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Harry Reid: The 47 percent aren’t ‘using Cayman Islands tax shelters’

By David Edwards
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 14:56 EDT
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Harry Reid speaks on the Senate floor (YouTube)
 
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that leaked tapes insulting the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes as “dependant” on the government have given the world a “rare look at the real Mitt Romney.”

Earlier this year, Reid had suggested that the Republican presidential nominee refused to release his tax returns because he had not paid any income taxes over a 10-year period, a charge that the Majority Leader renewed during a scathing speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

“This week we learned that Mitt Romney only wants to be president of half the United States,” he explained. “If Mitt Romney were president he wouldn’t waste time worrying about the 47 percent of Americans who he believes are ‘victims,’ who Romney believes are ‘unwilling to take personal responsibility.’”

Reid continued: “For all we know Mitt Romney could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax. Thousands of families making more than a million dollars per year pay nothing in federal income tax. Is Mitt Romney among those? We’ll never know because he refuses to release his tax returns.”

“We know that Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families, thanks to a number of things he’s done: Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands tax shelters. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns like his dad did.”

Reid pointed out that most of “those people” who Romney talked about “are not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Islands tax shelters or Swiss Bank accounts like Mitt Romney. Millions of the 47 percent are seniors on Social Security, who don’t have Bain Capital retirement funds or inherited stock to fall back on.”

“This rare look at the real Mitt Romney, this rare look from a man who was a fundraiser for him, proves one thing: He’s completely out of touch with average Americans,” the Nevada Democrat concluded. “And if he won’t stand up and fight for every American as president the he doesn’t deserve to serve any American as president.”

For his part, Romney insisted in August that he had paid more than 13 percent of his income in taxes — or more if donations to the Mormon church were included — over the last 10 years, and accused the people who want to see his returns of being “small minded.”

Watch the video below, uploaded Sept. 19, 2012.

(h/t: ABC News)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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