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.

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SueInCa
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[img]http://ametia.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/curiosity-sends-first-images-from-mars.jpg?w=300[/img]

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AdLib
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Very funny, Sue!

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bito
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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?

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AdLib
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Indeed, think about the friends and enemies Mitt would have around the world if he became President. We’d have a President who had screwed western nations including the US and Italy while being a benefactor to China and South American dictators.

Bottom line, Mitt could have relationships and investments in foreign countries and serving them could be far more beneficial to him than serving America’s interests.

And when you have a man who clearly shows how dedicated he is to his own greed and profit, America would be in a very dangerous position.

But he won’t win.

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Olderandwiser55
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Olderandwiser55

That was a great article-Bloomberg doing an excellent job.

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bito
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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

That’s a Mormon
While CEO of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney bought a company from Italy’s government and resold it two years later for 25 times as much, earning the enmity of Italian shareholder

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SueInCa
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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.

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2belinda
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2belinda

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.

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Khirad
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AdLib
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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.

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kesmarn
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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.

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Nirek
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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

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