Swiss Miss

(Before I get into this, I have to ask: was the kind of deep anal probing the press is doing of Mitt Romney’s finances ever performed on the Kennedy clan? Anyone ever delve into Merchandise Mart’s tax assessments or Joe Kennedy’s mineral rights investments? Somehow, I think not.)

The latest “scandal” to engulf Mitt Romney is that he has money in — gasp! — Swiss bank accounts. And let me just pause a moment to let that sink in. We’ve got a politician running for office whose biggest scandal is some overseas assets. I may not like Mitt Romney too much as a Presidential candidate, but you’ve got to admit the man is pretty clean when this is the worst you can dig up on him.

Anyway, the focus on this and the hysterical rhetoric about Mitt Romney divesting in America and engaging in suspicious activity bothered me. Matt Welch has a great article detailed just why I find this particular “scandal” is so vile. First, the background:

The gruesomely acronymned Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) essentially outsources overseas IRS collections (the U.S. being one of the only countries to tax based on passport, not just residency) to any foreign financial institution crazy enough to let Americans hold an account. As I wrote in April, and as you can see in testimonies all over the Internet, the stone-predictable outcome is that banks in Switzerland (and Europe, and anyplace where governments are “friendly” with Washington) are shuttering not just Americans’ accounts, but accounts of expatriate Europeans living and working in the United States.

All because the U.S. government does not respect limitations on its ability to squeeze money out of citizens, and because there will never be a shortage of Beavis and Butthead-quality political hacks like Robert Gibbs eager to go on the weekend chat shows to impersonate a populist (at least when it’s not his client being accused of bottomless wealth).

The focus on Swiss bank accounts is part of a growing belief in government that all your money belongs to them. If you are putting money overseas, there is something wrong with you, something sinister, something un-American. And your right to privacy, your right to contract, your right to do whatever the fuck you want with your damned money is meaningless.

We need to push back against this horse shit. This is deeper that some rich Republican politician. This is an attack on a basic economic freedom, one started by FATCA and now being continued by a media, political party and culture absolutely consumed with wealth envy.

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  1. Dave D

    The only real difference between Romney and other candidates (in terms of wealth), is the AMOUNT that he is worth. IMO, it would be TOTALLY irresponsible for someone that rich to source 100% of his investments in US sources. I wonder how many lefty billionaires have overseas accounts? What a bunch oif hypocrites!

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  2. InsipiD

    The only real difference between Romney and other candidates (in terms of wealth), is the AMOUNT that he is worth.

    No, the only real difference is the amount of scrutiny he gets.

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  3. JimK

    It’s in depth analysis like this that makes me keep coming back to RTFLC.

    If you weren’t so busy being a little cunt all the time, and you took a moment to think about it, you’d get it: The actual dollar amount is the only difference. What is not different is how they use what they have, their attitudes toward finance, the economy (as it applies to their personal wealth) and what YOU shouldn’t be allowed to do while THEY get to do whatever that thing may be. Overseas, tax shelters, what have you. The actual line at the bottom of the bank statement isn’t all that fucking important once you get past a few million.

    Didn’t think you, being so fucking smart and all, would need that spelled out, but here we are.

    So the statement was actually insightful, that is, if you weren’t trying so goddamned hard to be such an incredible asshole every fucking time you interact here.

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  4. Dave D

    Thanks, Jim.

    Sally: Factual statements give you fits, huh?

    How about commenting on the REST of my post. You know; my OPINION.

    Better yet, just go play with the other brats…….

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    Agree with Jim and Dave. I have overseas assets in Australia. The amount is relatively paltry but it insulates us against some economic issues. And I’m certain my retirement funds have overseas assets. It’s called diversifying. Remember when the Left was all about diversity? ;)

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  6. Dave D

    Not for us top 10%’ers, Hal!

    I work for a German chemical company and have ~20% of my retirment savings in company stock. I also participate in an overseas emerging markets fund. Anyone with a 401K that includes many funds to choose from is smart to diversify with some overseas investments, IMO.

    Also, It’s amazing how patriotic lefty tools get when they are scrutinizing those on the right! These are the same patriots that shop at Costco and drive imports.

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    My 401K is heavily invested in “world stocks” as part of my portfolio diversification. Every time I travel to the Caribbean I wonder if I should open up an account in the Caymans, just to mess with the IRS….

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  8. salinger

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  9. Hal_10000 *

    Here’s the thing. These attacks on overseas assets are always justified in economic terms: “We’re going to increase tax revenue! We’re going to bring those dollars back to America to invest in jobs!”

    That. Never. Happens.

    Rich people didn’t get rich by finding ways for the government to take their money. If you close off one avenue, they will find another. Hell, those loopholes are built into the laws by our own Congress (who average several million in net worth).

    The only thing these attempts to seize money up doing is (1) rallying the ignoran masses; (2) restricting the flow of capital; (3) fucking over middle income people who have overseas assets for various reasons.

