Romney, Bain and Tax Returns – How Long Does He Hold On?

Interesting stuff from our friends at “The Fix“:

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to be steadfast in his refusal to release any more than his last two years of tax returns, a position that has already become a distraction to his presidential campaign and could cause considerably more agita if he doesn’t figure out a better answer – and soon.

“Perception is becoming Romney’s reality and these issues have now risen above mere distractions,” said John Weaver, a Republican consultant and former senior adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R) 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns. “The President has had the worst three months of any incumbent, due to the economy, since George H.W. Bush in 1992, and yet Romney has lost traction among key demographic groups in the vital swing states. He has got to get this behind him or he’s going to face summer definition ala [Bob] Dole and [John] Kerry.”…

…No matter what’s in the tax returns – and our guess is that Romney likely paid very little taxes for several years due to the fact he was not drawing a salary – it can’t be worse than slowly dying a political death of 1,000 cuts as the media (and the Obama campaign) speculate about just why Romney won’t release his returns.

The truth – in politics and in life – is almost always less damaging than what the imagination can conjure. While the tax return debate is a no-win for Romney, he’d be better to lance this political boil once and for all. It’s not going away and if he doesn’t it’s only likely to grow.

What say you, Polsters? If you were advising the Romney campaign, what would you suggest?

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • ArapaGOP says:

      No it hasn’t, say the libs! We’re going to make Romney BLEED for being an American success story. BLEED!

      Like most socialists, it springs from jealously.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        Good thing Sununu came in to rescue things!

      • raymond1 says:

        I’m jealous not of his success, but of his paying a lower tax rate than I do: under 15% in the one year he disclosed — and likely a lot less in the years he’s not disclosing.

        Romney won’t disclose because his tax returns are the best example of how skewed the tax system is:

        – some of the rich pay a ton in taxes, like a small business owner, doctor, or lawyer whose earnings are ordinary income taxed in the 30%s

        – but some of the rich, like Romney, are in loophole-ridden financial fields that let them pull a ton of shenanigans to opt for a 15% capital gains rate and enjoy a ton of other deductions that make our tax system regressive, with Romney & the Bain execs paying a lower rather than the Bain janitors, secretaries, etc.

      • Aristotle says:

        Speaking of socialists, do you know you sometimes sound like you learned your propaganda dissemination skills in a Maoist camp? You must have spent some time on a Shining Path in Peru.

      • parsingreality says:

        Why would I want the moral mantel of being the one that killed many families, their homes, their jobs, all in the name of dressage?  I would be embarrassed almost to the point of suicide.

        It isn’t a matter of WHAT, that he is rich,  It is the HOW he got rich………and that he STILL doesn’t have enough.  

        He’s no Warren Buffet, who I admire greatly.  Why do I? Well, he’s always struck me as just having fun he’s damned good at.  He’s not in it to just hope his dick is bigger than the next 1%’er.  I’m no biographer of WB, but I think he looks for good investment opportunities that don’t include stripping a business of its assets and shipping jobs to India.  Good old fashioned long term profits and maybe increased valuation upon sale.

        WB has already given away most of his wealth to the Gates Foundation.  His kids, while never having to fear the bill collector, are having to make it on their own.  

        And, let’s not forget, he’s a socialist.  OK, I exaggerate.  But he has worked hard, along with Bill Gates Sr., to remedy the very unfair tax code in America.  Famously, that he pays a lower rate than his secretary.

        Warren Buffet, my kinda rich guy.

        Rmoney, everything wrong in the moral sphere.

    • raymond1 says:

      Just today and yesterday is when Repubs have come out of the woodwork to tell Mitt, “disclose the f’ing returns already!”

      In what sense is this blowing over (a) if his own party figures are just now deserting him, and (b) if those party figures are making the judgment that Mitt really really has to put an end to this?

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    One of the years in that span he paid 0 taxes or even got a refund. And did so with tens of millions in income of some kind. The zero will be incredibly damaging.

    He’s going to have to do it, but it’s going to hurt a lot worse than anyone thinks.

  2. MADCO says:

    promise the last 5 years – dump the last 23 years (or whatever McCain got) this Friday and let them get lost in the Olympics and lazy summer days.

    The message immediately becomes why do the D’s or Obama hate capitalism?  So what he (Romney) was a huge success?  Isn’t that what they want for us and our kids : work hard  impersonate cops and follow the rules and inherit well and do better than your parents.

  3. ParkHill says:

    I’m being audited for my 2009 taxes, and the audit has to be accomplished before October when the statute of limitations runs out. If they find a problem, they can extend the audit, PLUS investigate 200

    I think Romney’s taxes have one or more of the following problems:

    (1) Auditable problems

    (2) No taxes and huge income

    (3) Extraordinary, off-shore tax havens.

    (4) All of the above.

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    It will show that the costs of his domestic cleaning services is more than most small businesses gross and his lovely wife is lying through her teeth when she says she is an expert on the plight of working women because she works so hard cleaning those homes in Aspen and California.

    No way he releases anything other than 2011.

  5. CastleMan says:

    Do it now, and deal with any political firestorm that results, and save an opportunity to be elected. If he doesn’t do it, and he wins in November anyway, the problem is going to get worse. Does anyone really think that a sitting president can hide tax compliance issues that, at this point, raise suspicions about evasion, offshore bank accounts, exploitation of the 2009 amnesty, etc.?

    Romney’s political judgment is called into question by his handling of this issue.

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