Archive for Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Letter: Common sense

October 16, 2012

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To the editor:

While growing up in a small town in northeast Kansas as the daughter of a small-town business owner, we were always taught to buy local. As a result, my husband and I shop in Lawrence and believe it is in the best interest of the town we love. While on my walk today, I noticed a Romney sign which said “Believe in America.” I thought to myself, how can someone believe in America and invest their own money overseas? It is a fairly well-known belief that Mr. Romney has money invested in the Cayman Islands. How can a person run under the banner “Believe in America” when that person will not invest his money here?

In addition, now Mr. Romney believes we should be arming the rebels in Syria. Does this scare anyone else? In the first place, there is no guarantee the arms will stay with the rebels. The risk is too great that they will just end up in the hands of terrorists. We’ve tried this, and it doesn’t work. Also, who will pay for all this warfare? If we don’t have the money for preventive care for women, school lunches for hungry children, PBS, etc., where will this money come from?

I don’t claim to be the smartest person in the world, but I have always been known to have common sense. Most of Mr. Romney’s proposals just don’t make sense to me.

Comments

Fred Mertz 2 years, 5 months ago

Pam, I can agree with you about Syria, but I disagree that having foreign investments mean you don't care about the US. Many individuals through their retirement portfolios have foreign investments and many state governments do too.

Unless you are equally outraged at Obama for spending US funds in Libya and Egypt as you are about Romney doing it in Syria then you are being hypocritical.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

I had some european funds in my 401k, but after the debacle in greece and the other countries there on the verge of revolution, I moved that percentage back to American funds.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

What happened to "buy American, it's patriotic"?

People who care about this country will make an effort, if they're able, to buy American made goods, and to keep their money here - Romney certainly qualifies as able, given his wealth.

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

I make an effort, but if the product is inferior in quality and more expensive, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

I understand - that's a real problem.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Was that money spent in the Cayman Islands? Do they count the jobs that were saved? Or are those lowly workers not worth that much?

rtwngr 2 years, 5 months ago

How about this current regime giving billions of dollars to Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina to drill for oil but refuses to allow drilling on Federal lands. Oh, by the way, Bill and Hillary had a $200k tax credit on their 2006 income tax return for money invested overseas.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't disagree with "most" of Mr. Romney's proposals, but besides providing a lot of humanitarian aid, we need to steer well clear of the war in Syria.

By the way, if you could make a better return on investment moving your savings account to a bank in Nebraksa, does that mean you don't care about Kansas?

Your Camen Islands remark employs the crudest form of intellectual fallacy called the Ad Hominem attack. Wise up Pam.

anotherview 2 years, 5 months ago

It isn't so much about investing in the Cayman Islands as it is about why Romney invested in the Cayman Island. I suspect it was more about avoiding paying US income tax on these investments than it was about being such a good investment. Just think, Romney had to pay 14% on his US income. Sure wouldn't want to have to pay anymore.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

So they guy figured out a way to save money on his taxes. Do I need to point out nothing about this practice is illegal? Why didn't the Democrats pass a change to the tax law when they controlled congress and end this practice you and others seem to find so objectionable?

Could it be that rich politicans on BOTH sides of the political spectrum like the idea of saving money on their taxes? Gasp....

anotherview 2 years, 5 months ago

The Cayman Islands and having a Swiss bank account, are well known as a places to park money to avoid paying US income tax. They are not known as place to achieve the best return on one's money.

deec 2 years, 5 months ago

If someone hates communism so much, I wonder if they take care not to buy any products made in Communist China?

deec 2 years, 5 months ago

Preferring American products is not the same as refusing to buy items made in communist countries.

anotherview 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course I don't pay as much in federal income taxes as Romney. But, I also don't make $20,000,000.00 a year. The part I and lots of other middle class folks don't like is that we pay a higher federal income tax rate then Romney does.

Kyle Cornish 2 years, 5 months ago

Let me guess, SageonPage, you are a brainwashed Republican. You watch nothing but Fox News because it's Fair and Balanced. It tells you the truth and never lies. It is one of the biggest embarrassments of "news source" I have ever witnessed. You just regurgitate its content and call it your own thought. Very original. Please step back for a moment and have your own thought. It you follow your heart and the goodness inside you, there is only one choice for President. The good man who wants what's best for America. Not what's best for his bank account. Obama 2012.

Kyle Cornish 2 years, 5 months ago

You do realize that Fox News just spews hate-filled messages, right? They are part of the devil that is taking down America known as the Tea Party. Lord help us. I know He is disappointed in the right wing. Congress has done nothing except try to block everything Obama has wanted to do. No President has had to face that. That's evil. And then they complain Obama has done nothing. How could he when the Republicans block everything just to be mean? If Romney wins, it will be the other way. Democrats will win Congress back and block everything Romney wants to do. Then watch the right wingers cry and hate...

chootspa 2 years, 5 months ago

Might be working great. All we've seen is the two most recent years. I'd love to take a gander at that 2009 return.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Might we presume that the IRS already has looked at those returns? Might we also presume that they found nothing so egregious as to warrant legal action that would then make that matter a part of the public record?

