A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: mitt romney

Rubio’s Creationism Is Tailor-Made For Iowa Republicans, Which Makes It Even Dumber.

by evanmcmurry

Weigel makes the obvious political read on Rubio’s “Who knows when the earth was created?” GQ bomb: beneath the convolutions of Rubio’s prattle is an answer that makes perfect sense to Iowa Republicans, while still crafted for maximum deniability in any other setting. It’s a creationist bank shot.

But coming so soon after Mitt Romney (who?) tanked an election the Republicans should have won while on vacation, largely due to a reputation for lying to point of self abnegation saying different and contradictory things to different electorates, you have to wonder how far Rubio’s narrow whistling will get him. 2016 is a long ways away, but not so far that being called “This year’s Mitt Romney” won’t sting.

Double Irish with a Dutch sandwich with a vengeance

by pdxblake

One of the big conservative talking points is that businesses are hoarding their billions overseas instead of creating jobs because it is unfair to tax overseas profits, and if only the US allowed them to not pay US taxes on foreign earnings, they would create so many new jobs.  Nevermind that it is more likely that allowing businesses another “repatriation tax holiday” like the Bush Administration did in 2004 did not lead to a big surge in hiring, and instead just gave businesses the extra incentive to continue to hide their billions overseas until the next time they can bring it back for cheap, and to increase their use of offshore tax havens where they can shift profits (even those actually generated in the US, as the NY Times described in a detailed article about Apple’s Double Irish with a Dutch sandwich)

However, one of Mitt Romney’s policies is to end corporate taxation on foreign income, or translating to wonk, move to a “territorial tax system” where the US only taxes income earned in the US.  He claims this would put the US tax system more in line with other countries that use the territorial system.  However, it is more likely to lead to additional offshoring of jobs, based on the research of Reed College economics professor Kim Clausing who estimates: “In 2008, U.S. multinational firms employed 10 million workers in affiliated firms abroad. Under a pure territorial tax system, the tax incentive to locate jobs in low-tax countries would increase significantly, and I calculate that this would increase employment in low-tax countries by about 800,000 jobs” (emphasis added).  This represents an increase of 8% in foreign employment (who would most likely be replacing US-based workers). The Romney plan also excludes (as far as we can tell) the main feature of most territorial tax systems: taxation of some foreign earnings from low-tax countries to reduce abuse of the system through income shifting.

The argument about whether outsourcing is good or bad will continue and I’m going to skip the argument for now just agree with Jared Bernstein at the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) who noted in a blog post today about territorial tax systems: “Here’s my take on the offshoring of jobs: it happens…it’s part of globalization.  But the last thing you’d want to do from a policy perspective is incentivize more of it!” (emphasis in original).

Again, as with most of the policies emanating from the Republican Party, this is a policy that can be turned into a (misleading) bumper sticker to sell it as helping create jobs in the US, but in the end all it will do is benefit mostly large corporations and incentivize them to move jobs overseas.  It will also do more harm to the budget deficit (which Republicans only seem to care about when there is a Democratic president in charge).  Currently, income shifting by corporations costs the US Treasury $90 billion a year according to Clausing and it is hard to see a policy that incentivizes more shifting of jobs and profits to low-tax countries leading to higher tax receipts in the US.

by evanmcmurry

My phone autocorrects Romney to Tombstone.

Hiding in Plain Sight

by evanmcmurry

After Romney spokesman’s Etch-A-Sketch comment, now this, from Greg Sargeant: “Glenn Kessler takes apart Darrell Issa’s claim the other day that the Obama administration deliberately delayed its stimulus spending in order to aid his reelection. Putting aside the absurdity of the charge, isn’t Issa basically conceding he thinks stimulus spending is effective?”

Economics, by Mitt Romney

by evanmcmurry

So we’re clear: bailouts are just fine when initiated by Republican presidents, on days when that President’s brother endorses you. That’s called economics.

Yawning is Better Than Hating, GOP Edition

by evanmcmurry

My favorite line in this article on how Floridian women voted in high numbers for Romney over Gingrich: “Romney’s yawning lead among women…” Perfect way to capture that just because Romney got the female vote doesn’t mean he is in any way interesting to them.

Logic: A Still Life

by evanmcmurry

Logic: A Still Life

by evanmcmurry

Mitt Romney: A Still Life

by evanmcmurry

WaPo on why nobody’s attacking Romney on health care and his socially moderate past:

It appears Romney’s opponents are simply trying to open up new fronts with which to attack him.

The old ones are still there and are still being reinforced in ads, but given that none of them has done much to damage his frontrunner veneer, this is about throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks.

Sure. But the whole Romney narrative is that he was never much of a frontrunner to begin with–hence his cresting at 25% as we cycled through all the alternatives. It’s much more likely that these attacks did work, but that nobody else was able to capitalize on them.


by evanmcmurry

“It appears to be a Google ad, meaning that the Romney campaign may have simply purchased ad space from Google linked to the keyword “Santorum” without considering the likelihood that Google would automatically place the ad on the vulgar site. On the other hand, it would be shocking if the Romney campaign weren’t aware of what pops up on Google when one enters that keyword.”