[Romney waves the flag. The M and O have been reversed in Photoshop but the satire is truer than the original]
Today's Wall Street Journal reports that, according to his FEC filings, Mitt Romney's net worth is between $190 and $250 millions and that his income in 2011 was $21 million. These numbers show why even most capitalists should vote against Romney.
Romney "earned" between 8.4% and 11% return on his money last year. Federal and corporate bonds pay between 1 and 2%. The S&P500 is an index which represents the bulk of the corporate wealth in the US. It began 2011 at 1,257 and ended 2011 at --- at --- at --- 1,257. The net capital appreciation for the stock market in general was zero, nothing, nada, zippity-doo-dah, rien, zilch, bubkes. No capital gain at all.
Yet Mitt came up with between 8 and 11% return. Actually more, since he presumably started the year with between $170 million and $230 million. But why quibble about a few dozen million here and there?
Most of the debate, OK all of the debate, has been that as between rich people and working people, between the 1% and the 99%, that the game is rigged in favor of the 1%. The most public and remediable abuse being that the 1% pay a lower percentage in taxes than the 99%.
But there in Romney's numbers is a demonstration that the game is rigged even between the 0.9% who are rich and the 0.1% who are far richer. While the capitalists who own the corporations were earning nothing on their investments or 1% on their bond portfolios, far richer capitalists like Romney were getting handsome returns. And at whose expense?
Romney and his supporters would have us believe that Romney did so well because he is a some kind of genius. I have heard him speak and you have heard him speak. I think that lays to rest the idea that he is a genius. I see no way not to conclude that either Romney and other particularly rich people have been amazingly lucky years after year, or that they have been competing against other capitalists on something other than a level playing field
One indication of what the problem might be is the missing three letters - SEC. When is the last time one has so much as heard of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Not even heard of it doing anything, but heard of it at all? The SEC has vanished even from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
The task Congress set the SEC was to regulate the investment markets to prevent the most egregious abuses against investors. The purpose of the SEC was to protect capitalists both from small-time frauds, and from big-time corporate looters. But the Republicans in Congress, with tacit Democratic assent, have cut SEC's budget year after year. SEC is all but gone now. Small capitalists, 0.9% of the 1%, have no protection from the endless chicaneries of the securities markets and of chicaners like Romney.
Here we see why those who are more than merely rich are said to be filthy rich. Romney demonstrate what the filth is. Filth is when those who have doubly rigged the game in their favor, first in favor of the 1% and then in favor of the 0.1%, not only get away with it, but even have the gall to piously preach about how they deserve the money they did not work to get. Schemed to get, yes. Worked to produce, no.
Even the capitalist 0.9% of the 1% should reject Romney as their candidate. Romney is the enemy of all working people and also of most capitalists, and still stands a good chance of being elected President of our country. What does that tell you about the condition of our democracy?