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Harry Reid has claimed on more than one occasion that a source with close ties to Bain Capital informed him that the Romneys paid absolutely no taxes in one or more years over the past 10 years.  This is a serious accusation that has obviously damaged the Romney campaign and Mitt Romney’s personal standing with the American people - we don’t like rich guys who game the system and pay little or no taxes while we work hard to make ends meet and pay exactly, or close to, our marginal rate to the US Treasury.

In an effort to settle this controversy, the Obama campaign has offered to end all discussion of the issue if the Romneys release a complete set of returns for years 2012-2012.  I don’t think that’s enough.  Democrats need to be held accountable.  Harry Reid knows how harmful his accusations have been and he should be forced to publicly apologize if the Romneys conclusively establish that Reid’s accusations are false.

Thus, if the Romneys release a full set of returns for 2002-2012 and those returns show that the Romneys had an effective tax rate greater than 0% in each of those years, the DNC and Reid should agree to spend $5M on a national ad in which Reid speaks directly into the camera, with a blank purple background and no music nor props, and says exactly as follows:

I am Harry Reid, I am a Democrat and I am currently the Senate Majority Leader in the United States Senate.  Over the past month, I have publicly claimed, based on information provided to me by a person who I believed to be a reliable source, that Mitt Romney did not pay any taxes in one or more years during the past 10 years.  I was effectively accusing the Romneys of having a 0% effective tax rate in one or more of those years.  These accusations that I was making were very serious, and potentially very damaging to the Romney campaign.

I now know that my accusations were incorrect.  I was wrong.   Mitt Romney has released his tax returns for the past 10 years and it is clear that Mitt Romney paid taxes every year during the past 10 years.  Mitt Romney had a positive effective tax rate in each of those years.   The following graphic shows the Romneys' effective tax rate for years 2002 through 2012.

[cut to graphic and then back to Reid]

Again, I was wrong and I sincerely apologize to the Romney campaign.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

    by JCPOK on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:26:59 AM PDT

  •  Harry Reid's got this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, skohayes

    Why would we want to look weak by extending a compromise that will be declined anyway.

    As it stands, Harry can just say "prove it" every time Mitt fails to do anything that is not full disclosure.

    Mojo?!?! What mojo?

    by xopher on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:36:09 AM PDT

  •  Um...not sure where to begin with this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xopher, nzanne, skohayes

    First, you have the years wrong.

    the Obama campaign has offered to end all discussion of the issue if the Romneys release a complete set of returns for years 2012-2012.
    That should be 2007 - 2012.

    Second, the Romney campaign has already rejected the offer anyway, making it a moot point.

    Third, "if...those returns show that the Romneys had an effective tax rate greater than 0% in each of those years" wouldn't necessarily negate Reid's claim whatsoever.

    What if he paid $1 per year? Technically that would count as "greater than 0%".

    What if he paid several million dollars, but managed to get it all back in refunds or credits carried over to the next year? That would mean that he technically "paid" taxes.

    There's a hundred different ways that he could have "paid" more than 0% and still ended up not paying a damned dime, or actually getting more back than he "paid".

    •  made the correction. (0+ / 0-)

      As for the effective rate - that's the whole point.  Reid knows, like we all know, that Romney paid taxes every year.   Reid doesn't mind being wrong on that.  The damaging part for Romney is his effective rate and the tax schemes he used to get his effective rate so low. These are the reasons he is not releasing his tax returns.

      Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

      by JCPOK on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:41:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still reads 2012-2012 for me, even after reloading (0+ / 0-)

        OK, I think I see what you're getting at now...but only if the chart also shows what NORMAL PEOPLE pay in taxes.

        A bar graph would work better here. Show several bars with typical middle-class people paying 15% - 25% (or whatever), and include a label for each one (police officer, fire fighter, U.S. soldier, etc)...then show a tiny little line for Romney.

        He should play it up as sarcastically as possible:

        "Yes, Gov. Romney, I apologize. You did indeed pay taxes, enough to buy a tiny violin."

  •  whaaaa???? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distraught, skohayes

    1) no returns will be forthcoming
    2) if Reid's source was wrong, he can blame the source, openly if he wants to, but that ain't gonna happen (see 1)
    3) in Bizzaroworld the concept of producing an ad for your political opponent - let alone out of a sense of guilt for something that will not ever be disclosed - is considered a good plan.  This is not Bizzaroworld.

    Yet.

    As a side note, you should pay attention to what Mitt said in his belated response to a query about what his income tax rate has been in the last several years: he said he's paid no less than "13% in taxes" in any year.  Got that?  Not "income taxes," just "taxes."  Even if that response was "truthful" it still leaves Reid's charge unanswered and, therefore, even more likely to be true.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:49:51 AM PDT

  •  uh...why would harry reid apologize? (0+ / 0-)

    he has said all along that someone told him that mitt romney didn't pay taxes. if romney releases his tax returns for the last 5 years, 10 years, or his entire tax-paying career, harry reid can still say, 'someone told me that romney didn't pay taxes'. it would still be the truth.

    Whose interest does ignorance serve? - Carl Sagan

    by spgilbert on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:11:44 AM PDT

  •  I totally disagree with your approach. Reid only (0+ / 0-)

    reported on what he was told by an unnamed party. In court it's considered heresay and not admissible as evidence. The original source is not importance since the testimony is not allowed.

    The fact that Romney still is wanting to know with whom Reid spoke shows me that he must feel that he has been betrayed by an associate.

    If the charge isn't true, why do Mitt and Ann continue to be so defensive whenever someone brings up the subject?

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Templar on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:14:26 AM PDT

  •  If your demanding public apologies... (0+ / 0-)

    Start with shit Republicans have been saying for the past four years smearing Pres Obama.  

    Then maybe we can talk about Harry Reid.  

    Even if you think your being cute by Reid really highlighting the fact Romney still paid very little.  It would just make Reid and Dems look weak as hell.  

    This is all so bloody ridiculous.

    An OFA Campaign Web Ad is the new Reid "sternly worded letter".

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:25:54 AM PDT

  •  Quit Dreaming! (0+ / 0-)

    All the King's overseas accounts and all Queen Ann's horses won't allow the release of any more info on this score.

    Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

    Just a small-minded 'merican that wants to see the Romney 2009 FBAR

    by griz4u on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:44:02 AM PDT

  •  What Harry Ried should do, is right after the (0+ / 0-)

    Democratic Convention,  call Willard's bluff, and reveal the name of his source. I want to see Willard's tax returns as much as the next guy, but if Ried is lying, I think it is very wrong to go to the Senate floor to tell this lie.
    Ried is only extending the problems of the Congress by using the floor of the Senate for partisan political issues. If Reid has no real source he has done more harm than good to the Obama brand and the Democratic party.
    I am tired of the Romney and G.O.P. lies about this President, and I don't want to see lies and attacks coming from the party I support. Harry Ried should put up or shut up.

  •  Lady Romney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    will not allow the release any more tax returns.
    "It's our turn.  Don't you little people understand?"

    Shades of Leona Helmsley!

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