  “vulture” capitalist image, or quoting former GOP candidate Rick Perry, simply a “vulture.”

In the article titled, Perry labels Romney, Bain Capital as “vultures, according to Texas Governor Perry,

"They’re vultures that sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass," Perry told a group of about 200 voters here during a town hall here. "They leave with that and they leave the skeleton."

Talking to reporters after the event, the Texas governor suggested that Romney’s record hasn’t been assessed in the race, though other candidates recently have been joining that line of attack. He has talked about businesses in South Carolina that were restructured or shut down by Bain Capital, costing people jobs.

He fended off criticism of his own his attacks by people who say Bain Capital is just an example of the free market at work – a concept Perry champions in his stump speech, especially when talking about the energy industry. He disagreed with the premise of the criticism, saying that "greedy people" on Wall Street have been taking advantage of Americans.

An additional problem for Willard, however, is that, as the GOP primary race continues, the narrative of “who” is the real Romney starts taking on a life of its own, while neatly revealing a discernible shape and form of his candidacy for public viewing, though contrary to his intentions.

The pattern or evidence is unfolding before our eyes. For instance, the earlier reference to his exotic holdings directly addresses the oddity of a candidate for the office of the U.S. presidency having Swiss bank accounts and/or offshore bank accounts.

Willard simply doesn’t get it, and by that I mean, though doing fairly well in electoral votes via the blunt instrument of Super PAC funds, he fails to understand why he is not doing so well with the popular vote. There are also the issues of likability, trust, and genuineness; all of which are presenting problems for him.

Willard’s only defense, though a desperate one, is that President Obama is out of touch with average Americans, as opposed to himself. The assertion, however, is only good for a couple of laughs, because, as usual, by making such an assertion he only proves that he is in fact the most out of touch GOP primary candidate.

As for the Swiss banks accounts and/or offshore accounts, one suspects that this will present a problem for most potential voters, though Willard, as usual, will also try to sidestep this issue too (i.e., his “etch-a-sketch” meme, which, for example, was on full display on April 9, when he attempted to sell to unsuspecting voters a “centrist”-Willard, rather than a conservative Republican Willard or Tea Party Willard).

“Ritchie” Romney is either in denial of his actions or simply dismissive of all things contrary to the beliefs of a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Sam Stein’s article aptly characterized Willard’s new problem as follows.

"I asked Warren Buffet in a meeting we had recently, ‘Have you ever had a Swiss bank account?’ He said, ‘No, there are plenty of good banks in the United States,’" Durbin said.

"So I started asking people: ‘Why do you have Swiss bank account?’ One, you believe the Swiss Franc is a stronger currency than the United States dollar. And that is apparently the decision the Romney family made during the Bush presidency. And secondly, you want to conceal something. You want to hide something. Why would you have a Swiss bank account instead of one in the United States? I would like to … ask the press to really press some of these questions, the obvious questions. When is the last time a presidential candidate for the United States had a Swiss bank account? I think the answer is never."

It was the most direct the campaign has been on the topic of Romney’s offshore funds. . . .

The Romney campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

Stein’s article well summarizes Willard’s new problem, as it also presents a clear picture of the narrative unfolding around him. This is because the only thing that he genuinely reveals to us is his pattern of concealing and hiding the real “Richie” Romney.

There is also an inherent danger to his concealing, hiding, and using offshore bank accounts rather than, as Warren Buffet  suggested,  “good banks in the United States.”

This is because, Willard’s denial  notwithstanding, a critical problem is his deliberate failure to inform the American public about any conflicts of interest that would impair his judgment in the office of the U.S. presidency.

His unknown and potential conflicts of interest present a serious problem.

For example, as earlier mentioned, there are his earnings from the sales of security cameras to the Chinese government. Willard appears very cavalier about his earnings, and seemingly throws caution to the wind in this case.

In other words, we once again see Romney—the “Great Ruffian”— in full form, because he exhibits his typical insensitivities and a selflessness that denies any consideration of real world realities, such as China’s government using the security cameras (i.e., surveillance equipment) to suppress human rights, arrest and detain dissidents, and other violations of human rights.

Even assuming truth in his assertion that there is a confidential agreement with Bain Capital, this would not have stopped him from speaking out, if Willard actually wanted to do so, against the practice of selling surveillance equipment to the Chinese government, which they could employ as a means to suppress human rights.

