A California woman is facing foreclosure from Bank of America after taking out a loan to make her home more accessible for her disabled daughter, shining light on yet another improper foreclosure practice perpetuated by America’s largest banks.
Dirma Rodriguez fell behind on her original loan after spending thousands of dollars installing tile floors and a wheelchair ramp to make it easier for Ingrid Ortiz, her daughter who has cerebral palsy, to move around the house. When Rodriguez fell behind on her original loan, Bank of America offered her a trial modification. Even though Rodriguez kept up with those payments for more than a year, the bank sold her home at auction, and the new owner is pursuing eviction, the Los Angeles Times reports:
Rodriguez took out a loan to retrofit her house for her special-needs daughter. After she fell behind on her payments, the Bank of America lowered her monthly obligation, but then sold the house at a foreclosure auction last September. The new owner, a house flipper from El Segundo called West Ridge Rentals, moved to evict the family. [...]
Bank of America inherited Rodriguez’s loan from Countrywide. After her payment jumped, and she fell behind, the bank placed her in a trial loan modification. She made her payments faithfully for 13 months and was awaiting a permanent modification package when the bank sold her home out from under her, she says.
Rodriguez’s story, unfortunately, is not unique. Thanks to the process known as dual-tracking, banks have thrown thousands of homeowners into foreclosure even while offering those same homeowners loan modifications. As a result, homeowners who were willing to make new, lower payments to stay in their homes are often evicted anyway. Dual tracking, along discriminatory, fraudulent, and deceptive practices, led Bank of America and other Wall Street banks to settle a $25 billion suit with the federal government last month.
Trial modifications like the one given to Rodriguez, whose loan is backed by Freddie Mac, are supposed to last three months before the terms of the modification are made permanent if all payments are made. Rodriguez says she made 13 consecutive payments, but Bank of America told the Times that it still wants to be sure she can afford the payments before it makes the modification permanent. “I don’t want a free house,” Rodriguez told the Times. “I just want to make my payments.”
Luckily for Rodriguez, local activists have taken up her cause. Occupy Fights Foreclosure helped her stave off a scheduled eviction on March 26, and the company that bought her home at auction is willing to return it if Bank of America pays it back. The bank, which set the whole process in motion, is now considering giving her a modification that would allow her to keep the home.
Oh, little man. How powerful you must feel, using sarcasm and arrogance to belittle someone who wanted to get specifics from you on alleged inaccuracies to a report on the ProgressVA website. Such power you wield with those fighting words...
You see, ProgressVA published a report with a very specific list of all the different ways Virginia legislators are in the pocket of ALEC. It's quite thorough, but Mr. Speaker of the House Bill Howell seems to have had difficulty reading it accurately, which prompted ProgressVA representative Anna Scholl to ask him for specifics on where he saw inaccuracies.
As it turns out, he didn't really have anything to offer on the question of inaccuracy, but he seemed to object overall to the exposure of ALEC as a tool of the right that he's unafraid to wield at will. Perhaps it's these two bullet points that bothered him:
- Speaker William Howell is a member of ALEC's national leadership team. In 2009, he served as the group's national chairman. Howell's involvement with ALEC has transferred down to the state level: he has asked several of his colleagues to carry ALEC bills and approved the expenditure of taxpayer money to send his colleagues to ALEC conferences.
- Between 2001 and 2010, the Commonwealth of Virginia spent over $230,000 to send legislators to ALEC conferences in order to meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors.
At any rate, when he offered a "they did this and you didn't say anything" talking point in response to her very specific request for very specific inaccuracies, Ms. Scholl pressed, which caused him to say this, in front of the reporters present:
?I guess I?m not speaking in little enough words for you to understand."
Ms. Scholl didn't exactly cower before the Great and Powerful Speaker:
?I?m a smart girl ... I think words with multiple syllables would be just fine for me,??
And still, I note that Speaker Howell did not actually name one single inaccuracy in her report. You know what happens when bullies are confronted with the truth? They get angry. And when they get angry, they start saying stupid things and swaggering as if they actually have power when really, they're just caught in their lies.
That's what happened here. Props to Ms. Scholl for staring him down.
[h/t Washington Post]
I've never really liked rap music much as a kid. I'd like the occassional song from Run D.M.C. and[...]
