We are now officially in full blown presidential campaign season. From here on in, I think it is safe to say that many many of the blogs will be retroactive to 2008. As a matter of fact I wrote this blog July16, 2008...
Not really. It will just SEEM like that. This morning Mitt made an appearance on Fox and Friends. Via ThinkProgress
he is quoted as saying:
the Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more. More things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try make a mountain out of and to distort and to be dishonest about. We’re going to put out two years of tax returns.
ThinkProgress was correct in zeroing in on this fact. There are rumblings that we may very well see that Romney hasn't paid income taxes AT ALL.
Something else was said in this interchange. Mitt brought up John Kerry. Watch:
The problem is, it is simply a pure lie
. There are over 20 years of the Senators tax returns out there.
In addition to his 2003 returns, Kerry also released federal tax returns from the years 1999 to 2002 yesterday. There has been some dispute about returns for those years. Kerry has claimed that he had already released the returns — in January of this year, he said, “I released all my tax returns for 20 years. I have never not released my tax returns throughout my political career.”
Bringing it back to this morning, Romney repeated this lie, and even went so far as to bring the Senators wife into the equation. He thinks it is wrong for her to not show HER returns. Really? Then let's see Ann Romney's returns. Oh, wait; Mitt and Ann appear to file jointly. And btw? Mitt mentioned John McCain -- he released 2 years of tax returns-- and his wife Cindy even released hers
.... Cindy McCain -- like Theresa Heinz Kerry both have said that they would like to protect their family privacy with regard to these issues. Both women came into their marriages to the senators with previous financial holdings. I believe in both cases, these women have a legitimate stake in protecting that privacy. I'm not defending or attacking either women for their choices. For Mitt to bring Theresa Heinz Kerry into the conversation is just pathetic. He didn't answer the question asked of him: Why won't you release the returns? Instead he deflected in the most immature way a person can. He pointed fingers to something that supposedly happened more than 8 years ago.
Let's make this clear: Romney is using a LIE as a precedent for not releasing his tax returns. From a Kerry Spokesperson
“Months ago, the Romney team began making this false and convoluted excuse — the media investigated it and promptly reminded them that as a presidential candidate John Kerry had released twenty years of tax returns,” Seth said in a statement to TPM. “Still, months later they’re falling back on this same disproven excuse. In fact, if the Romney standard was the same as the Kerry standard for disclosure, the media would have the chance to review twenty years of Romney tax returns. Ed Gillespie should know better.”
So here we have a candidate who either lied to the SEC or is lying about his business record -- something he is using as a campaign showcase, btw -- and a candidate who is refusing to release those pertinent tax returns based up a lie.
And then we find out this weekend, he "retroactively" retired from Bain
The bigger problem is that Gillespie’s full comment draws further attention to an enormous gray area that Romney is pretending doesn’t exist. For a decade, the official Romney line, which he repeated in a CBS interview Friday night, has been that “I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999.” But here’s what Gillespie said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday:
“You know there may have been a thought at the time that it could be part time. It was not part time. The Olympics was in a shambles. He took a leave of absence and in fact, Candy, ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February 1999 as a result.”
Gillespie is basically acknowledging that for some of the time between February 1999, when Romney stepped away from his day-to-day role at Bain to head up the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and the 2002 date when he actually reached a severance agreement with Bain, Romney attempted to keep a hand in Bain’s activities. As you can tell, Gillespie is doing his best to make it sound like Romney’s part-time Bain engagement was barely a blip on that timeline, but all sorts of information has come to light that suggests it was more than that:
This man is a liar. Pure and simple. What went from *I was not working for Bain* has now become *I was not involved with day-to-day decisions at the company since I was retroactively retired.* This isn't spin, this is truth. In spite of all of his Lies, the truth is coming out about Willard Romney. BobR
made an incredibly astute and accurate point last week:
In Romney's Reality it doesn't matter what he personally believes, because he is selling a product, and as CEO of Romney For President, he has to craft the product to meet the market demand.
Herein lies the problem: the free market in this case is the American electorate, and what they are demanding is to see this man's tax returns. They want to know if he can be trusted to lead this nation. They want to know if he he can identify with the burdens of the average American. They want to know that he didn't break the law. These are serious and very fair things to question and demand from a Presidential candidate.
Mitt Romney doesn't want you to know that there is a very big likelihood that he didn't even pay taxes at all for some of those years. Even Harry Reid seems to think this
His father, George Romney, set the precedent that people running for president would file their tax returns, let everybody look at them. But Mitt Romney can’t do that because he’s basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years.
It's possible, there area lot of Corporate loopholes out there. You'll recall many major US corporations have paid less than zero in taxes
. Mitt Romney is on-record as saying that corporations are people, so I think it is fair to make the conclusion that Bain, under the helm of Mitt Romeney may not have paid taxes.
Under the radar is another small issue, but it goes to the candidate's secrecy. What about the Magical IRA
The most mysterious of the unexplained mysteries about Mitt Romney’s considerable wealth is how he was able to amass between $21 million and $102 million in his individual retirement account during the 15 years he was at Bain Capital LLC. (snip)
On July 3, Current TV host Jennifer Granholm, a former Democratic governor of Michigan, invited Edward Kleinbard, a law professor at the University of Southern California, on her show to discuss how Romney could have accomplished this remarkable feat. There were “only two possibilities,” Kleinbard told Granholm. Either “from a little acorn, a mighty oak grew very, very quickly, extraordinarily so,” Kleinbard explained, causing Granholm to interject, “What little acorn could grow to be $101 million? I want to get some of that acorn!”
The other possibility, Kleinbard suggested, was not dissimilar to what Maremont theorized: that Romney contributed limited-partnership interests in Bain’s buyouts to his IRA. What was “quite troubling” to Kleinbard is that he suspected Romney may have contributed these interests to his IRA at a fraction of their market value -- “pennies on the dollar” -- and well below what he might have charged you or me. When the buyouts became successful, Kleinbard proposed, the pennies on the dollar were suddenly worth real dollars.
“What’s very frustrating to me about all this is that we can only talk in abstractions and generalities because, again, of the lack of disclosure,”
Secrecy, evasion, lies-- and we haven't even made it to the conventions. The question is really this: what is Mitt Romney hiding? The Free Market demands answers. They don't want Mitt Romney to dance around the answers, that is for sure. No more lies. No more silly stupid rebuttals. This weekend Candidate Obama came out with a pitch perfect political advertisement: "Firms"
This morning I awoke to this rebuttal from the Romney Campaign:
Enough. This nation deserves better than this projectionary nonsense. He can't sing and I am already tired of his tap dancing.