Mitt Romney and his ‘not very much’ problem

As an aside in acknowledging that he pays roughly 15 percent of his income in taxes, a lower share than many middle-class Americans, Mitt Romney also mentioned that he “gets speaker fees from time to time, but not very much.”

Campaign disclosure forms express that “not very much” in stark numerical terms: $374,000 in speaking fees from February 2010 to February 2011, when Romney ceased accepting paying gigs in order to run for president full time.

From Romney’s point of view, his description of that income is correct and understandable. If you have an estimated net worth of $270 million, $374,000 truly is “not very much,” a mere 0.14 percent of your wealth. On the other hand, from the point of view of most Americans, that same sum is really quite a lot. In fact, Romney’s income from speeches alone would put him in the fabled top 1 percent in terms of household income.

The issue is relevant not because it feeds some sort of voter envy over Romney’s wealth. It’s relevant in terms of perspective. Romney’s dismissal of $374,000 as “not very much,” when in fact it’s more than 99 percent of American households make each year, tells you a lot about how the world looks through his eyeballs. As the son of one of Detroit’s most powerful auto executives, and as a highly successful venture capitalist himself, he has experienced the world from a very different vantage point than most of his fellow Americans.

Does that matter? Well, the GOP critique of Barack Obama has focused on a claim that, raised partially overseas, he was not exposed to the full “American experience” and is thus less than fully American. He doesn’t understand us; he’s not one of us. That’s the crux of the whole “birther” phenomenon, as well as claims from the likes of Newt Gingrich that Obama is an “anti-colonialist” who somehow absorbed the political viewpoint of the foreign-born father that he almost never saw. It has even led black Americans as diverse in viewpoint as Cornel West and Herman Cain to question Obama’s authenticity as an American black man.

In a sense, Romney also grew up and continues to reside in a foreign land, a place with very different rules, customs and culture than most Americans experienced. It formed his world view in a way that he can never fully escape, in part because there is little evidence that he had tried. And on the campaign trail, that managerial instinct to focus on the numbers rather than the human impact reveals itself repeatedly.

It comes across, for example, when Romney tried to claim recently that he too has lived in fear of getting the pink slip, although his campaign later ducked questions about when that fabled time might have occurred. It was akin to John Kerry asking “who among us does not like NASCAR”? And when asked in Nevada — ground zero of the foreclosure boom — what should be done to address the housing crisis that continues to put hundreds of thousands of American families out of their homes, Romney’s blunt answer was “don’t try to stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and bottom out.”

That is the viewpoint of a CEO or outside consultant who is trained to see workers as units of production, and desperate homeowners clinging to their property as an obstacle to efficient markets. Don’t get me wrong: There is a place, even a need, for such bottom-line attitudes in a capitalist system.

The question that voters have to answer in 2012 is whether that place is the White House.

– Jay Bookman

564 comments Add your comment

Welcome to the Occupation

January 18th, 2012
10:18 am

Mitt Romney’s campaign is like one long George H. W. Bush in the supermarket experience. It’s very revealing.

mm

January 18th, 2012
10:19 am

Romney is the golden child of the 1 percent. Show your tax returns.

JF McNamara

January 18th, 2012
10:30 am

I doubt he’s even paying 15%. If he is, he’s paying too much and needs a better accountant. That’s probably why he’s waiting on this year’s return. He’ll then have a return where he pays that much, because he’s going to screw himself. My guess is that he’s paying around half that (7.5%).

Besides that, much of his money is offshore. I doubt he pays anything in taxes on that.

Grasshopper

January 18th, 2012
10:30 am

“It formed his world view in a way that he can never fully escape, in part because there is little evidence that he had tried.”

What does that mean? What is there to escape from?

Jay, do you ever tire of phoning in the ‘He’s rich and not like us’ crap?

Brad Steel

January 18th, 2012
10:31 am

The republicans have much more profound problems than a rich-guy nominee who operates like a capitalist rather than a populist.

It would be so refreshing to see Romeny step-up and say:

Yeah, I’m rich. So what? And I only pay 15% tax on the no-work-for-me dividends (note: it’s not “income” per se. It’s the “dividend tax”). It’s all that rich guys have pay. Paying more than 15% is for proles. Who do you think designed the tax code, you saps.

Martin the Calvinist

January 18th, 2012
10:31 am

I bet the dollar amount of his 15% is much, much more than the 15% paid by someone who made 50,000 dollars. The intellectual dishonesty that is being spread should stop. 15% of a million dollars is a whole lot more than 15% of 50,000 dollars.

md

January 18th, 2012
10:31 am

“what should be done to address the housing crisis that continues to put hundreds of thousands of American families out of their homes, Romney’s blunt answer was “don’t try to stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and bottom out.” ”

Which is exactly the right course…….stalling the inevitable just creates more unintended consequences. Take the dang medicine and get rid of the sickness…………….

josef

January 18th, 2012
10:33 am

We have reached a point where only those with megabucks can even consider a run for President. Theis quibbling and posturing about who is more in touch with the real American is so much garbage. A pox on all their houses.

