Is Romney hiding immorality, criminality, both, or neither?

I think Romney’s not a bad guy, just bad for America. More problematic than Romney being president would be what comes out of the Trojan Horse, administration-wise. I figure that deep down, rational Republicans think the converse towards Obama.

Wouldn’t we be able to weigh them against each other on more substantial issues if we just dispense with the personal gotchas and assume that neither is personally a bad guy?

There is no tax advantage to individuals. The US taxes worldwide income of American citizens. Individuals don’t get to dodge taxes that are legitimately owed. If they try to hide assets there are agreements in place to force disclosure of account information to the requesting party.

There may be other advantages.

You might find the regulatory environment more favorable, much the way many companies incorporate in Delaware for the more favorable regulatory environment.

It might prove an easier way to promptly clear payments in international business transactions. If the buyer and supplier both maintain accounts in a common jurisdiction then you aren’t waiting 15-30 days for the bank to clear every international payment. The common jurisdiction is selected to ensure it doesn’t add additional tax filing obligations that otherwise would not have been encountered.

It might be the best way to attract international investors. Manchester United Football Club is reorganizing as a Cayman corporation prior to listing on the NYSE. I’d bet that the paperwork for some of those transactions will allow their British fans to invest in the club without entangling them in making US IRS payments.

Cayman corporations provide access to the Cayman courts which are surprisingly well versed in complex issues in international law. Cayman might be seen as a “neutral” third jurisdiction to resolve legal issues where each party accepts that at least they don’t have to make their case under the law of the other party (if that party’s country even has well settled law).

And so on… It’s mostly about the regulatory control and management available for complex financial transactions.

Crazy idea!

Judge politicians on the policies they propose. There is plenty to like or dislike about each candidate just by looking at their political records.

The GOP has been arguing especially loudly in the past few years that we shouldn’t begrudge the rich their money because they invest their wealth in American companies to support American jobs. Remember, they’re not the “rich”, they’re the “job creators”!

Obviously, money stashed in a bank in the Caymans is NOT being used to create American jobs. Hell, it’s not even being used to make American loans, like it would be in an American bank.

If Romney’s defense to having such accounts is that all people with his level of wealth have them, then it calls into question the whole “job creators” idea and people might start to think that taxing the wealthy isn’t such a bad idea if they just would have stashed the money in an overseas account anyway. If he doesn’t say that all people of his wealth have accounts like these, he looks like a particularly big asshole.

So it doesn’t have to be illegal or per se immoral to be damaging, not just to Romney but to the GOP cause in general.

I’ll be sure to drop by the Bank of America office in George Town, Cayman Islands to let them know the loans they process are not going to American companies?!? :rolleyes:

A MAJOR part of Cayman financial sector is in the packaging and selling of bonds, including American insurance companies. Arguably the Cayman market, through issuance of insurance catastrophe, “CAT bonds”, will play a huge role in the success or failure of the PPACA by providing an alternative means of spreading risk American insurers will be required to take.

Cayman is a world leader in the hedge fund sector, attracting investors from the US and elsewhere who pool funds to invest in companies all over the world, including the States.
Only about 5% of the world population are Americans. US GDP is around 26.7% of world GDP.

The American government engages numerous foreign countries with aid and that is ok. But an American citizen is doing something immoral and damaging by not keeping all his money in the States?

Because obviously overseas investment could never create American jobs? :rolleyes:

Except more than 9 million Americans depend on foreign export for their jobs, including 500,000 jobs created during this recession.

Now I have no idea exactly what Romney chooses to invest in. But the isolationist idea of holding all American capital in the States can harm Americans. It is a worldwide economy.

Develop foreign companies, or the overseas operations of American companies, and you build markets and create consumers for American products.

My guess is both.

Romney provided the McCain campaign 20+ years of tax returns, but only one return for the public who is trying to assess his fitness to lead the country. That seems to me to be a another situation where the wealthy share private information between themselves. I’m quite sure there are instances where he profited off this private sharing of information which could be revealed in the returns which are of questionable legality.

The gutting of companies for purely personal profit falls into the immoral realm for me. If you don’t care that hundreds or thousands (or more) of people lose their jobs and life savings so that you can stash pockets of money around the world, you are evil. Also, he is running on a platform of his ‘business experience’. Is it too much to ask to have you prove your ‘success’ and how you got it? He said he wants everyone to be rich (LOL! How stupid is that?). So, show us the way.

I doubt that he’s doing anything illegal, as much as it would warm the cockles of my heart to see Romney in an orange prison jumpsuit. My guess is that he’s just afraid of the political fallout of having it be known just how rich he is, where the money comes from, and how much tax he avoids. The constant mantra of “we need to ease burden on the Job Creators” would ring quite hollow if all the details of his tax avoidance were known.

