The Left's New Romney Tax Narrative: He Paid Too Much
September 24, 2012
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RUSH: We go to Oklahoma City. It's Duane. Duane, great to have you here, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you. I'm well.
RUSH: (pause) That's wonderful. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: (chuckles) I'd like to talk with you about how I feel it's unfair that the richer folks don't pay -- uh, richer folks pay lower amounts of taxes than middle class folks.
RUSH: They do?
RUSH: Lower amounts of taxes?
CALLER: Lower percentages.
RUSH: Lower percentages. Okay, well, go ahead.
CALLER: Okay. Well, Mitt Romney's a good example. The last two years he's made about $21 million, plus his Cayman Island accounts, and he's only paid between 13% and 15% taxes.
RUSH: Did he break the law?
CALLER: No, he didn't break the law. In fact, um, you know, the law was... The tax law was primarily passed by Bush. But, no, he did not break the law.
RUSH: The tax law was passed primarily by Bush? Have you seen how big the US tax code is? One man couldn't possibly have written all that.
CALLER: Ha ha! O-okay. George Bush plus many helpers wrote the tax law.
RUSH: Actually, you know, members of Congress -- Republicans, Democrats, lawyers, all kinds of people -- have written the tax code for years, and it keeps being added to and added to. They're all rich guys writing the tax code. They're all rich guys, Democrats and Republicans writing the tax code.
CALLER: Okay. Well, your point... They are called "the Bush tax cuts" for some reason. The, uh... The fact is that although your taxes are, I believe, not published --
RUSH: Well, but Romney's paying capital gains on most of his income.
RUSH: It's not earned income. He's paying capital gains.
CALLER: And capital gains are not taxed by Social Security, which is the hidden tax on America.
RUSH: No, because the reason the capital gains rate is low is because it's the second time that income is taxed. It's taxed once when you earn it, then you invest it. And if you show a profit, that's the second tax on it. You've already paid Social Security on it before you invest it and then get a return on it or not. But you know what a lot of people are missing here with this Romney business is that the Republicans all said, "Mitt, you gotta get those tax returns out there! You gotta get 'em out there! You gotta put this issue to bed, Mitt."
So now he has and now look! It hasn't been put to bed. You have naysayers. It's not the point. He was never gonna be able to put this to bed. Harry Reid! You know, you ought to be calling Harry Reid, Duane. He's the guy that's gotta explain something. He said Romney hasn't paid any taxes. And then add Romney's charitable donations to what he's paid in taxes. Compare that to Biden or Obama, and I ask you: "Who's the more generous man, and who is really the more charitable man -- and who really has given up more of his income combined in charity and taxes?"
It's Romney by far.
RUSH: Our buddy Duane in Oklahoma City: When it comes to Romney's taxes, Duane, you need to get a new talking point or newer talking points out there. The complaint today is that Romney paid too much in taxes to make himself look good. I kid you not! I want to take you back. I remember when Harry Reid claimed that he had a source at Bain Capital that said Romney hadn't paid any taxes at all. He wouldn't offer any proof, and then he said, "I've had a second person tell me!"
"I'm not telling you. I'm not gonna reveal my sources. I'm a senator!"
So that begot a bunch of worrywarts on our side going on television. It's the same crowd. They said, "Mitt, release the taxes and be done with this. Release 'em. Give 'em what they want and put it behind you," and Romney was right to hold firm. He said, "They don't care about my taxes. They want reams and reams of documents so they can look at things, get some numbers, take 'em out of context, and lie about them."
He was exactly right. So time passes, Romney eventually releases some tax returns, and lo and behold, Romney's right! The left starts picking at them. So now that Harry Reid has been exposed as an outright liar, the meme is that all this time (this is what they want you to believe) Romney has been fudging his tax returns and finagling it to make it look like he paid more than he had to just to disprove what Harry Reid said.
Now, how many of you have the ability to do that? After you file your tax returns with the IRS, how many of you have the ability to go back in there and change 'em? That can't be done! But there he was yesterday talking about this. Let me see if we have it. Well, I have the sound bite of this. Da-da-da-da-da-da-da. It'll take me awhile there, folks, to go through the pages. Axelrod, Axelrod, Axelrod, Axelrod. Yep, grab sound bite number 23.
This is yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and Axelrod is claiming that Romney paid more than he had to in order make himself look good.
AXELROD: I don't think anybody else would define it as a good week, but it was an enlightening week. The week began with Governor Romney, uh, basically slandering 47% of America saying that they were, uh, you know, hooked on dependency, didn't pay their taxes, and so on. Uh, and at the end of the week we saw him manipulating his own tax returns to try and plump up his portion of, uh, taxes to -- to 14%.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're talking about not taking the charitable deduction?