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
10:34 am

In virtually every aspect of his public life, the man is a fraud.

Granted, many, if not most politicians probably are.

But his lifelong immersion in, love of and desire to further the Two Americas will ensure he is once again just a minor footnote in American history.

Oh and BTW, his dad was twice the man his son was. (Unfortunately ironic that he and Boy George share that trait…)

md

January 18th, 2012
10:34 am

“The intellectual dishonesty that is being spread should stop.”

The envy won’t allow that to happen……..it’s always about what the other guy does/doesn’t do. Very seldom about personal choices where one has to look within.

mm

January 18th, 2012
10:35 am

When are you rightwing fools going to stop defending the rich thinking they create jobs? Jobs are created by demand for a product. Demand is created when the middle class has money to spend.

Mary Elizabeth

January 18th, 2012
10:36 am

“Romney also grew up and continues to reside in a foreign land, a place with very different rules, customs and culture than most Americans experienced. It formed his world view in a way that he can never fully escape, in part because there is little evidence that he had tried.”

“(Romney’s) is the viewpoint of a CEO or outside consultant who is trained to see workers as units of production, and desperate homeowners clinging to their property as an obstacle to efficient markets.”
——————————————————————————-

FDR and JFK were products of very wealthy families, also, but their visions for America, and for Americans, had more breadth, depth, and humanity than does Romney’s. They would never have viewed workers as simply “units of production,” but instead as breathing, living human beings,
as full of humanity as they.

Is Romney’s place in the White House? My answer is no.

scrappy

January 18th, 2012
10:37 am

“Romney’s blunt answer was “don’t try to stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and bottom out.”

Akin to:
“Are there no work houses? Are there no poor houses?” – E. Scrooge

I don’t believe the person sitting in the white house should be able to so easily remove the people element from his policies. That person needs to know how his/hers policies affect real Americans & let that weigh in on the decision making process.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 18th, 2012
10:38 am

Well, I know that when I get to the point of getting almost 400,000 bucks for people to hear me talk, it’ll be alot more than not very much. Matter of fact, I’ll be moving out of Simpsons Trailer Park and giving the finger to just about everybody. Except maybe my buddies Jim Earl and Joe Bill.

But that’s just me. It’s all in how you look at things. I mean, I could get mighty use to being slipped a check for maybe $20,000 for showing up and saying a few words someplace. I’ll try not to mess my pants when it happens.

Have a good Hump Day everybody.

md

January 18th, 2012
10:38 am

“Jobs are created by demand for a product. Demand is created when the middle class has money to spend.”

Here Am…….even mm can see it……although I don’t think he really sees what he thinks he sees. Yep, that demand is why those jobs aren’t in this country.

Odis

January 18th, 2012
10:39 am

Mitt Romney is simply out of touch with 99% of Americans. If you are not part of the top 1% then Mitt Romney can’t relate to your day to day life or the issues that matter to you most.

Jay

January 18th, 2012
10:39 am

I now see where that noted liberal, Rick Santorum, is making much the same point:

“The thing that is a difference … is to make a statement that I made a couple of extra bucks giving speeches, when that couple extra bucks is over $300,000,” Santorum said. “I mean, that to me, says a little bit more about Gov. Romney and his connection with the American people than his tax rate, which is driven by a tax code.”

Butch Cassidy

January 18th, 2012
10:39 am

God, you seriously can’t make this stuff up. You have a candidate trying to run for President under the guise of “Joe Everyman”. Hey, I’m just like you, so what if I made 7.5 times the median income of the average American worker, so what if I pay less in taxes than the average american worker, so what if I never had to want for anything due to my family fortune, so what if I never lived with the threat of a possible pink slip, so what if I travel by private jet. I know your pain America, because I’M JUST LIKE YOU.

Butch Cassidy

January 18th, 2012
10:40 am

md – “Very seldom about personal choices where one has to look within.”

Wow, so Mitt chose his parents?

CJ

January 18th, 2012
10:41 am

Piggybacking on JF McNamara’s comment above, income from investments (dividends and capital gains) and inheritances should be taxed at the exact same rates as income from work…no more and no less. It’s true that investors are job creators. But consumers are job creators too. And, by the way, workers are “return on investment” creators.

This is usually the point at which somebody jumps in to make the double taxation argument. Yes, it’s true that inheritance and dividend income is double taxed (or can be). But that’s true for all sources of income, including income from work. The money that ends up in our paychecks was taxed when it was received by our customers or our employers customers. It’s ALL double taxed..and triple taxed…an taxed again as it passes from one individual or business to another. So, there’s no reason that dividend and inheritance income should get special treatment by our tax code.

TaxPayer

January 18th, 2012
10:41 am

Aside from his religion, how is Mitt not the perfect Republican.

Jay

January 18th, 2012
10:42 am

RB, in 2010 Obama’s effective tax rate was 23 percent.

getalife

January 18th, 2012
10:44 am

The gop know willard will lose and the newt would lose worse.

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
10:44 am

For “hump day” RC,

(Don’t worry, as things usually go here, this one ain’t all that weird! Just some harmonious power pop.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oBWiakPlAM

Aquagirl

January 18th, 2012
10:44 am

Very seldom about personal choices where one has to look within.

Yeah, those losers not choosing rich and powerful parents should accept the consequences. Chose the wrong vajay to fall out of? Your fault, peon. Get back to work.

md

January 18th, 2012
10:44 am

Akin to:
““Are there no work houses? Are there no poor houses?” – E. Scrooge

I don’t believe the person sitting in the white house should be able to so easily remove the people element from his policies. That person needs to know how his/hers policies affect real Americans & let that weigh in on the decision making process.”

Hmmm…….people element??

Funny how the people some see are just those on the front lines……those folks that are not paying their mortgages certainly aren’t thinking about the people that are forced to pick up the tab…….but in some eyes, those people aren’t even in the equation.

And how many will lose their own houses because they can’t afford the extra cost of paying for others? You think the money owed just evaporates into thin air? No, everybody else gets stuck with the bill.

carlosgvv

January 18th, 2012
10:44 am

Yes, that’s just what we need in the White House. A predatory capitalist CEO. And, yes, that’s just what millions of simple voters would gladly love to see. And, if if seems to some of you that a good Christian just could not be this kind of Capitalist, be assured the high priests of the Mormon Church are behind McRomney 100%. (You’re not so simple as to believe money dosen’t talk with Christian leaders, are you?)

stands for decibels

January 18th, 2012
10:45 am

It was akin to John Kerry asking “who among us does not like NASCAR”?

Nitpicky point, but you do realize that Kerry never actually said that, right?

CJ

January 18th, 2012
10:45 am

Santorum said. “I mean, that to me, says a little bit more about Gov. Romney and his connection with the American people than his tax rate, which is driven by a tax code.”

Actually, Romney’s lower tax rate as nothing to do with profits from investments and is the result of a “small loopchasm” in our tax code. A loopchasm that Romney has no intention of changing.

While he’s at it, Romney’s tax plan lowers taxes for the rich and raises taxes on the poor. That’s the bottom line.

moonbat betty

January 18th, 2012
10:46 am

A billion dollars says that Obama has a chance at winning this election.

Mick

January 18th, 2012
10:46 am

Class warfare, class envy, all terms that the repub sheep still hear and believe. The fact of the matter is the war has already been won, repeatedly by the rich. What of class envy? Most people would be ecstatic to knock down 100k a year. Must be nice to consider over 350k just piddly winks…

Butch Cassidy

January 18th, 2012
10:48 am

Mick – “Must be nice to consider over 350k just piddly winks…”

In Mitts defense, he did earn that money by speaking at luncheons. (eye roll)

Paul

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

Wasn’t too long ago we had people on this blog demanding more affordable housing in the face of skyrocketing housing costs, like happened in Arizona. Then the market crashed, prices began coming down to more reasonable levels, and those same people want government intervention to stabilize housing prices at higher than market levels…..

Then there was this piece that was reprinted in many newspapers late last year:

“Soon after Mitt Romney handed out eye-popping bonuses to top performers at his private equity firm in the early 1990s, a young employee invited him to ride in his brand-new toy — a $90,000 Porsche 911 Carrera. Mr. Romney was entranced by the sleek, supercharged vehicle: at the end of a spin around downtown Boston, he turned to the employee, Marc Wolpow, and marveled, “Boy, I really wish I could have one of these things.”

Mr. Wolpow was dumbfounded. “You could have 12 of them,” he recalled thinking to himself.

But Mr. Romney had frequently driven an inexpensive, domestic stalwart that looked out of place in the company parking lot — a Chevrolet Caprice station wagon with red vinyl seats and a banged-up front end.

It was a stark sign of the tug of war, still evident in Mr. Romney’s life, between an instinctive, at times comical frugality, and an embrace of the lavish lifestyle that accompanied his swelling Wall Street fortune.
..

He has acquired six-figure warmblood horses for his wife, Ann, yet plays golf with clubs from Kmart. And he has owned a series of multimillion-dollar homes, from a lakefront compound in New Hampshire to a beach house in California, but once rented a U-Haul to move his family’s belongings himself between two of the vacation retreats.

Friends, co-workers and relatives describe Mr. Romney, now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, as something of a paradox: a man exceedingly deft at and devoted to making money who has never become entirely comfortable with his own wealth.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/us/politics/two-mitt-romneys-wealthy-man-thrifty-habits.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

Speaking of authentic black men, I am really starting to miss Herman’s foot in mouth disease escapades on the campaign trail.

Is his campaign still suspended?

Jefferson

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

Martin a fair share is not the amount paid, when income is fair taxes should be fair. You rich kids and money lovers are are alike.

CJ

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

By the way, everybody should know their own effective federal tax rate. I’m in the 25 percent tax bracket, but my effective federal income tax rate in 2010 was just over 13 percent. If you include payroll taxes, then my total effective federal tax rate was 20 percent.

Mick

January 18th, 2012
10:50 am

butch
The system is rigged and people are waking up to that fact. Where do we go from here?

Look before I leap...

January 18th, 2012
10:51 am

Martin the Calvinist

January 18th, 2012
10:31 am

I bet the dollar amount of his 15% is much, much more than the 15% paid by someone who made 50,000 dollars. The intellectual dishonesty that is being spread should stop. 15% of a million dollars is a whole lot more than 15% of 50,000 dollars.

Except that the guy making 50K (assuming he is single) paid closer to 25% than 15%.
I don’t begrudge Romney paying only what the law says he should pay.
I don’t pity the hypothetical 50K earner either.

I think Jay’s whole point is:
It’s very telling about how a man views the world around him when he says 374K in income is “not very much”. I think its also telling that a man who earns 9M/year in investment income also charges speaking fees. Some might say “Hey, I got my stake, maybe its time to give something back to the system that made me rich”. I don’t know, maybe Romney tosses a freebie out once in a while.

Romney may be smart and a financial genius, but he is not a man who shares my values. He doesn’t even KNOW my values. I am one of the little people, completely invisible to him.

md

January 18th, 2012
10:51 am

“Wow, so Mitt chose his parents?”

Which is NOT a choice……and never will be. So lose that canard and concentrate on the choices we do make. We choose EVERYTHING we do………..we even get to choose to bitch about the choices we made of don’t make…….makes us feel better.

And yes, there are many born into less fortunate environments………but don’t degrade the many that made the necessary choices to get themselves out……………society provides a good starting point (education) for all and 1/3 currently choose not to utilize the opportunity.

ty webb

January 18th, 2012
10:51 am

if a sheep calls another sheep a “sheep” in the forest, and know one’s there to hear it…?

CJ

January 18th, 2012
10:52 am

…and yes,… I’d be happy to pay the higher tax rates that I would have paid during the Clinton years.

Mr. President, raise my taxes!

jconservative

January 18th, 2012
10:52 am

It is the perception of Romney by the voters that will matter.

Politically Romney just stuck his foot in his mouth. No one in his team suggested that he call $374,000 “not very much”. Romney did that on his own.

Romney is a polished business executive. He is not a polished politician. He is a lot like Newt, unable to stay on message and speaks before thinking.

Republicans voters will make a decision in the next few weeks on who will carry their flag. They have a tough choice.

Romney just showed cracks in his armour.

Newt cannot even manage something as simple as marriage yet wants to try and manage an entire nation. God forbid!

Santorum lost his re-election bid in Pennsylvania to the most liberal person in that state, and by 18%!

Paul is not running for president; he is running for an idea.

Good luck Republicans.

Paul

January 18th, 2012
10:53 am

Butch

“You have a candidate trying to run for President under the guise of “Joe Everyman”. Hey, I’m just like you, ”

When has he ever portrayed anything like that? Maybe he has, I hear it a lot, but no one’s pointed me to a pattern of his behavior or statements that would support the assertion.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 18th, 2012
10:54 am

how many will lose their own houses because they can’t afford the extra cost of paying for others? You think the money owed just evaporates into thin air? No, everybody else gets stuck with the bill

Shall we ask the Mortgage Bankers Assoc after their strategic default? How about Romney after all those bankruptcies after Bain drew out their fees and saddled the company with debt? How about we ask the many many Americans who are doing everything possible to remain in their homes and just some slight tweaks to the current lower interest rates and forgiveness of late fees would allow them to remain in their homes and keep their mortgage current but the lenders won’t talk modifications because they are not in default yet and even when they are, you go through months of paper work and resubmittals. Shall we talk about the MERS fraud and letting the “system” be worked fraudulently by banks. I suggest that there are a number of people who are as clueless as Romney as to the realities that makes this housing cycle worse.

ty webb

January 18th, 2012
10:55 am

“Mr. President, raise my taxes!”

exactly! Bravo! Mr. President, raise CJ’s taxes!

