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KQµårk 死神 On August - 5 - 2012

There are several reasons why a candidate for the highest office in the land needs to release their tax returns at least for the past several years.  President Obama and Hillary Clinton released 7 years of tax returns during the 2008 primaries and Obama has added releasing 3 years of tax returns as POTUS.  So the minimum Romney should release to be fair would be 7 years of returns even though 10 or more would be optimal.

Politically it’s almost essential for a POTUS candidate to release several years of tax returns so voters can evaluate a candidate thoroughly and like Romney’s own father stated years ago, a year or two of returns could be a fluke.  Politically speaking voters want to see tax returns for several reason starting with it just gives a glimpse into the candidates ability to be transparent.  Of course Romney has proven to be an epic fail in this first category.

Just as important politically people want to know if a candidate puts their money where their mouth is so to speak.  If a candidate claims to belong to a certain church for example, people want to so if they donate too that church.  If a candidate claims to be liberal they want to see if they donate to liberal cause and visa versa.  This could be Romney’s biggest Achilles heel in his tax returns because he went from being a self declared “moderate progressive” Republican who supported Planned Parenthood to a hard right wing anti-choice bully.  A charitable deduction to a group like Planned Parenthood could even derail Romney’s GOP presidential nomination with the right wing of his party.

It is only speculation but to me it makes sense that hiding past donations to liberal causes is the most likely reason Romney is holding back his returns.  Romney is deathly afraid of the lunatic right wing base of his party over everything else.  He has shown he will flip flop to the right on any issue to keep them placated.  He could give a darn about how liberals or even moderates would view his returns because he would just play that off by saying those voters just ‘envy his wealth’.  So if you asked me to make a $10,000 bet I would put my money on this as the biggest reason he does not want to release his returns.

Another and perhaps biggest political factor is voters want to see how candidates would benefit under their tax policy prescriptions that they are proposing.  Since Romney is advocating huge tax cuts to the rich and capital gains voters want to know how much more money he will make personally from his policies.  Especially juxtaposed to Obama’s policy initiatives to raise taxes on people as rich as himself and Romney this is a huge political liability for Romney.  It’s bad enough he paid only and effective rate of $13.9% on $20,000,000 that if he paid less on much more income it could be political suicide.

We already know from what financial information Romney has released, much of it he was forced to release, that he invested heavily overseas.  The ironic part of this is he hid that money overseas mostly in the Bush years so you wonder how sincerely he believes in the Bush policies of cutting taxes on the rich and deregulation if he made the decision to ship much of his money offshore anyway.  But this is just a tangential argument.

Voters simply want to know how honest their candidates are.  Even most Republicans want honesty when it comes to money.  A candidate does not even have to do anything against the law in the long run.  A candidate like Romney could have changed his address on his tax returns to run for Governor of MA when he initially put UT as his main residency on them (wait that already happened).  Or Romney could have participated in certain tax amnesty programs.

Releasing taxes is especially important for Romney as stated in the title because his whole claim that he will be a better president than Obama is based on his business record.  That record simply cannot be seen completely evaluated by the voters until Romney releases several years of returns.  Romney himself is holding back one of the crucial puzzle pieces voters need to evaluate him as a savvy business leader.  So if Romney sticks to his stubborn refusal to release more tax returns the voters have every right to dog him every day about them.

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is kquark@planetpov.com Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

31 Responses so far.

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  1. SueInCa says:

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  2. bito says:

    I have mentioned this more than a few times, it’s not just his taxes, it’s his secret multinational financial holdings that he has that concern me. Who even knows what he is invested in or who his investors are in his Cayman and Bermuda accounts? How will these investments/investors influence his national and foreign policies?

    Bloomberg brought up this question again the other day in this article:

    Romney Persona Non Grata in Italy for Bain’s Deal Skirting Taxes

    Mitt Romney skipped Italy on his swing through Europe. That was probably prudent.

    That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day. Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.

    Bain funneled profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate strategy for avoiding income taxes in other European countries, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now has a total market value less than what it paid Bain and other investors for the directory business.

    […]

    “With this investment, Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, with its consortium partners, partnered with a new management team to transform this company, and grow it into a tremendous success,” said Michele Davis, a spokeswoman for Romney’s presidential campaign. “Mitt Romney is running for President to put that experience to work.”

    [….]

    “Mitt Romney and Bain played the role of successful financial speculators at the peril of the Italian government and the small stock-market investors who were burned by the sharp decline in Seat (PG) shares,” said Giovanni Pons, a journalist for la Repubblica and co-author of “L’Affare Telecom” (2002), which recounts details of the Bain deal.

    The use of offshore subsidiaries to avoid taxes has been standard practice for private equity firms such as Bain, as well as other big U.S. companies such as Google Inc. (GOOG), Facebook Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-06/romney-persona-non-grata-in-italy-for-bain-s-deal-skirting-taxes.html

    Is this how the President and his State Dept. should conduct the country’s foreign affairs?

  3. SueInCa says:

    KQ

    I think alot of people will not even understand his tax returns. The rumor still going around is McCain looked at his returns and ran to Sarah Palin. I would more likely think McCain held a grudge on Romney and seeing the vetting document makes me think his positions were the main reason. The religious base would never have stood for him as VP. McCain could not accept Haggee’s endorsement but he found a good dominionist as his running mate.

    To get back to the tax returns, there are people within the Obama camp who would know how to read those returns. I don’t think CNN or Fox would be very astute in reviewing them but there are many other organizations who would do so, Think Progress, The Daily Beast, Bloomberg, Forbes all would be able to fairly quickly surmise what went on that he is hiding. I think it is part what you say but I also think he did not pay taxes for some years and may have evaded taxes with his offshore holdings. That is felony and he would be gone now. Perhaps he will come clean after the nomination. We have never had a candidate(to my knowledge) have to step down for criminal reasons but never say never.

    • We have to Remember McCain did not see returns from 2008 and 2009 which would be the most likely years Romney paid almost no taxes because the financial system crashed. It’s lame of Romney not to even trust himself enough to explain to people why he may have not paid many taxes those years. Since his income is almost all gains on investments you would think people would understand almost all his investments lost ground during the financial collapse.

  4. I heard some right wing pundit say Romney should only release two years of tax returns because that’s what McCain did. Let me shut that one down right now.

    First McCain may have been the best known candidate to run for president since LBJ. Because he was in congress, he disclosed congressional financial statements for decades. And when McCain did get in trouble with the Savings and Loan scandal even that information was public record. While we have Romney who purposely erased all the records he could while he was Gov of MA.

    Second unlike Romney, McCain did not run on his business record, he ran on his congressional record. The fact that Romney is now solely running on his business acumen makes voters want to see his taxes much more than McCain’s.

    Third McCain’s medical past was far more important to the voters than his tax returns. He disclosed those medical records for all the press to see in a similar way Obama showed his BC.

    Fourth what voters saw in McCain’s returns did not raise eyebrows. He paid a pretty standard rate and did not do things like hide money offshore or build up $100MM IRAs like Romney did. There was no smoke there.

    Finally McCain was the exception rather than the rule because of everything I mentioned above. Traditionally Presidential candidates released AT LEAST five years of their tax returns, the average is closer to seven years.

    Any right wing pundit that is trying to use the McCain defense is just trying to fecklessly defend Romney’s inability to be straight with the American voters.

  5. 2belinda says:

    Would Romney’s tax returns show which investments he made and the profits? And what if those businesses when moved overseas, were responsible for huge numbers of Americans being laid off. What if Romney was a mean- lean firing machine and a major contributor to high unemployment rates here in the US. Meanwhile taking his profits (and other people’s pensions) to off-shore accounts never paying any tax.

    If he lies, he’ll steal and he would cheat. A ravenous wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    • 2belinda that would absolutely be in his returns. It could be that one of the investments he made big money from was something right wingers are against. Thanks to Romney’s secrecy speculation is really endless.

