Burch: Mitt Romney’s $101M Cayman Island IRAs

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 12:11am
By Michael R. Burch

Tennesseans will soon have to make a very important choice: who will make the better president, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? After four years we have a pretty good idea of who Barack Obama is and what he stands for. But appearances and organizational skills aside, Mitt Romney is hard to figure.

Romney certainly looks presidential, but if we tear our eyes away from his impressively coiffed figure and actually listen to his words, he sounds like a robot programmed to mindlessly drone the standard Republican mantras: “Everything bad that ever happened to Americans is the fault of Barack Hussein Obama, and if you elect me I will wave my magic wand and fix everything my first day in office, by repealing this, that and the other piece of legislation.”

Like most robots, Romney seems to lack empathy for and a connection with human beings. He is certainly no Ronald Reagan. While he’s not as creepy as Richard Nixon, he seems perhaps even more weirdly remote and alien. Take, for example, his remark that “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich; they’re doing just fine.” He seems to somehow equate the very poor and the very rich. Even Nixon wouldn’t have made that mistake.

Romney also opined that his speaking fees of $374,327 last year were “not very much.” Last June, he told a group of unemployed Floridians that he shared their plight, saying: “I’m also unemployed. I’m networking. I have my sight on a particular job.” If he was trying to be funny, the joke fell flat.

At a debate, he offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000 — an amount that, however facetious, reminded voters just how rich and carefree Romney is.

But nothing I’ve heard said by or about Mitt Romney holds a candle to his $101 million in Cayman Island IRAs. It seems possible that he may have sheltered all or most of his Bain Capital wealth from taxes by putting it into an offshore “IRA” and only allowing it to be valued correctly once the appreciation was protected from taxes. If there is some other reasonable explanation for how anyone’s IRA can be so huge, when contributions are limited to a few thousand dollars per year, I’d like to hear it.

I first became suspicious about Romney’s finances when he started squirming like a fish out of water when he was asked about releasing his tax returns during a debate. Then later something in a Huffington Post article caught my eye, because a single Bain fund was valued at $5 million to $25 million, and yet was called only “part” of his IRA. So I started trying to determine what Romney’s full IRA amounted to. Here’s an excerpt from a Reuters report I found, dated Jan. 23, 2012:

“In the wake of news reports last week that presidential contender Mitt Romney owns an individual retirement account worth as much as $101 million, questions are growing over how it could have gotten so big when contribution limits are capped at $5,000 or $6,000 a year. Tax lawyers and accountants suggest an answer: Romney may have made use of an Internal Revenue Service loophole that allows investors to undervalue interests in investment partnerships when first putting them into an IRA. These assets can produce returns far in excess of those that could be generated from other investments made at the capped level. An investor could even set an initial value for a partnership interest at zero dollars, because under tax regulations an interest in a partnership represents future income, not current value.”

Romney's IRA has been valued at between $20.7 million and $101.6 million, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.  It holds stakes in 13 investment entities run by Bain Capital, Romney’s private-equity firm.

“One possibility for its size is that he put his Bain partnership interests into the IRA and valued them at a very low number,” said David Weisbach, a law professor who specializes in taxes at the University of Chicago Law School.

The average IRA held by Americans holds $42,500, so Romney’s seems outrageously large. His IRA produced income of $1.5 million to $8.5 million between 2010 and 2011, according to his financial summary, so it seems quite possible that the IRA may be closer to the high-end estimate of $101.6 million.

Romney’s total wealth has been estimated at around $200 million. If he shielded half his money from all taxes, that would seem to drop his effective tax rate from around 14% to around 7%. And that would explain why he looked like a fish out of water when he was asked about disclosing his tax returns. In this case, I suspect that two plus two probably results in four ... as in four more years for President Barack Obama.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

149 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 4/26/12 at 11:32

He does not want anyone to dig deeper in his wealth or interest rate. Of course, he has alot to hide. What was he thinking? Of course he has to disclose or someone will do it for him.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 2:22

Good morning, Nashville.

My dear departed momma used to say that behind every great fortune is a great crime....I'm thinking momma was right....Romney's got some explaining to do....we know that Mitt's dad was a war profiteer, that's where Mitt's seed money came from....he got the rest by working with other people's money.....this draft-dodging, magic underwear-wearing, tycoon is presidential material?

Looks like we will be stuck with the Reneger-In-Chief for four more years...unless the Mossad removes him from office....a very distinct possibility.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 3:36

If Mitt and the Mrs. have 100 million in an Individual Retirement Account BEFORE Mitt is elected POTUS, think how much they'll have in there AFTER he retires from the POTUS job....their "nest egg" will be the size of a small planetoid....that much capital will generate its own magnetic field....and it's own gravitational force....like a green black hole....just sucking in more cash, at an ever-expanding rate...is this what we want?

