In case you didn't know already, Romney is so rich he could literally buy entire endangered species to eat with his breakfast and still have plenty of cash on hand to build a tower to heaven... and get there. From the AP:
Romney and his wife, Ann, hold assets worth between $190 million and $250 million, his advisers said. The campaign released details of his wealth Monday in a personal financial disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. The value of assets in federal financial reports are listed in ranges, making a precise figure impossible to discern.
Romney reported that he and his wife have joint interest checking accounts with Bank of America of between $5 million and $25 million and a money market account between $1 million and $5 million. Both also have Individual Retirement Accounts. But the bulk of their money is in two blind trusts, which Malt said are divided evenly between husband and wife.
He waited to report his assets until just two days after the Iowa straw poll, which he won. So are we going to have to put up with pundits telling us he's the dude we can all have a beer with because he's just an ordinary guy?
I guess it's not just a question of whether people can identify with him, but also of him not really being able to represent most Americans, since most Americans aren't anywhere near as rich as he is. Especially considering that most of the money is in stocks, well, would he be all that motivated to tax people who make the bulk of their incomes off dividends and capital gains at the same rate that people who work at Walmart are taxed? Considering that playing the stock market has become the biggest tax loophole around and has only been worsened with the Bush administration, I'm going to guess that we're going to see more tax cuts for the wealthy here.
Speaking of conflicts of interest, here are a few companies in which he owns stock:
He specifically singled out blind trust investments with the Italian-based Eni SpA and the French Total, oil companies that have done business in Iran. Each was sold for between $15,000 and $50,000.[...]
Forced to open his blind trust, the Romneys — and the world — discovered precisely which stocks, bonds and mutual funds they own.
Among them: $2.5 million to $8 million in AB Svensk Exportkredit, a Swedish export credit corporation; and $1 million to $5 million in Eksportfinans ASA, a Norwegian financing corporation, and $100,000 to $250,000 in Russian energy giant Gazprom. Ann Romney's trust reported various Goldman Sachs investments of more than $1 million (spousal assets can be reported in less precise figures). Romney's trust has $3.5 million to $16 million in Goldman Sachs investments.
I know it's a blind trust, but he had to open it now so he knows what's in it. More importantly, anyone could have guessed that finance firms and energy companies would be right there in his portfolio.
I know he's not the first rich president, although it would be really cool to have someone there who actually understood what it was like to go without health care, what the minimum wage really feels like, or even what it's like to send your kids to public schools (not that there's anything wrong with that).
But that's the way our political system works - it's built around the idea of rewarding greed and then we all act surprised when these folks who get into power only think of themselves. If only there were a way to divorce money and politics....