Read The Full Article:
Conservative media have created a furor over CNN contributor Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney, drowning out an important truth: conservative policies limit women's opportunities to succeed economically.
Rosen: Ann Romney "Never Really Dealt With The Kinds Of Economic Issues That A Majority Of The Women In This Country Are Facing." From CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
HILARY ROSEN (CNN contributor): Well, first, can we just get rid of this word war on women. The Obama campaign does not use it. President Obama does not use it. This is something that the Republicans are accusing people of using, but they're actually the one spreading it.
With respect to economic issues, I think actually that Mitt Romney is right, that ultimately women care more about the economic well-being of their families and the like. But there's -- but he doesn't connect on that issue either.
What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing.
Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we -- why do we worry about their future?
So I think it's -- yes, it's about these positions and, yes, I think there will be a war of words about the positions, but there's something much more fundamental about Mitt Romney. He seems so old- fashioned when it comes to women.
And I think that comes across and I think that that's going to hurt him over the long term. He just doesn't really see us as equal. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 4/11/12]
Rosen: "I Apologize To Ann Romney And Anyone Else Who Was Offended." Rosen released a statement saying:
"Let's put the faux 'war against stay at home moms' to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his poor record on the plight of women's financial struggles. Here is my more fulsome view of the issues. As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let's declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance." [TalkingPointsMemo.com, 4/12/12]
Senate Republicans Voted Unanimously To Block Paycheck Fairness Act. From a Huffington Post article:
Senate Democrats were unable to overcome a Republican filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act on Tuesday, with the chamber falling two votes short of the 60 needed to end debate and proceed to a vote on the measure that would help combat wage discrimination on the basis of gender.
The vote broke down along party lines with the exception of sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who sided with Republicans and voted against cloture. Not a single member of the GOP broke rank.
Observers closely watched the votes of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), all women senators who voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which provides basic protections against wage discrimination. [The Huffington Post, 11/17/10]
WI GOP Gov. Walker Repealed Law Aimed At Preventing Gender Wage Discrimination. On April 5, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker repealed a law "that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court." From The Huffington Post:
A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill.
The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court.
In November, the state Senate approved SB 202, which rolled back this provision. On February, the Assembly did the same. Both were party-line votes in Republican-controlled chambers.
Sara Finger, executive director of WAWH, said that the repeal was a "demoralizing attack on women's rights, health, and wellbeing."
"Economic security is a women's health issue," she said. "The salary women are paid directly affects the type and frequency of health care services they are able to access. At a time when women's health services are becoming more expensive and harder to obtain, financial stability is essential to maintain steady access." [The Huffington Post, 4/6/12]
Study: Women's Early Access To Contraceptives Significantly Improves Their Economic And Educational Opportunities, Narrows U.S. Gender Gap. A study by economists from the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia found that contraceptives have a significant impact on women's educational and economic opportunities. They argued that contraceptives are at the "root cause" of the boon in female college enrollment and workplace employment from the 1970s on, because they "improved [women's] ability to time births, altered their expectations about future childbearing, and reduced the cost of altering career investments to reflect their changed expectations." The study also found that "younger access to the Pill conferred an 8-percent hourly wage premium by age fifty" and concluded that "the Pill can account for 10 percent of the convergence [of] the gender gap in the 1980s and 30 percent in the 1990s." [Martha J. Bailey, Brad Hershbein, and Amalia R. Miller, "The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages," 3/7/12]
Almost Every GOP Senator Voted To Negate Mandatory Contraception Coverage. From a Washington Post article:
The Senate Thursday rejected an effort to vastly expand conscience exemptions to the Obama administration's new birth control coverage rule, even as Republican presidential contenders continued to tussle over the issue.
The measure, an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to a highway funding bill, would have allowed not only religious groups but any employer with moral objections to opt out of the coverage requirement. And it would have allowed such employers to do so in the case of not only contraception but any health service required by the 2010 health-care law.