By: bfra on 4/27/12 at 3:51

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mitt Romney's five sons -- Matt, Tagg, Craig, Ben and Josh -- are sitting pretty with a trust fund worth $ 100 million.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 4:39

Mornin', Bfra.....20 Mn each...that's a nice chunk of seed money....how many will use it wisely...will there be a prodigal son? Peephole Magazine will let us know.

Looks like the 5 sons are carrying on the family tradition of avoiding military service...while waving the US flag.....smug, safe & secure... and well-invested in the war industries.

By: bfra on 4/27/12 at 4:55

Loner - To get the full reporting on this, check:

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 5:02

Just in case of boredom....check this article out...I'm fending off trolls there now:

Headline: New Egypt law to allow men to have sex with their dead wives?

Source URL:


This story will have legs...could go viral?

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 5:14

There is one vast issue on the two men running for the office: Romney is running for it legally, Barry Soetoro (a.k.a.Barack Obama) isn't.

So many seen to be quick on blaming Romney for hiding his wealth yet don't think anything about it that Obama is hiding the history.of himself.

Obama only seems to be capable of putting the nation deeper into debt, but Romney has proven himself to be a good businessman.

So has the choice comes to choosing a legal businessman or a illegal alien?

By: dargent7 on 4/27/12 at 5:16

Romney will get 80% of the Republican vote...just because he's a Republican.
People in America don't think for themselves.
G W Bush owned a baseball team.
A rich guy Club?
Romney's dad was President of American Motors, based in Southfield, Mich.
Built pieces of crap, eg., Rambler.
Then was Gov. of Mich., then Secretary of HUD.
The Romney name was huge in Detroit.
DNC advisor Hilary Rosen was right on saying wife Ann, "never worked a day in her life". True. Raising 5 boys isn't easy, but with $100. million in the bank, nannies, maids, gardeners, chouffers, etc., it's not that hard.
Uncle Mittie is building a 4 car elevator in his La Jolla home, as we speak.
For those that don't know, La Jolla is the wealthiest suburb of San Diego, CA.
I'm most worried what Romney will do in foreign relations...he'll for sure bomb Iran.
Probably N. Korea and Venezuela.
Any Republican elected will flex his military muscle to show off how small his weenie is.

By: bfra on 4/27/12 at 5:18

Loner - The worst troll doesn't know but 1 subject!

By: Captain Nemo on 4/27/12 at 5:18

Good morning people...yogi and the troll monkey.

With all of news about Romney’s wealth and all that was said about him during the primaries from his now friends, there is more than enough suspicion about the GOP man of the Hour.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/27/12 at 5:23

From yesterday;

You see what I mean, Ben when I said that Rubio might be to much for the nuts of the fringe right to except.

By: yogiman on 4/26/12 at 1:07
I hope you're wrong in your 9:42 post, BenDover. If Romney picks Marco Rubio as VP, that will pup him in the same party (category) as Barry Soetoro: The party of the usurpers.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/26/12 at 2:45
So yogi what makes Rubio to be "Usurpers" and why do you think so?

By: yogiman on 4/26/12 at 8:14
nimrod, to answer your 2:45 question at about Marco Rubio: His parents were Cuban citizens when he was born. He was 4 years old when they became American citizens. There's no way in Hell he could be certified a natural born citizen.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/27/12 at 5:27

This is going to be a fun weekend, with yogi foaming with more racist hate. Got to go for now see you later. Oh don’t waste to much of your time to day on the zero.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 5:43

My crystal balls finally got up to operating temperature...they indicate that Rob Portman (R-OH) has the edge over Marco Rubio in the Veepstakes....Florida and Ohio are up for grabs...my balls say that Ohio is more crucial....Florida will go GOP regardless of who the VP is according to my balls.

If Romney -Portman take Ohio's EC votes, Obama may be SOL....if they take FL and OH, then BHO will have to pack up and vacate the WH.

Once again, it's not who is best for the job, it's who is the best choice to win the election...Democracy Lite.

By: dargent7 on 4/27/12 at 5:47

I know I'm exhibiting Einstein's theory of insanity ( not relativity or E=mc2) when I ask our resident "5150" how can Romney's dad, grandfather, both born in Mexico, and then becoming, "natural born American citizens" as a parent, geneology, with Willard being born in Detroit?

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 5:53

Portman is consistent, he believes in a man's right to keep & bear arms and he also believes in a woman's duty to keep and bear the fetus....the NRA and the Right-to-Lifers love the guy. He has lots of generous supporters.

