Veronica Roberts

Mitt Romney’s wealth has become an issue in this election. Why? I don’t think we have had any of the working poor as presidential candidates in our time. In fact those currently vying for the opportunity to replace President Obama and sit in the Oval Office are far from the Average Joe for most have accumulated millions over the course of their careers. During the 2008 elections, Sen. John McCain, himself a very wealthy man, tried to use his Average Joe in the form of "Joe the Plumber," to give him some “street creds” but it backfired. Voters know phony when they see, smell and hear it.

Maybe therein lies Romney’s problem? The masses may be smelling, hearing and seeing the phoniness in droves and spades? His stiff blandness seems to turn even ultra-Conservatives off and that is saying a lot, for that is one stiff bunch. Now that Rick Santorum has exited stage right and The Newt is dead in the water though his delusion still has him stumbling along, Republicans have to rally around Romney, but most are doing so like they were swallowing an enema. They need to do it, but they don’t like it one bit!

In an effort to make him into a version of what they think the common man looks like, Romney’s handlers have taken him out of his Brook Brothers suits and draped him in Sears catalogue issue jeans and L.L.Bean hardy working-man shirts, but I don’t think the makeover is working. The fact that the jeans weren’t the hippest, most trendy on the fashion scene but were the "mommy jeans" variety, made him into a caricature of himself, lackimg authenicity. Now he just looks and acts like a bland stiff dressed badly.

So are his riches the problem, or is it how uncomfortable he looks carrying it? America has always worshiped at the plump feet of Capitalism; prided ourselves on gorging, over-indulging and amassing as much as we can. Supersize is our first, middle and last name. Wealth is our measuring stick for success, so by our standards, Romney should be revered, admired, put on that pedestal where the air is rarefied and sanctified.

So to reiterate and at the expense of risking redundancy, why are we so mad? Why the hoopla over Romney’s millions?

His off-shore stash in opposing climates like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland should not send us into a tizzy, Romney is simply maximizing his net worth. Sending his money on a tropical and wintry vacation to avoid hurting his bottom line is done by practically all self-respecting venture capitalist out there. They wouldn’t be worth their weight in gold if they did otherwise.

Afterall, those loopholes weren’t put there for poor "Joe Schmoes" but for those who knows how to exploit it, smart enough to get away with the loot, stash it, then run for president one day. What is wrong with that? He is being a true, practicing, hard-thinking willy capitalist. Aren’t his kind our best and brightest?

He knows how to make one dollar morph into one hundred. He knows how to use our convoluted tax code to work to his advantage. Paying only 13 percent on $110 million is genius. Reaganomics and Bush era tax breaks at its finest. So what if he pays less taxes than his secretary, like his fellow one-percenter, Warren Buffet? Oops, I forgot Romney doesn’t have a secretary; his kind of investments don't call for him to work. His money simply makes money.

For decades we were told that trickle-down economics was good for everyone. Give those at the top a break so those “job-creators” could create, hire, boost the economy and the wealth would magically drip to the bottom. But they lied. Republican President Ronald Reagan started us down a path illuminated only for the rich by rolling back laws that helped keep Wall Street and big banks in line. President George W. Bush picked up that torch and carried it all the way home with an added decade long tax break for the super wealthy.

Reagan deregulated, Bill Clinton opened the back door a little wider with a slight tax break for the rich and GW flung all the windows, doors and even the chimneys open. He put up a sign that said no one’s home; put the shiny baubles and valuables on display and invited the thieves in. The ever-widening base is being "starved" for the trickle-down process didn’t work. The flow was disrupted at the tiny apex and diverted to only the subsidiaries at that level. A very effective moot was erected at that top tier and “neer a dripple went pass that fort.”

Romney said he was not worried about the poor for "they had a safety net.” What he doesn’t realize is a net is like a sieve---most things pass right through.

Well now that "Rich Romney" is fighting for that coveted Oval Office chair, the trickle-down might finally work. He has amassed so much and looks so guilty every time he pretends to be just one of the masses that he might have a crisis of conscious like Warren Buffet and advocate for some change. Push his fellow one-percenters on Capitol Hill, in country clubs, corporations, Big Bank Street and Wall Street to share the wealth, let the trickle down finally trickle—a little.

If you believe that last line, then you will believe that pigs fly, and I could sell you a snowmobile in July.