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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitt Romney has invested his money around the world, from the Cayman Islands to Ireland to Australia. We don’t know if he’s using these accounts to avoid paying his fair share in taxes, but we do know that in 2010, Romney’s tax rate was a startlingly low 13.9%. This means Romney pays a lower tax rate than many teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other middle-class Americans—even a lower rate than most other millionaires.
Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense to President George W. Bush, took to Twitter to criticize the White House for touting President Obama's decision to go after Osama bin Laden while suggesting Mitt Romney wouldn't have done the same.
The "special operators" Rumsfeld refers to below are presumably the Navy SEAL units that carried out the operation.
The special operators who have every right to "spike the football" are too professional to do so. The White House might follow their lead.
In a preview of a NBC Nightly News interview scheduled to air on Tuesday, former Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told Brian Williams that he worries "a great deal" about the politicization of the death of Osama bin Laden.
"Well, I worry about it, just because it's the political season," said Mullen. "And from my perspective, the president's support, the decision that he made, and obviously, the result stand alone in terms of the kind of call presidents have to make and he made it. I do worry a great deal that this time of year that somehow this gets spun into election politics. I can assure you that those individuals who risk their lives--the last thing in the world that they want is to be spun into that. So I'm hoping that that doesn't happen."
Mullen served as Chairman from 2007 until his retirement last Septmeber.
Mitt Romney on Tuesday morning criticized President Obama for politicizing the death of Osama bin Laden, per the Washington Post:
“Of course I would have. Any thinking American would have ordered the exact same thing,” Romney said. “The idea to try and politicize this, ‘Oh, President Obama would have done it one way, Mitt Romney would have done it another,’ is really disappointing. Let’s not make the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden a politically divisive event…let’s not use this as a political football.”
At a presser with the Japanese Prime Minister in Washington on Monday, President Obama was asked about Mitt Romney's past comments indicating that he (Romney) didn't think it was worth going after Osama bin Laden. Here's the president's response:
"I just recommend that everybody take a look at people's previous statements in terms of what they thought was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden," Obama said. "I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I would go ahead and let them explain it."
At a fundraising breakfast in Washington on Friday morning, Vice President Joe Biden jokingly called donors "dull as hell," per a pool report.
“I guess what I’m trying to say without boring you too long at breakfast – and you all look dull as hell, I might add. The dullest audience I have ever spoken to. Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!”
A new web video from the Obama campaign, featuring former President Bill Clinton, suggests Mitt Romney wouldn't have made the decision to go after Osama bin Laden almost one year ago today:
UPDATE: The Romney campaign has responded to the video, saying Obama is using bin Laden to "divide us." Read the full statement below:
“The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the President,” Saul said in a statement. “It’s now sad to see the Obama campaign seek to use an event that unified our country to once again divide us, in order to try to distract voters’ attention from the failures of his administration. With 23 million Americans struggling for work, our national debt soaring, and household budgets being squeezed like never before, Mitt Romney is focused on strengthening America at home and abroad.”
Under a provision in President Obama's health reform law, health insurance companies are expected to rebate more than $1 billion to consumers and employers this year if they don't spend enough of in premiums that they collect, reports the Wall Street Journal:
The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, which calculated total rebates at $1.3 billion, says that around $426 million will go to people who bought their own health plans; $541 million will go to large employers and $377 million to small businesses.
In a separate analysis based on the same filings, Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Borsch estimated the total rebates at around $1.2 billion.