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. fryuujin

    big business CEOs are always doing fine and that's the problem.

    August 24, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  2. Franks

    "Big business is doing fine " – Mitt Romeny. Really, Tell that to all the Americans being laid off from their corporate jobs. Big Business stock holders are doing fine.

    August 24, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  3. Justin

    This guy is trying to plug holes that he has used for years.

    August 24, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  4. Ronnie

    Big and rich people like Romny and Ryan are also doing fine..

    August 24, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  5. Jules

    So now he is agreeing with President Obama on this after going after him on it. What a shock!

    August 24, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  6. MJ

    Why not just eliminate all entries in the Federal Registar (regulations written for the benefit of big business)? It's not like the executive branch should be writing laws/regulations anyways, and small business will be able to compete, at last, with big business.

    August 24, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  7. JDinHouston

    Romney, you have got to be joking! I guess you haven't seen some of the latest quarterly reports of several big companies, business is slow, they aren't hiring, they plan to accelerate layoffs. You can't criticize Obama and then turn around and say big business is fine! Just how out of touch can you possibly be? Oh wait, you already answered.

    August 24, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  8. Joe

    Wait wait wait wait!!!! So Ryan pretty much just said that he wants to put an end to crooks like Romney cheating the IRS?

    August 24, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  9. imvotingforobama

    He should know since he used those same tax ccodes himself at Bain.

    August 24, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  10. saintsfanallday

    Sooo, the private sector is "doing fine"???

    August 24, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  11. Qev

    Either Mitt Romney is either:

    A) suffering from early stage Alzheimer’s, or B) Has so low an opinion of the average intelligence of his supporters…that he feels comfortable contradicting himself to them every other week.

    The smart money’s on B.

    August 24, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  12. saintsfanallday

    Soo, the private sector is "doing fine"???

    Romney ONLY tells those able to get to his fundraising events what he REALLY feels!

    August 24, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. Bee-Man

    Just last evening I saw a political commercial taking Pres. Obama to task for saying "the private sector is doing just fine". Does Romney now agree with this?

    Superpacs: A voice for paranoia.

    August 24, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  14. Ja-Coffalotte

    Proves he's a common criminal. Obama said that and he ripped him a new one.

    August 24, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  15. PhilG

    Hmmmm, "the private sector's doing just fine." Isn't this precisely what Mittens has hammered Obama on for months? I smell hypocrisy.

    August 24, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. tony

    people we seriously cannot make this guy POTUS he jumped on Obama's gaffe a couple of weeks ago citing that the private sector is doing good and came back with the same gaffe a few weeks later this guy is confused we cannot afford to have someone in the white house who cannot define where he stands on the issues sounds like someone is telling him what to say cannot think on his own two feet.

    August 24, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  17. bushfailledus

    Yes Big Busines is doing Great! You said a mouthful! They get "special" tax loop holes! Some don't pay any taxes at all! And not just "Big Business" but also "rich" people get the same loopholes. Ain't that right Romney...

    August 24, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. Bob

    Yeah, Romney knows all about how to utilize loopholes in the tax code, doesn't he?

    August 24, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  19. Yonni

    Now Mitt is talking about the one thing he knows better than anybody else. He "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". If this was a criterion to become the POTUS I would have vote for Mitten the professional.

    August 24, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. justiceinamerica

    What we need is property tax cuts and lower fuel prices to offset higher umeployment and food prices.

    August 24, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. Bob

    Why won't Ryan specify the loopholes he wants to close?

    August 24, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  22. Sandy

    If big business is doing fine, why do they need further tax breaks?

    August 24, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  23. Jeb Bush

    large corporations own you, me, Mitt, and Barack. Yet they use their media to whine about paying taxes. Amazing. They won't stop until they pay zero, and the rest of us are broke.

    August 24, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Wait, what? Didn't Romney release a video two-months ago that criticized Obama using the word "fine" to describe the business economy? This is the most ridiculous election ever.

    August 24, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  25. JC in PA

    So now there is agreement on big business? By the way small business is finding thse loop holes just fine also. The loop holes are set up for those that have money by those that have money. That's different then making it "look" like you have no money.

    August 24, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
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