Butch Cassidy

January 18th, 2012
10:56 am

Mick – “butch
The system is rigged and people are waking up to that fact. Where do we go from here?”

Not sure. In all honesty, I derive most of my income from investments, so I actually fall into Mitts tax bracket. I also came from a wealthy family, so I’m not immune to where a lucky start can take you. My problem with Mitt is that he is completely out of touch, and honestly belives that the country can be run like a business. I wouldn’t scream into Harlem in my new Jag, and then get out and start pandering to the locals about how I understand the plight of the poor black man. To me, Mitt is doing the exact same thing hoping that the sheep truly are that stupid.

Paul

January 18th, 2012
10:57 am

Okay, it’s been about 15 minutes since Jay posted “RB, in 2010 Obama’s effective tax rate was 23 percent.”

I’m interested in hearing from the stalwart progressives if they think that’s enough, if they think that’s fair. It’s 8 points up the scale from Mitt. Is that far enough up?

$374,000 in speaking fees

January 18th, 2012
10:58 am

Wish that I made that much in annual income last year!

josef

January 18th, 2012
10:58 am

“We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children’s children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own.”

Where’s Huey when we need him?

Mick

January 18th, 2012
11:00 am

josef

What are you proposing? Envy, envy envy???

Butch Cassidy

January 18th, 2012
11:01 am

Paul – “When has he ever portrayed anything like that?”

When he makes statements like ” I know what it’s like to be unemployed. Right now I dont have a job either” or ” I’ll bet you $10,000.00″ or “I speaker fees from time to time, but not very much.” (Of course his speaker fees are 7.5 times more than what the median income is for the average employee). Things like that.

Joe Hussein Mama

January 18th, 2012
11:01 am

Paul — “I’m interested in hearing from the stalwart progressives if they think that’s enough, if they think that’s fair. It’s 8 points up the scale from Mitt. Is that far enough up?”

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/top-rate.jpg

USinUK

January 18th, 2012
11:02 am

“Wish that I made that much in annual income last year!”

well, become a failed GOP candidate and you, too, can rake in the big bucks … (just ask Snow Snooki how well the speaker circuit is treating her)

harvey

January 18th, 2012
11:02 am

Yet another whine about wealth envy. Too bad he pays only 15%, but those are the tax rules. Your hero, Buffet only pays 15% too. He wants to reform the tax code, as does all the Republican contenders to raise this amount and lower the income tax. I don’t understand why, however, people who do save and get capital gains should not get a tax break. They are saving and investing in companies and thereby growing the economy, rather than simply consuming all they make and growing fat.

Welcome to the Occupation

January 18th, 2012
11:02 am

In Mitts defense, he did earn that money by speaking at luncheons. (eye roll)

Why he actually had to get out of bed for that, and presumably even had to fire up one of his jets and ride for a few hours (corporate big whigs still haven’t come up with a way to shrink time and space yet).

Mary Eliz: “FDR and JFK were products of very wealthy families, also, but their visions for America, and for Americans, had more breadth, depth, and humanity than does Romney’s”

At the end of the 19th and early 20th C capitalism was under fire from many sides — it was very much in doubt whether it would survive at all. And unlike today, there had not been an relentless propaganda offensive to rehabilitate capitalism: there was Father Coughlin, but there was also Huey Long and a vibrant communist and socialist movement in this country. So the progressive movement eventually took shape as a bipartisan attempt to co-opt all of this energy in the name of shoring up the very viability of the system and to stave off total revolution. That’s all that figures like the two Roosevelts were really about in the end. Ultimately a new social pact was forged that consisted of certain concessions – a limited social safety net and protection for workers – in return for fierce purging of communist elements in unions in the North and in the South it consisted of limited acceptance of these reforms on the strict condition that they be denied to blacks, thus perpetuating a quasi-apartheid social order there that continued until that entire system broke down in the 50s and 60s, at which point the whole arrangement collapsed and gave us the current Southern flip to the GOP. Anyway, the bottom line is that in the days of the Roosevelts there was at least a certain sense of noblesse oblige among the patrician class in this country, however grudging and cynical, that did nonetheless prove workable. Romney is a great example of how far we are today from those days — nowadays there is no such attempt by the ruling class to offer such a compromise on the horizon. As a result, I think we can expect great turbulence and a further slide into banana republic status in the future.

SoGaVet

January 18th, 2012
11:03 am

Martin the Calvinist
January 18th, 2012
10:31 am

So somehow because your 15% is more than the amount on which my 28% is even calculated – in terms of actual dollars, it be enough?

As a Calvinist, if you believe in tithing…At what point does the amount you pay exempt you from the 10% thing?

