Talking with His Mouth Full

August 17, 2012


Post by Joseph  M –

I am so happy that all this back and forth between the two Mormon political super-celebs (Mitt Romney and Harry Reid) officially ended today when Romney finally announced that after thumbing through his old tax forms, he discovered that he’d “never paid less than 13%” during the past ten years.  He went on to report, “I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that.”  I say it’s over because Reid, as far as I can tell, has not volleyed back at him yet.

But let me back up to the beginning and explain how this all went down: it started with a simple sit-down interview between Reid and the Huffington Post and turned into a three-week-long brawl between the two most recognizable Mormons in the American political arena.  This battle is worthy of Brigham Young and Orson Pratt back in the day – only unlike Brigham, Reid hasn’t told any of Romney’s wives to divorce him yet; (one can only speculate what a fast and testimony meeting might look like with both of these men in attendance.)

In the interview, Harry Reid speculated that Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for the ten years that he was at Bain – hence Romney’s refusal to release the tax records.  He even went so far as to say, “His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” apparently in a reference to the elder Romney turning over 12 years of tax records during his bid for the presidency.  This even provoked the ire of Jon Stewart, who told Harry Reid that he should “shut-up” while introducing the segment, “You, Harry Reid, are Terrible.” (I guess I could pile on to Reid’s accusations towards Romney by including the speculation we received from M.W. in the comment section of this website: “Wow! It just hit me – Romney doesn’t want to release his tax returns because he doesn’t want the church to find out that he has not been tithing his full 10%.”)  But Stewart is right, as well as the mass numbers of commenters on our website who took issue with M.W.’s comments – we shouldn’t accuse Romney of dishonesty without any proof.

Governor Romney sure does agree – read this article from the LA Times to get more details of the squabbling between the two.

But Senator Reid isn’t apologizing.  This isn’t the first time Reid has used “choice” words to describe a political foe.  In fact, in addition to Harry Reid’s statements about Romney a few weeks ago, the Huffington Post also reported that he’d had time to disparage fellow Democrat, Bill Magwood, calling him a “‘treacherous, miserable liar’ and ‘first-class rat,'” (and he also used a word that would have cost me a severe licking if I’d said it as a child.)  Harry Reid is not unacquainted with harsh words.  In the first few pages of his memoir, The Good Fight: Hard Lessons from Searchlight to Washington, Reid writes about George W. Bush,

“I believe that the current President is an ideologue who has done incalculable damage to the government, reputation, and moral standing of the United Stakes of America.  His vaunted “CEO Presidency” has…been incompetent in the face of grave challenge at home and abroad…” 

Harry Reid’s boyhood home in Searchlight

Mitt Romney’s boyhood home in Detroit

Harry Reid grew up in Searchlight, Nevada, and although it may sound trite, his experience of coming “from a mining town” where “the leading industry…was no longer mining, (but) prostitution,” might explain a something about this high-ranking Mormon politician.  He is known for being soft-spoken, but even words of condemnation can be spoken softly (whether it’s saying that the USA Olympic uniforms should be burned or repeating the call to release tax forms.)  This of course is in stark contrast to Romney’s upbringing.  In fact, the two have little to nothing in common in that respect, and I’d guess that this speaks volumes to their different opinions, ideas, and presentation in regard to their politics.

But despite it all, Harry Reid seems to relish the criticism he’s received for his attack on Mitt Romney.  So I will do Senator Reid a favor and give him some criticism of my own.  I don’t know how much more time I would waste on this tax thing.  Personally, I don’t think it strange that Mitt Romney would refuse to release more taxes.  With talk of tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and Swiss Bank accounts, America can’t help but be reminded of a half-dozen James Bond movies and a recent episode of Breaking Bad.  (And that can’t break good for Romney.)

So instead of the intense scrutiny of the Romney taxes, let’s consider the ridiculousness of Romney’s statement today about his taxes: “I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty — the fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small-minded.”

Beyond Romney’s taxes, (which only point to the inequities of our tax system,) I am troubled that Romney would point to poverty in America as something he is seriously concerned about.  I appreciate the logic that if you give the wealthiest Americans a tax break that they will then invest that money, and this will spur job growth; inevitably these investments would trickle down like crumbs falling under the table of America for the one in six people in poverty to eat up.  But I just don’t believe it is true.  Statistics do not back it up.  If tax cuts for the wealthy really helped eliminate poverty or even created jobs, then why did the Bush tax cuts fail to do that?  According to PolitiFact, job growth under Bush was a sluggish 4.5% while the previous Clinton administration posted double-digit job growth numbers.

In the article, Myth Romney: Tax Cuts Spur Growth, Ernest Dumas writes,

Not once has (a tax-cut spurred job growth), but the theory never loses its shine. Ronald Reagan cut lots of taxes in 1981, and it was followed by the deepest recession since the ’30s — 10 straight months of double-digit unemployment and soaring deficits. When the economy began to recover, he raised taxes over and over until the big 1986 tax increase (revenue enhancement, they called it) was followed by the growth spurt that got him the reputation as the wizard of economic growth. George W. Bush passed successive tax cuts, which produced ballooning deficits, virtually no job growth and, finally, the longest doldrums since the Great Depression.</>

So Senator Reid, if we are going to call out Romney on something let’s bring it back to this: please don’t discuss unemployment anymore. Please don’t talk about poverty.  It’s like talking with your mouth full.  Because in the end, Romney cannot honestly talk about poverty when the other words twisting and turning around his mouth leave no room for the American poor.  Nothing in his (which really is Paul Ryan’s) plan helps this particular group of people.  And although we are only 80 plus days until the election, I am just getting started here.   I am supporting Obama for very specific reasons, and issues of poverty and inequality are at the top of my list.  More to come…

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14 Comments on “Talking with His Mouth Full”

  1. Jordan Says:

    You spoke to soon:

    “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office isn’t backing down from its charges Mitt Romney may have not paid taxes over the years and demanding he release a decades worth or returns – despite Romney’s assertion Thursday that he’s paid at least 13 percent in taxes over the last decade.

    “We’ll believe it when we see it. Until Mitt Romney releases his tax returns, Americans will continue to wonder what he’s hiding. Romney seems to think he plays by a different set of rules than every other presidential candidate for the last thirty years, all of whom lived up to the standard of transparency set by Mitt Romney’s father and released their tax returns,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson told Buzzfeed in a statement Thursday.”

    I actually like the back and forth personally, if it turns out to be nothing I’ll be a little disappointed but Harry’s got to have a darn good source or know something else to keep the badgering up don’t you think?

  2. Vern Piso Says:

    Mitt Romney:
    After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar, but never worked as an attorney.
    As a venture-capitalist, Romney’s first major business deal involved investing in a start-up office supply company with one store in Massachusetts that sold office supplies. That company, called Staples, now has over 2,000 stores and employs over 90,000 people.
    Romney or his company Bain Capital (using what became known as the “Bain Way”) would go on to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino’s, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, and many others.
    Got your calculators handy? Let’s recap.
    Volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign 1 year.
    Unpaid intern in Governor’s office 8 years.
    Mormon missionary in Paris 2 years.
    Unpaid bishop and state president for his church 10 years.
    No salary as president of the Olympics 3 years.
    No salary as MA governor 4 years.
    That’s a grand total of 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his community and his church. Why? Because that’s the kind of man Mitt Romney is!
    And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income….Obama gave 1%
    Joe Biden gave $300 or .0013%
    This is real character vs….well you know what!

    • Joseph Says:

      I cannot argue with you on any of that – in fact, it speaks to my point exactly: neither Romney’s taxes, good deeds, good intentions, nor his astronomically huge desire to serve should be the criteria that determines whether or not he is capable of the job. His plan (Ryan’s plan) does not fit with my hope for what kind of country America will be in the future. Therefore, I will not vote for him.

      • Vern Piso Says:

        Romney is, and has been, a “fixer” his whole life. He understands the REAL causes of the financial crisis. President Obama thinks the financial crisis was caused by “the Policies of GW Bush”. This is mostly false. The Banks would never have entered into these sub prime loans without the “urging” of the government. This caused the banks to have to find creative ways to disperse the bad debt (george bush fault here). If government had not got involved in the first place the whole thing would have never happened. Clinton legislation started it. Good intentions, bad results. Just like multigenerational welfare. Love ya brother.

