Romney's Taxes - A Gift That Keeps On Giving
08/19/2012 - 23:54
Douglas Bloomfield

Mitt Romney now says those who think he doesn't pay enough taxes should include his charitable giving - much to his own church and all of it already taken as tax deductions - because that would boost his effective tax rate from 13 percent to above 20 percent.

Does he really think his taxes are a charitable gift to the government?  Is he that arrogant or does he just think we're that gullible?

Romney has steadfastly refused to release more than his full 2010 return and partial returns for 2011.  He also refuses to identify his major fundraisers and bundlers. He and his wife defend their secrecy by insisting the Democrats and the media will only pick over any data they release instead of focusing on the issues. 

Democrats made Romney an offer he could refuse – and did.  Instead of living up to his father's example of releasing 12 years' of return, make it only five and we won't ask for any more, Obama's campaign manager told his opposite number.

No thanks, said the Romneys.

The presumptive GOP nominee said he looked at his past tax returns and he paid about 13 percent a year for the last 10 years, so there's no need to release his them.  How do we know?  Trust me, he said. His wife chimed in that her husband is an honest man so take him at his word and quit pestering him.

One commentator said that response was like the athlete who refused to take a drug test but assured everyone he had never used any illegal substances.

Romney's taxes are not a diversionary tactic.  Politicians of all stripes release theirs because it builds public trust.  Refusal undermines that trust.  What is Romney hiding? 

Did that 13 percent cover only federal income taxes?  Yes, his staff said, trust me. Does that include taxes on real estate holdings, personal property, foreign tax credits?  What about sources of income?  How much has he stashed away in offshore accounts?

He obviously thinks he pays too much because he has proposed cutting taxes on himself and his fellow millionaires even deeper, and his running mate has been pushing a plan, which Romney endorsed, cutting his taxes to about 1 percent.

The longer Romney refuses to open his tax returns the more people will be convinced he has something big to hide and the more doubts voters will have about him.  He could have ended this debate many months ago when his Republican rivals were the ones making the demands.  Now it is the Democrats, and for them his refusal is a gift that keeps on giving.

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This guy said it all:

Mitt Romney does not need to release any more income tax returns. The 2010 return that he did release clearly shows what he has in mind, if he and Paul Ryan have their way.

Romney and Ryan both want to drop the tax rate on interest, dividends and capital gains to zero. They have said this repeatedly. I am not an expert on taxes, far from it, but let's look at just a few items from Mitt's 2010 tax return: $3.3 million in interest, $5 million in dividends and $12.5 million in capital gains. Gee, how about that? All taxed at 15 percent. $.5 million ordinary income from speaking fees, probably taxed at the 35 percent level. His charitable giving was $1.5 million in cash and $1.5 million in non-cash. His taxable rate is said to be 13.9 percent for this year. IF MR. ROMNEY and Mr. RYAN THEIR WISH, MR. ROMNEY WOULD HAVE A TAX RATE OF LESS THAN 1%.

Would you trust someone to run this country, a person that uses every means possible to avoid paying taxes to the Federal and state governments, has numerous off-shore accounts and will not release even 5 years of his tax returns? Who has said many times, in so many words, that he wanted to drop the tax rates to zero on 95 percent of his income, should he become president and has lied about his tax returns before, while running for governor? And took a $77 thousand business deduction for his wife's dancing horse?

Or would you want a person that has released 12 years of tax returns, wants to raise very slightly the top marginal tax rate for the very wealthiest people and leave the tax rate the same for 95 percent of the taxpayers? Is that really a tough question?

Not for me. I am voting for Barack Obama, a man of the people, by the people and for the people.

DAVID M. JUSTICE

The issue is not what tax rate he paid, but rather "did Romney file for tax amnesty in 2009?"

Is Romney a tax scofflaw?

For a nominee to America's highest office, a clear and transparent reporting of his finances should be nothing more than routine.

What the American people deserve is a complete and honest presentation by Romney of how his wealth was accumulated, where it is now invested, what purpose is served by all the various offshore vehicles in which he has an interest and what his financial relationship with Bain Capital has been since his retirement from the company.

These are all factors that go to the heart of his character and values.

Trust, but verify. No verification, no trust.

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