Senator Portman raised over 13 million in the last election cycle...from these folks:


The Israel lobby plunked down $68,815 for Rob in last go 'round...that ain't chump change either.

AIPAC likes Portman more than they like Rubio....that could be the deciding factor.

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 5:54


Your comments on you 6:43 post should explain to you why we have the Electoral College vote.

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 5:57


You ridicule Mitt Romney's boys for not volunteering for service but you seem to think its okay Barack Obama never volunteered for service. Why is it okay Obama never served but the Romney's sons should have?

By: budlight on 4/27/12 at 5:58

Quote from this article "Romney certainly looks presidential, but if we tear our eyes away from his impressively coiffed figure and actually listen to his words, he sounds like a robot programmed to mindlessly drone the standard Republican mantras: “Everything bad that ever happened to Americans is the fault of Barack Hussein Obama, and if you elect me I will wave my magic wand and fix everything my first day in office, by repealing this, that and the other piece of legislation.”

s/h/b Obama certainly looks presidential, but if we tear our eyes away from his impressively coiffed figure and actually listen to his words, he sounds like a robot programmed to mindlessly drone the Democratic mantras: "Everything bad that ever happened to Americans is the fault of George W. Bush, and if you elect me I will wave my magic wand and fix everything my first day in office, by repealing this, that and the other piece of legislation" and add to that: "And I will create a Czar position for nearly everything imaginable under the planet - like the most recent Atrocity Czar -- and how about a Czar Czar to manage the current Czars".

Obama has played the race and blame card more times than Carter has Liver Pills! But oh well, it's only a country!

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 6:06


The answer to your question is: They were American citizens because their parents were American citizens. Mitt was born in Detroit to parents who were American citizens making him a natural born citizen.

Now, what makes Barack Obama a natural born citizen being born to a Kenyan father who was a British subject? It takes more than one to tango, dargent7.

I'll repeat a question I've asked many times before: Why won't Barack Obama prove his identity? My answer? Because he isn't an American citizen.

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 6:19


You seem inclined to ridicule Mitt Romney compared to Barry Soetoro (a.k.a. Barack Obama), so let me compare the two: Barack Obama has never had a business experience of any kind in his life and has put this nation deeper into debt every day he has illegally been in office (for a purpose? I think so). Of course, [as he has said, repeatedly] its all Bush's fault.

Romney is a proven money making business man as he has made millions of dollars for his family. Don't you think he just might be able to use that business sense and experience in the nation's favor?

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 6:20

Mitt Romney is an old-fashioned draft dodger...today, thanks to the all-volunteer force....the term is slowly passing into obscurity...it would be nice to see some military service in a POTUS candidate....but I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy.

Credible sites claim that Obama's maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, served in the US Army...it is nice to see that his family does not have a tradition of avoiding military service...like the Romney clan has....looks like Obama's family answered the call of duty in WW2.

Here's a Wikipedia snippet on that:

Stanley Armour Dunham
Stanley Dunham is the grandfather of Barack Obama. He was born in 1918 and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, enlisting just after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Stanley and his wife Madelyn raised Obama in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to Obama, Stanley is related to six US presidents: James Madison, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.[29][30] He died in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1992, and is buried at the Punchbowl National Cemetery.

Ralph Dunham
Great-uncle of Barack Obama, older brother of Stanley Dunham, born 1916. He served in the U.S. Army as an assignment and personnel officer during World War II, landing at Normandy's Omaha Easy Red Beach on D-Day plus four, working his way through France, Italy and Germany.[31][32]

(End snippet)



By: parnell3rd on 4/27/12 at 6:23

I like Mr. Burch's opening line: "After 4 years we have a pretty good idea of who Barack Obama is and what he stands for."
He stands for socialism and he bows to kings.
He stands for redistributing wealth.
He stands for "taxing the coal industry out of business, skyrocketing our energy prices"
He claims to have paid back student loans. Hmm he was raised by a white woman and she was a bank VP.
He is a millionaire but he slams the system that made him rich.
He says millionaires don't pay their fair share, but he takes every tax deduction possible paying less taxes.
And on and on and on!
He is a politician which means like every politician known to mankind, he is a liar!
Mittins has more money and here lies the problem.
Who ever raises the most cash will be president.
"Son, don't buy any more votes than you have to, I'll be damned if i'll pay for a landslide" Joe Kennedy. From a telegram sent to John F. Kennedy during the 1960 election. America is the greatest country on earth. Washington DC is corrupt.

By: dargent7 on 4/27/12 at 6:24

How are parents and grandparents born in Mexico, "natural born American citizens"?
If you had any insight, cognitive power, you'd see your argument against Obama is fallacious.
And Romney championed the war(s) in Iraq since 1991 and 2003.
All 5 sons never enlisted? Even in England, the Prince William enlisted in the Air National Guard. Something to serve his country.
Romney's a fake, a phoney, and a fraud. But, you'll cast your vote for him.
All Republican sheep will.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 6:26

The state capitals are all corrupt...the nation's capital is corrupt....never mind that...who did the Titans pick in the NFL draft?

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 6:29


I hate to tell you this, but your comment in your first paragraph you stated, "After four years we have a pretty good idea of who Obama is..."

But no, you still don't know who he is. If you do, please tell the public, we'd like to know.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 6:30

Romney made mountains of money....by using other people's money...I reckon that qualifies him to lead the most powerful nation on the planet.....he knows how to redistribute the wealth...no doubt about that.

By: dargent7 on 4/27/12 at 6:31

parnell3rd: You guys are simply disgusting.
Obama "bowed" to the Saudi King, GW Bush kissed both of his cheeks. Held his hand during a Crawford ranch tour.
It's protocol when you need their oil.
Bush enabled the entire bin Laden family to excile America after 9/11.
He then attacked the wrong country responsible. (he and Dracula).
America is NOT the greatest country on Earth. Scandals, embassassments, corruption, capital murders, ....place is a cess-pool for thieves, liars, lawyers, scum-bags. (redundant).
But, continue to think how wonderful life is in your cocoon.

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 6:44

I did not say Romney's parent and grandparents were natural born citizen. His grandparents were American citizens who moved to Mexico. They did not give up their American citizenship. I further stated his father was born in Mexico to American citizens. They did not have to be natural born citizens themselves to give him natural born citizenship status. They only had to be American citizens.

It's funny, and ridiculous: You can find so much fault against Romney who you already seem to know so much about, but you can't find anything wrong with Obama whom you still know nothing about.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 6:47

I put this question to the group: Yogi is a "natural born" American Knucklehead?

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 6:57

Sorry, Loner. Unlike you and your fellow posters on this site; I'm an American citizen who wants a legal man in our President's chair in the White House.

You being so frivolous by party only you don't seem to care if that person is there legally or not. And you're a veteran? What oath did you take?

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 7:01

BHO was duly sworn in...he's legit...that Marine Sgt. who was bounced from the service for online treasonous activities should be deported, IMO. A Sargeant Stein...he founded the Military Tea Party site etc......a religious nut and malcontent....ship his sorry @ss the hell out of here....the GOP will probably run him for Congress.

By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 7:03


You stated I would vote for Romney [simply] because he's a Republican. May I think ask; why are you going to vote for Barack Obama. Could it be because he's a Democrat? Doesn't that make you a Democratic sheep?

Odd, isn't it; you are so willing to vote for someone you know nothing about, but are so unwilling to vote for someone you seen to know everything about.

Between the no nothing and know a lot, what is your reason for your vote?

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 7:06

Yogi is stinking up the place this morning...are there any cogent articulate righties out there, willing to engage in a civil, reasoned and topical debate?

Where's that online sniper, John Galt?

By: BenDover on 4/27/12 at 7:18

Yet another long string of White House talking points... laundered through the Daily Kos and somewhat artfully presented by Mr Burch for our consumption and latter indigestion.

Loner reveals the source of his core bias was his mother's distrust of anything wealthy. I was always of the impression the Lone One came from money himself so that's a bit of a surprise... though contempt for wealth isn't limited to those who have none. See: Babs and Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and the rest of the Hollywood crew who get a total pass for holding enormous wealth because they tow the left-wing line.

The question becomes did Mittens break the law or is it a de facto guilt because 1. he has money and 2. he's not ashamed of it?

The whole Occupy movement turned out to be just a premature climax to a spectacle designed to undermine the heir apparent. The rhythm was thrown off a bit by a couple of guys who wouldn't beg out of the Republican race early enough... but you know who Obama's choice opponent was by the fact that the media was pushing Romney so hard.

This, however, is but one wedge the Obama campaign is using in its burn down the villages quest for the Whitehouse. In addition to trying to foster class warfare, he's also working hard to divide us on race, on gender, on age, on sexual preference, on urban/rural, on public/private... it's all a plan that doesn't really care whether the rest of the country is laying around in shambles and ash. What is important is Obama's Machiavellian Community Organizer Chicago Way road to victory that never questions objectively its original premise of America=Bad.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/27/12 at 7:27

Moonglow1: Yogi, Romney has five sons. At minimum one son could have enlisted. Romney does not believe in sacrifice for one's country. Why? He knows the wars were bogus and by golly none of his sons are going to fight in bogus wars.