RUSH: Not taking the charitable deduction. The charitable deduction's 35%.
Anyway, this is where we've gotten to. Now the complaint is different. That's why, Duane, when you call the next show, you gotta get on the talking points that Axelrod and the Obama crowd want you on. Romney paid too much. So it's not that Romney didn't pay. That's off the charts now. That's gone. Now it's that he paid too much. That's right. "[W]e saw him manipulating his own tax return to try and plump up his portion of taxes to 14%. Two months ago on your own show he said that anybody who didn't take the deductions they were owed wasn't qualified to be president. Well, I guess he's not qualified because that's exactly what he did last week to try and get his number up from nine or ten percent to 14%."
Wait a minute! It was 0%!
We were all operating under the theory that Romney didn't pay any taxes. That's what Harry Reid said. Somebody asked Harry Reid about it. (whispering) "Well, he's been cheating. He's obviously been changing his tax return." I don't know who can do this. How do you manipulate your tax returns after the fact? How does anybody do this? Romney paid too much? When did that become a fraud?
I thought the rich people were supposed to pay more!
I thought rich people were supposed to give all their money to Bill Gates or write a bigger check to the government. Isn't that what's supposed to happen for the rich now? Yes it is. Buffett and all these rich guys are pledging to give their money to Gates and his malaria charity to basically buy mosquito nets. (It's called DDT if you really want to wipe out malaria.) I find this hilarious. We go from "Romney didn't pay any taxes!" to now "Romney paid too much!" Now he had to go in there, finagle, and not take the charitable deduction.
We can't win with these people, and exactly that was said before Romney released these returns. Shouldn't he be praised for not taking the charitable deduction? Shouldn't he be praised for sending money to the government? We're told the rich ought to either be doing that or giving their money away to charity, Bill Gates or whoever. The AP headline on this: "Romney Gives Democrats Support for Claim He Manipulated Tax Deductions for Political Purposes."
I'll tell you, the corruption that's taken place in the media... You know, I was thinking about this the other day. There are a lot of people who ask, "What would Walter Cronkite think of what the media has become today? What does Brokaw think? What would John Chance'or think?" They'd be happy as they could be! This is exactly what they've always wanted! If Cronkite could have been as open about how radically liberal he was in his day, he would have done it.
What we're seeing here is what you get when the left totally takes over an institution, and they've taken it over at the J school level. Everybody coming out of J school is a dyed-in-the-wool, propagandized liberal. They have been indoctrinated; they haven't educated. They're just Democrats, liberals with bylines. In fact, these people, this is what they think normal is. There is no conservatism. That's some freak oddity, like at the carnival.
It's the same way Obama has been taught; the same way he was reared, brought up, mentored, what have you. The journalism schools have been taken over by the radical left decades ago, years ago. You can watch these young editors and reporters coming out. They're the product of their education, pure and simple. So what does Brokaw think? Brokaw's clapping his hands and going, "Right on!"
So would Peter Jennings be and so would Cronkite. This is what they all were. There wasn't some golden age of media where there was rampant, pure objectivity. Maybe, maybe in World War II. Maybe. That was the last war I think the media actually was on America's side rather than hiding behind, "Well, you know, we can't pick sides; we're in the media." I'll never forget Bernard Shaw over with John Holloman. I'll never forget it. They were in the al-Rashid Hotel. This is during the first Gulf War.
We started bombing, and they were in hotel, and the hotel's being targeted while they're reporting so they gotta get out of there. So they get out of there, and we bring 'em back home, and the CIA or somebody wanted to debrief 'em about the Iraqis, the enemy, and Bernard says, "No, I'm a journalist. I can't divulge what I saw. I can't pick sides." I'm sitting here and I'm incredulous. Where do you think the library of your freedom is, pal? Where do you think you have the freedom to be a journalist? It's this country. Our First Amendment guarantees free speech.
You're in a constitutionally protected job.
You don't choose sides?
In other words, you don't care if the Iraqis win this thing, that's fine with you? And besides, this "don't choose sides" bunch is a bunch of crap anyway. They choose sides every day, to the Democrat Party. Stacked deck, bunch of cheaters. It is what it is. Can't choose sides, my rear end. Shrinking, by the way. But, folks, this is what the J schools have done. Brokaw's ecstatic. Brokaw's not embarrassed at MSNBC. He's jealous that he couldn'ta worked there in his day and taken the gloves off. I never thought I'd see the day when Brokaw wishes he could be Al Sharpton, but that day may have arrived, strange as it may sound.
