Martin Bashir | October 02, 2012
>>> between mitt romney 's tax returns , his time at bain capital , and his comments on the 47%, there are plenty of land mines for him to negotiate as he approaches the first presidential debate . so the one thing he doesn't need, the one thing he can do without, is for his running mate to keep talking about these aspects of his biography just a day before mitt's big night .
>> is there anyway possible that this 47% can pay a nominal fee or something so they feel that they have small ownership in the government and maybe they won't take all the handouts so readily?
>> i got an idea. let's help them get jobs so they can get a good paycheck so thaen they're good taxpayers.
>> well done, mr. ryan . joining us from washington, julian epstein, who is a democratic strategist, and ken vogel, chief investigative reporter for polpolitico. paul ryan has conceded that mitt romney 's 47% comments were inarticulate. they seem to acknowledge that the 47%, largely the elderly, working poor , veterans, but now ryan sounds as if he agrees with mitt. which is it?
>> that's right. you could imagine john mccain in 2008 saying, wait a second, that 47% is made up of veterans who have paid their debt to society with blood literally. it's made up of mostly working people , most of that 47% are working americans, working middle class , working poor .
>> hard working who earn less than $30,000 a year.
>> or even $40,000 or $50,000 and many of those -- many of that 47% is made up of seniors. you know, this network is going to have a new poll later today that's going to show the race tightening and the national numbers but not in the battleground states i think. one of the big reasons for that, one of the big underreported reasons for that is how the romney / ryan ticket has offended seniors. we've talked about how this ticket offended women, african-americans, hispanics. the big story is how they have offended seniors and how seniors have gone from the romney / ryan camp into the obama camp largely i think because of the ryan plan on medicare, and so that -- the 47% was poorly answered by ryan , but an equal weight around this campaign's neck is that medicare plan which is turning off seniors in the droves.
>> thanks for breaching our embargo, julian . ken, "the new york times" has a detailed look at the tax avoidance strategies employed via bain . here is a quote, while hardly a novel concept and not unique to bain , the inevitable result is that elite investors like mr. romney are able to increase their fortunes in ways unavoidable to most taxpayers. i have to ask you, ken, did it ever make political sense for mitt romney to promise a 20% tax cut across the board when he knows that people with incomes like his are the ones who will derive the greatest benefit? talk about being a self-serving politician.
>> well, i don't know how much the self-serving calculation played --
>> on the basis of 20%, he's going to derive the vast amount of benefit.
>> and that's the argument that democrats have been making more generally, which is that his tax policies, his economic policies across the board, would be of greater benefit to the wealthy than they would be to the middle class . and that's something that he struggled with and it's particularly troublesome for him and for his campaign because of his personal wealth, because of stories like this, and i think we will see president obama in the debate hit him on not just the 47%, but some of the offshore stuff, and some of it is a problem of his own making. his greateth strength, the thing he's tried to emphasize most in his political biography, his business experience, is also his weakness. the thing he has chosen to go on president obama on, being soft on china, is something in his own personal finances there's evidence that -- of an inconsistency there. so it's really a fundamental hurdle for the romney campaign and stories like this only make it that much harder.
>> now, julian , to ken's point, the president's team has a new ad hammering bain and mitt specifically. it accuses bain of promoting investments in chinese companies where workers labored under sweat shop conditions. bain is just the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it?
>> that's right. mitt romney has shown us that the 47% can actually be the 1% -- or rather the 1% can be the 47%. when you look at how he has been able to shelter tens of millions of dollars in income, he probably has an interest right now in 12 different entities that are worth somewhere in the range of $30 million in cayman islands and other overseas --
>> bermuda, switzerland.
>> and elsewhere. and you look at why these things are ripping taxpayers off to the tune of about $100 billion a year. it's because the rules on passive income like dividend and interest are different. the rules on deductions are totally different. the rules on unrelated business expenses where he has a lot -- some people say between somewhere between $30 million and $100 million in his i.r.a. which has shelters from taxes and you have to use qis, qualified intervenors for the irs. the irs can't even get basic information about the investment. you have all these questions about how did he have $3 million in foreign income in the year 2009 and paid i believe it was 2009 , and paid virtually no tacks between zero and $54,000 taxes. bain is the gift that keeps on giving. not only were there investments in chinese companies , there were investments that romney was involved in with chinese companies that were doing a lot of business with iran while he's criticizing the president for not being too tough on iran.
>> a brilliant businessman.
>> this is like sarah palin with a paper trail .