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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Romney's Individual Retirement Account - Ire in the IRA

How does one person put $100 million in an individual retirement account?  Even with compound interest, this is an extraordinary amount of money to tax shelter.

Governor Romney didn't take any salary while he was the one term governor of Massachusetts, yet he sure found revenue from someplace to maximize his Individual Retirement Account - aka IRA.  Why does Governor Romney report having $100 million in his individual retirement account?

In "Romney's IRA: Unearthing the Golden Goose", CNN's Steve Rattner writes "...Romney...used 'every trick in the book', He...referred specifically to Romney's $100 million IRA...."

News reports about Governor Romney's amazing wealth must raise the candidate's ire. His reticence, not being forthcoming regarding his finances, makes it difficult to break through the quagmire of personal wealth information and to get out his political message.

But what is Romney's political message?  I sincerely believe Romney wants to be president for three reasons (since he won't candidly answer this question, I'll try to do so on his behalf:

1. By being president, he can protect his personal wealth from scruity by the Internal Revenue Service, from the media and from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
2. His rich friends are counting on him to become president so he can help protect their wealth from similar or worse scrutiny.
3. Romney wants to be the first Mormon President of the United States (I apologize to those put off by this Mormon issue, but it's what I believe. There's nothing wrong with this religous ambition, I simply believe it's one of Romney's motivations in wanting to become President.)

Since revealing Romney's tax information was squelched by his wife on Good Morning America, let's look at his Individual Retirement Account, instead. 

How did Romney sequester, from taxes, an astounding $100 million into an IRA when only about 5 percent of a person's income is allowed, by law, to be put into this particular tax shelter?

Romney knows how to keep secrets, but, as a candidate for President of the United States, he can't break the law.

Rattner writes in CNN: "If one makes quick resort to the compound interest tables and/or attempts to place Romney's results in the context of financial industry standards for return on investment one might conclude that $100 million in 33 years is an un-worldly pile of money, even fantastical. Forget that Romney should, respectfully, unearth the golden goose and show it to the American people, and that if he did so even I would vote for him---it's just that when I contemplate Mitt's kind of investment return I don't give a damn who wins this election, I just want to learn the secret tricks of Private Equity---perhaps the most apt term ever coined in the financial industry."

Private Equity is certainly Romney's private affair with money. But, Romney's cash cow IRA is a mystery we should understand. Really, does a person get a golden goose when one becomes a Venture Capitalist? If so, where do we clone the goose? 

If we had the opportunity, like Romney, to amass $100 million in an IRA, then, indeed, we could agree with the Republicans plan to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants for college students, Veterans Benefits and Social Security for retirees. America's streets would, indeed, be lined with gold laid by the golden goose, if Romney would reveal his IRA secret.

It's time for Governor Romney to stop sending surrogates to speak with the media about why he can't or won't release his tax information or how he was able to sequester $100 million in a tax sheltered Individual Retirement Account.

My ire at Romney grows every time I hear how he puts his wealth in off shore accounts, where the Internal Revenue Service can't audit his wealth. Where did his money come from?

As a potential leader of the United States, Romney should invest inside of our country, especially when Political Action Committee negative ads preach about how the national debt is dragging down our economy. Romney's taxes could  help the national deficit hole.

Let's demand more fiscal transparency from Governor Romney. Otherwise, if his money and the contributions he receives from wealthy colleagues, are able to skew this 2012 Presidential election, we'll be anchored to a leader who will outsource the safety net programs so badly needed by America's middle class.

Does anybody know how many Social Security beneficiaries $100 million would support?



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