We all know Romney is quite wealthy. And we all know that there are a variety of ways to reduce your tax burden, all legal. And we can presume Romney, like most wealthy, has availed himself of those legal means. Given all that, I wonder what it is you hope to learn from his previous tax returns?

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps whether or not he availed himself of a "tax avoider amnesty" program?

If he did, it would indicate that he in fact broke the law, but was able to pay his way out of serious consequences.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Point taken.

Then again, given our system where one is presumed innocent ...

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

So, let him release his records, and we can see for ourselves.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Do you also want to see Obama's laptop to see of kiddie porn has been downloaded? The point being that we have no real information that either is true. The subtle point is that if you choose not to vote for Romney because he won't release his tax returns, that's certainly your right. But to say that maybe he committed a crime, without any evidence, well, that's not "fair". :-)

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Sure - let's see the laptop.

The point is that given Romney's wealth and business practices, it seems rather likely that he engaged in some questionable activities regarding his taxes.

If he hasn't, why on earth wouldn't he just release them?

I won't vote for Romney for other reasons, like substantive policies. But, his refusal certainly raises questions for me, and for many others as well.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Whatever questionable tax activities that you're referring to, those you describe as having already been engaged in, haven't included criminal activity, to the best of my knowledge. Nor has any suggestion been made about the President's laptop, unless you include my facetious claim. The point is I'm entitled to neither specifically because no credible claim has been made. It's idle speculation. It's voyeurism.

And I won't be voting for Romney either.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Why won't he release the records, if he has nothing to hide?

It's somewhat standard practice for candidates, as far as I know.

By the way, since you like these sorts of equivalences, I have the same question about Obama's college transcripts.

In both cases, my conclusion is that they each have something/s they don't want the public to know, and that would reflect badly on them.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

The thing is this, I can think of a number of scenarios for why he would not want to release his tax returns. He's already under fire for being out of touch with the average voter because he made 20 million and paid 14%. Suppose in 2009 he made 50 million and gave 20% to his church. You know, that cult that he's accused of being a member of. No accusation of illegal activity. But in today's political climate, releasing those taxes might be the same as political suicide.

The point is still that we have no idea and any unfounded speculation is just that. Speculation can be fun, if it's harmless. But accusations of criminal activity with zero credible information has crossed that line from harmless to inappropriate.

In the past, you've admitted Obama lied during the debate, though maybe not as much as Romney. Now you seem to be suggesting Obama has something to hide. Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect the lying and deception to continue? Yet you have committed yourself to voting for Obama. Tell me again, why?

And I'm still not voting for Romney.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

I've told you before.

Since we vote for politicians, we vote for people who lie and spin things.

It's unfortunate, but that's the reality of it.

You seem now to want to hold us to the "innocent until proven guilty" standard that you've previously argued nobody who isn't on a jury needs to hold to - make up your mind.

I say it's very likely that Romney did some things that are questionable with his taxes in the past, and that if he released them we'd find out what those are. The most likely one I've heard of is that he participated in a "tax avoider amnesty" program, one which allowed those who'd been evading paying all of their taxes to pay a fine, and avoid more serious consequences.

What I know about Romney and taxes for sure is that he said he never paid below a certain percentage (I believe it was 14%), and that he never paid more than he had to, which would disqualify him for the presidency.

When one of his returns was released, it showed that he had chosen not to take all of his charitable contributions so as to make sure he didn't pay less than his specified percentage.

According to his own statements, that should disqualify him, as he paid more than he had to.

Also, of course, one's religion and religious activities are part and parcel of political life these days, so his activities regarding the Mormon church are fair game for political debate and discussion. When candidates no longer try to gain points by espousing their religion, I'll call it irrelevant.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Individually, yes, Romney pays more in taxes than people who do not have his wealth. Wow. What a shocker.

However, he pays taxes at a much lower percentage of his wealth than do average income earners. Why is he deserved to pay less of a percentage? Do you really believe the wealthy deserve to pay less in a percentage on their taxes than you or I?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

You're correct, Bea. I can't justify the rich paying taxes at any percentage lower than you or I. Of course, I can't justify them paying taxes at a higher percentage either.

Ditto for the poor. Ditto for everyone.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, it is getting the best bang for his buck. However, it isn't supporting his claim of "Believe in America," which is the point of the letter.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

The founding fathers were anti-colonialist.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

Presidents don't create let alone send jobs anywhere, the market does.