What we’re talking about here is proportional fairness. If 23%-25%-28% is my level of pain to support the common good, why should the rich also pay that proportion of their income and share that level of pain – regarless of how many dollars that actually equals?

harvey

January 18th, 2012
11:03 am

PS: HE is Exactly the kind of president we need. Yes, if those houses were foreclosed three years ago, we would see a reviving housing industry right now.

Quagmire

January 18th, 2012
11:03 am

Paid for Speaking Fees: I speak at the local liquor store all the time, especially on Sundays. I never get a fee for my speeches. Maybe I should ask for the money before I start drinking.

Look before I leap...

January 18th, 2012
11:04 am

CJ

January 18th, 2012
10:41 am

Piggybacking on JF McNamara’s comment above, income from investments (dividends and capital gains) and inheritances should be taxed at the exact same rates as income from work…no more and no less. It’s true that investors are job creators. But consumers are job creators too. And, by the way, workers are “return on investment” creators

Not all investors are job creators. As a matter of fact, very few are. The capital generated by the original IPO flows to the company and can be used to expand and create jobs. After that, with a few exceptions, the stock trading is simply a wealth creation mechanism for the investor.
Kind of like a bunch of kids playing marbles – someone may walk away with most of the marbles, but the only positive impact to the economy was when the marbles were originally purchased.

SoGaVet

January 18th, 2012
11:05 am

Or if we had a well regulated system, maybe they would never have had to be in a position to consider forclosure. (meaning they wouldn’t have gotten the loan in the first place)

ty webb

January 18th, 2012
11:05 am

josef,
great, so when can we expect obama to appoint a “fair share” czar?…or should it be a “Shouldn’t get more than he and his children can spend or use in their lifetimes” Super Commission…okay, that’s one’s a little long…instead we’ll just go the SGMTHAHCCSPOUITL Super Commission.

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
11:07 am

Since 1979, the average income of the top 1% has increased 275%, while average overall wages are basically unchanged.

I trust that even you Wall Street sycophants understand the meaning of the word unchanged.

In the last 10 years, the trend has accelerated even more. Between 2002 and 2006 an astounding 75% of all economic growth was captured by the top 1% of income earners.

So while you self-destructive panty waists sit by and concoct idiotic wholesale slurs, we are gonna continue to take this fight to the plutocrats and the oligarchs.

We do not need you albatrosses to finally take this righteous stand.

To paraphrase a famous French chick, you can eat cake…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 18th, 2012
11:07 am

Why I am sure that all those fees paid to politicians on the speaking circuit are for their wonderful speaking abilities and NONE of it, I repeat, NONE, is to have any influence or to open the door for influencing.

And since USinUK has unfairly attacked Snowbillie Snooki ( :P ) let’s be clear, she earns those big fees because she makes notes on her hands and we don’t have to rent no teleprompter.

Paul

January 18th, 2012
11:10 am

Butch

Okay, two examples from what Jay wrote and the debate thing that portrayed the ridiculousness of the situation. For me, that doesn’t meet the standard of a pattern of Romney portraying himself as just an average guy.

And just what does it mean to say Romney’s trying to portray himself as “Joe Everyman, just like you”? Look at this blog. Is he trying to say he’s just like Butch? Getalife? RB? Mick? Redneck Convert? Bill Orvis White? Jay? That’s kind of a broad brush people are trying to put in his hand.

md

January 18th, 2012
11:11 am

“I suggest that there are a number of people who are as clueless as Romney as to the realities that makes this housing cycle worse.”

Yep….and he just posted @ 10:54.

There are exceptions to every situation……citing them does nothing but shift the focus of the real problem………folks for the most part bought more than they could afford……..and that isn’t restricted to on “class”.

And good job cherry picking the info on Bain…….one might want to look at their overall performance vs focusing on the few companies that went bankrupt…….but that wouldn’t fit the agenda.

The info shows many more companies still doing their thing vs the ones that didn’t make it. I might listen to some of the bs you spew if Bain had a history of taking a majority of their investments into bankruptcy……….but that history doesn’t exist.

Paul

January 18th, 2012
11:11 am

Butch

That wasn’t directed so much at you. I’m just trying to understand all these generalized comments I keep hearing.

(ir)Rational

January 18th, 2012
11:12 am

So, just out of curiosity, where exactly does Obama’s income put him on that scale? I’m guessing the same argument Jay just used a disqualifier for Romney could have been used as a disqualifier for Obama. I mean, I’m guessing, that before he became President, he would have laughed at the idea that he only made $375,000 in a year. Heck, even now, just for being President he gets $400,000. And while $375,000 might seem like a lot, how much do you think that buys living in New York or Boston? A lot less than living in Atlanta. Yeah, he’s rich, but what does that matter in the long run?