  3. John C Says:

    Wow, what a sad website. I’m very saddened that you would make a website to make a quick buck off my Savior’s Church’s nickname. I would ask you to please remove “Mormon” from your page, as you and I both know that’s the only reason you are getting this much attention to your site. And my comment has nothing to do with politics at all, I’m not saying supporting Obama (or Romney) is a bad thing, but using the Church to make a quick buck is something you might want to think twice about… If you want to represent the church, go serve a mission, go do your home teaching, go do a service project, but don’t use our Nickname and the name of an Anicent Prophet to make money…

    • BDUB Says:

      Uh … John C Reilly … How does this website make “a buck”? Do you see any advertising (if you do, let me know cause that would be inappropriate)? You may be referring to the bumper stickers but as far as I understand it those are sold and shipped at cost. If you want to rag on people using the churches name for a quick buck than this should tick you off. I got a Deseret Book catalog in the mail yesterday and that thing was full of people making “a buck” off the name of the church. There was a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” knockoff for deacons (“It’s like DOAWK without the bad parts” says Jon Bytheway’s son) I was so embarrassed. Get mad at that stuff, not a free blog.

    • Vern Piso Says:

      John; “getting this much attention”? This site has 680 likes on facebook and about 10 actual members so they are probably losing money and not making it.

      As for you post, you should probably go to your bishop and repent; tell him you have been very judgmental of late and need to clear things up. BTW I am conservative, Voting for Romney and can’t wait to vote President Obama out of office because he can’t lead.

      • John C Says:

        I guess I’m a wrong about making money, I didn’t do much research on the site I was too upset. This much attention, I found the site by an article from (I think) abc news website, (or one of the other major networks). That’s more then enough to be considered a lot. And like I said, the only reason abc would feature a blog like this is cuz he has the name “Mormon” in it. Please just stop, and as far as the book stores, well, I don’t and never have shopped at one for the same reason you brought up. If you want to promote the church with your “unusual” Mormon views, then how bout you go to and make a profile and talk about it there, but I highly doubt the editors that approve the pages before they are published are gonna let it be published for some of your views and beliefs. I’m guess you are from somewhere on the west coast where it’s known for church members to take light some of the teachings and standards of the church., just a guess. Don’t bother leaving another comment, I don’t plan on returning to this site, it’s blasphemy.

  4. Joseph Says:

    Yes John, you are correct. ABC is interested in the website because we are Mormons voting for Obama, and that does make for an interesting story. Regardless, as Mormons for Obama, we feel strongly that we need to allow our LDS voices to be heard – and to counter stereotypes and criticism of people inside and outside of the Church that misunderstand the LDS faith and its members. We are not a homogenous group – and members of our faith come from a wide range of political, cultural, economic, and social backgrounds. If you do decide to visit us again, let’s work harder to respect each other’s views, rather than name-calling.

    Please refer to

    @Vern, thank you for your kind comment. @BDUB, those books sound horrible.

  5. JJK Says:

    Joseph, you probably should just delete that guy’s comment. blasphemy??? seriously. he must have not read about Romney’s folks stealing “Choose the Right.” And seeing that i am from utah – clearly ALL OF US are not in California buddy.

  6. Joseph Says:

    I am realizing that the link is not working for Brigham Young’s Journal. The story of Pres Young advising one of Orson Pratt’s wives to divorce him is on page 39.

  7. carnie Says:

    I found this site because I was curious why members of my faith would support the party whose platform endorses abortion and gay marriage and whose leader espouses distribution of wealth. When the govt. takes more and more of my money, I have nothing left to be charitable with and I can’t grow as a charitable giver. I work with people who must depend on the govt. and they have given up trying to better themselves. They spend their time going from agency to agency and filling out forms to get what the govt. will give them–which is just enough, but not enough to become independent. These are bright, beautiful people who have been betrayed by the system. It is so very sad.

    • Joseph Says:

      Hi Carnie, I am guessing you make over $250,000 a year? Because Obama’s proposed tax increases will only effect those in that group. (and the tax increases are actually just the ending of Bush’s tax cuts, and it only affects income over $250,000.) If you are in that group, I am guessing that you don’t have money left for charitable giving because you choose to spend it on yourself.

      As far as gay marriage goes, many Mormon Dems don’t support abortion or gay marriage. And many Republican Mormons don’t support abortion in ALL cases, as the Republican platform espouses. Go figure. Our two party system causes more than a few conundrums.


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