THE LEFT’S SMOKE AND MIRRORS CAMPAIGN ON MITT ROMNEY’S PERSONAL FINANCES
What we know is that Mitt Romney is successful and worth a ton of money which he appeared to earn as a venture capitalist/turn-around consultant. We also know that wealthy and sophisticated people pay accountants, lawyers and other consultants a lot of money to help them arrange their affairs in such a manner as to legally pay the lowest possible tax rate.
Unlike, Obama whose financial dealings involve dodgy people doing dodgy deals, Mitt Romney has complied with the law and made the appropriate disclosures. But that has not satisfied the left who are playing the communist class warfare game – the rich versus the poor, the haves versus the have nots – by suggesting that Romney has a hidden secret.
The headlines blare …
|Inside Mitt Romney’s Bain Files |
In a massive document dump, Gawker has published 950 pages of confidential files related to Mitt Romney’s finances. Alex Klein on what’s notable in the cache—and what to ignore.
The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes
What’s really there?
48 documents totaling more than 950 pages. They consist predominantly of confidential internal audited financial statements from 2008, 2009, and 2010, as well as investor letters from the same period, for Bain entities that Romney has previously disclosed owning an interest it.
Can they even understand what they say?
The documents are exceedingly complicated. We don't pretend to be qualified to decode them in full, which is why we are posting them here for readers to help evaluate—please leave your thoughts in the discussion below.
Do they indicate wrongdoing?
If there was any wrongdoing, one would assume that it would be the entity that was culpable and chargeable and not the investors. As for tax evasion, the left is very, very careful not to claim that Mitt Romney committed a crime – by only suggesting that he evaded paying what they falsely characterize as a “person’s fair share.”
But what of Gawker itself?
Nick Denton’s blog empire.
For years after starting Gawker Media, the online publishing network, in 2002, Nick Denton ran the company out of his apartment, in SoHo. “He said, ‘If you run it out of your house, then no one expects anything,’ ” Denton’s friend Fredrik Carlström, the film producer and adman, told me. “ ‘If you have an office, people want stuff. They want cell phones, lunch breaks, beer on Fridays.’ ” Gawker Media was a deliberately fly-by-night operation: incorporated in Budapest, where a small team of programmers still works, and relying on elegantly jaded bloggers who considered themselves outsiders with nothing to lose. Early contributors tell stories about bounced checks, and receiving payment straight from the A.T.M. The arrangement, many assumed, was a convenient hedge against potential libel claims. (Scarcely a week passes without one or more of Denton’s nine sites receiving a cease-and-desist letter.) It also helped bolster Denton’s image as a kind of digital-sweatshop operator—he initially paid his bloggers twenty-four thousand dollars a year—and cultivated a helpful sense among contributors that they were the crew of a rogue “pirate ship,” as Gawker people sometimes say, initiating stealth attacks on the ocean liners in midtown.
Nonetheless, two years ago Denton, who is forty-four, set up a permanent base for the operation in a large loft in Nolita, which he increasingly shows off, as if to demonstrate that his bloggers do not wear pajamas all day long. They now make good money, sometimes in excess of eighty thousand dollars, with 401(k)s, and, soon to come, maternity leave (not that many of them yet need it). Roughly sixty of the company’s hundred and twenty staffers work on-site, sitting at three long rows of desks alongside Denton himself—who, in the fashionable mode of modern media executives, declines a corner office. There is also a roof made for hosting parties with bands and Ping-Pong tables.
Denton used to tell people who asked what he did for a living that he was a pornographer. This was true, in a limited way: he publishes Fleshbot, a blog that boasts of its devotion to “Pure Filth,” and features a great many explicit anatomical images. But Fleshbot, which receives about a million unique domestic visitors each month, is now the worst-performing of the nine titles that Denton puts out, and you won’t find any mention of it on the mastheads of the other eight; it’s a drag on the reputable kind of advertising that Denton now covets.
Denton is good but unnerving company. He often prefers to communicate via instant message, where the self, as expressed through a keyboard, is easier to regard, and therefore to keep in check. (His employees have internalized a kind of Morse code for deciphering his moods and intentions: “Hey hey” prefigures good news, for instance, whereas a lone “Hey” means business.) In live conversation, his intelligence is evident, as is his penchant for rational contrarianism. He once announced to his dinner companions that he was in favor of gay marriage (Denton is himself gay) but against abortion, on the ground that, if you’ve got to draw a line somewhere, it might as well be at conception. He speaks quickly, in a soft, clipped baritone that one former colleague of his likens to “whale sonar.” He also bores easily, having been proved right often enough to dismiss most attempts at debate with an insensitivity that is commonly mistaken for meanness. His smiles fade a little too quickly, and can leave you with the nagging suspicion that he views it all as a lark—the high-school-cafeteria metaphor taken too literally.
After graduation, Denton set off to observe the transition from Communism in Eastern Europe, stringing for the Daily Telegraph in Romania, and later catching on with the Financial Times in Hungary, thereby pleasing his parents. (“I think my dad was a little bit embarrassed by me working for the Telegraph.”) Budapest, though a step up from Bucharest, was no Moscow or Prague—“It wasn’t an exuberant situation,” as Matt Welch, another Budapest journalist, recalls, citing rampant xenophobia and anti-Semitism—and Denton found the experience doubly dispiriting. The politics “gave one a very cynical view of world events,” he said. “You have these beautiful revolutions, and very quickly the old political, pre-Communist dividing lines reasserted themselves: ethnic.” <Source>
About those Cayman Islands …
As John Cassidy relates in The New Yorker, Gawker’s finances are “organized like an international money-laundering operation.” For example:
Much of its international revenues are directed through Hungary, where [bossman Nick] Denton’s mother hails from, and where some of the firm’s techies are located. But that is only part of it. Recently, [Felix] Salmon reports, the various Gawker operations—Gawker Media LLC, Gawker Entertainment LLC, Gawker Technology LLC, Gawker Sales LLC—have been restructured to bring them under control of a shell company based in the Cayman Islands, Gawker Media Group Inc.
Why would a relatively small media outfit based in Soho choose to incorporate itself in a Caribbean locale long favored by insider dealers, drug cartels, hedge funds, and other entities with lots of cash they don’t want to advertise? The question virtually answers itself, but for those unversed in the intricacies of international tax avoidance Salmon spells it out: “The result is a company where 130 U.S. employees eat up the lion’s share of the the U.S. revenues, resulting in little if any taxable income, while the international income, the franchise value of the brands, and the value of the technology all stays permanently overseas, untouched by the I.R.S.” <Source>
Bottom line …
More democrat douchebaggery from a douchebag on behalf of the Obama team.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS