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I hate to beat this topic into the ground, but really, if Romney can't be open and honest with the American people regarding something that should be relatively simple, what can we trust him to be open and honest about?  At this point it is very obvious that he's hiding something that could disqualify his candidacy.  He has no spine, so there is no reason to think this is really a stand on principles.  He'd throw his principles in the toilet and piss on him if he thought it would get him a few more votes.
So with all of that in mind, I thought I would just throw one more idea out there and hopefully someone far smarter and more resourceful than I can either say for sure that this idea just speculation, or that there could be much more to it.
Follow me over the squiggle.

I've seen many different diaries and reports floating around about what could be in Romney's tax returns.  All of it is very entertaining to read, and quite frankly, what's truly there may be even worse that what's currently being talked about.  I've read in many of those diaries that the real issue may be the year 2009 since that is a year that no one has seen.  He's released "most of" 2010, some of 2011, and he gave John McCain's people many years of returns in 2008.  While I agree that there may be something fishy about 2009, it turns out that 2009 is not the only year that no one has seen.
When John McCain was vetting his vice presidential candidates, it would have been roughly July of 2008, or as a matter of rounding, this time of year, four years ago.  That means the 2008 tax return could not have possibly been given to McCain's people.  The year wouldn't have ended for another 5 months, and who knows how far into the year 2009 Romney would have actually filed his tax return after extensions were granted.  Similarly, Romney probably did not have the 2007 return done yet at this point.  He still hasn't completed his 2011 return as of this date in 2012, so why would we believe he had the 2007 return done by this time in 2008?
You may be asking yourself, "So what?" at this point.  First of all, that's now three years of tax returns that no one has seen, not just one.  That is a much bigger black hole that what we've been talking about.  I've also read the speculation about the tax amnesty on the Swiss bank accounts as a theory of why Romney doesn't want anyone to see the 2009 return.  That's a plausible theory, but could there be something in 2007 and 2008 equally as bad?
I'll be the first one to admit that I have no idea, so I started thinking about those years and wondered what could be different about those years that Mitt doesn't want anyone to see them.  As I'm sure you all remember, Mr. Romney was a little busy in both of those year doing something called running for President the first time.  You may also recall that he had a bit of a fundraising problem early on.  I don't remember the exact numbers, but I recall him self-funding something along the lines of $35 million of his 2008 campaign.
We all know that Romney is very protective of his bundlers and he refused to be transparent about who the money people are behind his campaign.  Is it possible that this is the real issue about the tax returns?  If he releases 2007 and 2008, do we find out that the $35 million wasn't really "self-funded".  Did he break campaign finance laws?  Or are there simply some shenanigans on his returns related to the campaign finances?  Maybe he somehow used his losses on the campaign to offset some of his other income?
As I've stated, maybe this is something, maybe it's nothing, but I would certainly bet say $10,000 that neither McCain's people, nor anyone one else, ever had access to his returns from 2007, 2008 and 2009, so they couldn't possible comment about what's in them.  That's three years in play instead of one, and it sure leaves open a lot more possibilities about what Mitt is hiding.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm just wondering, is Romney the only (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spot Cat, notrouble

    presidential candidate that never released his full tax returns?

    Why would anyone vote for him, if he is?

    •  It's been some 40 years (6+ / 0-)

      since his father opened up about his taxes, and that started the "tax transparency" era for major presidential candidates.

      What I find stunning is the contention that Harry Reid has to "put up or shut up" about his grandstanding.  THe only person that can put this issue to pasture is Rmoney himself.

      •  Carter and Ford each released one year (1975) (4+ / 0-)

        As part of the 1976 campaign.

        Jimmy Carter and President Gerald Ford both released their 1975 tax returns and it was noted that an investment tax credit signed into law by Ford resulted in a significant tax windfall for a peanut warehouse owned by Carter.

        http://www.politifact.com/...

        JFK and LBJ did not release their returns.
        •  Carter, ford, and lbj were not nearly as wealthy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          notrouble

          but your point is well taken.  JFK was very wealthy, though not like mitt rMoney.

          But it goes beyond that -- there were not widespread reports that those other guy's wealth was gotten via vulture capitalism nor did they solely run on their business experience.

          Mitt can be shown to be a chronic flip-flopper and habitual liar -- he brought this on himself.  He lies about virtually everything else.  A business/economic genius?  I bet the returns show otherwise, at least in the context of what most Americans will find acceptable.

          There was absolutely no reason to question those other candidates income as coming at the expense of the vast majority of Americans -- buying companies in hostile take-overs, selling off major assets, borrowing off the rest, and driving the firms out-of-business or overseas.  All while taking the money and running, remember, reports are rMoney was a pioneer of this concept.

          I am not old enough to know why that was no issue then, but it wasn't and I have not seen any historical information that anyone really asked for them nor have I seen anything since their terms in office that indicates there was any reason to look at there taxes.

          Mitt rMoney's tax situation, on the other hand, is really really smelly if not fully-covered in BS and it is going to be toxic.  

          Especially after he hypocritically told Harry Reid to "Put up or shut up".

          Now he is going to twist in the breeze 'til the election (assuming the repugs don't ditch him at the convention).

    •  Maybe they largely won't and KKKarl Rove (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan

      knows this.  Perhaps we saw the repug playbook on June 5th in WI.  

