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January 22, 2012 10:45 AM Romney partially caves on tax returns

By Steve Benen

Watching Mitt Romney discuss his willingness to disclose his tax returns, it’s been hard not to marvel at the rapid evolution. It was only about a month ago when he was asked whether he’d release his tax returns, and Romney replied, “I doubt it.”

About a week later, he said he’d “consider” disclosure. Then he was “not opposed” to releasing the materials. That was followed by his willingness to “probably” disclose. Two days ago, Romney came around to saying he will release returns, but not until April — after, presumably, he’s wrapped up his party’s nomination.

This morning, after the issue has taken a considerable toll on his campaign, Romney gave up entirely on the position he took as recently as late December.

Mitt Romney says he’ll release his tax 2010 tax returns and 2011 tax estimates Tuesday and says it was a mistake for his presidential campaign to hold off as long as it did in getting them out.

He says the attention paid to the issue had become a distraction for his campaign and he’s acknowledging it wasn’t the best of weeks for him.

Romney told Fox News’ Chris Wallace this morning, “Given all the attention that’s been focused on tax returns, given the distraction I think they became in these last couple of weeks, look, I’m going to make it very clear to you right now Chris, I’m going to release my tax returns for 2010, which is the last returns that were completed. I’ll do them on Tuesday of this week. I’m also at the same time going to release an estimate for 2011 tax returns. So you’ll have two years, people can take a good look at it.”

A little disclosure is clearly preferable to no disclosure, but this isn’t exactly evidence of a candidate embracing a model of transparency. For one thing, Romney will release these materials on Tuesday — the day of the State of the Union. It’s almost as if the campaign is trying to pick a time when the tax materials will generate as little attention as possible and when the aides know the political world’s focus will be elsewhere.

For another, notice that Romney is releasing returns for one year and an estimate for another. That’s just about the minimum, and there’s no reason for anyone to accept such a limited look into the candidate’s finances.

As Ben Smith put it, “Releasing the 2010 returns is just blood in the water. What about the previous 20 years?”

When Barack Obama ran in 2008, he released returns for the previous eight years. When Bill Clinton ran in 1992, he disclosed 12 years. As we were reminded on Thursday night, when George Romney ran, he set “a groundbreaking standard,” releasing 12 years of returns. He said at the time, “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

And once Mitt Romney’s accounts are done scrubbing, he’s only willing to go back to 2010? That’s just not enough. There are too many questions about his tax rates, investments, and Bain-era finances to end the controversy with such limited disclosure.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

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  • emile on January 22, 2012 10:51 AM:

    "And once Mitt Romney’s accounts are done scrubbing, he’s only willing to go back to 2010? That’s just not enough. There are too many questions about his tax rates, investments, and Bain-era finances to end the controversy with such limited disclosure."

    Yeah? And who is going to press Romney on these matters? The Media? Surely you jest.

  • Kathryn on January 22, 2012 11:05 AM:

    Two points, media smells blood in the water so they will likely press Romney for more. Gingrich released only one year I believe, so he'd have to pony up more years too, logically, if logic counts. Gingrich is no doubt hiding plenty too with all his entanglements and business scams. Or, they both get away with one year, as emile suggests.

  • MikefromArlington on January 22, 2012 11:16 AM:

    He's gotta be smarter than this and realize how these GOPers work. There will always be something else he's hiding no matter what he releases. Those bozos are still talkin about Obama's hs records and the birth cert issue is always just under the surface.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on January 22, 2012 11:16 AM:

    Nothing there to see...

    All middle class quarter-billionaires have offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

    I continue to stand with Mitt! I am not envious of his wealth and I know that he has empathy for those of us in the lower classes who are only multi-millionaires.

  • meander on January 22, 2012 11:17 AM:

    This news that Romney is going to release only his 2010 and estimates for 2011 tax returns makes me wonder: why didn't he start the "scrubbing" process in 2007 when he was running for the 2008 nomination, or when he decided to run in 2012? Or back when he was running for governor of Massachusetts? It doesn't take a political genius to see that harboring money in the Caymans and other (legal) tax avoidance schemes is politically toxic. Is he more concerned about winning the presidency or avoiding taxes? Lots of candidates self-finance campaigns -- Romney's extra tax bill by dumping the foreign shelters and etc. would have been a donation to his campaign of sorts.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on January 22, 2012 11:23 AM:

    Where is Mr. gulag today?

    Probably out watching the sporting game that the British call football. Uncivilized and disgusting Brits stole the name of our national past-time. Obviously a sissy game that is way too short on violence to appeal to real Americans.

  • Holly W on January 22, 2012 11:30 AM:

    In last debate, Romney's rationale for not releasing them until April was that he claimed it will be allow the issue to get dragged out. If he fears that, why not just show all his tax returns including before he was a politician with presidential ambition. What did Romney's taxes look like when he thought no one was looking? Unless not wanting to drag the issue out was an excuse he was hiding behind, release the last 12 years.

  • Hedda Peraz on January 22, 2012 11:31 AM:

    When we held the presidency we knew how to deal with our enemies!

    "This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies"-John Dean, August 16, 1971.

    But, no worries; Mr. Obama will not play hardball, not use the IRS, the DOJ, the "available federal machinery" to reveal Romney's taxes, paid and unpaid.
    Whew!

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 11:31 AM:

    Even with the released tax returns, Willard still won't win. He has too much baggage.

    1) He claims he's not an insider, and from 'the streets.'

    This is one of the same talking points used by the 'tea party members' and people are very disappointed and have 'buyers remorse.'


