To refute President Obama's claim that successful business owners benefit from government assistance, Mitt Romney found a successful business owner who benefited from government assistance. Congress learned that it costs a lot of money to fight over not spending money. And there's no institutional memory left in the U.S. Capitol, partly because we reporters are sellouts. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, July 23rd:
MITT ROMNEY HAS FOREIGN MONEY - Mitt Romney accumulated more than $25 million in foreign income between 2005 and 2010, while he was governor of Massachusetts and a presidential candidate, according to an analysis of his 2010 tax return. The 2010 return lists foreign tax payments Romney made dating back to 2000. By Romney standards, the payments were modest through 2004, averaging $37,000 a year. In 2005, however, his foreign tax bill shot up to $333,149 and stayed high for the next three years, before dipping in 2009, as the financial crisis hit hard. In 2010, Romney's foreign tax bill was down to $67,173 on declared foreign income of $1,525,982. That's a 4.4 percent rate. After expenses and various other deductions, Romney declared a net foreign income of $392,000, making his net tax rate 17 percent. Because the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has so far declined to release his earlier tax returns, HuffPost made a rough calculation of his prior foreign earnings by assuming he paid similar tax rates in previous years. Using that analysis, paying $333,000 in taxes would translate into gross foreign income of $7.5 million in 2005, or net income of $1.9 million. Even using the much-reduced net income figure, Romney would have earned $7 million in foreign income from 2005 to 2010. [HuffPost]
HE DIDN'T BUILD THAT - John DiStaso: "In the Mitt Romney campaign web and television ads that received national attention last week, a blunt Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson tells President Barack Obama that he, his father and his son -- and not the government -- built his company. But as it turns out, Gilchrist did receive some government help for his business, albeit a long time ago. In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority 'to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment,' according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time." [New Hampshire Union Leader]
@aterkel: Romney '02: "You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power."
LARRY KUDLOW GRILLS ROMNEY - In an interview airing tonight on CNBC, Larry Kudlow asked Romney this question: "Do you think that -- do you think that President Obama has demonized you and your experiences at Bain Capital?" Questions Kudlow forgot to ask: Are your good looks and kindness your greatest weakness? Is your hair too perfect?
DEBT CEILING BATTLE DUMBER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT - And that's saying something. Mark Gongloff: "Here's something for Congress to maybe think about the next time it decides to have a big, stupid argument about the debt ceiling: These big, stupid arguments, while entertaining, cost a lot of money. How much money? The 2011 argument about the debt ceiling -- the most recent battle -- cost the U.S. government about $1.3 billion in extra borrowing costs, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan congressional watchdog." [HuffPost]
K STREET IN EARLY BIDDING FOR HILL STAFFERS' SOULS - Kate Ackley: "If K Street firms scooped up their hottest Hill prospects in a sports-style draft, the No. 1 pick would almost certainly be Russell Sullivan. Then again, it might be Brett Loper. Sullivan, staff director of the Senate Finance Committee, and Loper, who is Speaker John Boehner's policy director and previously ran the House Ways and Means panel, are consensus trophy hires as lobbying firms scout Congressional staffers they'd like to bring to the private sector. At a time when the K Street job market looks weak for mid- and low-level aides looking to make a break, the all-stars such as Sullivan and Loper would command top salaries, according to interviews with more than a dozen downtown hiring partners and head hunters. Both have experience in two areas that K Street prizes: taxes and health care. 'Anyone who's doing either taxes or health care is walking gold,' said Ivan Adler, a lobbying recruiter with the McCormick Group. 'They are the most desirable animals in the forest and will be in the future.'" [Roll Call]
HOUSE REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO EAT FARM BILL PEAS - David Rogers: "To understand how far this Congress will go to kick the proverbial can down the road, consider the farm bill -- yes, the farm bill. In the midst of a severe drought, the House Republican leaders are proposing to walk away from farm states and decades of precedent by not calling up the new five-year plan before the current law expires Sept. 30. Whatever its flaws, the bill promises $35 billion in 10-year savings from exactly the type of mandatory spending that Congress promised to tackle in last summer's debt accord. But rather than disrupt its political messaging, the GOP would put it all at risk by delaying action until after the November elections. There's little institutional memory left in the Capitol -- or perspective on the accumulation of cans rolling down the road these days. But the farm bill delay is new ground for any Congress. Never before in modern times has a farm bill reported from the House Agriculture Committee been so blocked. [Politico]
BONUS: "[B]y failing to act, Congress can seem even more detached from the real lives of everyday people. Changes in the Washington press foster this detachment. Major newspapers are more prone to editorials than real reporting on the debate. Regional papers, once the backbone of farm coverage, have closed their bureaus. In the new Capitol trend, some of the most experienced agriculture reporters report to clients -- not the public."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Emails of the Jobless: "My savings began to run out and now I have a pile of bills that I can't pay for, and I had to defer my student loans. Though my circumstances are different from people that have been laid off, I will say that I know plenty of educated people who cannot find work because of this brutal recession. We spend our days writing cover letters, networking, and making calls and then deciding if food or gas are more important while ignoring everything else. Looking for work is full-time work. I've recently even resorted to using Twitter to ask any followers if they have heard of anything. Plus, many of us who can't find work cannot repay our student loans. Our credit scores are terrible, and with so many places using credit scores to determine our 'character,' I have had some friends who were hired, then terminated immediately after employers saw their score. These are our stories, and it seems as though the government does not care about us." [Hang in there!]
