Feature

Romney’s troubling tax shelters

The single tax return Romney has released is full of “byzantine” and “opaque” tax shelters.

Eugene RobinsonThe Washington Post

If Republicans wanted the votes of the struggling middle class, said Eugene Robinson, they shouldn’t have chosen Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee. Not only does Romney have multiple houses, cars, and boats and a $250 million fortune he built by swallowing companies and spitting them out—this proud plutocrat has used “every possible, conceivable” trick to dodge taxes. The single tax return Romney has released is full of “byzantine” and “opaque” tax shelters, including offshore investments in a shell company in Bermuda, a Swiss bank account, and a Cayman Islands account. Somehow, Romney also managed to squirrel away as much as $102 million in a tax-protected IRA—using what tax experts say are legally questionable accounting tricks. Romney argues that he pays what the law requires, “and not a penny more”—which in his case is just under 15 percent. But as most Americans struggle to pay their bills, they can’t evade taxes by hiding money in the Caymans or Bermuda. Romney is living proof of the Democratic campaign message: “There are two sets of rules, one for the rich and powerful and one for everybody else.” 

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