      We have written some fully sourced and resourced posts about irregularities in Wisconsin's June 5th recall election, how exit polls were corrupted and abused and how Gov. Scott Walker's "victory" is possible, but the way the final count was conducted doesn't pass the smell test.  And let's be clear -- there are no legitimate concerns about voter fraud here in Wisconsin or anywhere else.  Despite what teabaggin' republicans, the mainstream media, and the analysts/pundits want you to believe, if the integrity of Wisconsin's recall outcomes deserve scrutiny, it is ELECTION FRAUD and not voter fraud that should be under the microscope.
      There are pretty credible reports that a dialog about election fraud (and NOT voter fraud) is reasonable in WI (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE).  I won't mention 2000 & 2004 because I know as a longtime lurker, that conversation was not always welcome then.

      Please don't flame me for posting this and I am not saying I know it's so -- but no one else in WI actually knows what happened yet either because the exit polls (which did not match the machine totals) are proprietary and so are the computers that counted the votes.

      My point IS NOT that I know elections are stolen, rather, the republicans sure act like all Mitt rMoney has to do is smile on TEE-VEE and somehow he will win (can you say hook or crook)?

  •  I doubt the returns from 2008 onward ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana, Sylv, judyms9, Spot Cat, notrouble

    are significantly different from the previous years. Nor do I think there's any illegal activity being concealed.

    I think the boring truth is that Romney with an income in the tens of millions paid almost no taxes. The provisions of the tax code that make this possible would probably be shocking to average Americans, but for people at his income level the reaction would probably be: No story here.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:47:45 PM PDT

    •  ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (3+ / 0-)

      So since when is a presidential candidate, the wealthiest to ever run if nominated, paying grossly lower tax rates than the vast story "nothing to see here"?

      We are in uncharted territory here -- no precedence for this situation.

      Maybe to you no big deal and I respect that, but it will just drive the point home if disclosed for an extended period of time.  This will be toxic.

      I am not saying you are wrong, just sayin'...

      Even worse, rMoney will tell more lies that his accumulated church gifts and blah blah blah equal 45 percent or some nonsense figure -- as if that's the same as paying your fair share in taxes.  

      He will be asked these questions again if new returns come out with similar figures.

      If he pulls that whopper out of the bag to justify many years of paying less than 14 percent (remember, media reports round it UP to 14 or 15%), that will be a game-changer cuz obama or his surrogates will hammer it daily 'til they knock it out of the park.

      •  I said 'for people at his income level' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        notrouble

        Obviously, this is not a discussion we've ever had with a fully documented concrete example before our eyes, much less in the context of a Presidential candidacy. So, I agree with you that the impact on our national debate would be huge-- possibly even a game changer.

        My bigger point is that the obsessive secrecy being exhibited gives rise to all sorts of lurid imaginings. I'm not immune to it myself. But I think if the truth ever comes out it will 'merely' turn out to be that he paid a very low tax rate-- much less than 14% of ... what? AGI? My guess is that for people like Romney most of the 'deductions' are actually 'adjustments'. It will be an education for you and me who understand very little of these complexities of the tax code. But it will probably all seem very commonplace to people whose unearned income runs to the tens of millions of dollars.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:08:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I continue to cling to my own speculation that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan

    much of Romney's income came from investments in China and Chinese businesses while he was busy killing off US businesses, a very unAmerican if not anti-American stance.  Mitt just may be the Manchurian Candidate.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 04:56:52 PM PDT

    •  I think he actually got rich off a secret patent (0+ / 0-)

      that saves the military-industrial complex tons of money, boosting profits.  Instead of sending soldiers overseas to trade their blood for oil, maybe mitt rMoney found a way to secretly directly extract that blood for energy purposes, eliminating the need to ship soldiers overseas with all those toys and things.

      If our culture is going to be based on blood-for-oil, it is only a matter of time before some genius finds a way to directly convert humans to fuel right here at home.

      Just think of it as adam smith's invisible hand slapping you in the face.

  •  I figured the same about 2007-08 tax (3+ / 0-)

    returns. However, I think there must be something in the 2009 return else he'd release it and possibly a bunch of earlier ones. He cannot release any other returns and NOT release 2009 so I think the big embarrassment is in 2009.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:32:40 PM PDT

  •  I'll bite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spot Cat

    Romney got a $35 million line of credit from:

    1). The Mormon Church
    2). Or his biggest funders.
    3). And then never told the IRS.

    Just a thought.

    Better get back to the web. The internet isn't going to surf itself.

    by RodSerling on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 06:03:57 PM PDT

  •  PS (0+ / 0-)

    And perhaps was involved in the Prop 8 funding from the Mormon side of things.

    Just another thought.

    Better get back to the web. The internet isn't going to surf itself.

    by RodSerling on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 06:05:02 PM PDT

  •  Romney claims he won't release his tax returns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spot Cat

    because he values his and Ann's privacy.  

    You know what belies that claim?  The fact that HE RELEASED ONE YEAR'S TAXES!  He gave up his privacy when he did so.

    Romney has no problem whatsoever in giving up his privacy, so long as he thinks whatever he gives up favors him.  He has a BIG problem releasing multiple years of taxes, for reasons unknown to anyone but him.

    But one thing we know.  It has nothing to do with respect for his privacy.

    Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

    by ZedMont on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 06:35:06 PM PDT

  •  Three or four months ago, I read an article (0+ / 0-)

    speculating that for the tax year 2008, Willard had found a way to write off the $35 million that he had donated to his campaign.

    Supposedly this is illegal or impossible, but as we've seen, Willard has found very creative ways to stuff $100 million into his IRA accounts so why is it so hard to believe that his accountants found a way to write off his campaign loan?

    If he had managed to do so, I imagine the American public would be infuriated to know that not only had Willard paid no taxes in 2008, but that the American taxpayers had, in effect, paid for his campaign.

    That, I presume, would not go down well.

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