So we've gotten to this point now where the AP says: "Romney gives Democrats support for claim he manipulated tax deductions for political purposes." What? The first claim was he didn't pay any. Now he's paid too much. You cannot win. You cannot satisfy these people, and therefore it is a mistake to try unless your objective is to illustrate who they are. But if you're really trying to please 'em, if you're really trying to get their approval, if you're really trying to shut 'em up, you never will and it's foolish to try. Look at the charitable donations. Romney's taxes are all legit. Nobody's claiming he broke the law. They're saying he paid more than he should have. And, again, isn't that what we've been hearing rich people should do? It's the patriotic thing to do, for crying out loud.
You compare Romney's charitable donations with Biden's or Obama's, and even make allowances for income differences, the percentages don't lie. There's no comparison. The combined amount of money that Romney paid in taxes and gave away, in other words, the amount of money Romney earned that he let others have or was forced to pay in taxes dwarfs what these other so-called big-hearted, truly compassionate, lovers of all mankind type people do. It's profound. It is the height of corruption and I'm sitting aghast. I'm in one of those rare moments where I don't have the words to explain what this is. How do you go from accusing him of paying no taxes and breaking the law and committing fraud and all this, to paying too much and manipulating tax returns?
I have never heard a liberal yet in my life complain about somebody paying too much in taxes or giving too much to charity, for any reason. I've never heard it. The Kennedys didn't give this kind of money to charity. They took it from other people and made it look like they were giving the money. They don't do this. All these great-hearted, big compassionate liberals never give their own money away, unless it is for tax-deductible reasons or PR reasons or what have you. Romney was doing all this when nobody was looking. And that's the real definition of character. It's what you do when nobody's paying attention. It's what you do when nobody's looking. Biden, when he was candidate for president, I believe, $995 there are to charity. Gore one year, $235 bucks to charity, Algore. Your global warming god, Rachel. Well, you know, Rachel bought Gore's movie 'til I got hold of her. I continue to tease her about that. But $235 bucks to charity. I mean, people tip their doorman more than that.
RUSH: So I get an e-mail from a friend of mine after Duane from Oklahoma City. He said, "Rush, how come these libs never call you and attack Clinton or Obama? I mean, don't they take tax deductions? How come nobody's worried about what their tax rates are?" There's a good answer for this. It's a great question, and there's two answers. A, rich liberals are allowed. If you are a liberal, you can be as rich as you want. There won't be any attack on you because it is liberalism that matters. But, just to make sure and for insurance purposes, why do you think Clinton always says, (imitating Clinton) "I don't need a tax cut. Rich people like me, I mean, I don't need what Romney's offering. I'm happy to pay more." Well, you've just inoculated yourself then, man. Fine and dandy.
Here's a guy, former president, acknowledging how rich he is thinking he's not paying enough in taxes? He's just inoculated himself from criticism. Why do you think Warren Buffett and Gates run around talking about: "We need to give more money to charity. I'm gonna give all this money to charity. Yeah, I think people are undertaxed." Because they want to keep the hordes away from their money. Gates, Buffett, these guys, don't want the Duanes of Oklahoma City targeting them. And the way you do that is to claim that you'd be happy to pay more in taxes, to claim that you don't think you're taxed enough, and to come out and say, "I think we ought to double the death tax. In fact, I don't think people ought to keep anything once they die." You say that and the Duanes of Oklahoma City will leave you alone. You can have as big a house and as many houses as you want, and you'll be applauded.
So when the hordes decide that they're gonna start attacking people that have money, go get it from 'em, they've leave Gates alone, leave Clinton alone, leave Obama alone 'cause these people, rather than inspiring others to do what they've done and rather than describe how the creation of wealth propels an economy and thus a society, rather than do that, what these guys do is go the liberal route and start talking liberalism, keep people away from their money. That simple. In Clinton's case he's a bit of a braggart, too, I mean, he wants everybody to know how he is, but there's also a strategery behind it. You know, if Romney would come out and say he's not taxed enough... well, it wouldn't work for him because they'd say, "Okay, well, then pay more."
Folks, it's liberalism that matters. A loyal liberal can do anything. A loyal liberal can blow up the Pentagon, for crying out loud and get away with it, or try to. A loyal liberal can get away with anything with other liberals, as long as that loyal liberal is liberal and attacks conservatives left and right, spouts the right words, they get away with anything. No, I don't know that Buffett's really liberal. He may be. I don't know. All I know is Buffett would not have anywhere near the money he's got if he really, really were a card-carrying liberal from the moment he was born. Liberalism inherits this kind of wealth but it doesn't produce it.
RUSH: There's a Reuters reporter named Pedro da Costa. He tweeted -- he's deleted the tweet now -- that Romney's tax return release was a true sign of desperation, true sign of desperation, Romney's tax return release. And I guess he's now deleted the tweet. Why? Why not stand behind that if you really believe it. See, most people are not concerned with Romney, what he does with his money. We're concerned with what Obama is doing with ours. That's what this is all about. And it will stay that way.