Mitt Romney has had a tough couple of weeks on the campaign trail — and it shows in the latest Fox News poll. After a barrage of campaign ads, negative news coverage of his overseas trip and ongoing talk about his tax returns, Romney’s favorable rating and standing in the trial ballot have declined. As a result, President Obama has opened his biggest lead since Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee. The president would take 49 percent of the vote compared to Romney’s 40 percent in a head-to-head matchup if the election were held today, the poll found. – Fox News poll: Obama’s lead grows as Romney’s support slips
MITT ROMNEY’S strategy of tax opacity is locked and the whole tax narrative is not helping his poll numbers, which are heading south, with the new CNN poll confirming the Ipsos numbers from Wednesday, as well as a Fox News poll showing Romney’s support has slipped.
Romney doubled down on his refusal to be more transparent in an interview with Businessweek, so it will take voters and a lot of pressure to get him to change. Perhaps his new numbers will do it.
Meanwhile, Team Obama levies a new tax attack, hitting Romney’s weakest spot. So, what exactly is the practice of “Son of Boss” tax schemes?
This website uses the infamous son of Boss tax shelter as a tool to explain how our tax code has been manipulated by some of the sharpest and most devious minds in the country. At its core, the son of Boss tax shelter involves the same concept employed by other tax shelters to reduce or eliminate capital gains: the creation of an artificial tax loss to offset a taxable gain. What sets the son of Boss tax shelter apart is the magnitude of tax dollars lost to the U.S. Treasury, as well as the tortured logic of its creators. Understanding how the son of Boss transaction distorts economic reality offers an insight into how all tax shelters work, as well as how the dysfunctional nature of our current tax code provides the opportunity to attain such illogical results. [Son of Boss]
The new ad shown above from Team Obama raises a question that deserves to perk interest from the press.
From the CNN op-ed that first raised the issue, written by Peter C. Canellos and Edward D. Kleinbard:
Romney has had a close, long-standing, personal and business connection with Marriott International and its founders. He served as a member of the Marriott board of directors for many years. From 1993 to 1998, Romney was the head of the audit committee of the Marriott board.
During that period, Marriott engaged in a series of complex and high-profile maneuvers, including “Son of Boss,” a notoriously abusive prepackaged tax shelter that investment banks and accounting firms marketed to corporations such as Marriott. In this respect, Marriott was in the vanguard of a then-emerging corporate tax shelter bubble that substantially undermined the entire corporate tax system.
Son of Boss and its related shelters represented perhaps the largest tax avoidance scheme in history, costing the U.S. many billions in lost corporate tax revenues. In response, the government initiated legal challenges that resulted in complete disallowance of the losses claimed by Marriott and other corporations.
In addition, the Son of Boss transaction was listed by the Internal Revenue Service as an abusive transaction, requiring specific disclosure and subject to heavy penalties.