USinUK

January 18th, 2012
11:12 am

“And since USinUK has unfairly attacked Snowbillie Snooki ( :P ) let’s be clear, she earns those big fees because she makes notes on her hands and we don’t have to rent no teleprompter.”

and, hey, let’s be honest … Perry should have taken a page from her system for preparation (ummm … Agriculture … ummmm … the SEC … and … ahhhh … ooops)

Talking Head

January 18th, 2012
11:13 am

It seems Jay is taking orders from the White House to promote wealth envy and continue the class warfare rhetoric.

Jay, how much did Obama make in book sales last year? $10 million?

Paul

January 18th, 2012
11:14 am

Butch

Thinking about it, and what some have posted about Pres Obama’s life (lived with wealthy grandparents, private school, Ivy Leage university that paved the way for a corporate career, millionaire early on), I’ll offer it’s not so much about how much $$$$ one has inherited or earned.

It’s more about understanding what middle America goes thru. And even if it’s not fully understood, is there an attitude of empathy?

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
11:14 am

Quagmire, one of the great sites in London is the historic and famous Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

A veritable laugh riot of the Jimmy Swaggert types along with every other pet issue spokesman you have never heard of.

Talking Head

January 18th, 2012
11:15 am

“PS: HE is Exactly the kind of president we need. Yes, if those houses were foreclosed three years ago, we would see a reviving housing industry right now.”

Yup

USinUK

January 18th, 2012
11:15 am

“I’m guessing the same argument Jay just used a disqualifier for Romney could have been used as a disqualifier for Obama”

I think the key differentiator is that Mittens seems to think that $375K JUST for speaking – not his entire salary – is “not much” …

that doesn’t bode well for middle-income Americans …

Adam

January 18th, 2012
11:15 am

That place is NOT in the White House. The government is not a business, and the constituents are not “units of production.”

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
11:16 am

Romney’s wealth is not the issue.

That he wants to continue the massive economic injustice in this hijacked system is…

md

January 18th, 2012
11:16 am

“We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children’s children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own.”

Jo……except the dems don’t even believe that one………hence part of the problem. Maybe if they were true to their convictions vs forcing everybody to join their cause prior to being true to their convictions…………..

Adam

January 18th, 2012
11:17 am

Talking Head: Jay, how much did Obama make in book sales last year? $10 million?

Dopes Obama claim that’s not a lot of money? Does he make the case that the taxes he pays are in any way fair?

Now ask yourself the same of Romney.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 18th, 2012
11:17 am

citing them does nothing but shift the focus of the real problem………folks for the most part bought more than they could afford

Not intended to be a factual statement….. but it does fit in with the bumper sticker mentality of simple “causes” make blame easier and provides for simple “solutions” lacking in reality.

Look before I leap...

January 18th, 2012
11:18 am

Talking Head

January 18th, 2012
11:13 am

It seems Jay is taking orders from the White House to promote wealth envy and continue the class warfare rhetoric.

Jay, how much did Obama make in book sales last year? $10 million?

Not hardly. 2010 tax return for the Obama’s shows about $1.7M AGI. That would include his 400K POTUS salary.

josef

January 18th, 2012
11:19 am

MICK

January 18th, 2012
11:00 am
josef

What are you proposing? Envy, envy envy???

******

What?

http://www.geauxto.com/louisiana/id16.htm

(ir)Rational

January 18th, 2012
11:19 am

USinUK – It is all a matter of perception. I don’t give two sh*ts what he made last year. It really doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care what he paid in taxes last year. I care what I made, and I care how much I had to pay in taxes. That’s about as far as it goes on the caring how much someone made scale. For me anyway. Oh, and I also don’t care that he doesn’t think it is that much. It doesn’t change anything really.

Adam

January 18th, 2012
11:19 am

folks for the most part bought more than they could afford

Got anything to back that up besides feelings and the one person you saw buying steaks with a food stamp card?

Libertarian

January 18th, 2012
11:20 am

“As an aside in acknowledging that he pays roughly 15 percent of his income in taxes, a lower share than many middle-class Americans”

And that’s perfectly legal. Hence why many conservatives want tax reform. All democrats want is it raise the current rates. That’s not going to solve the problem.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 18th, 2012
11:21 am

PS: HE is Exactly the kind of president we need. Yes, if those houses were foreclosed three years ago, we would see a reviving housing industry right now

Posting nonsense and calling it fact does not make it so….. why I bet we’d have unicorns now too!

Granny Godzilla

January 18th, 2012
11:22 am

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…this needs to be talked about ONLY in quiet rooms….

That man is sooooo out of touch.

carlosgvv

January 18th, 2012
11:22 am

(ir)Rational – 11:19

Spoken like a true me me me me me me Captialist.

