Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’
August 24th, 2012
01:10 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’

(CNN) – In calling for a broader, simplified tax code, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday that bigger businesses, in knowing how to utilize loopholes in the tax code, are "doing fine in many places" compared to small businesses.

"We've got to make it easier for small businesses," Romney told a crowd of about 300 people at a high-dollar fundraiser in Minnesota. "Big business is doing fine in many places -they get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses. But small business is getting crushed."

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Romney's running mate Paul Ryan made similar comments in an interview earlier Friday, also in arguing for what the duo says would be a tax code more conductive to a competitive economic system.

"By plugging loopholes, which are uniquely enjoyed by higher income individuals, you're reducing their ability to shelter their income from taxation," Ryan said. "Therefore, more of their income is subject to taxation and that allows us to lower tax rates for everybody in America–families, small businesses."

The Romney and Ryan plan includes proposals that primarily emphasize reducing tax rates while maintaining tax breaks for savings and investment. More specifically, the plan calls for an extension for all of the Bush tax cuts, including a tax break on an annual income of more than $250,000. The Republicans' plan also calls for reducing the individual income tax rate by 20%, eliminating the estate tax, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and reducing the corporate income tax.

The Obama administration has attacked Romney's tax proposal as detrimental to the middle class. Obama has rejected the Republican supported tax proposal while calling for an extension of the Bush tax cuts only on income of under $250,000 and, furthermore, tapping wealthier individuals to pay a higher tax rate, which he calls the Buffett Rule.

"Here's the thing, he's not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids' education. He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut," Obama said this month at a campaign event in Mansfield, Ohio, pointing to a report by the Tax Policy Center that concludes that Romney's economic plan would provide large tax cuts to high-income households while increasing the tax burdens on low to middle income taxpayers.

The Romney campaign took issue with the study, saying that it doesn't take into account the Republican candidate's full tax program and ignores benefits created by the corporate tax plan and proposal for deficit reduction in the Romney plan.

Romney's personal finances have been a topic on the campaign trail since the former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman entered the presidential race.

Critics have cited Romney's off-shore account holdings as evidence of the former Bain Capital executive's willingness to use loopholes in the tax code to his benefit. His financial disclosures suggest his net worth is as high as $264 million, making him one of the wealthiest candidates in history to seek the U.S. presidency.

Additionally, Romney's refusal to release more years of tax returns have fueled Democrats attacks that the presumptive GOP nominee is playing by a different set of rules.

Romney has released tax returns from 2010 and an estimate for 2011, thus far, refusing to release more years of returns.

Romney and his campaign have rejected the calls for more financial transparency as a ploy from the Obama campaign to avoid talking about major issues facing the nation like the economy.

Romney's comments may stir political memories of a comment made by Obama in a June news conference saying "the private sector's doing fine." The Romney campaign seized on the comment using the gaffe as evidence that the president is out-of-touch with the ailing economy.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    No wonder why your ratings stink. You always play it up for the President and do not give the other side a fair oppurtunity. Journalism huh?

    August 24, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  2. Mike

    Wow, he's not even trying to hide his desire that every business, not just big business, should have access to offshore tax havens. Incredible.

    August 24, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  3. Vidyashanti

    Make up your mind. We don't know when you say something and mean something. Simplified tax code simply means cut down by 20,25,30% ? With present tax codes and loopholes many big corp pay very little. Remove all subsidies,loopholes and then talk about new tax laws.

    August 24, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. Jeff in Virginia

    Hey Mitt- if "big businesses are doing fine" then that must be Obama's fault. Oops.

    August 24, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  5. Rozelle

    Romney and Ryan are both very savvy economically. They both know exactly how to plug drains in the system – thru eliminating tax loopholes for big business and very wealthy individuals.

    August 24, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  6. readytorock

    Yeah Mitt. Big businesses are doing fine alright because our president ben bailin dem out. With our working man's money.

    August 24, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Lar 5

    If “Big Business” is doing fine the GOP trickle down of JOBS should be a storm. Where are the jobs?

    August 24, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. humtake

    When you want to talk about business, Romney is a millionaire who made his money in the corporate world. He has proven success. And for you Liberals out there who like to talk about one or two of his dealings...proven success doesn't mean you won every battle you faced. But taking into account his hundreds of millions, I'd say he won most of them.