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  10. georgebalella

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  11. georgebalella

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  12. JimK

    Moo’s fucking delusional as always, but Sally, you crack me the fuck up. You got caught straight out not being able to understand a simple observation. The raw truth here is you =r reading comprehension skills simply failed you, and I put it to you that the reason they failed you is because you come here hell-bent on being an asshole rather than having a discussion.

    Rather than admit that you made a small reading comprehension error, you doubled down on asshole.

    Any chance you could take a step back and admit you were being a dick?

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  13. salinger

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  14. salinger

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  15. georgebalella

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  16. georgebalella

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  17. Section8

    Is he as rich and white as Kerry? I don’t think as rich. Anyhow, Kerry was the left’s boy just a few years back. I’m willing to bet two people commenting in this thread voted for him. So what’s changed in 7 years where this is a problem other than wearing a D or an R for your party affiliation. So what’s the real issue here? Adhering to principles of paying your “fair share”, or sticking by the party name and quietly forget the rules as long as your boy is wearing the right uniform? This stuff is all nonsense.

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  18. Section8

    So did the fact that Kerry only paid 13% in taxes keep any left leaning person here from voting for him in 2004? Just curious. I honestly don’t remember any “outrage” over this. If this fact didn’t deter you, why not? Why didn’t this matter so much? I mean this shit is important isn’t it? Or is it just a part time worry that’s more less based on which party you are affiliated with?

    Kerry Taxes

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  19. georgebalella

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  20. Section8

    I think Kerry released 20 years of tax returns…. yeah so WHAT has changed? And Kerry would have voted to increase his tax returns while Romney wants to pay less… THAT’S the difference.

    Huh? The same guy who parked his yacht outside of his state to avoid paying his state taxes? Please, you have hypocrisy backwards. If you’re going to promote something such as paying more taxes, then pay them. On the flip side if you’re going to promote smaller government, then expand the shit out of it like Bush and the GOP did (and probably Romney since he was Obamacare before Obamacare), I’m going to call foul too, and you can go back and look at the archives of my feeling about the GOP and Bush from 2005 on. See, I don’t think “well they do it too” is good enough. I have a set of principles I stick to, and yes I’m pretty rigid on it, but I won’t back any party to the death for the sake of the party. My view is if they start being jerk offs, they’ve abandoned me not the other way around. If you want to be loyal to the death simply because of a party label that’s fine. It’s just not for me.

    it’s kinda like us calling you a hypocrite for flushing your toilet into a public sewer or driving on public roads.

    Why? I paid for these as well under the threat of losing my house, bank account, and freedom. I have zero option to opt out. That aside, I’m not opposed to some taxes, I keep telling you I’m not an anarchist. These items you mention could be taxed on a sales tax level and done locally.

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  21. HARLEY

    REASON has a good article up on this, and the fear mongering and political skullduggery that makes living in Switzerland a headache for Americans with money.

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  22. Poosh

    When you guys assume we are being hypocrits for not paying more taxes voluntarily it’s kinda like us calling you a hypocrite for flushing your toilet into a public sewer or driving on public roads.

    Such a goddamn retard. He STILL doesn’t know what a libertarian is.

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  23. Mississippi Yankee

    Seriously, Romneycare is a far better weapon.

    Obamacare = Federal issue – will raise a possible 21 different taxes

    Romneycare = States Rights issue – raised zero taxes

    Even the DNC has shied away from the comparison.

    As much as I hated to see the state of my birth pass this flawed bill (Romneycare) it was perfectly and constitutionally legal for them to do so. Furthermore, Romney didn’t write the bill, he signed it under threat of a veto override. He was the Republican governor in what was then the most liberal state in the U.S.

    Section8
    Agree with everything you said until…

    …Romney since he was Obamacare before Obamacare.

    It reminded me that the reason we take people like Sally and Magoo to task is that they make bias, unfounded and nonfactual statements… justsayin’

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  24. salinger

    It reminded me that the reason we take people like Sally and Magoo to task is that they make bias, unfounded and nonfactual statements… justsayin’

    Then it shouldn’t be too tough for you to dig up something I said not grounded in fact. Here’s a leg up – a couple of the last things I commented on have been:

    Being obese is bad for your health

    and

    Biologic Altruism exists.

    It takes some pretty tortured logic to say either of these statements are not grounded in fact. (and I am really not interested in wrestling those pigs again) But these simple statements set a wildfire. See a whole cadre of you guys are so bent on perpetuating some liberal stereotype that you are against anything said by someone you have deemed to be left leaning straight out of hand. Just like my first comment in this topic. It was a joke but some of you are so hell bent on a fight you couldn’t see it. It’s more important to insult and prove the liberal wrong than to be correct. People who disagree with some of your ideologies can be correct on occasion – it doesn’t invalidate your world view.