Romney is a man of secrets. He and his wife worship at the altar of greed. They distain the poor. Romney is no different than any multinational CEO: greedy and without character and morals. Most are not talented. They screw up, run their companies into the ground and still make millions.

Government is not a business contrary to what these no talent capitalists want you to believe. We are selling off America piece by piece to these no talent brainless fakes of which Romney is king.

He knows he is a fake and a fraud. This is why he was squirming when asked to submit his tax returns. Because there is a loophole I'm the tax code does not make it morally rigjht. Just because there is no longer a draft does not make it morally right to have five sons and not one signs up to serve. But as a presidential candidate you support war and cheer when the Poor enlist.

Romney is a fake
His wife, a flake
Fly them to the moon
With their silver spoon
Sons don't serve
They've got some nerve
Money is their God
Romney's a real fraud

By: BenDover on 4/27/12 at 7:36

So where was all of this emphasis on military record back 4 years ago?

By: slacker on 4/27/12 at 7:36

Moonglow, I served in the U.S. Army, what branch did you serve in?

By: BenDover on 4/27/12 at 7:39

Obama is noted for his military service... and his 'big stick' as well it would seem.

By: slacker on 4/27/12 at 7:46

People who are concerned about Mitt & his sons military service, apparantly voted for McCain in the last election.

By: govskeptic on 4/27/12 at 7:47

After 3 1/2 yrs of Barack Obama and the incompetent group of advisers,
cabinet appointments, missteps, apologies for every step America has taken
since the Declaration of Independence, and the spending habits of a fool
winning a huge lottery, this letter should falls on deaf ears!

By: BenDover on 4/27/12 at 7:49

"Apparently I'm supposed to be more outraged about how Mitt Romney spends his money than about how Obama spends mine".

By: slacker on 4/27/12 at 7:50

Ben, perhaps Obama can persuade his daughters to join the military, when they become eligible.

By: BenDover on 4/27/12 at 7:52

Yep... Moonglow brigade.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 7:53

BenDover on 4/27/12 at 8:36

So where was all of this emphasis on military record back 4 years ago?

Are you kidding me? We heard all about the heroics of John McCain in 2008....all the grisly details.....the GOP worked the well-worn "sympathy for a war hero" card in 2008.

The Democrats are simply playing the "contempt for a draft-dodger" card....that once-potent card will soon be gone from the deck...no more draft to dodge...how convenient for the right-wing chicken-hawks who would be Commander-in-Chief.

By: Loner on 4/27/12 at 7:58

Obama was never a draft dodger, there was no draft to dodge; unlike Romney's family, the President's grandfather and great uncle served honorably in WW2....Mitt's dad, George, was a war profiteer....never put on a uniform....he "helped the war effort", of course.

By: slacker on 4/27/12 at 7:59

Loner, are you referring to the draft-dodgers that ran off to Canada, or the one's that stayed here and avoided it the old fashion way.. enrolled in school?

By: Moonglow1 on 4/27/12 at 8:00

Moonglow1: Mitt and the Republicans run on WAR. WAR is their agenda. They want the American public to finance and sacrifice to keep the military industrial complex running. This puts money directly into the pockets of their industrial friends like Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, and others including themselves. So the rich club gets richer, while the masses get poorer.

So if you (Mitt) are running for president on the Republican war machine agenda, you had better justify why not one of your five sons have served.

Those posting on this site are concerned with me. Have I served. I've got news for you. I will share that information should I declare my candidacy for elected office. Currently, Willard has declared his candidacy, thereby he is the one that needs to justify his actions to the American public.

Why would you vote for him and the party he represents. That is the big question. Why indeed?

By: BenDover on 4/27/12 at 8:01

No... you're thinking about '04, loner, when Lurch was running.


By: yogiman on 4/27/12 at 8:01


All of Romney's sons could have served. But they chose not to. Volunteers is what our services have been composed of since shorty after WWII.

It has been compared with the prince of England "volunteering" to serve in his country's military. It seems to be unnoticed: He is a prince of his nation. Romney wasn't even President of his, so why should his sons show a volunteer attitude?

Just wondering, how many of the "men" on this site served as volunteers that are ridiculing Romney and his sons for not serving?

To start the ball rolling: I served 7 years. I was serving in that 21 year old discharge "enrollment" plan when my enlistment was extended for a year at the start of the Korean conflict. Thinking we would be in war with Russia before that year was up I re-enlisted for the minimum of 4 years.

When did the minimum enlistment requirement go to 2 years, Loner?