The 51 to 48 vote to kill the amendment was largely along party lines, although three Democrats -- Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pa.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) -- broke ranks to support it, and Republican Olympia Snowe (Maine) opposed it. [The Washington Post, 3/1/12]
Mitt Romney: "Of Course I Support" Negating Contraception Requirement. From a CBS News article:
After suggesting Wednesday that he did not support a controversial measure allowing U.S. employers to opt out of a rule requiring them to provide employees with contraceptive health coverage, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney quickly clarified his position, affirming in a radio interview that "of course I support the Blunt Amendment."
On the Howie Carr radio show later on, Romney said explicitly that "Of course I support the Blunt Amendment."
He explained that he was confused by the question and thought the reporter was referencing legislation in Ohio, despite the fact that it was explicitly referred to as Blunt-Rubio.
"I didn't understand his question, of course I support the Blunt amendment," he said. "I thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraception so I was simply -- misunderstood the question and of course I support the Blunt amendment." [CBSNews.com, 2/29/12]
Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Republican Budget Would Cut SNAP Funding By $134 Billion Over 10 Years. From a paper released by the CBPP:
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget plan includes cuts in SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) of $133.5 billion -- more than 17 percent -- over the next ten years (2013-2022), which would necessitate ending assistance for millions of low-income families, cutting benefits for millions of such households, or some combination of the two. Chairman Ryan proposed a similarly deep SNAP cut last year.
While Chairman Ryan has outlined some key features of his proposal as it affects SNAP -- in particular, converting SNAP to a block grant beginning in 2016 -- he has provided little information on how the cuts would be achieved or their timing over the ten-year period. And the total cuts under the Ryan plan could turn out to be somewhat larger than $133.5 billion.
Since more than 90 percent of SNAP expenditures are for food assistance benefits for low-income households, and most of the remaining funds go for necessary state administrative costs to determine program eligibility and operate the program properly, policymakers couldn't possibly achieve cuts of this magnitude without substantially scaling back SNAP eligibility or reducing benefits deeply, with serious effects on low-income families and individuals. ["Ryan Budget Would Slash Snap Funding By $134 Billion Over Ten Years," CBPP.org, 3/22/12]
USDA: 62 Percent Of Nonelderly Adult SNAP Recipients Were Women, 66 Percent Of Elderly Were Women. From the Department of Agriculture's report on the characteristics of SNAP for fiscal year 2010:
In fiscal year 2010, 46 percent of all SNAP participants were nonelderly adults, and 8 percent were elderly. About 62 percent of nonelderly adults were women, as were 66 percent of elderly adults. Forty-seven percent of all participants were children, similar to the number of participating children in fiscal year 2009. About 66 percent of the children were school-age. ["Characteristics of Supplemental Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2010," USDA.gov, September 2011]
CBPP: Republican Budget Would Cut At Least $463 Billion From Programs From Lower-Income Americans. From a paper released by the CBPP:
At least $463 billion in cuts in mandatory programs serving low-income Americans (other than Medicaid and SNAP). Chairman Ryan's budget documents indicate that he is proposing $1.2 trillion in cuts in mandatory programs other than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs, but the documents do not specify how much specific programs would be cut (with the exception of SNAP). For this analysis, we make the conservative assumption that savings from low-income mandatory programs (other than Medicaid and SNAP) would be proportionate to their share of spending in this category. Thus, we derive the $463 billion figure from the fact that 45 percent of mandatory spending other than for Social Security, health care, and SNAP goes for programs for low- and moderate income individuals and families.