    I come here for couple reasons

    1 – I am interested in why people hold different opinions. I want to know the logic behind what other folks believe and even if I don’t agree with them I think it is a good idea to try and see their thought process. This is why I rarely comment on straight up ideology. It’s like religion – I don’t expect to change anyone’s core beliefs. In such – out of general human respect – you’d be pretty hard pressed to find me personally insulting an individual poster no matter the vile invectives hurled at me (one that still sticks in my mind is the image of me wiping my father’s cum from my lips – that was an especially classy comment) I have made disparaging remarks about overweight people oozing into my space on planes – I’ll own that one but that is not specifically aimed at any particular poster here. I think you’d have to go back to my Drumwaster battles to find me actually insulting an individual – I made a conscious decision not use ad hominems awhile ago and think I’ve pretty much stuck to it.

    2. Fact checking – while ideologies may be different facts are facts – I will comment when I find something factually incorrect i.e. the two comments I mention above..

    3. Sometimes I have fun. Lots of times though it just becomes boring but I also think it is important to not surrender when I am right.

    So – I’d like to see some of the bias and non-factual statements you are attributing to me – because I think your contention that I make bias, unfounded and nonfactual statements is factually incorrect. A fine opportunity for you to take me to task.

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  25. Xetrov

    Then it shouldn’t be too tough for you to dig up something I said not grounded in fact.

    Easy…First post I looked at.

    The bigger problem is the unavailability of good nutritious food.

    You then proceeded to ignore those who debunked you on it for over 100 posts.

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  26. salinger

    The bigger problem is the unavailability of good nutritious food.

    Context my friend – care to share what I thought this was a bigger problem than? No way of telling what was debunked if we don’t know what I was referring to. So whatever I was comparing this to must be a bigger problem than the access to nutritious food.

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  27. Section8

    As much as I hated to see the state of my birth pass this flawed bill (Romneycare) it was perfectly and constitutionally legal for them to do so. Furthermore, Romney didn’t write the bill, he signed it under threat of a veto override. He was the Republican governor in what was then the most liberal state in the U.S.

    Sorry MY, normally I agree with many of your posts, but Obamacare has been deemed constitutional as well thanks to Robert’s creative spin on the Constitution and redefining what can be considered a tax.

    It’s my understanding Romney had a hand in drafting the Massachusetts bill as well as vetoing parts of it. I could be wrong.

    Liberal state or not he could have just vetoed all of it, and if it’s overridden then so what? Then when you run for President someday you won’t look so suspect bitching about the government running healthcare. No one here, including me and I believe you, seems to give Republicans like Olympia Snowe a break these days for caving to liberal causes since she’s from a liberal state (except for Hal who get’s shit for it every time he brings it up). So at the end of the day will I take Romney over Obama? Yeah, only because I think he’ll be somewhat less motivated to move us to larger government, but that’s more of a guess at this point.

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  28. Xetrov

    Context is there for anyone that wants to read it. The fact is that you made a statement with a link that is contrary to the reality of the food situation in this country, and then proceeded to ignore your apparently incorrect statement for the remainder of the entire 100+ post discussion. Per your previous challenge, it wasn’t hard at all “to dig up something I said not grounded in fact”.

    Have a nice day.

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  29. salinger

    The fact is that you made a statement with a link that is contrary to the reality of the food situation in this country,

    Thanks for the link now I can discuss this. I was half right – half wrong, but half wrong is still wrong. While the newest study does indeed show that the proximity of healthy food is within reason for all but a few – the price is still too high for many working poor. Here’s a good op/ed on it.

    So I’d say technically it is unavailable – but I will acknowledge the conventional wisdom has shifted on this subject and food deserts as originally imagined do not exist except in rare cases.

    (Oh – and I would add that making healthier food more accessible is abetter way to fight obesity than limiting drink sizes – which is my original premise)

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  30. Mississippi Yankee

    Section8
    The point I was trying to make is that States have a right (perhaps even an obligation) to do, or attempt to do, what’s best for themselves. Previously I’ve refereed to States as petri dishes and, to me, Romneycare is just that sort of example. Six years in and it’s turned out to be a financial disaster. But I believe it was their mistake to make. (It must be that little bit of libertarianism in me)

    OTOH Obamacare makes a petri dish of the nation. Completely ignoring the failures of it’s predecessor. Roberts,IMO, has given ‘the right’ the tools to correct this administrations grab for more federal power. We won’t know until Jan 4 2013 tho…

    As to Romney’s veto:
    On April 12, 2006, Governor Mitt Romney signed the health legislation.[19] Romney vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including the controversial employer assessment.[20] Romney also vetoed provisions providing dental benefits to poor residents on the Medicaid program, and providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid.[21] The legislature promptly overrode six of the eight gubernatorial section vetoes, on May 4, 2006, and by mid-June 2006 had overridden the remaining two.[22]

    I had been long gone from the state by then but as it was explained to me Romney still had budget deficits (which he turned around) and felt that a total veto and total veto over-ride would have left him much weaker as governor. Lots of second guessing, I know.

    As to Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, I would burn them both at the stake and I would do it on Scott Brown front lawn in Massachusetts. On the off chance he can actually defeat Liawatha Fauxcahontes Warren he needs to understand the Senate it’s his personal bribemoble.

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