How Bad Are Romney’s Tax Returns?

THURSDAY UPDATE: Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez was a bad surrogate for himself. Romney’s campaign might want to find someone else to respond to stuff like this, as Fox 31’s  Eli Stokols reports:

Six years ago, Beauprez’s campaign demanded that his primary opponent, Marc Holzman, come clean with his own tax returns, even though Beauprez didn’t recall that when asked about it on Wednesday.

“We might have,” Beauprez said. “I don’t think I cared much about it because I knew we were going to win. But the campaign might have called for that.”



Yesterday we pondered the question of how long Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney can continue to refuse to release tax returns beyond what little he has offered to this point. The obvious conclusion to make here is that there are things in those tax returns that are potentially very damaging to Romney — why else would he just stand there and take blow after blow when he could stop the questions whenever he wants?

As The Huffington Post reports today, maybe his tax returns really are that bad:

Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.

Bain executives say they’ve been instructed to keep company and Romney-specific information completely confidential, tightening the lockdown on an already closed company.

But pressure has been building on the presumptive GOP nominee. On Tuesday, the conservative National Review added its voice to a chorus of Republicans pushing him to disclose his returns from the years before 2010…

…A variety of possible explanations for Romney’s refusal to release the returns have flowed into the information vacuum. The Obama campaign has floated the notion that maybe he payed no taxes at all in some years. Others have wondered if he was part of the Swiss tax evasion scandal of 2009.

It seems clear that Romney isn’t going to be able to just refuse to release his returns and hope people stop asking for them. But maybe the alternative is just too risky for his campaign to ponder.

What say you, Polsters? What is in Romney’s tax returns that is so dangerous to his campaign?

45 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. thiokuutoo says:

    The longer this goes on the more it raises questions about illegal activity. Fifth Amendment protects about self-incrimination and IRS tax laws require the reporting of all income. Right now the only thing this 1% has not said is “5th Amendment”.

  2. ParkHill says:

    We don’t want the tax returns released before the convention. If they are that bad, the Republican Party might choose somebody else.

    Obviously, the tax returns will show HUUUGE income, and probably minimal taxes.

    As I said in another post, the IRS Audit statute of limitations for 2009 runs out in October. So, perhaps there is some really fishy stuff in there.  

    • Back2theFuture says:

      If Romney had to bow out before the convention, the whole thing would devolve into a freak show of epic proportions. Imagine what would happen when the Ron Paul gang asserts their muscle in an open forum with no leader. No laws govern, no precedent leads, no sanity in sight.

      We’re talking entertainment money can’t buy!!

  3. Dark Cloud says:

    Mitt Romney has shown promise as the worst, absolutely worse politician of all time. His only attraction to anyone is that he’s white, moneyed, probably has no skeletons in the bedroom closet, handsome, and has hairy arms.

    He’s so protected from the media, and such a doofus on his own, with such a condescending set of facial expressions, that it’s entirely possible he’s got a lot to hide in his taxes and they don’t trust him to wing it in defense, and he’d have to do that live on camera, not his chosen venue.  

    On the other hand, if he has nothing to hide, and this is someone who could afford smart heads about him, they might milk this as far as they can, then say ‘okay’, but “over my objections”, and present squeaky clean, responsible tax returns.  

    They do this so that it would damage Obama, prove for the first time that at least one politician is honest and stuck to his guns about privacy and all that.  That would make the Democrats and Obama look like liars by implication and virtually everyone would want to be in Romney’s shoes then, having flushed out and embarrassed the worst in the media and negated Obama’s genial, responsible image.

    Romney has so little going for him, and they must dread the debates, that this would be a plausible line of attack.

    But he’s such a schmuck, liar, posturing proto-male, and King of the Chickenhawks that I doubt he could pull it off. He’s alarmingly ‘not there’, and only seems enthused the closer he gets to channeling George Wallace and white supremacists, not a stretch for a 65 year old Mormon.  

    • Aristotle says:

      Anything is possible, but I’ve never heard of a politician hiding good news to spring as a gotcha.

    • VanDammer says:

      first, the IRA in place at Bain during Mitt’s tenure had a $30,000 annual cap so the math just ain’t there.  What seems possible is that he devalued a Bain investment fund down to pennies and rolled that stock into the IRA.  Then Shazaam! that fund suddenly took off inflating Mitt’s IRA beyond imaginable & the $60,000 avg amount.

      Or did Mitt use blocker corporation as a paper/shell company set-up would help him avoid taxes by counting income from investments as investment dividends.  

      Just what did he do?  Mitt’s taxes are not squeaky clean and he’s not gonna come out of this shit-grinning with a halo hanging over that perfect coif. Mitt gamed the system and it sure is gonna be fun to find out how.

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        2) issue 10 million shares of that company with you as the sole owner

        3) transfer those shares into an IRA

        4)pump millions of dollars into those shares after the IRA is valuated at one penny

        Presto. The man is a walking fucking loophole.

      • mev says:

        1. Create deals with both a-class and l-class shares.  Structure it so the a-class are very high risk and high return and value the a-class shared at low valuation.

        2. Invest money from the IRA into the a-class and from after-tax funds into the l-class.

        3. Watch the a-class grow by multiple times and sell them.

        4. Go back to step #1, repeating multiple times.

        5. Take the taxable fund shares and put them offshore to avoid US taxes.

        6.  Pass along assets to heirs at very low valuations to avoid gift taxes and inheritance taxes.

    • dmindgo says:

      because I find it hard to believe they are this stupid otherwise.