  6. PolitiFail is at it again calling Reid a ‘Pants-on-Fire’ liar for launching unsubstantiated claims about Romney’s tax returns.

    OK but no mention that Romney is WILLFULLY making yet unsubstantiated claims about tax returns he refuses to disclose. Until Romney releases his tax returns ANYTHING he says about previous returns is unsubstantiated and we all know his word is worth shyte.

    • AdLib says:

      I tweeted this, here’s what exposes what hypocrites and frauds Politifact is. They call Reid a liar because he has no concrete proof to back up his charge that Romney didn’t pay taxes (just the testimony of one Bain investor…which is more verification than Fox uses for most of its propaganda).

      And yet, Politifact has NO independent testimony that Romney DID pay taxes over those ten years, just some BS about what might be likely.

      So if the yardstick for someone lying is their not having proof to back up their charges, Politifact is a big fat liar.

      • The ironic part is I think Reid has a good idea of what’s in Romney’s tax returns and furthermore he knows it’s so politically radioactive that he knows Romney will never ever release the returns. That’s why Reid knew he could say anything about them. Reid is not a dumb guy. He would never say what he did without either knowing what he said was absolutely true or something even worse was true.

  7. AdLib says:

    KQ -- You highlight what is at the heart of why Romney is the personification of sociopathic, corporate greed and why such a person is the adversary of democracy.

    In the first place, as you smartly point out, there can be other things in his tax returns that would harm him, such as donations to moderate and liberal causes that sabotage him with his base.

    Respect for the people and their rights is something that is distasteful to corporations…and corporate-minded weasels like Romney. They don’t believe in democracy, they don’t operate one, they operate a dictatorship and are spiteful towards the concept of responsibility to anyone other than those who are wealthy and powerful.

    For Romney, using his wealth in ways that undermine America is irrelevant because it makes him wealthier. So, even though he has wanted to be President for a decade, he saw that as unrelated to getting wealthier by using his money in an anti-American way.

    Now, the lowly “people” are imposing on him to expose his lack of morality and ethics…which is none of their business. After all, Romney is one of the elite who are entitled to become President, how dare the voters insist on him revealing who he is, the wealthy and powerful don’t submit to the poorer and weaker. They are just the rabble, to be manipulated and used to give the elite what they deserve.

    The idea of the people being entitled to be informed is foreign to these corporate types, They see it as just the opposite, the people are an annoyance that need to be manipulated into serving the elite.

    So, this disconnect of the wealthy and corporate, who think anything goes in the pursuit of greater wealth while wanting political control of the country, this blatant lack of character and understanding that politicians are public SERVANTS, working for the people, is what stands between voters and seeing Romney’s tax returns.

    • The thing I can’t believe is here is a guy that knew he was going to run for president by at least 2002 maybe as early as 1994. Yet he is still hiding money overseas, blowing up his IRA and taking every weasily tax break possible. That tells you all you need to know about his priorities. I think he literally wants to be president so he can cut taxes for himself.

      • lynettema says:

        I think he doesn’t care because he has believed he can buy anything he wants including the Presidency.

        BTW, Reid could just be telling the truth as well as his source.

      • kesmarn says:

        It’s almost like Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon or one of the Koch brothers running for president. His track record is apparently that bad.

      • AdLib says:

        I think it makes my argument that Mitt is indeed a twit. I honestly think he is not a very smart man and I’ve seen nothing to contradict that theory.

        I can see him continuing to be anti-American in his investments because “that’s how you make the most money” while on a separate mental track thinking, “I want to be President.”

        Clearly, he never acted like the way he handled his money mattered to his Presidential ambitions. He never prepared himself with a way to deal with the fall out from any of this.

        Does that reflect a smart man?

        My bet is that being President is just a culmination of his greed, he “wants”, he wants the most money he can have, he wants the most powerful and important position he can have, he’s a spoiled brat who simply wants the most and the best and is too stupid to recognize that everything in the world can’t just be bought by the wealthy, regardless of how horrible they are as human beings.