This likely substantially understates the cuts that the plan would make in low-income programs. The Ryan documents show that $758 billion in cuts would come from mandatory programs just in the income security portion of the budget (function 600), and the bulk of the mandatory spending in that category goes for low-income programs. The documents also show $166 billion in mandatory cuts in the education, training, employment, and social services portion of the budget (function 500), which, based on the discussion in the Ryan budget documents, would likely come mainly from the mandatory portion of the Pell Grant program for low-income students. ["Chairman Ryan Gets 62 Percent Of His Huge Budget Cuts From Programs For Lower-Income Americans," CBPP.org, 3/23/12]
National Women's Law Center: 86 Percent Of Adults Who Got TANF In 2009 Were Women. From the website of the National Women's Law Center:
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a block grant to states to fund cash assistance, work supports, and other services for low-income children and parents. In FY 2011, nearly 1.89 million families and almost 3.4 million children received TANF assistance on average each month. In FY 2009, nearly nine in ten (86 percent) adults served by TANF were women. [NWLC.org, 2/15/12]
NWLC: Nearly Six In 10 Adult SSI Recipients In 2010 Were Women; Two-Thirds Of Elderly Beneficiaries Were Women. From the NWLC website:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides income support for low-income individuals who are elderly, blind or living with disabilities. In 2010 SSI served 7.9 million people, including over 1.2 million children. The majority of adults in the program in 2010 were women -- nearly six in ten -- and two-thirds of elderly SSI beneficiaries were women. [NWLC.org, 2/15/12]
Economic Policy Institute: Women "Have Taken The Brunt Of The Job Losses In State And Local Governments." From an EPI blog post by David Cooper:
Paul Krugman and Jared Bernstein have written recently of the seemingly contradictory forces at work today in government policy. On the one hand are the stimulus efforts of the Obama administration and the federal government, which have had a measurable impact in reducing unemployment and aiding the recovery. On the other hand are the dramatic cuts to state and local budgets that these governments have made in the wake of the Great Recession. States have had to deal with the largest drop in state revenues ever recorded, and the resulting deficits have meant huge jobs losses among state and local workers.
I have commented on these job losses a few times before, so this time around I want to highlight the gender dynamics a bit. These cuts to state and local government workforces, while a significant drag on the economy as a whole, are particularly damaging for women. In 2011, women made up 46.6 percent of the overall labor force, but among state and local workers, about 60 percent are women. Because women are so disproportionately represented in state and local jobs, they also have taken the brunt of the job losses in state and local governments. Of the net change in total state and local employment between 2007 and 2011 -- a decline of roughly 765,000 jobs -- 70 percent of the drop is from female employees. Today, there are about 540,000 fewer women in state and local jobs than in 2007, compared with about 225,000 fewer men. [EPI.org, 3/6/12]
Princeton Business Professor: "Many Of Women's Job Losses Have Been Government Jobs," And Those Jobs Have Been "Slower To Come Back Because They Require Greater Government Spending." From a PolitiFact article:
Betsey Stevenson, a business and public policy professor at Princeton University, also pointed out that "in every recession men's job loss occurs first and most, with unemployment rates for men being more cyclical than those of women's."
She added that many of women's job losses have been government jobs -- teachers and civil servants -- which have been slower to come back because they require greater government spending. [PolitiFact.com, 4/10/12]
FactCheck.org: "There Has Been Scant Republican Support For Increased Federal Aid To States To Retain And Hire Teachers, Police And Firefighters." From a FactCheck.org article:
[P]art of the Obama plan is to invest $35 billion to prevent the layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, police officers and firefighters, and to hire tens of thousands more.
In December 2009, House Democrats passed the Jobs for Main Street Act that included $24 billion for state and local governments to retain teachers and police officers. (Not unlike what is included in Obama's plan now.) It did not include a tax credit for small businesses that create jobs.
It passed the House 217 to 212, but not a single Republican voted for it. The measure never took hold in the Senate, however.
In March 2010, six House Republicans joined 211 Democrats to help pass a pared-down version of the bill, then called the HIRE Act. The $17.5 billion bill included a temporary payroll tax break to companies that hire jobless people. Notably, however, it was opposed by 166 House Republicans. Two weeks later, 11 Republican senators helped pass a Senate version of the bill. But it also was opposed by a majority of Senate Republicans -- 28.
On Aug. 5, 2010, two Republican senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine, crossed party lines and voted for a bill that included $10 billion for state governments to spare thousands of teachers whose jobs were imperiled by strapped state budgets. But 39 Republicans voted against it.
In short, there has been scant Republican support for increased federal aid to states to retain and hire teachers, police and firefighters. [FactCheck.org, 9/12/11]
CAP Economist: States That Cut The Most Spending Have Lost The Most Jobs. From a Think Progress blog post by Center for American Progress economist Adam Hersh:
[S]teep spending cuts are hampering economic recovery in some states, while other states that resisted cuts or increased spending are now seeing declining unemployment rates, faster private-sector job creation, and stronger economic growth.
