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Forum Post: The Romney Men: 6 Filthy Rich Moguls Who Will Do Anything to Elect Mitt

Posted 1 year ago on Oct. 12, 2012, 1:29 a.m. EST by WSmith (2069) from Cornelius, OR
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The Romney Men: 6 Filthy Rich Moguls Who Will Do Anything to Elect Mitt

This is what plutocracy looks like.

October 10, 2012 |

Las Vegas casino boss Sheldon Adelson (pictured in April - there's a looker) on Thursday unveiled plans to build a scaled down replica of the Eiffel Tower as part of a new $3 billion gambling resort in Macau.

The following 1 percent wonders are doing just fine under Obama, but since their worldview is largely restricted to an obsession with their marginal tax rate, they can’t refrain from denouncing the president and thinking of new ways to thwart his re-election bid. The Romney men desperately want to see the first financier president, a man after their own cold hearts.

I. David Siegel, the Bitching Billionaire

Thanks to folks over at Gawker, we’ve gotten a look at the noxious activities of David Siegel, founder and CEO of national timeshare giant Westgate Resorts. Siegel is filthy rich and wants you to know it, building himself the largest (and possibly the tackiest) house in America. The documentary The Queen of Versailles follows Siegel and his wife Jackie in pursuit of obscene excess in the form of a 90,000-square-foot homage to bad taste, complete with a 20-car garage, a two-story wine cellar, and a 30-foot stained glass dome.

Though he brags that his company is more profitable than ever, Siegel, an avid Republican, recently sent an email to his thousands of employees suggesting that they would lose their jobs if Barack Obama is re-elected. In addition to dispensing voting advice, Siegel wallows in 1 percent self-pity:

“They want you to believe that we live in a class system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. They label us the ‘1%’ and imply that we are somehow immune to the challenges that face our country. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, you may have heard about the big home that I'm building. I'm sure many people think that I live a privileged life.”

Three swimming pools? Privileged? Perish the thought.

In high narcissistic style, Siegel goes on to praise himself for the “hard work, discipline, and sacrifice” that built a company “which by the way, would eventually employ you.” He laments the sacrifices he has endured since the Recession for the good of his workers: “Over the past four years I have had to stop building my dream house, cut back on all of my expenses, and take my kids out of private schools simply to keep this company strong and to keep you employed.” Siegel spends most of the rest of the letter bitching that shiftless Americans expecting a “bailout” in the form of higher taxes on fatcats will drive him to the Caribbean, where he will ensconce himself under a palm tree and cease to worry about the little people.

Edward Ericson Jr., formerly a reporter for the Orlando Weekly, has a different take on how the slimy Siegel made his money, a tale of running scams and ripping off customers.

II. “Neutron” Jack Welch

The former head of General Electric and big-time Romney fan has been making quite a spectacle of himself since last Friday. Incensed by the favorable jobs report, he went on a conspiracy theory rampage, accusing the Obama administration of manipulating the report in order to secure the election. After receiving a barrage of criticism, he told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that he had no evidence to prove such claims. Then he went on to make them anyway. Why should a gazillionaire bother with evidence?

He has since left Fortune magazine in a huff -- the very publication that once named him Manager of the Century -- after managing editor Andy Serwer suggested that his claims were absurd.

Ironically, the man levying charges of cooking the books is the one who wrote the cookbook. Barry Ritholtz of the Big Picture reminds us that Welch had a nasty habit of manipulating GE's earnings while he was CEO of the company. In his article “You Don’t Know Jack,” Jonathan R. Laing describes how Welch committed epic misdeeds at GE while enjoying such perks as an $80,000-a-month New York pad, a corporate jet, payment for country-club fees, and a host of other luxuries.

A funny one to be going on about jobs, Jack Welch is a key architect of the business style focused on short-run profits, overspeculation, and obsession with stock prices, which, in addition to killing innovation and helping to blow up the world economy in 2008, has caused untold hardship for workers. Welch is a long-time champion of increasing profits by laying off employees, destroying so many jobs at GE that he earned the nickname “Neutron Jack.” When he wasn’t thinking of new ways to deliver pink slips, he was busy denying the health threats of PCBs that GE was dumping into New York’s Hudson River.

“You can't just call me old and senile,” complained Welch in the wake of the jobs report flap. Okay, that would be mean. How about crooked and despicable?

III. Casino King Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson likes to go big. He heads up possibly the largest gambling and casino operation on the planet. And he spends big-time bucks trying to manipulate the American political system.

Adelson is unhappy with President Obama's policies on Israel, and claims that's why he supports Mitt Romney for president. But according to the New York Times, his company is also under investigation by the Obama Justice Department for foreign bribery and money laundering. Could the gambling honcho be hoping a Romney victory would make the pesky investigation disappear?

Annoucing that beating President Obama "isn't everything, it's the only thing," Adelson has unleashed $70 million trying to influence the outcome of the 2012 elections -- more than any individual has spent in any U.S. election to date. He has vowed to spend up to $100 million in total by election day.

Adelson also has a special knack for helping the new class of Asian elites enjoy ridiculous luxuries, such as a drink that comes with a one-carat diamond available at his nightclub in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino. The drink sells for $26,000.

IV. Donald Trump: Plutocratic Personality Disorder

When it comes to stratospheric greed and arrogance, it’s hard to beat the Donald. How could a man famous for the phrase, “You’re fired!” not love a man who claimed to enjoy putting people out of work? Naturally Trump just can’t say enough good things about Romney. And he fully has Mitt’s back on those repugnant remarks made at a Florida fundraiser that characterized nearly half the country as freeloading losers. Trump announced that not only should Romney not apologize, but that “what he said is probably what he means.” Much obliged for the clarification.

When Obama’s name comes up, the words “birth certificate” are never far from Trump's lips. That and frequent questions about the president’s academic credentials.

The poster child for plutocratic personality disorder, Trump is obsessed with talking about himself, naming things after himself, and surrounding himself with pictures of – you guessed it -- himself. Maybe that’s to compensate for the fact that he’s actually a pretty crappy businessman and perpetually in need of money. After spending time with Trump and discussing his various luxury properties, the New Yorker’s Mark Singer concluded that the man “had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury, an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”

V. and VI. Koch Brothers, Unlimited (Sons of John Birch Society)

No list of Romney men would be complete without the billionaire brothers who made their fortune in the oil and gas industries. Over three decades, Charles and David Koch have spent more than $100 million pushing their freaky libertarian agenda, which for years they did on the QT until the Obama presidency horrified them to such a degree that they could no longer hide in the shadows. There is no tax they don’t abhor, no environmental protection they don’t wish to kill, and no safety net they don’t ardently desire to shred. Romney, who aims to shield the rich from paying their fair share of taxes and offers an energy plan tailored to the needs of the oil, coal and gas industries, is their man for Washington.

The damage that these tycoons do to our natural world, our democracy and our sense of public trust would be difficult to overestimate. Whether they’re trying to resegregate schools (they tried to do this to my very own public school district in Wake County, North Carolina), repress votes, privatize Social Security, or dump toxic waste into rivers that sicken whole communities, the Koch brothers are indefatigable in their efforts and inexhaustible in their check-writing. (Check out the documentary The Koch Brothers Exposed, featuring AlterNet’s political writer Adele Stan.)

As AlterNet executive editor Don Hazen has noted, Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan is the Koch brothers’ hand-picked darling, a perfect vehicle for their twisted, cult-of-selfishness Ayn Rand philosophy. Ryan serves his masters by repeating Koch falsehoods on Medicare, scheming to steal your retirement, denying climate change and cutting taxes on the rich and corporations.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/romney-men-6-filthy-rich-moguls-who-will-do-anything-elect-mitt?paging=off

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet contributing editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of 'Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.' Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.