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WHICH IS EASIER TO BUY? AN ASSAULT RIFLE OR ST. AGUR BLUE CHEESE? - John Aravosis fact checks a viral claim that it's easier to buy automatic weapons than French cheeses. It's basically true. [AMERICABlog]
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS MAKE A LOT OF MONEY - A bill to dock pay for members of Congress who miss votes is the latest token effort to cut congressional salaries. "Our primary duty as members of Congress is to advocate on behalf of our constituency, which means when votes are called, you're supposed to show up and cast votes," Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), the bill's author, said at a press conference Friday. "Some of our colleagues seem to take this duty very lightly, or for granted, and refuse to accept that responsibility." Rank-and-file members of Congress earn annual salaries of $174,000, and the current session has seen a plethora of bills that would reduce that amount, either directly or by tying it to economic indicators or whether Congress has passed a budget. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), sponsor of a bill that would reduce pay for every day after Oct. 1 for which Congress hasn't passed a budget, said the paycut threat would motivate members even though many of them are already millionaires. "It's a huge incentive: Most folks need the paycheck here," Cooper said. "There are a few rich members, and you tend to notice those more. But the average member needs a paycheck. And guess what: The folks who are rich? They love money more than anybody else." [HuffPost]
MORONS IN MINNESOTA SUPPORT MICHELE BACHMANN NO MATTER WHAT - Fast Break Jake: "ELK RIVER, Minn. -- The verdict from Washington last week was swift and bipartisan: Michele Bachmann was out of line. Accusing two prominent Muslims -- State Department aide Huma Abedin and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota -- of being tied to the Muslim Brotherhood was a step too far, even for the conservative firebrand. But the Northeast corridor's stunned disbelief at what it saw as a loony conspiracy theory is replaced with hollers of support among Bachmann's many devoted fans here in the exurbs north of the Twin Cities that she represents. If anything, the uproar seems to have galvanized her base. And the contrasting reaction demonstrates why Democrats will have a hard time in their latest effort to unseat the GOP lightning rod. Supporters like Duane Halstad, a 69-year-old who was sitting on a porch watching a parade here, said Bachmann is the 'only one telling the truth about this thing.' He also said he believes President Barack Obama vacations on Martha's Vineyard to observe the Islamic holiday of Ramadan." [Politico]
MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: LOLWUT? - The Muslim Brotherhood responded to Bachmann's conspiracy theory with a resounding "whaaa?" Global Post: "'I haven't heard these rumors, but they strike me as ridiculous,' said Ahmed Al Nahhas, a long-time Brotherhood activist and leader in Egypt's second-largest city, Alexandria. 'Surely the United States government selects its employees very carefully.' ... 'The Muslim Brotherhood can't even penetrate the Egyptian government,' said a Brotherhood leader in Egypt's Daqheleya province, Ibrahim Ali Iraqi, in response to the accusations his group had infiltrated top US agencies." [Global Post]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Baby hawk fight!
BEST CAMPAIGN WEBSITE EVER - Go to www.mindymeyer4senate.com right now. "A lifelong Flatbush resident, Mindy is the first young woman in the history of New York to run for New York State Senate."
- "All music videos should be this video." - some dude at slacktory.com who is correct. [http://bit.ly/MATD0B]
- Hipster guy creates space for at-risk youth graffiti artists to paint on non-wall things and sell them. http://bit.ly/MAUgY6]
- There is a place called the City of London, situated in the middle of a city called London. They are different. [http://chzb.gr/NQlPtY]
- The latest in egregiously sexual exercise equipment from Japan. [http://bit.ly/MAWeYq]
- While watching this video, imagine us as the baby and Monday as the dog. [http://bit.ly/MAWKFH]
- Sliced bread, it turns out, is pretty great. [http://bit.ly/MAUD4Q]
@joshgreenman: If you bake cookies from Pillsbury prepackaged dough, did you make those cookies?
@jbendery: Obama, Romney both spent night in SF last night, "at seperate [sic] hotels," says pool report. Dang. Hotel swimming pool run-in = awesome.
@SimonMaloy: My understanding of business is that you start a business, the govt tries to hunt you down like Running Man, then you join the resistance.
ON TAP is taking the week off.
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