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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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.

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Milton K. Wiah

    This is an admission of guilt by Romney. This is the reason he does not want to release his tax returns.

    August 24, 2012 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  2. onlyfacts61

    Big corps can deal with regulations? So does this mean a Romney presidency would cap fossil fuel emissions and stop the coal industries disregard for West Virginians health and land? Or, force billion dollar companies to divulge the contents of their fracking fluids? Not a chance in hell! I'm sure Romney will be getting a phone call from the Koch heads telling him to "watch his words".

    August 24, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  3. Consequence

    Romney makes more sense every day. Obama's helping the poor to stay poor is not a productive policy. Americans yearn for policies which will make the economy grow and provide real jobs.

    August 24, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  4. broadthought

    Mitt sure seems uncomfortable lately. Maybe it's time he himself found an offshore shelter, of sorts.

    A likely scenario: Under a Mitt presidency, the rich-poor gap will increase tenfold, and to pay for the 1%'s cuts, a section of D.C. (containing the White House) will be auctioned to China– from there, we will have our first tax-sheltered and fully outsourced presidency.

    August 24, 2012 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  5. Romney_sucks

    Could anyone name ONE company that Romney helped turn around at Bain that had a net job gain? Just ONE!

    August 24, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  6. IceMan

    "By plugging loopholes, which are uniquely enjoyed by higher income individuals, you're reducing their ability to shelter their income from taxation," Ryan said.
    Which he learned first hand from his running mate.

    August 24, 2012 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  7. DixonIV

    All those who believe Romney and Ryan will cut the loop holes for big business raise your hand... cricket sounds...Never gonna happen.

    August 24, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  8. Caspar Mulders

    Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’

    Yup. Sadly, that's about the *only* thing we don't have to worry about if Romney were to become president. So everyone, you can sleep soundly tonight, because Mitt Romney is watching over banker's bonuses and hedgefunds' freedoms. After all, when an American banker gets a $20 million bonus and deposits it in the Cayman Islands, that's good news for all Americans, right?

    August 24, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  9. n

    Oh, now the private sector is doing fine! Are you people not paying attention to this grifter and his new side kick, Ryan, "The Snake Oil Salesman Mini Me, who is only good for, gathering lost souls, who are dumber then a box of rocks, tie them to the roof top of the Romney clown car in a cage of lies. Why? Because they need those lost sheep to make a sacrifice to their cult god Ayn Rand.

    August 24, 2012 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  10. William R. Hill

    The R&R team, if elected will be as dangerous to the average person as Bush was, at least domestically. No matter what they say, they will attempt to hand health care entirely to the insurance industry and Social Security to Wall Street. Even if they failed, the chaos caused by the effort would disrupt the health care industry and the Social Security program – and cost $trillions in the process. The insane brinksmanship over the debt ceiling got our bond rating lowered and stalled any action that might have stengthened the economy.

    August 24, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  11. Bob Brown

    Rommey's and his megabillionares' big bucks sitting pretty in the Cayman Islands and Swiss accounts do not create jobs or trickle down to the 99%, do they?

    August 24, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  12. James Mn

    Well of course they are. Because as you stated Mitt "they take advantage of offshore tax shelters". Yup, instead of using all that "sheltered" money to invigorate the US economy and create jobs, they would rather hide it away. Oh and I suppose you will convince them to do just that . Right?

    August 24, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  13. noteabags

    Who would know better on how to utilize loopholes in the tax code then Mitt? He's an expert. How about we fix those loopholes!!

    August 24, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  14. Grumpy

    There's no doubt big businesses are doing fine: the deck is stacked in their favor. It's us small and medium businesses that bear the brunt of the Republican caused recession.

    August 24, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  15. Marie MD

    Is this guy and his people awake or just walking in the clouds. For somebody who doesn't drink he sounds and sure as heck looks drunk sometimes (that creepy smirky look he has). Hypocrites!!!
    The President says that the private sector is dong well and they slam him to the wall and their lying ads can't get enough of it.
    Now the twit comes out with "big busineeses are doing fine"? Enlighten me somebody but isn't this pretty much the same thing the President said?

    August 24, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  16. SMMcMahon

    I hope that you have sufficient assets to buy private health insurance when you are 80, because under the Ryan plan, that's what you'll have to do, and I'm sure it will be really affordable individual coverage for old people, no one in your family will need federally-backed college loans, and that and if there is a fire at your house, I hope you intend to put it out yourself, and I am guessing you don't use the interstate highway system, or fly anywhere, because you couldn't do that without the government created by the taxes that we, the people, pay.

    Instead of joining the bandwagon of "personal freedom" versus government, perhaps you should make a list of the myriad ways in which you, and the rest of society, benefit from the government's role in our lives. You know that little thing called the internet, which enabled you to post your views, developed out of government supported research. In fact, most of high tech benefited enormously from government supported research in silicon valley in the 40s and 50s, you know, when *REAL PATRIOTS* were proud to pay taxes, and valued the government initiatives that improved all of their, and now our, lives. And I hope you never get cancer, because you couldn't possibly accept treatment that might have been developed through research funded by the federal government.

    The list goes on. Maybe you should consider living on a deserted island somewhere. Lots of personal liberty – and no taxes – there.

    *Romney has over 130 companies registered to the same P.O.Box in The Caymen Islands, a tax-haven; guessing he didn't park his money there for the weather.

    August 24, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  17. johnmenacherjr

    What a load of course they are doing better. Whats next from the dynamic duo "let them eat cake"?

    August 24, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  18. maltytasker

    More tax cuts for super wealthy folks, increased defense spending. Where does Romney expect to get the money to finance this stuff? Sure, Ryan's plans call for eliminating tax loopholes, but it doesn't specify which loopholes would be cut. Some tax experts say that the only way their budget would work is if they make wholesale cuts to the deductions which many middle class Americans now rely on, such as the home mortgage interest and medical cost deductions. If they don't, there's no way R&R can cut the deficit, and would probably add to the deficit instead.

    August 24, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  19. jaydee

    Sure big business doing fine, dropping health care, sending work overseas, laying off workers, tax loopholes and writing off $77,000 for a horses care.

    August 24, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  20. worldcares

    Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’

    The why is everyone complaining about the rate of unemployment?

    August 24, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  21. Badmfkr

    Romney show us ur tax returns.

    August 24, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  22. Matte

    Like president Ronald Reagan would say, there you go again Mitt with you flip flop, hippity hopping the topics. This is a typical problem with this candidate, now big business is just fine. That is a turn in the Obama direction, I think Mitt origanally said, big business should not pay any tax at all. Flip, flop, hippity hop, Novembers on its way.

    August 24, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  23. Anonymous

    If they're doing fine (as they should be after both Bush handed them money and Obama lent them money) why do you want to give them another tax break? I suppose they need the money for what, donating to the Super Pacs in your hypothetical re-election campaign? And weren't you the guy who jumped on President Obama for basically saying the same thing. Geeze! This is like trying to explain Christianity to a Mormon. Oh, wait. Sorry.... yeah.

    August 24, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  24. CJ from Philly

    He's right. Just like Obama was right. Much of the private sector is doing just fine.

    August 24, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  25. TomInRochNY

    Tell us something we don't know. So called "American" corporations and their executives (like Romney) have been doing just fine with the profits of our hard work and sweat for decades. And what do we have to show for all that hard work? If they made money, why didn't we? Now he wants to lower and reduce their taxes?

    August 24, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8