Skip to main content

Mitt Romney smirks after attacking President Obama over the Libya attacks
You can trust me, I'm a rich Wall Street guy.
While I can only imagine the Romney camp expected they'd be getting kudos for (finally) releasing Mitt's 2011 returns, I'm not sure what they were thinking with the note-from-my-money-doctor approach on the rest of the last 20 years. A note stating that Mitt paid an average of X percent in taxes, when you take all of the last two decades and average them out? That was supposed to prove what, exactly?

Among the most obvious flaws of this approach:

  • It doesn't tell us anything about how Mitt made that money. Was it from passive investments? From purchasing and/or closing particular companies? From selling orphan blood to vampires? There's a reason people want to read the fine print, and it isn't because people enjoy reading tax forms. How you run your own business is a damn fine character study in how you'd run other people's businesses.
  • It doesn't tell us if or when things shifted. If Mitt paid a large percent in taxes during the Clinton years, but on small amounts of money, and paid almost nothing in subsequent years on truly massive amounts of money due to things, maybe Cayman-Island based things, that'd still count as meeting Mitt's 20 percent-ish claim—but it would be misleading. (That Mitt thinks this is apparently a perfectly reasonable amount for a fabulously wealthy person to pay is another issue.)
  • It entirely avoids the thorny question of how closely Romney was involved with Bain during some of their most controversial actions—and whether he played particular roles in managing particular companies.
  • How did Romney manage to get $100 million into his tax-free retirement account during those years? Accountants across the country have been scratching their chins on that one, and Mitt still isn't saying.

What we have learned today is that Mitt Romney is willing to kick in quite a bit in extra taxes to get to that magic 13-14 percent figure he thinks of as being so noteworthy. The doctor's note on the rest of it, though, is just ridiculous. You can tell how ridiculous it is by imagining what the Romney campaign's reaction would have been if Paul Ryan had tried to pass off a similar note to them instead of providing his own tax returns; they would have laughed him right out of the room.

If anything, the "note" is insulting. Mitt Romney knows exactly why the press and the public want to see how he made his money, and what he paid on it, and when; he, for reasons he only knows and we can only speculate on, doesn't want to show it. Instead he presents a meager little note from his accountant promising the rest of the planet that everything is on the up-and-up, so stop asking.

Forget bringing Mitt's father or any other politician into this: Mitt Romney's own campaign would never have settled for that. I'm not sure what possesses him to think the rest of us would.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site