Mitt Romney and His Donation

January 18th, 2012
11:22 am

Libertarian

January 18th, 2012
11:22 am

“As the son of one of Detroit’s most powerful auto executives, and as a highly successful venture capitalist himself, he has experienced the world from a very different vantage point than most of his fellow Americans.”

Well, screw it…lets find a poor unemployed person and make them president.

josef

January 18th, 2012
11:23 am

ty, md

“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.”
–Huey P

Adam

January 18th, 2012
11:24 am

Libertarian: If conservatives in general “just want tax reform” rather than just lowering rates on the top and raising them on the bottom, please tell me why they are not putting forward any proposals to do that.
I have previously shown you many ways in which the Democrats have put forward proposals that involve BOTH tax rate adjustments AND other stuff, and you simply dismissed all of it, saying something like “well, aside from those things you mentioned I’m still right.”

md

January 18th, 2012
11:24 am

“In the last 10 years, the trend has accelerated even more. Between 2002 and 2006 an astounding 75% of all economic growth was captured by the top 1% of income earners.”

See Am……you post this kind of bs without defining the equation……and then call others ignorant to the facts.

Any measure of income/growth/wealth is but a snapshot of what is going on in this country at a given point in time TOTALLY discounting any variable outside our borders……….

(ir)Rational

January 18th, 2012
11:25 am

carlos – Thanks. I’ll take that as a compliment because I would consider myself a capitalist, and I am most definitely in this for myself. As a matter of fact, I might feel bad for you if you were poor, living on the streets and going hungry, but I’m not going to feel bad enough to quit doing what I’m doing to try and get ahead. Definitely not going to advocate the idea that the government needs to take more of the money I’ve worked for to support you. But that’s just me. I realize I’m opening myself up to criticism for my views, but I don’t care.

Look before I leap...

January 18th, 2012
11:25 am

Libertarian

January 18th, 2012
11:20 am

“As an aside in acknowledging that he pays roughly 15 percent of his income in taxes, a lower share than many middle-class Americans”

And that’s perfectly legal. Hence why many conservatives want tax reform. All democrats want is it raise the current rates. That’s not going to solve the problem.

ahhh, but for the good ole days. Like back in the 50’s when the top tax rates were about 80%.
Under Eisenhower
A Republican

Why? We needed to pay for two wars and heavily invest in America’s infrastructure.

The rates finally came down to more sensible levels under Kennedy and Johnson (both of whom I believe were Democrats)

Adam

January 18th, 2012
11:26 am

Libertarian: Well, screw it…lets find a poor unemployed person and make them president

Is that like “Even if you tax people at 100% it won’t solve anythiiiiiiiiiiing (whine)”?

Going to the complete opposite extreme of whatever thing you think people are being extreme about doesn’t help you make a real solution.

Libertarian

January 18th, 2012
11:26 am

Note to Jay, Obama is rich too. All of our presidents are wealthy and entitled…especially the liberal God JFK and his corrupt entitled family.

RB from Gwinnett

January 18th, 2012
11:26 am

Jay – “RB, in 2010 Obama’s effective tax rate was 23 percent.”

What was his secretary’s effective rate, Jay?

And how much did he pay over and above what the tax code requires in order to do more of his “fair share”?

Talking Head

January 18th, 2012
11:26 am

“Not hardly. 2010 tax return for the Obama’s shows about $1.7M AGI. That would include his 400K POTUS salary”

Well according to Jay, that 400K POTUS salary alone puts O in the 1% category. He’s the 1%! blah blah blah

Paul

January 18th, 2012
11:26 am

“As an aside in acknowledging that he pays roughly 15 percent of his income in taxes, a lower share than many middle-class Americans”

Here we go again. So Pres Obama had an effective rate of 23 percent. Is that comparable to many middle-class Americans?

Which leads to the question, should someone who earns nearly $2 million in income pay comparable to many middle-class Americans?

Now add into the mix Pres Obama likely sees this as not equitable and wants people in his category to pay more……

AmVet - “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means." ~Barry Goldwater

January 18th, 2012
11:27 am

Since1971, the average American family has seen almost NO financial benefit from their own rising productivity.

And you bootlicking clowns are JUST NOW even beginning to awaken to the devastating consequences of this???

Who knows? In another forty years you may actually deem it worth doing something about…

md

January 18th, 2012
11:28 am

“folks for the most part bought more than they could afford

Got anything to back that up besides feelings and the one person you saw buying steaks with a food stamp card?”

Ummm. yep……..they are called foreclosures……..which means whoever it is/was doesn’t have the money to pay the bill.

If they could afford them, they’d have the money to pay the bill………pretty simple concept.

And Adam……..mortgages are choices……for all of us. Gambles too……..