Why Won’t Romney Release More Tax Returns

The Question Unceasingly
The Question Unceasingly

The longer Willard refuses to comply with presidential election tradition and release multiple years of tax returns, observers are going to wonder: what is in those documents that is so damning?

John Cassidy of the New Yorker speculates:

three well known Republican pundits—Bill Kristol, George Will, and Matthew Dowd—all criticized Mitt Romney for not releasing more of his tax returns.

“He should release the tax returns tomorrow: it’s crazy,” Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “You gotta release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two.” Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Will, the veteran columnist, agreed, saying, “If something going to come out, get it out in a hurry.” And Dowd, who was the chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, said Romney’s refusal to release returns for the years prior to 2010 was a sign of his “arrogance.”

With even prominent Republicans saying that his current stance is unsustainable, the obvious question to ask is: Why is the Mittster being so obstinate? He surely isn’t standing on principle, for what principle would that be? The notion that very rich men running for President shouldn’t have to disclose as much information about their personal finances as less wealthy candidates?

It’s only fair to assume that Mitt is doing what he always does: acting on the basis of a careful cost-benefit analysis. Will’s comments on this were spot on: “The cost of not releasing the returns are clear,” he said. “Therefore, [Romney] must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.” But what information could the earlier tax returns contain that would be so damaging if it were brought out into the open? Obviously, we are entering the realm of speculation, but Romney has invited it. Here are four possibilities:

(click here to continue reading Why Won’t Romney Release More Tax Returns? : The New Yorker.)

There Might Be Prizes
There Might Be Prizes

What could be contained in his returns? A few guesses:

  • Insane wealth? Maybe much more than Willard has admitted in his election paperwork? Or that he makes millions, still, from the various Bain entities?
  • Offshore money laundering and tax evasion? Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island non-taxable entities and so on? Or should I say, more than are known?
  • Investments in non-evangelical approved companies? Like fetus disposals, sweatshops, and worse? Or helping Mexican drug cartels launder money?
  • Negative tax? i.e., a tax rate lower than zero, or close to zero. Massively wealthy corporations like ExxonMobile and General Electric have creative accountants and tax lawyers, and some years pay less than zero in taxes, perhaps Willard has done the same.
  • Residency issues? Like claiming he lived in Utah instead of Massachusetts?
  • Not tithing ten percent to the Mormon Church? Or giving money to an even wackier religion, like Scientology? 
  • Nothing at all  – it’s all just a smokescreen, and a trap for Obama? Playing of the Dan Rather – Texas National Guard story from the 2004 election

What do you think it could be?

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