Veteran investigative journo Greg Palast has the goods on Mitt Romney and why the Republican candidate doesn't want anyone looking at his tax returns.
"Oh, it’s one of the creepiest stories I’ve investigated in a long time, Amy. Mitt Romney, through Ann Romney’s blind trust—not so blind, they could see exactly where the money was going—gave their money to Paul "The Vulture" Singer, a guy you and I have been following on Democracy Now! for five years. Singer, with two of his hedge fund buddies, bought up the auto parts division of General Motors for only 67 cents a share. They were able to turn 67 cents a share into $22 a share by threatening GM and the U.S. Treasury with a complete shutdown of the auto industry. They had complete control of all the steering wheels and steering columns of every car that was being made in America. GM would have been liquidated. They literally threatened to shut down GM. And so, they—the government simply allowed GM to pay them $12 billion. About half of that was straight from the U.S. Treasury in a takeover of Delphi’s pension fund.
|Romney with Singer (far right)|
Once they got the money—once they got the money, they eliminated 28 of 29 auto plants in the U.S. They moved—they eliminated every single job of every UAWmember; 25,200 UAW members all lost their jobs. Almost every plant was then moved by the Romney group to China. Delphi is making a fortune today. So you have 25,000 workers who lost their jobs to China. Three hedge fund managers made at least $4 billion, $4.2 billion. And the Romneys have made at least 15, but the evidence suggests that it’s more like $115 million for the Romneys, about a 4,000 percent profit.
What we can’t get from them at this moment, this may be the reason why they are not releasing their 2009 taxes, because that would give us a better hint. Unfortunately, they’ve not only moved the company operations to China, but they’ve moved their incorporation of the auto parts division of General Motors from Troy, Michigan, to the Isle of Jersey in the Mediterranean Sea (since when?), which hides their taxes and also, of course, hides their accounts. So that—that’s the story.
Well, I’ve been, you know, tracking Paul "The Vulture" Singer and his hedge fund for five years, as you saw, for Democracy Now!, from the Congo to England to South America. And I was stunned, absolutely stunned, to find out that the Romneys had given what ABC called a vast chunk of their money to Elliott Management. But it was well hidden. It not only went through Ann Romney’s blind trust, but then the blind trust was put in a special limited liability partnership with Paul Singer, which they then hid their levels of investments. Plus, by putting it in Ann Romney’s name—and remember, every dime that Ann Romney has comes from her husband—by Mitt moving his money to Ann Romney, they didn’t have to declare exactly how much money they made here, only that it was more than a million. But we were able to calculate that it was at least $15 million, and more likely $115 million.
And let’s bring in Paul Ryan, as well. Number one, Mitt Romney said, "Let Detroit go bankrupt." And everyone thought this was a great, principled position. And yeah, he wanted it to go bankrupt so that he could buy the auto parts division for literally pennies, 67 cents a share, then flip it for 30, 40 times that amount. In addition, don’t forget that this is TARP money. This is money that comes from the U.S. taxpayer.
And Paul "The Vulture" Singer became the number one donor also to a congressman named Paul Ryan. And it is, by the way, Singer, according to theWall Street Journal, who forced Romney to accept Ryan as his running mate, in part because Paul Ryan, despite his speeches against TARP and against the bailouts, Paul Ryan voted for both the bank bailout and the auto bailout, very much enriching his number one donor. That’s—so that’s the politics of it, because also Romney has made Paul Singer a key economic adviser, and in addition, he’s considered the most important donor to the Mitt Romney campaign.
So there it is, in a nutshell. Mitt Romney was all for letting Detroit implode but, when the bailout came through, he used his Stepford wife to be a mule for gaming the government out of millions of dollars of TARP money. He larded the Romney pantry with a bundle, perhaps as much as $115-million, and later, when his benefactor called in his marker, had to accept Paul Ryan as his running mate. Is there anything Romney won't sell out for a million bucks?