Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’
August 24th, 2012
01:10 AM ET
10 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. v_mag

    A morsel of truth out of Rob-money's mouth. Big business generally do fine because they can hide money, juggle the books, and send American jobs overseas. Just look at GE and Bank of America,who paid nothing in taxes last year. But the biggest reason they do fine is that they own the politicians who make the laws. That's really handy, not to mention corrupt.

    August 24, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  2. Pats

    Is his kind of the same as the private sectors?

    August 24, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  3. TiredOfPaying

    B!itch RobbedMe states that Big Business is doing fine cuz they know how to use all the loopholes. Small businesses are being crushed cuz they don't know how to use all the loopholes. Then instead of listing which loopholes he'd close he simply says he'll lower all the tax rates. No apology for the loopholes themselves; apparently they are just fine as they are.

    August 24, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  4. Core republican Values

    Judging by the tens of $ millions that big businesses are pumping into his Super PACs (Thank you, Supreme Court), you can see why Romney has reached this conclusion.

    August 24, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  5. Justin

    You're not fighting for me Mitt. Let's see the taxes!!!

    August 24, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. JS

    The reason Romney's plan raises taxes on much of the middle class is because it eliminates the mortgage interest deduction along with the deductions for student loan interest. Even with a lower rate, the net effect will be to raise the tax burden on most middle earners. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it if the money actually went to a good use, but he lowers the tax rate so much for the higher brackets that it overrides the loss of the major loopholes and shelters for those folks. In other words, his tax plan does nothing for the deficit, still cuts revenue needed for programs that serve the middle and lower classes, and then asks those folks to pay more for fewer government services.

    August 24, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. jake

    wow!! just WOW! where is the outrage at this remark? when president obama said this he was roasted.

    so if "corporate america" (obama) and "big business" (romney) are doing o.k. are they both right? both wrong?

    please explain. oh...wait. i get it. if romney says it, it's right and if obama says it, it's wrong........

    August 24, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  8. auditna

    So, is Mitt saying that we should teach small businesses how to take advantage of the same loopholes so as to pay lower taxes? Way to go!!!!

    August 24, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. Q

    You betcha........

    August 24, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. The fact is

    In other words, big businesses are crooks.

    August 24, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. Lionel

    How about Romney talk about plugging loopholes for millionaires and billionaires. They are doing just fine and do not need another 20% tax cut which he has proposed.

    Romney needs to first look in the mirror and plug the holes that he has used to evade paying taxes. Do not let a cheater and lier get into the white house. He knows how to manipulate the system.

    All of a sudden the Republicans have discovered the middle class when they have gutting everything for them for the past 10 years. We are going to get more of Bush policies if Romney / Ryan is elected.

    August 24, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  12. bahahaha

    rome(ny) is burning

    August 24, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. tee1227

    Looks like Reid was correct Mitt paid no taxes.

    August 24, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Laverne

    Of course they are, but it was a sin when President Obama said it! The truth is big business has prospered under Obama and has had record low interest rates, but if you listen to the republicans lies and spin you will be so ignorant and mis-informed to most things.

    August 24, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. Annie

    of course he want's a simplified tax code. It makes it easier to hide money in off-shore accounts.

    August 24, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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