Meet the Guy Who Picks Up 15 Tons of Trash Mitt Is Trying to Shortchange

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AFSCME has launched a fascinating campaign, introducing people to the current sanitation worker, a former one, and the firetruck maintenance guy who service Mitt’s La Jolla home.

It’s a great campaign for the way it makes the invisible consequences of Mitt’s hatred for government–and the 47%–visible. 15 tons of trash, Mitt’s trash man collects, yet Mitt thinks there should be fewer people picking up his and his neighbors’ trash.

But there’s one more piece missing: Mitt’s efforts to avoid paying his fair share for precisely these services. Remember, right after Mitt bought this home, he tried to claim it lost 45% of its value. When that didn’t work, he hired a lawyer to fight to lower his tax bill paying for precisely these kinds of services. Ultimately, this man worth at least a quarter billion fought for years so he could avoid paying $109,357 over four years.

But he tried to drop his yearly tax bill by enough to support one of these jobs.

I want to look at Mitt’s original claim–that his house had lost almost 45% of its value in less than a year. That claim was higher even than the property decline all the houses in his zip code experienced in the two years after he bought the house.

Working for the Romneys, Streb concluded that the entire 92037 ZIP Code had suffered a 41% decline in average sales prices between the first six months of 2008 and the six months preceding his appraisal in October 2010. He settled on a value of $7.5 million for the Romney home.

Had Mitt’s outrageous claim been successful, he would have saved something like $75,000 a year. This amounts to Mitt, buying a pricey home at a time when any half-witted being knew home values were crashing, turning around almost immediately and asking for a discount for buying at a time of falling values. But for a county struggling with the effects of banksters ruining the wealth of its much more average residents, it amounts to a real churlishness about the common good.

The LAT ends by justifying Mitt’s efforts to save what amount to a few pennies on property taxes.

“I would think it’s foolish not to request a decline in value if you are entitled,” said Paul Habibi, who teaches real estate finance and development in the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. “That’s like saying a rich man should not bend over to pick up a hundred dollar bill.”

Or you could look it another way. Most rich men, standing over a hundred dollar bill next to a poor kid, would let the kid take the bill. Not Mitt. He’s gonna hire a lawyer to elbow the kid away from the cash so he can pocket it himself.

So it’s not just that Mitt shows undue appreciation for the people who work hard to protect his La Jolla home and keep it clean. He has taken aggressive steps to make sure these specific individuals don’t get paid.

I guess Mitt plans on picking up those 15 tons of trash himself?

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @kevinjonheller He hasn't thrown a pick yet, has he? Still watching bc I'm waiting for a pick.
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bmaz @OBEYshiba done.
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bmaz @Travis_Waldron "My only child born 4 days before last Lions playoff victory. I am now a grandfather." http://t.co/hGouSM0hVh cc @emptywheel
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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 Did you track the Black List? And how they changed policy on it?
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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 also, the guy the provenance of whose story CIA still refuses to declassify, right? ;p
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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 I don't remember it.
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emptywheel @kevinjonheller Also I don't dislike the Browns. Lived w/a guy chased by "Browns backers" for a year. I wish them well.
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emptywheel @kevinjonheller Yeah. Another Spartie I shouldn't be rooting for (like Cousins, who I REALLY like).
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emptywheel @kevinjonheller Don't disagree. He will benefit from having time to learn, though.
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emptywheel @kevinjonheller He's trying too hard. Meanwhile, the Kitties have a Smurf AND the snot-nose kid from down the street.
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emptywheel @NadiaKayyali Shit. Now I AM impressed. @onekade
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