This article by Vanity Fair raises dozens of questions about how Mitt Romney made his money and how he keeps it from being taxed. This is a clinic in non-transparency. It is a story about off-shore accounts and high-priced accounting gymnastics. It is not a story about investing in straightforward businesses here in America. It is a chapter in the story of how financial services have destroyed respectable businesses over the last few decades. It is another chapter of the story of how systems are made complex so that only those with wealth can afford to manipulate the system and purchase opacity in the process.
There is no way Romney would have a chance to win the presidency, except that winning high office these days rarely has much to do with facts. Mitt didn’t earn his money anything like the way that an auto worker or a store clerk earns money. If each of us had an army of lawyer and accountants, maybe we would do what Mitt has done, but we don’t. Mitt is not one of us. He is Exhibit A on how to play the game by taking advantage of tax loopholes set up only for people like him. Mitt will be spending much of his time in this campaign trying to make it look like he is one of us. Mitt will be pouring gasoline on the culture wars. Mitt will be doing everything in his power to distract us from questioning whether his money is honest money.
Let the circus begin!