Reducing labor costs frees up capitol for more profitable uses. This "ordinarily" results in increased efficiency and creates other jobs, but the market isn't free. It is being manipulated by government.

Letting China continue to artificially undervalue their currency provides them an unfair advantage over US business. Cheap Chinese labor coupled with their undervalued currency forces US business into cost-cutting to maintain a viable profit margin in a global market and stay in business. This makes the labor market in the US too expensive for a lot of businesses resulting in lost US jobs .

Having borrowed so much money from China, the US has no leverage / ability to influnce unfair Chinese currency manipulation.

Our federal government's massive deficit spending has caused the borrowing that has resulted in the Chinese enjoying an advantage we can do nothing about - other than print money (quantitative easing) debase our own currency (screwing all of us with inflation) so the dollars we pay back to the Chinese aren't near as valuable as the one's we borrowed.

Romeny didn't send any jobs to China....there. Fixed it for ya.

Trumbull 2 years, 5 months ago

"Reducing labor costs frees up capitol for more profitable uses. This "ordinarily" results in increased efficiency and creates other jobs, but the market isn't free."

Yes this is true, and exactly what they teach in economics course. But not true entirely. Talking about our livelihoods and jobs in terms of cost reductions, capital, and increased efficiency is not necessarily the way living human beings see the world.

And the dogma they teach us like above may not be entirely true. This freed up capital may be put to more efficient uses. But with a limitless supply of cost reductions available overseas, there is no economuc reason to see those efficiencies achieved here.....atleast we really are not seeing many. It could have been the latest phone, but even that efficient thing is made overseas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

It's certainly more than a bit ironic that Romney talks tough about getting tough on China while he's up to his neck in the $millions he's made by shipping American jobs to Chinese sweatshops.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

Google "Sensata" and "Freeport, Illinois." (not that I expect you to do anything that might threaten your pathological ignorance.)

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Some evidence below. Romney still owns a big chunk of Bain, so I assume he is going to make more money from them. And he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to put his holdings in a blind trust, like most candidates do when nominated. He either doesn't think he is going to win, or he's afraid the trust will sell off his control of Bain. Either way, he is making lots of money from the outsourcing of American jobs to China, Romney's supposed arch trade enemy. If he really wants to create jobs in the US, he could go back to Bain and stop the outsourcing. Then I might have a little respect for the man.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/us/politics/as-romney-repeats-trade-message-bain-maintains-china-ties.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/10/illinois-workers-bain-outsourcing

http://www.examiner.com/article/mitt-romney-to-profit-nicely-from-chinese-workers-taking-american-jobs-video

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_Mitt_Romney_still_own_a_stake_in_Bain

http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/Editorials/201209030022

bad_dog 2 years, 5 months ago

The silence from Sage is deafening, tomato...

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

There are many investment opportunities that don't involve foreign stocks/bonds.

If one cares about such things, one can easily find them.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

If you're insinuating that I'm "on the dole", you're quite mistaken. I pay federal income taxes, and all other taxes, am saving for retirement, etc. As part of that process, I've been researching various investment possibilities, which is why I know there are good ways to invest without investing in foreign companies.

And, if you continue that sort of thing, I'll ask you to stop responding to my posts.

Now, as to content, if one cares about this country, then it would logically follow that one would act in ways that support it, and one of those ways is to buy American made goods, and invest in American companies.

Looking for the highest possible return without any other considerations is not the act of somebody who cares about America - it's the sign of somebody who is selfishly trying to maximize their profit/income and not looking at the bigger picture.

That's fine, I suppose, but then those folks shouldn't pretend to care about our country, unless they put their money where their mouths are.

Trumbull 2 years, 5 months ago

This is an excellent letter. Wherever possible, we need to get back to buying local at the smallest level, even if it costs more. Consumer power. Multinational corporations in the US might just as well relocate to another country. They do not necessarily care about Americans. If we cannot afford the latest greatest phone, no problem. They got many more customers overseas and plants to build them. Same thing with automobiles. Same thing for the Company store (WalMart). Steve Jobs was no Henry Ford.

Buy American and local just might be are best hope. I have no faith in the big corporate dog anymore.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 5 months ago

As a voter, I will hold statesmen and politicians to a high standard of behavior. Because he deliberately shields much of his (yet untold how large) piles of money offshore and exempt from taxation from his government, Romney falls short of this standard, and is thus untrustworthy and will fail to receive my vote. Heck, I pay a higher rate of federal taxes than he does, and without any knowledge of what exemptions Romney plans to remove from our tax code, I have no choice from his behavior but to believe that his focus will be on retaining perks and deductions that benefit his country club friends, like magical dancing horses and the like. If you want my vote you must keep America as your focus, instead of your pocketbook. Cash out those accounts now Mitt and you might just have a chance next month.

