Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tommy, Ryan And Mitt: Disclosure Resisters

"R" is for Republican, but when it comes to full disclosure by Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, "R" is for resister.

*  Tommy won't release his tax returns, and [update] offers a percentage figure instead that raises more questions than it answer.

*  Romney and Ryan, other than two years' worth, won't disclose more.

*  Ryan finally admitted that he indeed sought Obama stimulus funds after first denying that he had.

No wonder there is pressure on Romney to release more tax returns.

His assurances about fair taxes paid are undercut by Ryan's coming clean on seeking stimulus program funding- - a program he'd blasted for political purposes - - and also by Ryan's amnesia about a family trust.

Ann Romney's statement that releasing additional returns would only provide the opposition with more "ammunition" raises fresh suspicions about tax payments, and about income, and about deductions used to reach bottom line obligations.

I'm surprised Ryan, Romney and Tommy are giving Democrats campaign freebies made exceptionally relevant by the rough economy.

And in a campaign where Republican candidates are backing plans to give more tax breaks to upper-income filers - - like Ryan, Ryan and Tommy.

These pols know politics ain't beanbag, but do they really think hide-and-seek is a better game?


Reagan's Disciple said...

What is the infatuation with an individual's personal records?

Anonymous said...

The more of them that refuse the more quickly it becomes the new normal. One news cycle and Republican politicians will be telling us that they have answered that question to the satisfaction of most Americans.Meanwhile, Ann Romney's statement assures us that Mitt is hiding something.

Anthony Hopper said...

I don't think this issue will sway any voters one way or the other in the end.

Anonymous said...

See....Tax records? We don't need to see no stinkin' tax records. Here is the thing RD: I want to know if a potential leader of the free world has declared all of his income (as is the law), is free of potential conflicts of interest while in elected office, and can identify with people like me. Obama released 10 years of tax returns for me to look over. Because of that, I know a little more about him. He isn't hiding anything. What is Mitt hiding? How did Ryan forget a $1-$5 million inheritance from his mother-in-law ( I know my spouse would remember the death of his/her own mother), and why are YOU, a voter so incurious about the people you are going to be voting for?

MR. TAX MAN said...

A man is defined by his tax returns.

Anonymous said...

Show us your birth cert....oops I mean tax returns. Did he really pay his taxes? Is he an American?


His stance looks “unsustainable,” the website said, and “in all likelihood, he won’t be able to maintain a position that looks secretive and is a departure from campaign conventions. The only question is whether he releases more returns now, or later.

With other conservatives piling on, Romney finds himself in a tax trap that is partially of his own making.

“Why they didn’t release more of this material a year ago is confusing to me,” says Mike Murphy, a veteran GOP consultant who has worked for Romney in the past. “But we’re reaching a tipping point in which the press is showing a double standard. The press has so bought into the class-warfare narrative—even though there are lots of millionaires in the U.S. Senate—that harping on this issue in an almost obsessive way betrays a little bias.”

Even if the media are piling on—and it’s hard to avoid the story when Obama and all his surrogates are pounding it day after day—the net result is that the Romney team is on the defensive, day after day. Whatever message he wants to deliver has been drowned out by the drumbeat.

Taxes aren't Romney's only problem. Watch his poorly received NAACP speech.

“This is a tactic by the Obama campaign to change the topic,” says John Brabender, the chief strategist for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign. “Romney should say, ‘I’m not going to let them do that, and any time you hear the word ‘tax,’ I’m going to say ‘this guy gave us the biggest tax increase in history,’” referring to Obamacare.

“We’re reaching a tipping point in which the press is showing a double standard.”
Romney is caught between two unpleasant outcomes. If he sticks to his guns, he will continue to get hammered day after day—perhaps through November—for hiding his finances, with all kinds of speculation about what damaging information might be contained therein. If he caves and puts out more returns beyond the one year he’s already released, he gives the Obama camp lots of raw material to feast upon—but has a shot at taking the hit and moving on."

Anonymous said...

"Romney is caught between two unpleasant outcomes. If he sticks to his guns, he will continue to get hammered day after day—perhaps through November—for hiding his finances, with all kinds of speculation about what damaging information might be contained therein. If he caves and puts out more returns beyond the one year he’s already released, he gives the Obama camp lots of raw material to feast upon—but has a shot at taking the hit and moving on.

What’s striking is that a number of prominent commentators on the right agree—and their views can’t be so easily dismissed.

“He should release the tax returns tomorrow,” Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol said on Fox News on Sunday. “It’s crazy. You’ve got to release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns.”

And George Will was withering on ABC: “Oh, Mitt Romney is losing at this point in a big way. If something's going to come out, get it out in a hurry. I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest.”

