Not qualified

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have elected unqualified presidents before. Most have served one term and then been forgotten. Some, such as George W. Bush have served two terms. Mitt Romney could probably serve one term adequately in less demanding times. However, we need more than that in our president in these demanding times. We need a qualified president to defend us abroad and revive the economy at home. We have an accumulation of problems that have been neglected and allowed to fester. Our democracy is weakened by the rapid disappearance of the middle class.

Mitt Romney is probably a good man. He is a husband, parent and member of his church. He probably broke no laws at Bain or on his taxes, but those laws need to be changed. We cannot afford to take a chance with Mitt when we already have a good man in the White House. We must not try to change horses in midstream.

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Tax avoidance

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Ser...

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Service. The design is the same as the Treasury seal with an IRS inscription. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tax avoidance is legal; tax evasion is not. The US tax code is so complicated that probably no one understands all of it. It is laced with special interest loopholes that may be interpreted in more than one way. When Congress writes the law, it usually instructs the IRS to interpret and apply the law in accordance with the laws already on the books and as rationally as it can. That provides work for private tax lawyers and specialist tax accountants.

While Mitt was at Bain, it was his job to reduce the taxes paid by the companies that Bain bought and sold. It is the responsiblity of a CEO to maximize profits for shareholders by minimizing taxes paid. Mitt probably decided to use some of the tax avoidance schemes he learned about and apply them to his own income. Many of those tax avoidance schemes are available only to the rich. One rule for them, another rule for the 99%.

It is probable that Mitt’s tax avoidance would resemble tax evasion to many voters if his tax returns were released. I think that is the real reason for Mitt’s secrecy.

Attack ads

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Attack ads, negative political ads, dominate the airwaves this election cycle and will continue to do so. Why? Because they are effective. Personally, I would prefer to eliminate all negative ads. However, practical politics require their use in a winning strategy. If Barack lost the election by not using negative ads, it would be a disaster for the country.

However, it is misleading to say both sides are using mostly negative ads. Barack is telling the truth about Mitt and Bain and his taxes. Mitt’s charges against Barack are entirely false. To equate telling the truth (Barack) with telling falsehoods (Mitt) is a false and misleading equivalency. Truth and lies are not the same.

Medical waste

When he was at Bain, Mitt and Bain invested $75 million in Stericycle,

English: Waste medical films from Turkey.

English: Waste medical films from Turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a medical waste disposal company. I have no quarrel with that investment because medical waste must be disposed of properly. Some corrupt companies try to dispose of waste improperly to save money. That is why medical waste sometimes washes up on our beaches.

Medical waste can and often does include aborted fetuses. Some people are opposed to abortion and include in their opposition medical waste disposal companies. Mitt profited from that investment and probably still does, if he would release his relevant tax returns.

When Somalia’s central government broke down and lost its ability to police its coast, some unscrupulous European companies started dumping waste along Somalia’s coast. It fell to Somalian fisherman to try to stop the dumping by confronting the dumpers from their small fishing boats. Thus led inevitably to charges of Somali acts of piracy and then to the real thing. One act of lawlessness can and often does lead to another, particularly if there is a weak or no central government.