VP BIDEN: And this guy talking about women, these guys talking about women? This guy had -- these guys had the social policy on contraception that takes you back to the ?50s. They have a policy toward -- I mean, when asked the question, do you think this legislation passed mandating that your son and daughter doing the same work will have to get the exact same pay, the Lilly Ledbetter law, they couldn?t answer (inaudible).Now, given Dave Weigel's premature report of the death of "the war on women" as a Democratic talking point, I suspect some in the beltway might be surprised by Biden's comments. They shouldn't be. The war on women isn't something that Democrats dreamt up as a cynical ploy to win an election: it is, as Biden says, a real thing, and it's being waged by Republicans. As long as Democrats are wiling to fight, the only way it's going to end is if Republicans finally accept that women have a fundamental right to control their own lives and their own bodies. And if the Romney campaign's Hilary Rosen fauxtrage is an indication, of anything, it's that Republicans aren't planning to stand down anytime soon.
ED SCHULTZ: So the war on women is real?
BIDEN: Oh, I think the war on women is real. And look I tell you where it?s going to intensify. The next President of the United States is going to get to name one and possibly two or more members of the Supreme Court.
By the way, it's not like Joe Biden's alone on this. There's a reason that that there's a 19-point gender gap between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama: it's that there's a lot of women out there who know their freedom is under attack by right-wing radicals. They know the war on women is real. And they don't like it.
Today, Mitt Romney will address the National Rifle Association, and we can be fairly sure he won't be telling them anything they don't want to hear. That's not just because telling people things they don't want to hear is something Mitt Romney doesn't do, but also because he's still transitioning from the pander-to-conservatives phase of his campaign to the pander-to-independents phase of his campaign. What's really notable is the fact that this is practically the first time Romney has had to address the issue of guns in this election. You would have thought that his primary opponents would have added guns to the litany of Romney flip-flops and hit him hard for it. I'm not sure why they didn't, but it's never too late.
As on so many other issues, Romney did a pretty clear 180 on guns between his runs for Senate and governor in Massachusetts and his runs for president. In Massachusetts he was a supporter of the state's relatively strict gun laws, and promised not to undermine them. Then we he ran for president, he joined the NRA and started talking glowingly about our beloved Second Amendment rights. Yet I'd be pretty surprised if the Obama campaign hits him on it, as easy as it would be.
That's because like everyone else, the Obama campaign thinks they'd best just stay away from the gun issue altogether. I recently wrote a four-part series on the NRA's political power for Think Progress (here's part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4), which made the case that their alleged influence over elections is largely a myth. The NRA didn't deliver Congress to the Republicans in 1994, it didn't deliver the White House to George W. Bush in 2000, and its money and endorsements have virtually no impact on elections. You can read the series if you're interested in the details, but the point is that despite these facts, nearly everyone in politics continues to labor under the false belief that if you don't do the NRA's bidding or at least get out of their way, then you're doomed.
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, when people are waking up to the fact that the NRA and its allies have successfully passed absurd gun laws all over the country in the last few years allowing people to carry, brandish, and shoot their guns at anyone who looks at them funny (see here), the time would seem ripe for some sensible discussion of whether we actually want every wannabe Yosemite Sam to be popping caps hither and yon. But we're not going to get that discussion from the president, since he's apparently terrified of offending the sensibilities of the declining number of Americans who own guns.
Should the United States end the death penalty? How many false convictions come from eyewitness testimony, police lineups, and even DNA evidence? Finally, what can we learn from Norway's "permissive" prisons?[...]
Read The Full Article:
Arizona can now claim the nation's worst assault on women's reproductive rights so far.
The law ?disregards women?s health in a way I?ve never seen before,? said Center for Reproductive Rights? state advocacy counsel, Jordan Goldberg. ?The women of Arizona can?t access medical treatment that other women can.? [...]The life begins at menstruation law goes into effect in 90 days:
The fingerprints of policy group Americans United for Life are all over much of the bill?s language, according to Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. She says the legislation is a mishmash of parts of other states? bills, and predicted that still other conservative states looking to restrict and discourage abortions will now look to Arizona?s bill as model legislation.
?The point is to make it so difficult to provide abortions that no one will do it,? said Nash. ?Arizona likes to thumb their nose at women. They take that as a badge of honor.?
