Posts Tagged ‘Tax Returns’

Romney’s Tax Returns Revisited

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

How Credible?

Let me begin by saying that the veracity of the people involved in “reporting” this story is suspect, and as a consequence, I am bringing the story to you on the assumption that it is probably garbage. Nevertheless, if it should turn out to have some basis in fact, it would be an electoral disaster for the GOP if disclosed in late October, for instance, and having encountered it, I would be remiss if I failed to at least mention it.  Catherine Crier, who I don’t see as a particularly credible source, was on the race-baiting moron’s show(Al Sharpton) on MSNBC.  She admitted it was sheer speculation, but I bring it to your attention precisely because this is the sort of thing about which many conservatives have worried with respect to Mitt Romney’s candidacy.  We’ve been told he’s “squeaky clean,” and that may well be the case, but the Democrats are driving at this Tax Return disclosure business relentlessly.  Crier suggests that Mitt Romney might have been one of those who took amnesty in order to stay out of legal jeopardy back in 2009, when Barack Obama put the IRS on the trail of Americans with undisclosed Swiss bank accounts.

What I found peculiar at the time was the focus on a single banking entity.  When the government does something of that sort, they’ve either been tipped-off, or they have a specific target in mind.  Of course, we are talking about Catherine Crier, appearing as a guest on Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton’s show on MSNBC, which is to say that it isn’t exactly iron-clad, and Crier in no way offered a source, but the theory was advanced on Slate on Tuesday and over at the ludicrous HuffingtonPost as well. HuffPo is continuing its coverage as I write this.

Here’s video of Crier on Sharpton’s circus(H/T Mediaite):


Let us imagine for a moment that all of this were true.  What would it mean to the elections?  If disclosed now, I don’t see how Romney would avoid withdrawing from the campaign.  If disclosed post-convention, this would simply cause the end of the GOP’s hopes of capturing the Presidency in 2012, and would almost certainly ruin the down-ballot prospects of retaking the Senate or strengthening in the House, with Romney going down to flaming defeat.  If disclosed after a Romney victory, it would dog him throughout his Presidency, and the Democrats would spend the entirety of his term agitating for his impeachment.  Of course, Democrats would do that in any case, but there’s no sense giving them ammunition.

As is clear, conservatives should view this allegation with the appropriate skepticism.  The source of the information is far too unreliable to be taken all that seriously, never mind at face value.  Still, it should be a concern, and it is one of the reasons that early in the primary season, I was pushing for the disclosure of Romney’s tax returns.  He ultimately provided two years, being the 2011 and 2010 returns.  The return that would reveal whether he had been one of those accepting an amnesty deal from the IRS would have been from 2009, so we do not know with certainty.

We also know the Democrats want ammunition to use against Romney, and that in part, this demand for more years of tax returns is primarily a fishing expedition, and an attempt to get him to disclose that which might hurt him.  He doesn’t need to have done anything illegal, but simply something Democrats can paint as morally questionable or hypocritical.   That would be enough to severely damage the Romney campaign.  That said, I wouldn’t be inclined to comply with the Democrats’ demands for additional disclosures, particularly if I hadn’t anything to do with the allegations Crier tried to imply.  Here is the problem, however, and it is the only nugget in all of this that would suggest there could be some actual smoke, if not fire:  Back in January, when Romney disclosed his 2010 return, it included a disclosure of a Swiss bank account.  That account was indeed with UBS, the bank that had been examined and bullied by the IRS into disclosing some 4,400 American customers. BusinessInsider is now carrying the story, and they’re pushing it further still.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I urged the release of Romney’s returns following his father’s example, way back in January.  If there is any connection here, Romney might well be able to conceal it a while, but I would fully expect this to become Obama’s “October surprise,” his last hole-card.  Even if it were true, Romney wouldn’t have violated any laws, because he would have accepted the amnesty to avoid legal consequences, but I must also say that if he actually has this problem, and if Obama’s campaign leaks it to the press in the closing days of the campaign, Mitt Romney will not be elected.  There will be no time to spin it, soften it, or clear up the fact that he had ultimately complied with the law.  Instead, it would be a 24×7, non-stop “Breaking: Romney is a Crook,” with the media fairly jeering on Obama’s behalf, and the Obama administration would have its second term.

This explains why the Democrats are on this fishing expedition, but then again, if it is true, the Obama campaign already has that information, and is sitting on it for the big ambush in late October.  I can understand why Governor Romney wouldn’t want to disclose his tax returns, even if he had done absolutely nothing wrong, but the problem here is that if it were true, and if such a disclosure were to occur late in the campaign, we would have no viable horse for this race, and we will see Obama destroying the country another four years.  Of course, Governor Romney doesn’t need to release his entire 2009 tax return. In my view, if he wants to answer any question, this would be it: “Did you accept amnesty under the 2009 Voluntary Disclosure Program?”  Naturally, even if he answers “no,” there are those who will play up the “denial,” but here’s the other problem:  Given the sorely lacking credibility of the sources in this story, and on the highly dubious proposition that Romney does has some “splainin’ to do” with respect to this so-far unfounded accusation, should Obama catch him out in late October, the Republican Party will burn, and I will be among those wielding torches.