    Now, whether or not he will be a good President is anyone's guess. But it's ridiculous to see ignorant people taking Obama's economic advice over Romney's. Obama bought his seat in the government just like they sold it to his successor. He doesn't know anything about how to be successful with a dollar. I'm not bashing. He has strengths that Romney doesn't. It's just the way things are. Nobody knows everything. To criticize Romney and praise Obama over a topic that deals with how to work a dollar, all you are doing is proving you vote solely on party lines and can't think critically enough to make an informed decision....so please don't vote.

    August 24, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. James PDX

    Of course big businesses are doing fine. Obama has gone a long way to recovering the economy destroyed by a GOP administraton. That's why the rich keep getting richer. Duh. Romney remains a terrible candidate, even for being from one of the two corrupt parties.

    August 24, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. Ed Sands

    Who else to close major loop holes and tax havens then some one that knows about them. First, i don't blame you if you legally use a loop hole or tax plan that avoids paying taxes – I blame the govt for allowing or creating them. Obama wants to increase taxes on millionares and billionares – well a family making $250K is not in that category and even most Democratics don't agree with him and want that raised to $500K-$1 Million. Say Obama gets his way and the billionaires would pay 39% x $0 income (reduced due to loop hole) = $0 in increase tax revenue, but families making $250-$300k (most small business) would be wacked with higher income taxes causing even a worse ripple effect in our economy.

    Now Romnies plan eliminates the loop holes and tax havens (and i am sure his accountants and attorneys know them all) then you would have ($$) Billions x 20% tax= a lot of money and this would be new revenue created without having to put a burden on small business and families.

    August 24, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. Peri Browner

    Of course. They are sucking the money and souls out of the middle class.

    August 24, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. Craig

    Sure they are, doing fine funneling money into offshore accounts, doing fine paying millions on ceo bonuses, doing fine avoiding millions/billions in taxes that the rest of middle america has to shoulder.
    YEP doing just FINE

    August 24, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. Crismn

    So why they're not hiring? Are they trying to squeeze and exploit as much as possible their employees and keep the unemployment high until next year? I think it all falls in the pattern of trying to get a union busting, anti-middle class administration!

    August 24, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  14. Sarah Dogood

    I recently had a conversation with a vendor who complained about politicians breaking the law, specifically Chicago's Mayor Rob B. I pointed out that if the laws weren't there, he wouldn't have broken any. Eliminating these pesky laws will clearly make honest lawmakers. So by extension, eliminating pesky laws on environmental protection, worker rights, and business trading will make honest companies.

    I suppose one could have the counter arguement that many politicans are corrupt. Doesn't by extension mean that many companies are corrupt?

    August 24, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  15. scizwiz

    I'm a low income American small business owner and I'm not looking for ways to scam America .
    Romey please step away .

    August 24, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  16. Matthew

    Wait... how is this materially different than the statement Obama made. You know... the one that sent every conservative nutter into a frothy frenzy of hate?

    August 24, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  17. Eric

    Had they not taken President Obama's words out of context, this is exactly what he meant by "the private sector is doing fine" what hypocrites.... so now the Obama campaign should return the favor by claiming former Governor Romney and House Representative Ryan are saying "businesses are doing fine" by dropping the word "big".

    August 24, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  18. scizwiz

    What a joke

    August 24, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. jo jo

    Straight from the horses mouth.....offshore tax havens for the rich,,,,

    August 24, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  20. levi

    I thought he said not long ago that Obamas policies are killing businesses,

    August 24, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  21. Mitt is done

    So when Obama said it, it was wrong? If Obama was white and Republican, he'd be the new Reagan...

    August 24, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. Jeb Bush

    Large Corps are flush with cash. They will only "create a job" if they are sure to profit. The problem is: The unwashed masses still don't have enough money to buy useless crap, so no jobs. Our vision is not sustainable.

    August 24, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. Andrew

    I thought his whole campaign hinged on the presidents comment stating that the private sector is doing fine? So he is agreeing?

    August 24, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. 0704American

    "We've got to make it easier for small businesses," Romney told a crowd of about 300 people at a high-dollar fundraiser in Minnesota. "Big business is doing fine in many places -they get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses. But small business is getting crushed."

    "They know how to find ways to get through the tax code" Romney is a corporate gangster.

    August 24, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  25. ToolTime

    Big business is doing great. Everyone else not so much. So why do we need a so called big business freedom fighter in office? The answer is we don't, Romney.

    August 24, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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