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. Jake

    Just like him, doing fine with record profits and money they are not spending, just holding it until after the elections, all to keep the economy down so that Romney can win. They will be disappointed.

    August 24, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  2. Kaisersoser

    Talking about off shore tax havens, about them tax returns Mittens?

    August 24, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  3. Wes

    Big business will do even finer if Romney and his minions occupy the White House next year. The obesity of the wealthy businesses are waiting for a tax haven assurance that only the GOP can guarantee. How much of our money, the money we all have spent and invested, is lying in overseas accounts? We don't need a Wall Street government, we need a government that is forged by the citizens of America and not the business of America, in spite of the common doctrine of corporate allegiance and dominance. This is a nation of values and ethical standards that were once emblematic of envy around the world (that we once saved... ), now we are a safety deposit box waiting for a probate decision to open. As for kings and emperors; I have no use.

    August 24, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  4. arkieron

    Does that mean that Romney would pay 12.6% under his plan?

    August 24, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  5. Rhonda Rahn

    If all the GOP talked about was business, that would be one thing.

    But....instead, they are immersed in social issues. The GOP are peeping toms in people's bedrooms.

    GOP = anti-women.

    August 24, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  6. blue dog

    So now Romney agrees with president that private sector is fine after pulling president statement out of context whole summer. When president said tax cuts for 250000 an below, these are the kin of small businesses he had in mind.

    August 24, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What rules does he plan on closing that would help small businesses? How do contined tax cuts on the wealthy help the rest of the country get out of the current economic situation. We know that trickle down doesn't work in this world.

    August 24, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  8. deb

    Hey Romney–can YOU see Russia from your window? You (and anyone that votes for you) are a real nut case!!! Just like Palin-YOU scare me!!!

    August 24, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  9. kathy/Minnesota

    " They know how to find ways to get through the tax code" BUSTED....AGAIN, I mean seriously is this guy his own worst enemy? ryan/romney....dumb,dumber,dumbest.

    August 24, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  10. oknotokok

    yeah, Big Business CEO’s have been stealing from the middle class for too loong now. No wonder why the middle class is shiinking in America .

    August 24, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. lamsao

    I believe Romney because he spoke from experience.

    August 24, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  12. Louisiana Man

    YES...MR and his nobility i.e, mill/billionaires are climbing the summit of unfathomable riches....

    by stampeding to and sucking every morsel of bounty from the public trough ..gorging the flesh..lean. & bone..and paying minuscule..if any the country that has served these luxuries to them on a sliver platter.

    August 24, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  13. richard miller

    Sure, big business is doing fine. Just look at the little guys that are getting crushed in the rush to increase profits for do nothing CEO's salaries. Show us how well big business is doing Mitt. Lets see some tax returns of yours that will tell us more about your lies.

    August 24, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. 1zb1

    Romney/Republicans: Affirmitive action for the Rich and Powerful – anti-affirmative action for everyone else.

    August 24, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  15. Dlaw

    Middle class people are insane if they vote for Romney/Ryan. These guys are going to bury any chance the average American might have of climbing the socioeconomic ladder. They are only interested in protecting the interests of top 1%. America needs to wake up and vote the GOP out of power altogether.

    August 24, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  16. AmesIA

    This is making my head spin...Romney says about the same thing Obama said about big business – their sitting on cash, their not paying high taxes etc. – and he runs attack ads and stumps what Obama said. Ryan's budget recognizes the same savings and efficiency of reducing overpayment to Medicaid Advantage insurance companies and call the same thing in ACA "stealing". The man is a weasel.

    August 24, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  17. lobo joe

    If they are doing fine, then why implement tax reforms that reduce their rates and force us to pay more? Willard, let's see the tax returns ( I always wanted to know how tax scam artists manage to do it).

    August 24, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  18. wally

    I am glad that Mrs Ryan cares so much for big business and 300 of his closest billionaire friends agree with him. Is this why Mittens is SO out of touch with Middle Class America?

    August 24, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  19. Gurgyl china, India.

    August 24, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  20. Stopthemadness

    He means a tax code that lets the rich steal even more money from the middle and lower classes while nothing gets taken from them. He isn't fooling anyone. "Pay for my campaign I will make sure you can keep avoiding paying your share." Is all he is saying.

    August 24, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  21. PJ

    It was shocking yesterday to read about the business mechanisms Romney used to become wealthy including some of the questionable ventures such as tobacco and casinos. $100million in his IRA is obscene. All this man seems to have been thinking about was money and the White House for power.

    August 24, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  22. ComeOnPeople

    Isn't this the same man who blasted President Obama when he said the private sector was doing fine??

    August 24, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  23. Keith A. Sillsbury

    Now we have a pair of flip – flops. what I just read in the first few lines here is plugging loopholes on big business. That means they'll have to PAY MORE TAXES. Thats the same as RAISING THEIR TAXES just in different words. Just put a different way. Ryan wants to raise taxes on big business. A complete reversal from what he was saying last week. Just like his reversal of the national budget, he voted for the cuts across the board if congress didn't come up with one and now he doesn't want that to include the military which is half of the cuts. too bad budy, you already voted! now stand by your dicision.

    August 24, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  24. Sean

    So when Romney says it, he's an expert so it's okay. But when Obama says it, he's out of touch with the economy. Sounds more like Obama got it way before Romney did. Also, if big businesses are doing fine, as he claims, and have the resources to find loopholes ... why does the Romney plan give them a tax reduction?

    August 24, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  25. vic , nashville ,tn

    True statement from Romney
    “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.”
    Romney’s real experience

    August 24, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
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