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View Diary: Romney's tax situation is a telling exemplar (123 comments)

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  •  The diarist's premise is spot on here (8+ / 0-)

    R-Money correctly understands what’s at stake here.

    He knows that releasing his tax returns will have far more damaging ramifications than just the loss of a single election.

    Think about it: This absurd “debate” over tax cuts for millionaires is now decades old. An issue that should have been put to bed once and for all during the Reagan Administration is still being argued thirty years later. How is it that a tax policy that most rational economists long ago discredited as both literally and figuratively bankrupt continues to have life?  Why is it that most low-to-middle income voters won’t reject out of hand any office seeker who even hints at the possibility of reducing the tax burden on the one percent?

    The answer, I think, is simple. The vast majority of us – being mostly low-to-middle income voters – don’t personally know anyone who benefits from these tax breaks. For most of us, the “millionaires” who are the subject of this debate are not real people. Rather, they are hypothetical entities; malleable cartoon figures used to illustrate a particular worldview… depending on which way they happen to be drawn.  

    When we hear the word “millionaires,” many of us on the left conjure up a mental image that looks something like the fat little mustachioed figure from the game “Monopoly.” And when the right talks about millionaires, the hope is that voters will conjure up a mental image of one of those soft-hearted CEOs from “Undercover Boss” – y’know the ones who “create jobs” and learn to really, really love and value their employees by the end of each 60-minute episode.

    So the “tax cuts for millionaires” issue will continue to be viable only so long as our collective knowledge of the millionaires remains largely hypothetical. The public airing of R-Money’s tax returns jeopardizes all that. Not only would seeing those returns finally put a real face to one of the millionaires in question – but it’s a a rather ugly and unlikable face, at that. Worse, it threatens to blow the right’s whole “job creator” line of bullshit out of the water seeing as how many people at least vaguely comprehend that R-Money’s millions were largely amassed through the destruction of jobs – and that no new ones came about as result of the generous tax breaks he received.

    Of course, R-Money understands this. That’s why he’s repeatedly made the claim that releasing his returns would provide “ammunition” to his opponent. That is, for him, an uncharacteristically true statement. But not for those reasons that have been widely speculated. I highly doubt there is some smoking gun of blatant fraud hidden inside. All that’s there is stark documentation that the existing tax code allowed some scumbag billionaire to pay the IRS much less than you do – and who wound up giving nothing back to society for that privilege. As I said earlier, the risk that poses to the enduring “benevolent job creator Myth” is far too great and overshadows the mere winning or losing of a single election. R-Money will happily fall on his sword and forego any hopes of the presidency for the greater good of keeping that Myth alive.

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