By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

At State of the Union, Obama sics media on Romney

My latest for the Huffington Post:

The media are having no problem decoding the not-so-secret message from last night’s State of the Union address. More than anything, Barack Obama wants us to know that Mitt Romney is what the president’s new role model, Theodore Roosevelt, would have called a “malefactor of great wealth.”

You can read the whole thing here.

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  1. Bill Duncliffe

    Dan – As someone charged with training future journalists, your calling out of this quote “Romney paying too little in taxes…” without pointing out that Romney paid the legally effective tax rate for the type of income earned is shameful.

    And to reprint the insinuation-laded “shuttling his cash overseas to accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.” without pointing out that no one has proven any tax advantage to the location of the assets is embarassingly sloppy.

  2. Ben Starr

    Is there evidence that Romney’s accountants are better at “avoiding taxes” than anyone else with a similar income source and amount? If not, “success” is overly subjective.

  3. Peter Sullivan

    I think it is fair to point out that Mitt pays a lower tax rate on his capital gains than the guy who fixes your car does on his earned income, because the rate is lower…

    Right or wrong, that is how the tax code is currently written..

  4. L.K. Collins

    I notice Warren Buffet hasn’t felt the necessity to pony up any more cash to the IRS after he complained that he paid at a lower rate than his secretary.

    Dan’s political bias is showing again.

  5. Mike Benedict

    Wow, never saw such a confused bunch since … the Florida GOP debate! ha ha! I’m here all week!

    But seriously folks, to say Romney did not pay enough in taxes is NOT the same as saying Romney cheated on his taxes. Romney perhaps paid what he should have per the laws. But the laws need to be changed so that people who push money around pay a tax rate that is at least equal to those who make things and teach things. That’s the point here.

  6. Peter Sullivan


    I don’t think anyone is confused here.

    The debate whether or not to raise the capital gains tax is a different conversation altogether.

  7. Ben Starr

    In today’s NYT, Floyd Norris notes that the Romney’s actually overpaid their taxes by $44,000 due to an accountant’s error. So maybe not so successful at avoiding taxes.

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