9 Comments

9 Comments


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[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

How could this be put any more clearly? How? If all the undecided voters could read and understand the truth in your post, there would be no contest in this election. But unfortunately, they won't read it. Instead, they watch a performance on television, and like a highly trained seal, Romney gave a good one. And like any highly trained performance seal, he got his fish reward -- a bump up in the polls that now puts the race neck-and-neck. If the American people are so shallow and stupid as to choose style over substance, and to actually elect this oligarchic plutocrat to the presidency, then they certainly deserve what they will get. But I predict that there will soon be "wailing and gnashing of teeth" by them.

People say that televised debates don't really have that much impact on national elections. That is not true, going all the way back to the Kennedy/Nixon debate. Kennedy looked relaxed, confident, and good on television and Nixon was shown sweating, serious, and nervous. But those that listened to the debate on the radio said Nixon made the better arguments.

Debates are spectacle, and Americans love spectacle. That's why they watch football and American Gladiator. They have been programed for decades that it's the SHOW that matters most, not the content of the show. They are ruled by their emotions, not their intellect. Any fool knows what Romney stands for, yet he was deemed the winner.

But the American people will not be the winners if he is elected. I am certain of that.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2069) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

I hear ya man.

But none of this is very new. How about I say, most of this is old shit?

We live in an IDIOCRACY (http://www.ovguide.com/idiocracy-9202a8c04000641f80000000007b6bbc) or almost. Not sure if that's the best site.

Everything is spectacle. That's why the Romans had ever crazier spectacles and bread to entertain the disgruntled masses.

Our system is troubled because we neglect it. Our system of democracy requires PARTICIPATION! But we have the worst, and $ has the best.

We have faced this dilemma many times in the last few decades. Sometimes (who the hell knows how) we get it right, and most of the time we get it wrong. But this time it's about 50/50.

Romney is a jerk. For TPTB he works. Don't be a turk. Vote

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I'm sure you mean this Idiocracy right? And this.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2069) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Yep, that be the one(s).

Apply as directed

[-] 1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Lets take all their money. You might get $15 billion but i doubt it. Use it to pay down the debt. Or divide it equally among the 99%. Everyone woud get about $50 extra.

Obama added $6 trillion to our debt. Everyone owes $20000 apiece, extra.

Who hurt America more?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2069) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

These are Mob Bosses that RUN Romney, buying our democracy. Abject Sleaze.

The DEBT/CARNAGE left by the RepubliCons' Tax Cuts for the Rich, Medicare Scheme, Unfunded Bogus Wars, the Greatest Bank Heist in World History, and Two GOP Recessions will cost us much more than $6 Trillion. Another reason to keep the bastards out of our government.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2069) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Mitt Romney: Magic Man

"I’m gonna float like a butterfly and sting like a bee;
George can’t hit what his hands can’t see;
Now you see me, now you don’t;
He thinks he will, but I know he won’t." ~ Muhammad Ali

At last week’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

He punched and parried, feigning the great Muhammad Ali.

Any likeness between the two is, however, mere illusion. America has seen victory by Muhammad Ali. America worked through disputes with Muhammad Ali. Now America admires Muhammad Ali. And Mitt Romney is no champion. Instead, Romney's a magic man. He employs sleight of hand. He uses smoke and mirrors to confuse and obscure. Unlike President Obama, Mitt doesn't do math. He performs tricks, sorta like Muhammad Ali said in his rhyme – Now you see severely conservative Romney, now you don’t. The GOP nominee asks Americans to engage in magical thinking – to believe his hocus-pocus is not just a stage show but will actually painlessly solve problems.

Last week, Romney promoted his magic show during the debate. He promised his performance as president would be fabulous, stupendous, unprecedented! He bragged :

“My plan is not like anything that’s been tried before.”

Specifically, he was talking about his tax plan. Romney has pledged to reinstate the Bush tax cuts should they expire at year’s end as scheduled, then further slash income taxes by 20 percent for everyone . Also, Romney has vowed to eliminate and cut other federal taxes , including the estate tax.