4-10-2012 7-49-27 AM

Photo Source; “Mitt Romney is depicted as a financier “more ruthless than Wall Street” and a son of privilege responsible for firing thousands of workers in a film. . . The film also depicts Romney as “rich beyond imagination” and out of touch with most Americans as a result of his wealth”; by Joshua Green, Gingrich-Allied Attack Film Shows Romney as ‘Ruthless’ Rich, Bloomberg, January 11, 2012; Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) — Rick Tyler, a senior adviser to Winning Our Future, a pro-Newt Gingrich political action committee, talks about a 28-minute film that depicts former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as a financier "more ruthless than Wall Street." Tyler speaks with Bloomberg’s Peter Cook in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Source: Bloomberg).

As earlier stated, the Willard narrative earlier began to take on a life of its own.

In the interim, there he is standing on his soapbox, in the most hypocritical fashion, as the loudest voice against China, while bashing China on human rights, trade practices, outsourcing, and everything else under the sun.

It is also for these reasons, as the narrative continued to unfold, many adjectives would employ to describe his unique candidacy, such as the epitomes of ruthless winning, ruthless rich or simply ruthless.

The reasons are obvious, as equally true of the many questions waiting Romney’s answer.

This is because the American people do not have any idea about which of his investments, and holdings or offshore accounts directly or indirectly involve conflicting foreign transactions, conflicts with U.S. trade embargoes, conflicts with U.S. trade laws, conflicts with U.S. diplomatic policies and practices, or simply, find themselves nestled comfortably in a grey area of law or policy, such as the sale of surveillance equipment to the Chinese government.

In other words, as Obama campaign manager Jim Messina succinctly observed, Romney simply “put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key.”

It is a danger only enhanced by the fact that, as billionaire super Pac donor  Julian Robertson explained, “Half of the pro-Romney super PAC’s revenue to date has come from the industry, according to an analysis by the Center For Public Integrity.” By industry, both Robertson and the Center for Public Integrity are referring to the same finance industry intricated with the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis or 2008 global finance crisis, which occurs during the U.S. presidency of George W. Bush (from 2001-2009).

Moreover, assuming the truth of the seeming truism that most people use offshore accounts to conceal or hide something, begs the question of what might Romney be hiding or concealing?

Finally, for those actually contemplating casting a vote against the man—President Obama, you will be wasting your vote, because, in the end, you will not be voting for the man—Willard Mitt Romney.

>>With that being said, the full text of the article by Sam Stein also follows.

____________________

“Barack Obama Campaign Attacks Mitt Romney Over Swiss Bank Account”

By Sam Stein, Huffing Post, April 9, 2012 —

WASHINGTON — A conference call organized by President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign on Monday to push for higher tax rates for millionaires quickly descended into an attack on Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney for his secretive Swiss bank account, with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) declaring that no presidential aspirant has ever had such an exotic financial portfolio.

"I asked Warren Buffet in a meeting we had recently, ‘Have you ever had a Swiss bank account?’ He said, ‘No, there are plenty of good banks in the United States,’" Durbin said.

"So I started asking people: ‘Why do you have Swiss bank account?’ One, you believe the Swiss Franc is a stronger currency than the United States dollar. And that is apparently the decision the Romney family made during the Bush presidency. And secondly, you want to conceal something. You want to hide something. Why would you have a Swiss bank account instead of one in the United States? I would like to … ask the press to really press some of these questions, the obvious questions. When is the last time a presidential candidate for the United States had a Swiss bank account? I think the answer is never."

It was the most direct the campaign has been on the topic of Romney’s offshore funds. The issue arose during the heart of the GOP primary, when Romney released 2010 tax returns and 2011 estimates. Recently, the Obama campaign has tried to revive the charge that the former Bain Capital executive is playing loose with the tax code.

The Romney campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

Monday’s call, which featured campaign manager Jim Messina, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Ill.) and Durbin, started out with a defense of the Buffett rule, a plan named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett and designed to address income inequality. But in the course of calling for millionaires to pay higher tax rates, the participants began working to depict the presumptive GOP nominee as the embodiment of an unfair tax code, while urging him to make more information about his financial portfolio public.

"Romney should meet the same standard now so the American people can judge whether he would be a suitable president and whether there would be any conflict of interest that could cloud his judgment," Messina said. "I see no reason why he would give John McCain 23 years and the American public only two."

If Romney were to release 23 years of tax returns, it would constitute a historic amount of transparency on his part. Obama himself released eight years’ worth of tax returns during the 2008 presidential campaign. When pressed whether the president would match Romney and release 23 years’ worth himself, Messina all but ducked the question.

"We have gone back to 2000," he said. "This is the standard that Romney set when he was talking to McCain about the VP deal. We have been very clear about what we have laid out. We have done tons of transparency throughout government."

Barack Obama Campaign Attacks Mitt Romney Over Swiss Bank Account

_______________

See also The Republican Conundrum

All Rights Reserved by M. Ulric Killion, 2012.


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