George Romney paid the maximum amount of taxes, seldom taking advantage of the loopholes to escape his tax obligations. His son did the complete opposite.
Under considerable duress he finally disclosed that he never paid less than 13.6 percent in taxes during the last five years. How noble.
George Romney released 12 of his tax returns. His son shared one complete tax return and an estimate for 2011. Mitt Romney keeps insisting that he is a job creator. He is not. In the Republican debates former Senator Rick Santorum disclosed that while governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had the fourth worst record for job creation. Some record.
Romney's father was a unifier concerned with helping all Americans regardless of their financial status. In contrast, Mitt is concerned for making the rich even richer.
Romney continues to recommend cutting taxes for the very rich, which, as previously noted, are down about 50 percent since his father's time. Now, running for president, Mr. Romney has an obligation to level with all of us regarding how he would personally benefit from the policies he is now advocating.
The extreme right wing Republican ideologues
We have had wealthy presidents before that were considered traitors to their class. Theodore Roosevelt tried busting up the trusts. Franklin Roosevelt rallied against the economic royalists and John Kennedy raised the taxes of the very rich while at the same time appealing too the conscience of the nation to conquer poverty. Romney is just the opposite. He wants to do everything he can to make the super rich even wealthier and the poor poorer. He justifies it all with thinly veiled social Darwinism which means the survival of the fittest. Newt Gingrich was the first to label the Romney/Ryan budget "right wing social engineering."
Recent reports from the Federal Reserve records show the collapse of the middle class between 2007 and 2010. Median wealth dropped a staggering 40 percent and, as ever, the rich did very well, actually seeing their wealth increase while everyone else's disappeared.
Of course we have to cut spending and obviously we need more tax revenue but we have to do it in a way that protects the promise of opportunity for all. The key to paying off our crushing debt is ultimately through economic growth and the key to growth is an ever expanding middle class, not one that has been descending for the last seven years.
The richest 400 Americans now own as much as the bottom 150 million Americans put together. Billionaires are now desperately trying to buy the 2012 elections and, with it, American democracy. To support their advertising for their campaigns they have sought many outside sources.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, considered one of the best to have served on the Court, once wrote: "We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both."
Hal DeBona lives in Dorset.