Romney's Horse Ballet Losses, Caviar, and Spam

By Steve Clemons

458px-Hannoveraner_Dressur_Goethe_3_bestes.jpgMargaret Carlson gets the quote of the week for her Bloomberg commentary on Mitt Romney's wealth blind spots and not getting that dressage may not be the kind of business tax deduction he wants a lot of economically strapped political independents to read about. 

Hmm ... I do get why he is holding back on those other tax forms now.

As Bloomberg Businessweek reported, Mitt Romney declared in his 2010 taxes a $77,000 business loss (of which only $50 thus far was deducted from his taxes but which protects him on upside gains in the future) costs related to his Olympics-competing horse, Rafalca.

Dressage, or 'horse ballet', are not part of my normal lexicon -- so wanted to share the nice write-up Wikipedia provides for those, who like me, may not be wired in to the sport:

Dressage -- a French term, most commonly translated to mean "training") is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training", where "horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements." Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, the horse will respond smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet".

Now for the zinger quote from Margaret Carlson, whose full article you should read:

A presidential candidate who takes a huge tax deduction for such an elitist sport exhibits a cluelessness bordering on contempt. Romney has argued that dressage helps his wife's multiple sclerosis. That's all to the good, but dressage is to therapeutic horseback riding as caviar is to Spam.

Emphasis added. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/romneys-horse-ballet-losses-caviar-and-spam/260716/