Ryan & Romney's dream for America

Poor Mitt Romney. To dodge the tax payments he owes to America, the multimillionaire has for years stashed piles of his annual income in such secret offshore hideaways as Swiss bank accounts and the Cayman Islands. This has been very, very good for his personal fortune, but it's been very, very bad for his public political image.

Poor Mitt Romney. To dodge the tax payments he owes to America, the multimillionaire has for years stashed piles of his annual income in such secret offshore hideaways as Swiss bank accounts and the Cayman Islands. This has been very, very good for his personal fortune, but it’s been very, very bad for his public political image.

This internal conflict might explain why Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate. Ryan bills himself as a big, big, BIG thinker, and last year he came out with a really big thought that must’ve touched Mitt’s heart, for it offered a happy solution to Romney’s tax shelter dilemma. In a magazine interview, Ryan complained about offshore shelters – not because they are tax dodges, but because they’re offshore. His solution? “Let’s make this country a tax shelter,” he bubbled!

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How’s that for a big idea? Ryan proposes to make America as small and deceitful as the Caymans, a safe harbor where the ultra-wealthy of the world can hide their loot from public need. Yes, this would still leave Mitt a tax dodger, but, by gollies, at least he’d be doing his dodging right here in the USA!

With such a novel, plutocratic twist on “patriotism,” I’d say ideas are not the only thing Ryan is full of. In fact, the USA is already closer to Ryan’s perverse vision than even he realizes. While U.S. corporations face a 35 percent tax rate, loopholes let them pay an average of only 13.4 percent – one of the developed world’s lowest. Also, look at tiny Delaware: With practically zero state regulation of corporate entities, it has become the legal “home” of more anonymous corporations than any other place in the world. So, say Mitt and Paul, “Let’s turn all of America into Delaware – a tax dodger’s dream world.” Now, wouldn’t that make the Founders bust their buttons in pride?

“Paul Ryan: Let’s Make This Country a Tax Shelter,” www.motherjones.com, October 5, 2012.

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