His Dad Ran American Motors, but all I Hear Is “Dodge”.
You know, it seems like just yesterday that mildly bug-eyed RNC chairman, Reince Priebus (R-Innsmouth on Lake Michigan) was saying something about Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid being a dirty liar—probably because it was yesterday. “Dirty liar” probably focused better than “poopy-head” or “meany-weiner”, but I just want to lean in on the “dirtiness” of the alleged lie for a little moment—scurrilous, isn’t it? Romney somehow avoided paying income taxes—Obscene! Absurd! Of course, we’re given to believe that the wealthy, or as they are sometimes known “job-creators”, pay the most taxes of anybody ever and there is nothing worse than implying they don’t, or that they don’t actually, you know, create jobs, or, for what it’s worth, like….not actually clap their hands in a void and say the words “Let there be commerce!” and make the firmament dance with their industry. It’s rude. It hurts feelings.
And it invites investigation in to what all the hub-bub about Romney’s returns is about, anyway, and isn’t that why Reid said it then? So here’s a funny thing—you’re all savvy people, so I don’t need to tell you all that dodging taxes actually was the basis of Bain Capital in the first place, right?
The Times story follows on Romney’s recent acknowledgement to the National Review that he established funds in the Cayman Islands for the explicit purpose of helping wealthy investors avoid paying American taxes. Bain currently operates at least 138 shell companies headquartered in the Cayman Islands, which, like Panama, has long been associated with both legal and illegal tax machinations and money laundering.
“The so-called offshore account in the Cayman Islands, for instance, is an account established by a U.S. firm to allow foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction,” Romney told National Review’s Robert Costa on Wednesday. “So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States. The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe. Sometimes a foreign entity is formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States, which may well be the case with the entities that Democrats are describing as foreign accounts.”
You know, like that—so anyway, here’s the latest from Bloomberg:
That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day. Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.
Bain funneled profits through susidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate strategy for avoiding income taxes in other European countries, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now has a total market value less than what it paid Bain and other investors for the directory business.
In Italy, the deals have spurred at least three books, separate legal and regulatory probes and newspaper columns alleging investors made a fortune at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Boston-based Bain wasn’t a subject of the inquiries, which didn’t result in any charges.
Skirting taxes seems to have been a feature of the Bain operation, not a bug, so it just seems likely to me that if this was the nature of the business, tax dodges might have been used as a selling point for investors. I mean, fair is fair, and if corporations are people, too, why shouldn’t meat-folks do what paper-folks got away with all the time?
I’m just throwing this out there as a thing to speculate about, since the former one-term governor of MA hasn’t decided to call Reid’s bluff yet and put this “dirty lie” to bed. Oh, and that picture? That’s the HMS Romney. The history is rather fascinating. The ship eventually was wrecked due to fog and ignorance. Not that I’m implying any parallel with the candidate. Nor saying that irony is alive and well and residing in his bio.
Do not neglect to note, either, that 2000 is when Mr. Romney was not supposedly directly involved with Bain Capital, and yet there he was, directly involved with this deal. One does not entirely know what to make of facts that so utterly refuse to comply with Mitt Romney’s narrative.