Monday, July 9, 2012

How to solve America's financial problems

A lot of questions are being raised about Mitt Romney's offshore investments, as well as his investments in outsourcing, his unreleased tax returns, his $100 million IRA . . . . Wait a minute. Let's talk about that last one for a minute. There was a good story in TPM a couple of days ago focusing more attention on exactly how someone could accumulate such an awesome sum of money in an IRA account, considering that an IRA is merely a middle class retirement vehicle for which contributions are currently limited to $6000 per year.

 A lot of stories about Romney's finances have focused on how unfair it might seem for someone like Romney to take advantage of generous tax breaks that allow the wealthy to pay lower rates than the middle class, or how unpatriotic it seems for Romney to park his money in Switzerland or the Caribbean instead of betting on America. As for the IRA, a lot of economists and tax accountants are scratching their heads right now trying to figure out how Romney could have turned at most  $6000 a year (over a hundred years that would amount to only $600,000 in contributions), into over a hundred million dollars in value.

I want to give Romney the benefit of the doubt on this whole IRA brouhaha. If Mitt Romney has figured out how to parlay an IRA account into a means for people to become centimillionaires, I say more power to him. And right now, what he really should be doing is sharing those tricks with the rest of us. Lots of people are capable of maxing out their IRA contributions, and even more of us would do it if we knew we could turn those IRA accounts into oceans of fabulous wealth. Republicans are always talking about teaching a man to fish instead of giving a man a fish. So teach us all how to fish, Governor Romney. Tell us your secrets. Because if we all followed your example, the prosperity of this country would know no bounds. We could all buy lakefront mansions in New Hampshire, and fix up fancy beach houses in La Jolla. We could put the whole construction industry back on its feet building our summer houses.

All Mitt Romney needs to do is explain in simple terms how we can invest our money in a more clever way that will make us all many millions. Presumably what Romney did was legal, and presumably it only cost him at most a measly $6000 a year. If he could do it, we all should be able to do it. Just tell us where we can obtain the assets to park in an IRA that will blossom into such enormous financial treasures. These were not magic beans I'm sure. They must be tangible investments that anyone can make. If they were only valued at a few thousand dollars each year, they are not beyond the reach of many of us. Prove that the American dream is still alive, Mitt. Show us how we can all do it, and you will not only make our nation wealthy; you will also prove you are worthy of leading us.


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