Of course, most righty pundits rooted against Romney in the primaries. Still, there’s a note of incredulousness in these comments: How on earth did a man who ran for president four years ago allow himself to get boxed in like this? After all, voters already know Romney is a wealthy guy with tax shelters. Is what’s in the past returns so bad that it is worth this kind of drubbing?

What’s more, Romney has been through this before, at the hands of Republicans. During a primary debate, Newt Gingrich said: “If there’s anything in [the returns] that is going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination.... And if there’s nothing in there—if there’s nothing in there, why not release it?” After vowing not to do so, Romney relented and put out one year’s return—sparking unfavorable comparisons with his father, George, who released 12 years’ worth when he ran for president in 1968.

Now he’s waging the same war under an even more intense spotlight.

“The Romney campaign has come to the conclusion they can fight this with the Obama camp with hand-to-hand guerrilla warfare," Brabender says. “It totally takes you off-message. He needs to provide a better picture of what the future will be like under Romney. Obama has made this a referendum on a mediocre president vs. The Man, and people like to stick it to The Man.”

One thing is abundantly clear as the negative headlines pile up during the dog days of July: The Man needs to change the narrative, and fast. "

IRS said...

"Nature abhors a vacuum, so Mitt Romney's refusal to release tax returns for any year prior to 2010 has freed people like me to speculate about what he might be hiding.

[See the latest Mitt Romney political cartoons.]

As many suspect, it could be that Romney's pre-2010 returns entail even more Swiss accounts, offshore havens and other artful tax dodges that might be unbecoming for a presidential candidate. But maybe we don't know Mitt Romney as well as we think. It's also possible that his undisclosed tax returns reveal that:

Romney's not so rich after all. What if Romney had a few down years and earned, say, only $2 million or $3 million instead of the $21 million he took home in 2011? That might make him seem like more of a regular guy to voters, but it could wreck his reputation at the country club(s). The wealthy work hard to seem even richer than they really are, taking on gobs of debt to buy mansions and Maseratis and relying on OPM (other people's money) whenever possible to suppory their lavish lifestyles. Romney's net worth is supposedly more than $200 million, but if he turned out to be a poseur worth far less, the .01 percent would never stop snickering.

He deducted charitable contributions to Planned Parenthood. Romney was considered a supporter of abortion rights when he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002. Then, he officially switched his stance in 2005. Now, as a Republican who needs conservative support, he insists he is firmly a pro-life candidate. But who knows how he really feels? If there's any record of Romney donating to liberal groups, conservatives' worst fears would be confirmed.

[Mitt Romney's secret weapon: Tax havens for all!]

He lost money on dumb investments. Romney portrays himself as a savvy businessman, but what if he lost money by doubling down on Lehman Brothers in 2008 or investing with Bernie Madoff or helping bankroll the Speed Racer remake? Suddenly he'd look overconfident and gullible, like any other ordinary fool.

He owned Toyota stock when he wrote, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." That was the headline of an op-ed article Romney penned for the New York Times in November 2008, when he was a private citizen. What if Romney had investments in companies that would have benefited from the demise of General Motors and Chrysler, which survived thanks to government bailouts? It would reveal what Romney really learned from having a father who ran a Detroit car company—invest in the competition.

He deducted expenses for cosmetic surgery. Romney could have plausibly claimed that he needed teeth whitening, hair thickening or facial elongation to make himself a viable political candidate. After all, he has promised to do practically anything to defeat Barack Obama.

[See 3 myths about Mitt Romney and the rich.]

The Romney kids are professional layabouts. They certainly have a wholesome, all-American look, but all five Romney kids are also rich trust-funders who probably never have to work if they don't want to. The less voters know about that, the better.

The Romneys have bad taste in art. A lot of rich people collect art, and their holdings sometimes show up as capital gains or losses when they buy or sell. What if tax returns show that Romney collects velvet Elvis renderings or paintings of dogs playing poker? Even lowbrow voters know there's no place for kitsch in the White House.

Seamus the dog once had a blind trust. This might have been Romney's way of absolving his guilt over strapping the Irish setter to the roof of the car for that infamous family vacation in 1983. Dog lovers might applaud, but still. "

Anonymous said...

Really Anthony? I think the issue will sway voters if Romney and/or Ryan are indicted for tax fraud. Just sayin...

Boxer said...

Ritchie Rich Ro-money keeps telling us what a patriot he is. Prove it by showing us how you supported this country and the several wars that were being fought over the last 10 years by paying at least your fair share in taxes. It's not that complicated.

At least Ann Romney was honest in saying why the release of additional tax returns wouldn't be forthcoming: due to giving their enemies ammo. We can accurately assume there are some big bombs buried within. She also blew up whatever sympathy vote she might have gained for Mitt.

Imagine for a moment, Michelle Obama giving the same interview: Angry Black Woman! Defensive Michelle! Bad Mother! Sleeveless dress! Michelle Cracked on Taxes!