      But I’ve been wrong before.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      But the skeptic in me says that money from Bain during those outsourcing years isn’t going to add up with his insistence that he didn’t have anything to do with the company that was 100% owner of.

      OFA should just keep hitting the Bain connection because he is already on record for being the CEO/President/Owner during that period.  At this point they win either way on the tax returns.  Withhold the them and he looks like a shifty fellow.  Release the tax returns and it will open up all kinds of new questions that will keep him on the defensive.

  4. caroman says:

    The IRS offered amnesty in 2009 for fraudulent nondisclosure of offshore income.  Perhaps Romney has taken advantage of that amnesty program.  Ouch.

    He was also probably receiving large salary payments after 1999 until he “retroactively resigned” in 2002.  We already know that he received “more than $100,000” in salary.  So, how much were those salaries and did he actually do nothing to earn those salaries?

  5. caroman says:

    Bain Capital conducted thorough due diligence before it invested in any company.  That due diligence would have required inspection of the company’s tax returns for at least five years, and probably more.  

    Romney’s refusal to release more than the 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011 would have disqualified him by Bain’s own standards.

  6. Aristotle says:

    Also, he had demanded Marc Holzman release his tax returns in 2006. Courtesy of Eli Stokels:

    When he was running for the GOP nomination in Colorado’s 2006 governor’s race, former Congressman Bob Beauprez’s campaign demanded that his primary opponent release his tax returns.

    Now, as a top surrogate for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who’s under fire for refusing to release more than two years of incomplete tax returns, Beauprez appears to have changed his tune.

    “Romney has released not only everything required by law,” Beauprez told reporters at a Romney campaign press conference Wednesday.

    “He’s released exactly what John McCain released four years ago. In addition to that, he’s released over 500 pages of personal financial information. For heaven’s sakes, how much more do you want?[Ari’s emphasis]

  7. Barron X says:


    Some years ago, he came to me with a deal.  

    He didn’t need my help; he was repaying a favor.

    We invested in this Mid-East oil project, something about modifying a cracking plant to reduce sulfur content.  

    I’m not really into all that technical stuff.

    About halfway through, all of a sudden we had this short-term liquidity problem.  

    He was busy, running the Olympics or something, so I said I’d sort it out.  

    I was able to get a real good deal on a Pakistani nuclear weapon that had been custom built for this persnickety client who wanted it to weigh under 40 pounds, including the lead shielding.  

    Well, of course NOBODY in Asia was building nuclear devices that small back then.  

    AQ Khan had over-promised, and the client rejected it on delivery.

    Now, I had to go into the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan to retrieve this thing, and that was quite tricky.  

    But I picked it up for a song.  

    I then resold it to the organization that owned the refinery where our equipment was installed, on Kharg Island.  

    Unfortunately, I failed to scrub Mitt’s involvement from the paper trail.  So now it looks like he had business dealings with Osama bin-Laden, the Pakistani nuclear industry AND the Ayatollah in Tehran.  

    In truth, he had nothing to do with any of this.  I did it all on my own, and only told him about it after it was fait accompli.  

    If my dear friend Mitt eventually DOES release his tax records, including this deal that netted us over $80,000,000, I’m afraid that it might keep him from winning the White House.

    I sure hope this information doesn’t get out.  

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    I do agree there’s some very bad news in these returns. But I think the other reason Romney is holding them back is that for 20 years he’s gotten his way – on everything. That creates an emotional certainty that if you tell people something is not going to be done, then they acquiesce.

    If Mitt in his gut is figuring that it’s either release bad news or tell everyone to move on – they will. He’ll go with the tell everyone to move on.

    What is making this worse is 20 years of always being told yes sir.

    • Barron X says:


      I mean, that would make him the only Republican able to stand up to Adelson, the Kochs, and the Chinese and tell them “no.”  


      now I’m certain that he’ll not buckle.  and it will benefit his campaign immensely.

      Except that this has already blown over, yesterday’s news.  move on, nothing to see here.  

    • dmindgo says:

      good point and this is the thing about campaigns:  how the candidate deals with problems that come up tell us more about that candidate than the actual problem or position on issues.

  9. PERA hopeful says:

    That’s the only thing I can think of.  I don’t know why they’d be in his tax returns (maybe to support a deduction for a special goat lubricant?), but it seems like the obvious explanation to me.

  10. BlueCat says:

    Feel free to jump in any time here.  You’ve had the whole week to get your talking points and you’ve been active on other threads. Borg still silent on this stuff?  

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Working all your life for some firm that then outsources, means you are a loser whereas being the pioneer that outsources those American jobs overseas, and then stashing all the profits gained from those others’ pain, overseas so as to avoid paying taxes, is ‘job creating.’  And we hate job creating because we are Democratics.    

  11. Gilpin Guy says:

    It’s got to be a bundle.

  12. caroman says:

    I bet he’s afraid of the LDS Church learning that the donations he made don’t equal 10% of his income, when you include the income from Switzerland, the Caymans, Bermuda, etc.

    He’s more afraid of the Mormons than the IRS.

  13. Gray in Mountains says:

    for everyone with a Swiss acct. Mitt did NOT release that form when he released what he claimed was his entire 2010 return. Lie #___

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