  8. kesmarn says:

    KQ, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that the track record of donations to causes that would offend the RW did not occur to me as a possible reason for Mitt’s stonewalling on releasing his tax returns. But it makes perfect sense.

    No matter how you cut it: whether he paid no taxes for 10 years as Reid’s source alleged, whether he made unbelievable amounts of money in questionable ways and/or paid at an appallingly low rate, and/or whether he made donations that would get him in trouble with his sugar daddies — it all spells trouble for him in November.

    • FYI another theory out there for why Romney will never release his taxes is that people speculate he shorted the Mormon church with his tithing. In 2010 it showed RMoney donated the minimum 10% to the Mormon Church. Based on a longstanding honor code Mormon leaders like Romney promise to tithe at LEAST 10% of their income, while much more is expected for wealthy people.

      One of the few things we know for sure about Romney now is he’s not only a greedy bastard but a cheap greedy bastard. The biggest example is that he chose Utah as his home state just to get a homestead tax rebate even though he knew he was running for Gov of Mass. So he could have donated much less than 10% to the Mormon Church and that would get him in trouble with his most passionate base, the Mormons.

      • kesmarn says:

        Another good point, KQ. Why would’t he try to short-change the church along with everyone else?

        I’ll bet he’s a lousy tipper, too.

      • Sabreen60 says:

        I didn’t think about Romney’s possible donations, either.

        You are so right about him being a cheap, greedy bastard. I had heard this and then read this on Maddow’s blog.

        …..Mitt and Ann Romney were easily able to afford a $12-million La Jolla home. But that didn’t insulate them from the winds buffeting the real estate market in the months following their purchase in 2008.

        After paying cash for the Mediterranean-style house with 61 feet of beach frontage, they asked San Diego County for dramatic property tax relief.

        Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for president whose wealth is estimated at $250 million, has rejected calls from Democrats and Republicans to release his income tax returns prior to 2010. But San Diego County assessor records shed light on one sliver of the couple’s personal taxes during that time: a months-long effort to reduce their annual property tax bill.

        Now, it’s jarring enough that someone who hasn’t earned a paycheck in a decade can pay cash for a $12 million beachfront mansion. It’s also odd that Romney hired a lobbyist for his house.

        But in this story, we learn that Romney desperately wanted local officials to believe his home had lost nearly half its value a mere seven months after he bought it. Why? So he could pay less in taxes.

        As it turns out, the local assessors weren’t going for it, and the Romneys had to settle for a more modest reduction. But did the candidate really have to fight to lower his property-tax bill after he’d already paid cash for a car-elevator mansion?

        Oh, I heard Ed Randell say he didn’t think this fact becoming public would be harmful to Romney. I can’t understand why Randell is still given a microphone.

    • I just thought about it logically and Romney has shown the only thing he’s really afraid of is his base. He doesn’t care about anyone that leans left or he wouldn’t keep lying about Obama and he has even moderated his policies toward swing voters. So if he did pay a low tax rate or send even more money overseas or something like that he knows the right wing would defend him. But if he has one donation to a horrible ‘librul’ group that would be unforgivable with the only voters he seems to value.

  9. Nirek says:

    Mitt feels entitled since he was born into wealth. He has stashed money offshore to avoid (evade) paying taxes but wants to take the few tax deductions we qualify for away. (home mortgage deduction)

    People like him have never had to work a day in his life. Look up the definition of work. I bet he does not fit that definition.

    I want to see his tax returns because I believe he has committed tax evasion. The IRS can’t catch the tax scam artists but they go after folks who are honest. The IRS should focus on people like Mitt. IMO

    • I agree with everything you said and you stated an excellent reason for wanting to see his tax returns. I did not touch on Romney’s elitist motivations but that is certainly part of the reason Romney does not want to release his returns. People like Romney don’t know what real work is.


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