? It sets the gestational age as beginning on the first day of a woman?s last period, rather than at fertilization. Which, in practice, means that a virgin can get pregnant and instead of barring abortions after 20 weeks as the law states, actually cuts the time to 18 weeks.
? Medication abortions (by pill), usually done at home or a clinic within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, must now be done by a medical provider who has hospital privileges within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place. The law also mandates outdated protocol that Nash says may cause confusion. The provision is an attempt to shut down medication abortions altogether. North Dakota and Oklahoma are in litigation over similar provisions in their laws.
? Sex education is not mandated in Arizona, but any such education must now prioritize birth and adoption.
? Health-care facilities must put up signs warning against abortion "coercion."
? The state health department must set up a website focusing on alternatives to abortion and displaying photos of fetuses.
? "Counseling" is required for women aiming seeking abortions because of fetal abnormalities. Such counseling must include perinatal hospice information.
? Previous requirements are reiterated for a notarized parental consent form for minors and a mandatory ultrasound screening 24 hours before having an abortion.
Planned Parenthood national president Gloria Feldt says Arizona has long had bad law regarding abortion, but the situation worsened when Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano became secretary of Homeland Security and Brewer took over. The Americans United for Life website says: "With the appointment of Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security, the Arizona legislature was finally able to capitalize on an opportunity to enact life-affirming legislation without fear of unwarranted veto."
But they tell us there is no war on women.
The more mainstream businesses that leave ALEC, the higher the concentration of those businesses known to be run by right-wing activists, such as Koch Industries, and the harder it is for ALEC to pretend that they aren't a right-wing outfit.[...]
Read The Full Article:
Vice President Biden frames choice between 'Romney Rule' and 'Buffett Rule'With tax returns due in four days and the U.S. Senate scheduled to vote on the Buffett Rule on Monday, President Obama and Vice President Biden will release their families' tax returns to the public today, according to the Obama campaign. The campaign will simultaneously call on Mitt Romney to follow suit.
Romney has only released one full year of tax returns documents, even though he gave John McCain's vice presidential selection committee 23 years worth of documentation. The earlier returns would contain answers to key questions about whether and how he managed to use Bain-created tax shelters and where he invested his money, but releasing this year's return would once again call attention to the fact that despite earning $20 million per year, Romney pays a lower tax rate than many Americans earning a fraction of that.
But this isn't just about Mitt Romney?this is also about the economic policies that Romney benefits from and what they mean for the country. And to make that point, yesterday Vice President Biden contrasted the Buffett Rule?which would end that practice?with what he calls the Romney Rule.
If Governor Romney has his way, we?ll have the Romney Rule. And I mean it sincerely?this isn?t a cute little deal. There?s a Romney Rule. The Romney Rule says, let?s double down on the tax cuts for the wealthy. [...]Biden contrasted Romney's trickle-down approach with an economic agenda focused on building the middle class:
Let?s take a look what the Romney Rule values, what the Governor values, and his colleagues. He values Bush tax cuts to be made permanent for the wealthy. The ones that are intended to expire this December, he wants to extend them permanently. That will cost $1 trillion over the next 10 years; $800 billion of that trillion going to people who make a minimum of $1 million. And to add insult to injury, the Romney Rule proposes to give another $250,000-a-year tax cut to the average millionaire, on top of maintaining the Bush tax cuts.
I know?if you hadn?t watched all the debates, you?d probably think I?m making this up. (Laughter.) But seriously, that's what?that's what he calls for, the Romney Rule calls for. That's another trillion dollars in tax cuts over the next 10 years going to the top 1 percent of American taxpayers.
The President and I are determined to make the economy work for everybody?everybody. Not just because it's fair?literally, not just because it's fair. That's reason enough. But we believe, and history shows, when the middle class grows the wealthy get wealthier, the poor have a better shot, the economy is sound and the economy grows. We believe in a fair shot and a fair shake.There's no doubt Republicans will kick and scream that Biden and Obama are socialists for pointing out the unfairness of how the present system benefits wealthy "lucky duckies" like Mitt Romney. But as Biden said, fairness for the sake of fairness is only part of the issue here: Democrats also support fairness because it works. The Romney Rule is worse than simply being unfair: it's unfair and as we've learned over the past decade, it doesn't work.