Here’s the part where Romney promises to accomplish something never done before: he says he’ll slash and burn all these taxes but not add a dime to the deficit or to the tax burden of the middle class. When Ronald Reagan made a similar promise, George Bush I called it voodoo economics. George Bush II tried this magic trick and failed. Bush gave everyone, particularly the rich, tax breaks. Then the federal deficit skyrocketed. To quote a bumbling former Republican presidential candidate, “Whoops.”

Romney says that won’t happen when he performs as president. He’s too good. The illusionist swore to the nation Wednesday night :

“My, my number one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that: no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”

He hasn’t specified how he’d accomplish that because, as you know, magic tricks are proprietary secrets. He’s offered a couple of enticing tidbits, however.

One is that he’d close tax loopholes and deductions to recoup income lost because of all those tax cuts. But he won’t say which ones because, again, those proprietary magic secrets.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) analyzed Romney’s proposal and concluded it didn’t add up – even when they gave him lots of breaks because his plan is clandestine. To get back $1 from closed loopholes for every $1 in tax cuts, the TPC determined that Romney would have to eliminate breaks favored by the middle class, such the mortgage deduction. And that means Romney’s plan would cost middle class families an additional $2,000 a year on average , the TPC said.

Still, Romney assured the American people last week :

“I will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families.”

Abracadabra!

Romney insists his bag of tricks contains one that will enable him to defy the math of the TPC economists, who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations . One way would be to do what Bush did, just cut taxes and increase the deficit. Romney contends that’s not in his repertoire:

“I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. That's part one. So there's no economist can say Mitt Romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.”

Nobody can say it if Mitt Romney says they can’t! He dismisses pesky economic experts with a wave of his magic wand.

Just as he’d heal the budget, Romney would patch up the nation’s health care system -- with pixie dust.

First, he says he’d repeal Obamacare on day one . Second, he told debate listeners:

“What I support is no change for current retirees or near-retirees to Medicare.”

Logically, or mathematically, or realistically, that won’t work. As of August, 5.4 million seniors had saved $4.1 billion on prescription drugs, about $768 each, because Obamacare closes the Medicare prescription plan donut hole. And, under Obamacare, this year more than 18 million Medicare recipients received at least one preventive service for free. Killing Obamacare would mean seniors would have to pay those costs once again from their own limited funds. This would be a costly change to Medicare for current retirees and near-retirees.

Also, Obamacare extended the life of Medicare by eight years. It did so by reducing payments to medical facilities by $716 billion over a decade , reductions accepted by the providers when the law was negotiated. Romney says he will eliminate the savings to Medicare and give those payments to the medical facilities. That, logically, would snuff out the life of Medicare eight years earlier, which would be a tragic change to Medicare for current retirees and near-retirees.

But, you know, presto-chango, Romney says it ain’t so.

Many aspects of Obamacare are beloved by those who have benefitted, including extending coverage for young adults on their parents’ plans, eliminating coverage caps and instituting rebates when insurers charge too much. But perhaps the most important Obamacare protection was the specification that insurers can’t deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Repealing Obamacare would eliminate that benefit. Romney’s response at the debate:

“In fact, I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions.”

Romney’s plan could exclude millions, however, since it guarantees insurance only if the person with a pre-existing condition has maintained coverage without a lapse longer than three months .

But, no worries. In Romney’s magical world, if we all just clap loudly enough, Tinker Bell won’t die!

Like any good magician, Romney keeps the details of his plans for America hidden up his sleeve. Taking a cue from that Muhammad Ali rhyme, he believes:

Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.


Leo W. Gerard also is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and chairs the labor federation’s Public Policy Committee. President Barack Obama appointed him to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. He serves as co-chairman of the BlueGreen Alliance and on the boards of Campaign for America’s Future and the Economic Policy Institute. He is a member of the IMF and ICEM global labor federations and was instrumental in creating Workers Uniting, the first global union. Follow @USWBlogger

[-] -1 points by WeThePeop (-259) 1 year ago

Obama's billionaire puppet master George Soros has fueled his last campaign and this one also. Sorry George but all the money in the World is not going to buy Obama a second term, the Obama admin is hosed

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2069) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

PEOPLE!

See the idiots we're up against?!

WTFU!