Actually, this seems to be the opinion of Thomas Sowell and other isolationists. They think foreign aid is essentially burning money. As it happens, I don’t care very much for the phrase “job creation”. The simple principle is that people need to eat, drink and sleep. If few people have lots of money and land, that inhibits the capacity for many to do the eating, drinking and sleeping. If tax money is used for public professions, that’s one way to redistribute the land and money (“job creation”). Another simple way is for rich people to invest in production (though under capitalism, wealth and land will always trickle into the hands of fewer people). Rich people investing in the financial sector doesn’t seem to achieve the same goal as investing in production, as it seems to concentrate wealth into fewer hands.

Did you feel this way when John Kerry declined to release the entirety of his service records during the 2004 election season? Setting aside the question of whether it made political sense to do so or not to do so, did it cause you to think he was hiding something blameworthy?

For reasons I can’t recall, I really didn’t follow the 2004 US election very closely. So, in truth, other than headline type familiarity with Kerry and “the Swiftboat” stuff, I don’t know much about him.

But, if there were relevant military records that others often disclosed then, yes, I’d probably assume he was afraid of ‘something getting out’. Probably nothing criminal, but maybe something subject to misinterpretation.

I will pre-empt by stating that tax returns really shouldn’t be subject to misinterpretation. Even Romney’s. What deductions were used? Legal, I’m pretty much certain. Yet, were they at odds with his (or his party’s) publicly expressed sentiments of how and where money should ‘work for America’? If so, that’s not misinterpretation. That’s hypocrisy.

I was going to compare Romney’s doing the minimum on tax returns to Kerry doing the minimum on his military records. Really, I do think it’s legitimate to question this stuff, anything hidden can be reasonably taken as an admission of guilt when you’re running for public office. He had to know this would come up. Of course, the issues affecting a challenger are usually trivial compared to what can be held against an incumbent. The worst thing Romney has to worry about is his personal finances and his record in Massachusetts. The President has to worry about his health care bill, Dodd-Frank, the deficit, Fast and Furious, his foreign policy, his regulatory record… That’s why elections with an incumbent tend to be referendums on the incumbent. All the attempts to shift the conversation towards the challenger usually don’t last more than a couple of news cycles.

Anyone else add a T in their head wonder if this meant that Romney was a demon or something?

I personally think that we’ve seen pretty much all there is to Romney. He’s at worst amoral, not immoral. He has money, and he may have been a scoundrel to get that, but that’s not really something most people think of as an ethical flaw.

Awfully funny how when is own father was running for President he managed to relelase 12 years worth of tax returns to the public. :dubious:

So stipulated. Moving on:

He is a Republican, and therefore unfit for the Presidency of the United States. Examination completed.

I keep on misreading the title as, “Is Romney hiding immortality?”

Same. :smiley:

“He’s doing what?! The bastard!”

Uh. I think his record at Bain indicates that he is a bad guy when it comes to business. Or at least careless with the well-being of his employees.

It’s not nice to say, just as it wasn’t nice to say Ronnie Reagan was a silly old man, or Dick Nixon a brittle paranoid. But Romney is pretty close to a Ron Paul wet dream: Shutter FDA, CDC, EPA, funnel all the nation’s money to one’s cronies, watch the peons burn from your bunker.

From a comment on a NYT editorial on Romney’s lack of disclosure:

“He is suffering the embarrassment of nondisclosure because the embarrassment of disclosure would be greater”.

Hard to argue with that.

Read the article. It could have raised some valid points but it is just a hatchet job. The part about the IRA being worth millions. With such tight controls on contributing to IRAs, you don’t think that would be investigated? Oh and even Krugman grudgingly admitted that it’s possible that nothing is wrong. And the offshore accounts? Be serious! With a time that US banksand financial institutions were imploding on a daily basis and with more money than protected by FDIC, you would be an idiot to NOT put your money offshore. So Romney tries to protect his assets - wow what a jerk.

And the fact of the matter is that Bain made money doing the dirty work of capitalism. They took inefficient bloated companies and pared them down and made them more efficient and yes that does involve layoffs/bankruptcy. You would think no one has ever heard of a stock price going UP on news of layoffs. In a down economy, that does not sound good to the voter that has been looking for a job for a year however so I can understand him trying to downplay that role of Bain.

No transaction fees when using a Caymen Islands ATM, obviously.

I don’t think Romney is intentionally doing anything criminal. I do think he’s criminally bad at political optics in regards to his wealth though.

I say “intentionally” because for the amount of money he has and people he has managing it, I wouldn’t die of shock if someone, somewhere skirted a line.