When you consider all of this, you might wonder why I’d report it at all, but my reasoning is simple:  The Republican Party has exhibited a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and with all that is at stake in this election, I’m now accustomed to being disappointed by the GOP establishment.  With all of my friends who have swallowed their pride and grudgingly gone along with Romney for the sake of defeating Obama, if Mitt blows it now over something like this, there will be literal Hell to pay.  I am in no way willing to take the word of this collection of leftist ghouls for anything, but ladies and gentlemen, trust Mitt Romney if you please, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this.  I fully recognize the Obama campaign’s desire to trap Romney with this, but I also know that if there’s anything to it, I don’t want my readers to be blind-sided in October.  If Romney can refute this, he should, because while it would never alleviate the clamor in the press, it would at least put at ease the minds of those he expects to support him in November.

 

Advertisements

Would Romney Release His Tax Returns if He Had Won SC? – Video

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Lack of Foresight?

On Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Mitt Romney said he would release his 2010 and 2011 tax returns in the coming week. This is a sudden reversal for Romney, who had said he would hold off on releasing the returns until April.  This issue dogged Romney in South Carolina, and it caused many to wonder if he had something to hide.  The question Americans should be asking themselves in the wake of this reversal is simply: “Had Romney won in South Carolina, instead of losing by a double-digit margin, would he be releasing his tax returns this week, or would we still be waiting until April?”  The calamitous decision by the Romney campaign to withhold the returns until April brought non-stop negative press to their efforts in South Carolina, and while it’s clear that they’re now changing in order to stop the bleeding, what Team Romney misses is that it wasn’t the tax returns that skewered them.

Here’s the interview:

The thing that made this issue stick was the obvious reluctance of the Romney campaign to disclose now what they had already said they would disclose eventually anyway.  Voters wondered, “Why wait?” Republican voters had some justification in believing that he might be concealing something that he wouldn’t mind disclosing later, after securing the nomination, but might become a real obstacle to the nomination itself.  In short, the base of the Republican party wondered what might be revealed by the returns that they would find objectionable.

The other problem is that Team Romney permitted this issue to fester to an extent that was unreasonable. When Romney said “maybe” in answer to whether he would follow his father’s example during Thursday’s Debate, it became a serious impediment to him.  It take on the look of a stall, and a dodge, or another Romney vacillation.  This kind of thing can be prevented from becoming a monstrous, self-defeating issue by early disclosure.  When the issue began to erupt, they should never have let the Thursday night debate commence without having committed to releasing the returns before Saturday’s primary.

This signifies something about the Romney campaign to which voters will pay particular attention: Romney really has no sense of how to get out ahead of issues of this sort, leaving them to smolder instead of leading with a fire extinguisher.  It may be that their campaign has become “too smart by half.” Campaigns are a fluid progression of events, and the desire to force a certain outcome without respect to the changes in the media coverage suggests that for all its vaunted money and organization, the Romney campaign is simply too inflexible and too intractable when events demand an agile reaction to changes in the facts confronting them.

I’m afraid that the belated reversal merely typifies the Romney approach to politics: Say or disclose as little as possible, until there’s no choice, with the delay resulting in another needless black eye.  This is also the reason that after nearly six years of campaigning for the presidency, the American people still don’t have a clear sense of who Mitt Romney is at his core.  Standing back to view it in this way, it is astonishing to realize that in the period between losing the nomination to McCain in 2008, and the beginning of this nomination cycle in 2011, Mitt Romney did very little to introduce himself to the American people.  He remained largely invisible, and did not come out to support conservative issues in the interim to any substantial degree, although he did make a number of endorsements in the run-up to the midterm elections in 2010.  Still, one would think he’d have been more aggressive, and more visible.

At the end of this tax return controversy, the truly dumb approach of the Romney campaign is now clear: They will now release what they should have released weeks ago, and all the obfuscation will have accomplished is to deliver their own black eye.  That sort of thinking is not going to work in the general election campaign, when a more nimble Obama campaign will exploit this staid, almost stodgy approach of Team Romney for many more public relations disasters. I believe this is one more reason the Obama campaign will be only too happy to face Romney as the GOP nominee: His feet are encased in the concrete of a decisive commitment to institutionalized indecision. It simply will not play, and the Obama campaign knows it.

Conservative voters in Florida should take notice that it was only the black eye of the defeat in South Carolina that prompted Romney’s campaign to release the tax returns, but this fact should offer a warning:  What kind of president would Mitt Romney be if in order to get him to simply do the right thing, we conservatives are confronted with having to defeat him, or force his hand?  Will that redound to the successful advancement of the conservative agenda?  Conservatives would be right to doubt it.

Conservative Revolt Under Way?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Conservatives Ready to Stomp RINOs?

After Monday nights Fox News GOP Debate in South Carolina, it seems that a fair number among the conservative base of the GOP is on the cusp of open revolt against the party establishment that keeps shoving Mitt Romney down our throats.  His insistence on delaying disclosure of his tax returns until April signifies the fact that he has some weakness there he doesn’t want exposed until after he expects to have the nomination locked up, but he didn’t even firmly commit to that time-frame.  This is something we must demand of all the GOP candidates.  None should escape our examination.  The last thing we need is a candidate with warts that will be exposed later, once nominated, that will cost us the election and shaft us with another four years of Barack Obama.

It’s bad enough that the party establishment has pushed up the schedule in the early states in order to close off debate sooner, but I don’t think they planned on this reaction by the base.  People are now starting to ask: “Hey, what’s in those tax returns” or “why are we being told this guy is inevitable?”  As this goes on, it’s becoming clear that there is a portion of the media, even non-traditional media, that is pushing certain polls at us relentlessly showing Romney way ahead, while the truth on the ground in South Carolina and elsewhere may be something else entirely.

Suddenly the “inevitable” emperor has no clothes, and people are beginning to seriously questions Romney’s electability.  The entire question of his tax returns is an indictment, and while some pro-Romney hacks are trying to dismiss that as some sort of attack on capitalism, it has become clear that this is now their canned defense for any criticism. You can’t talk about Romney’s stammering answer on disclosing his tax returns in the name of transparency and openness without somebody trying this lame defense of Romney.  This has nothing to do with capitalism, and everything to do with Romney’s willingness to submit to inspection by the people from whom he wants financial and voting support.

Is the conservative revolt now getting under way?  Is it too little, too late?  Will Romney succeed in stealing this nomination process with the assistance of a willing media establishment?  Time will tell, but I have begun to notice that many people are no longer taking this sitting down. Rise, conservatives! Rise Tea Party! Say “No” to candidates who will not disclose their tax documents!  The New York Times, in crediting Sarah Palin for pointing out this problem, went on to state the following:

“Mr. Romney also can look to his own father, George. He released a dozen years of tax returns when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 1968, leading Richard Nixon to follow suit.”

I will not vote for any candidate who refuses to disclose his tax returns.  Nobody should.  This election is too important to the future of the country to wind up stranded in September or October with a damaged candidate who cannot win.  We need to see this information now, before we choose.  It’s our country, and it’s our choice!

Romney Campaign Admits 100,000 Net Jobs Created is False

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Does He Owe Any Explanations?

It should be obvious by now that Governor Sarah Palin’s point about the Romney claim to having created one-hundred thousand jobs while at Bain was on target.  Romney has made this claim, and it’s been a factor to which he points in explaining why you should vote for him.  As it turns out, Palin was smart to raise this, because you can bet the Obama flunkies would hammer him with this in a general election campaign. What is in question is whether Romney’s “100,000 net jobs created” claim is accurate, since it seems not counted in this are all the jobs lost through the activities of Bain.  That’s quite a difference, and the leftist press is already running with it because it shows the impossible claim of Romney to be a falsehood.  It certainly demonstrates Romney’s weakness, and it also shows why Republicans should be careful about the proposition of appointing the former Massachusetts governor who plays so fast and loose with the facts.

Also at stake is this, as the Washington Post article points out:

“Second, it has become increasingly hard to understand how Romney’s personal involvement played a role in creating these jobs, especially years later. He clearly is adding up all the jobs now at the companies that are thriving, arguing these numbers far outweigh the job losses at companies that failed. But as the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, the failure rate one can attribute to Bain Capital changes significantly if one counts five years from an investment or eight years from an investment. ” (emphasis mine.)

The other interesting thing of which Governor  Palin reminded viewers during her Wednesday interview with Hannity is that Romney has yet to release his tax returns, an ordinary practice for those seeking the presidency.  The leftist press is already beginning to gear up to attack Romney on this point, and I think it’s gaining traction as people begin to wonder what Romney might be hiding. There is no law requiring candidates release their tax returns, but the simple fact is that most do and have done so for many years.  The idea that Romney wouldn’t is a bit off-putting, given the way in which he is flinging cash around in the primary campaign season.

I think we need more disclosure on this sort of thing, and not less, and I believe Romney’s claim of 100,000 net jobs created is ultimately going to destroy him if his other flaws don’t.  This is why we have a primary after all: To do the vetting so that we can put up a strong candidate, and under close examination, Romney’s record really isn’t measuring up.  We mustn’t nominate him until he’s willing to fully respond to these questions, irrespective of who the media and the GOP establishment tells us is the “inevitable nominee.”