Trumbull 2 years, 5 months ago

Voters should know exactly what exemptions and deductions will be eliminated to pay for Romney's tax cuts. They very well could be morgage interest deduction, state and local tax deduction, and child and dependent deductions. They need to clarify. The American voter should demand honesty. Furthermore, President Obama needs to directly ask Romney.....tonight.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 5 months ago

You pay a larger percentage because you are to cheap to hire a decent tax attorney. When I comes to taxes, the tax code is black and white. You either take advantage of what ever you can or you sit back and complain that someone else got a better deal.

Pretty simple

Trumbull 2 years, 5 months ago

No way is the tax code black and white. If it were, you would not need a tax attorney. Much of the code is subject to interpretation. Statements of opinion and pronouncements are regulary released to assist taxpayers. Taxpayers can be aggressive or conservative, this is not black and white.

Trumbull 2 years, 5 months ago

You have no idea what I have or don't have. Speak for yourself sir.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

If you earn wages through labor, you pay a higher rate than if you earn wages through cashing dividend checks. No matter how much you pay for a tax attorney will not change this fact.

Yes, the tax code is black and white, and it favors those at the top.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Because they don't! Sorry, but 21% or 28% is more than 14%. The dollar amount might be higher, but the percentage of income and percentage of taxes paid is lower for those at the top, especially those who live off dividends.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Also, of course, they have most of the money, and even after paying taxes, still have most of the money.

jaywalker 2 years, 5 months ago

I find it hard to believe this particular LTE legitimately generated a decent discussion string. Don't believe I'll bother reviewing, can't be pleasant.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

But it did give you the opportunity to pump yourself up with a driveby post.

Kyle Cornish 2 years, 5 months ago

At least she put her name on her beliefs. You hide behind a fake photo and username.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

That is because he is no longer allowed to use his real name, at least not around here.

paulveer 2 years, 5 months ago

The economy is global, folks, and all the foreigner bashing in the world won't change that.

Just as within the US, the more we can raise the standard of living of the masses, and see them working and contributing to the overall economy, the better off we all will be, including the 1%.

That lack of this vision, both nationally and internationally, is the much bigger problem with Romney.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, the economy is global. However, is sheltering money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes truly a way to support a presidential candidate's claim to "Believe in America"? Some would say that paying taxes is patriotic. Apparently, after reading this thread, some believe avoiding taxes is the patriotic thing to do.

I guess a slogan of "Believe in America, but Invest in the Cayman Islands" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the sentiments of your letter completely Pam. The country is very divided about how to fix the problem.

In my view, we need to rally the country around reasonable tax increases and reasonable spending cuts. The number one thing preventing this is good old fashioned greed, but this is the only way to pay off the deficit. Politicians are hurting the country because of greed.

The second thing we need to do is junk the politicians and ideologues that are preventing us from responding to global competition which is rapidly increasing. Romney represents the kind of people that actually encouraged the offshoring of jobs and the liquidation of our manufacturing base. There are people who understand the problem but cannot penetrate the political wall in Washington where you have to "pay to play" or go through high paid political middle men like Newt Gingrich and his expensive consulting company. You are charged very high fees for access to the political process that should be available to all Americans.

From 2000 to 2011 something like 66,000 US manufacturing establishments closed their doors. The more qualified people who understand how to make the United States more competitive are not being allowed in the process because the political process is being dominated by ideologues.

It is understandable why the Republicans never have a straight answer to any direct question because they like the global economy just the way it is. It is the American family that is going to suffer more and the middle class.

“Mitt Romney was not a businessman,” he wrote. “He was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses.” - David Stockman (Former Budget Director for Ronald Reagan).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/david-stockman-mitt-romney_n_1968106.html?utm_hp_ref=business

Trumbull 2 years, 5 months ago

And it is not just mfg jobs. In this digital age, service sector jobs, IT, engineering, you name it are beginning to go.

somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

snappin necks and cashin checks since 84'

snappin necks and cashin checks since 84' by somedude20

jherynk 2 years, 5 months ago

Anyone that pays federal income tax participates in investing overseas and supports foreign jobs. The Obama auto bailout of Chrysler has a foreign company (Fiat - Italy) as the majority stockholder. When government motors builds manufacturing plants in foreign countries, we taxpayers are investors like it or not. I for one believe such action is unpatriotic.

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

If you think America was a "punch bowl" in 2008, you weren't awake.

Armstrong 2 years, 5 months ago

You're desperately trying to prop up a proven loooosa. Nov 7. End of an error

notajayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

"In addition, now Mr. Romney believes we should be arming the rebels in Syria."

But I see you have no objections to Obama arming the rebels in Libya. Why, because that worked out so well?

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