By Robert Borosage
Mitt Romney’s economic address at Ford Field in Detroit received more attention for the empty seats in the cavernous field than for the similarly vacant words in his address.
But with the speech and the release of his new tax plan, we now have a good view of what Mitt Romney believes. To borrow from Tom Jones, here is Mitt Romney on what I believe:
I believe that the rich have too little money.
And so, Romney would not only extend the Bush tax cuts, but add another 20% cut in tax rates, even for those at the top.
I believe that Warren Buffett’s secretary should pay a higher tax rate than the wealthy like me
And so, Romney would keep the rate of taxes on wealth (capital gains, dividends) at 15% while continuing to tax middle income workers at much higher rates
I believe that those blessed by being born to the wealthy few should inherit the earth
And so, Romney would eliminate the estate tax that only applies to the top 1% of families, insuring, if nothing else, that he won’t have to waste money on estate planning.
I believe that the world should be the oyster of corporations seeking tax havens
And so Romney would move to a “territorial” tax system, ending any taxation for profits earned abroad, giving corporations a staggering incentive to cook their books – or in CFO speak, do “transfer pricing” – to show profits abroad rather than here. Romney’s old firm, Bain Capital, of course, is famed for its aggressive use of tax havens.
I believe that Wall Street should be free to gamble with other people’s money, and you rubes are on your own
And so Romney would repeal the rather modest bank reform passed after Wall Street excesses destroyed the economy, and eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that might provide consumers with an advocate among regulators.
I believe that the military has too little money
Military spending is now at levels higher than under Ronald Reagan at the height of the Cold War, even though the Soviet Union is no more, Bin Laden is dead, and the military is down to chasing pirates, waiting for China to grow up and provide an adult adversary. But for Romney, the Pentagon has too little money, not too much. He seems to think that the US lacks military prowess as opposed to economic vitality.
I believe that elderly workers have too much security and too much leisure
And so, while insuring that the heirs to the wealthy can remain idle, Romney would demand that workers labor for more years before they can retire on Social Security and Medicare, and that benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid be cut.
I believe that our schools, water systems, roads and bridges, subways and trains, nutrition programs for children, Coast Guard and FBI get too much money and can do with much less.
And so Romney, committed to balancing the budget while cutting taxes on the wealthy and shoveling money at the Pentagon, embraces brutal cuts in all domestic investment for over the next decade, insuring that America’s core infrastructure will continue to decline, and pose an increasing threat to public health and to lives.
I believe children must play the hand that fate dealt them. If they are the heirs to the rich, they live charmed lives. If they are born to the poor, they must rise above it
You don’t even want to know the devastation Romney’s priorities will wreak on poor children.
And here's what I believe: