Probably not, since Senate Majority leader Harry Reid’s most recent thunder-bolt on Mitt Romney’s taxes is still in the forefront of the election fight. Word is that the GOP is in a bind over trying to explain away Reid’s accusations, giving them too much credibility, or ignoring them and assuming the assumption of guilt. It seems that Reid has a creditable source that claims that Romney did not pay any taxes for 10 years. Romney denies this; Reid stands by his statement.
|Nevada Senator Harry Reid|
Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone insists that the Senator’s source is creditable. He says he knows the person and would have stepped in and said something to Reid if not. Mitt Romney tells Harry to put up or shut up on his source. Reid says this whole thing can be solved by the candidate releasing 12 years of tax returns, like his father George did in 1967, setting a precedent that most presidential candidates have followed for years. Obama says it’s between Reid and Romney.
But why is Romney refusing to release any additional years of taxes if he has nothing to hide. That is, if there are any tax returns to release. John McCain says Romney released over 20 years of tax returns to him when vetted for vice president; does that alone establish the fact that he did pay taxes? McCain adds that he saw nothing that would have disqualified him as a running mate. This also comes from the man who chose Sarah Palin over Romney for VP.
|The elder, George Romney|
Edward Kleinbard and Peter Canellos are well known, respected law scholars and tax experts and they comment: “Either Romney has an unresolved father figure issue, or he has some special reason not to follow a tradition established by his father.” They claim by his actions, “…Mitt Romney appears to have exempted himself from the proud bipartisan tradition of presidential nominees displaying genuine financial candor with the electorate.” We must admit, it does look suspicious, considering also Bain Capital and all his foreign investments.
Kleinbard and Canellos charge that it isn’t current tax returns that will reveal the information necessary to judge the man, it’s what he did on his taxes in the past before he decided to run for president that matters. And they think that a man with his financial stature should certainly have avoided “tax skeletons in his closet.” K & C take it further in stating that basing Romney’s finances on only one return leaves the American public with “troubling” results.
When talking about the 2010 return, K & C say that “…when combined with his FEC disclosure, reveals red flags that raise serious tax compliance questions with respect to his possible tax minimization strategies in earlier years.” These include Romney’s Swiss bank accounts, a $100 million IRA that had “remarkable” growth, a question of gift tax on family trusts, the 2010 tax return itself, and Romney’s “extraordinarily low effective tax rate. This limited loophole costs the
billions of dollars annually. U.S.