Many moons ago, it was a badge of honor to be a Rhode Island Republican. The party promoted women, including scoring such positions as the United States Congress (Claudine Schneider) minority leader (Lila Sapinsley), and the first female secretary of state, Susan Farmer. The men on the national scene like U.S. Senator John Chafee, were exemplary and used their office to promote the common good through bipartisan bills.
Nowadays the national Republicans, including the standard bearer, Mitt Romney, truly personify the shibboleth that the GOP is all about the rich. Their focus on maintaining wealth at the expense of the middle class will hurt local Republican candidates this fall.
Mitt Romney himself personifies what is wrong about some national Republicans. Vanity Fair reported the cache of funds which he parked in off-shore accounts to escape taxes. While folks like Denise Rich are despicable in giving up their United States citizenship to avoid paying income tax, nonetheless, transferring millions of dollars in assets to off-shore accounts to achieve the same result comes in a close second. Mr. Romney continues his sleight of hand by refusing to release income tax returns beyond the single year of 2010 which he “cleaned up” be excising the need to report foreign accounts before that year. Does this country want somebody at the helm who wants tax dodges to remain intact for himself and his multi-millionaire buddies?
One look at Mr. Romney’s donors show a “who’s who” of venture capitalists, hedge-fund managers and other Wall Street minions who have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into his campaign coffers either directly or indirectly through PACS (political action committees). USA Today, in its July 12 edition, documented at least 25 percent of his contributions come from the banking pool. Mr. Romney has pledged to dismantle financial-industry regulations enacted during the Obama administration so bankers can return to their repertoire that resulted in a bailout of some of the same entities who are throwing cash at him now. While Mr. Obama releases his donors’ lists every three months, Mitt Romney refuses to do so. Public interest groups and journalists have to pour thorough subsidiary documents to get the picture of the Republican’s cash supporters.
Mr. Romney also is telling a double tale as to when he left Bain Capital in order to avoid the criticism that he sent jobs overseas. Claiming that he left Bain Capital in 1999, his signed documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that nonetheless place him in charge of Bain from 1999-2001, a period where the company outsourced jobs and had a heyday running companies into bankruptcy so it could take them over.
National Republicans love to trot out the maxim that Democrats love class warfare by making villains of the wealthy and wanting them to pay more in taxes. The reality is that most wealthy folks do not pay their fair share because the tax codes are loaded with provisions which shelter their income from being taxed. I would love for the upper 1 percent to be taxed at the same rate as Middle America as long as all of their income is reportable.
Why people are blind to this candidate promoted by rich tax-dodgers is beyond understanding. He will most certainly hurt local Republicans among voters who have insight into the coup in waiting. Perhaps local Republicans should distance themselves now from Mr. Moneybags.