    But, here's the problem with this. He has been donating to conservative groups for years. For instance, here are some questionable rumors, Romney Pac donated $10,000 to Santorum in 2006.

    Romney donated $743,263 to 211 current members of congress.

    The rift between he and Perry was in 2006, when Romney's Group was accused of breaking the law by helping Perry with a $1 million donation that was considered illegal from a Texas homebuilder

    In 2007 Guiliani, Romney and McCain was offered $10,000 from MMP that asked them to prove that medical marijuana didn't help patients.

    In 2007, Romney gave a speech at senior Bush's library called "Faith in America" www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIIGkBPdjdE then he donated $100,000 to senior Bush library.

    He is and has been a member of CFR, as well as his father.

    He says that 'disaster relief programs should be privatized' in June 2011, and now there are rumors that Jeb has formed a new company for-profit for disaster relief in September 2011.

    2) He says that he will create jobs.
    Yet, he promises the Koch Brothers that he will raise the retirement age, slash government jobs (i.e. teachers, post office...) and privatize medicare.

    3) He has hired the former head of blackwater.
    people that have friends or family that believe they were affected by this group will not vote for Willard. BTW, blackwater was accused (per a hearing on the armed forces committee) of using shell companies to get contracts - did Willard help in creating some of the shell companies? Just a question.

    4) people need to see if he reports his salary from Marriott International as a board member, $113,890

  • jcricket on January 22, 2012 11:32 AM:

    It would be interesting to see his 2008 and 2009 tax returns. you know, the years that every middle and working class person's 401(k) or pension fund lost half their values.

    Did Romney make out like a bandit by shorting the retirement funds? Did Romney see a killing to be made by essentially investing against the average American? When average Americans were losing their jobs by the millions, what were his chosen investments?

  • MattF on January 22, 2012 11:34 AM:

    Also, don't forget that corporations are people, so if there happens to be some corporation that's paying Mitt Romney a large amount of money for the privilege of being Mitt Romney, you may not get that corporation's tax returns because... well, corporations have a right to privacy.

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 11:52 AM:

    Forgot to add,
    willard is against the Dream Act, and says he will deport undocumented immigrants - so this will be a vote against him.

    The families or friends in El Salvador, most will vote against him for his alleged ties to friend and business partner Ricardo Poma.

    ***corporate financial dislosures/papers are not private if they are dealing with other people's money. Now there may be two sets of books, one here and one in the other country. This still won't scratch the surface, as we know the company blackwater moved to the ME - so, I'm willing to bet there are probably companies there as well. In addition to some of the assets held in the name of the church. There have been some people complaining about 'affinity fraud,' see "Thieves in the Temple, How Affinity Fraud Hurts LDS Members," and look up the story where they call a man "Mormon Madoff."

  • Anonymous on January 22, 2012 11:59 AM:

    "He says the attention paid to the issue had become a
    distraction for his campaign and he’s acknowledging it wasn’t the best of weeks for him."

    Well, to remove other distractions, I'd like to see the proof that Romney is not actually a French citizen! Do we really have RELIABLE documentation of his birth?

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 12:20 PM:

    Oh, the other pressing issue - 'THE COMPUTER from his governorship'

    He bought the computers so no one can view any records - while not illegal, it shows he has something to hide.

  • Anonymous on January 22, 2012 12:30 PM:

    @Hedda Peraz So let me get this straight. You're complaining because Obama a) isn't enough like Nixon in terms of paranoid, vindictiveness and willingness to ignore the boundaries of democratic government in general, b) isn't willing to break the laws that existed in 1971 that had Nixon headed for impeachment and c) isn't willing to break the laws passed after that to keep presidents from doing what Nixon did that was within the existing law?

    Seriously?

    Do us all a favor. Stop pretending to be on our side.

  • MikeBoyScout on January 22, 2012 12:35 PM:

    As of Thursday of last week it was blindingly apparent that Romney needed to release his last decade's worth of tax returns. Romney, a man of considerable wealth undoubtedly has an entire stable of tax accountants available to him.

    The clear no-brainer executive decision on Thursday was to have all of those accountants ready those returns for release ASAP.

    What is the decision of the man who wants to be the executive leader of the US government? To release one return and a summary of the other.

    Willard provides a clear picture of what limping over the finish line looks like.

  • John Dillinger on January 22, 2012 12:41 PM:

    Nothing less than all returns back to 2000 is acceptable, so that we can see how he has saved under the Bush tax rates.

  • Jim Keating on January 22, 2012 12:44 PM:

    What he is releasing is a manicured version of his tax
    returns. My guess is he has paid from 0% to 7% of his
    income in taxes over the years. The ones he wants to release have been manicured to convince us he has paid the 15% which is the legal tax rate for capital gains; what about the expenditures and other deductions that he would have and his off shore tax avoidance. I am sure he has done nothing illegal; however, the fact that it is not illegal is precisely the problem. The 1% get richer we get poorer there is only so much money to go around and they get the larger share.

  • Kane on January 22, 2012 12:55 PM:

    Will you release your tax returns?

    I doubt it.
    I don't intend to.
    If I become president, then I'll consider that.
    I hadn’t planned on releasing tax records.
    Time will tell.
    I have nothing in them that suggests there’s any problem.
    I sort of feel like we are showing a lot of exposure at this point.
    If I become our nominee.
    That’s probably what I would do.
    I’ll release those on April 15.
    I don't want to give the Democrats a nice little present of having multiple releases.
    Maybe...heh heh, heh heh.
    I’m going to release my tax returns for 2010.

  • Ten Bears on January 22, 2012 1:05 PM:

    It should be noted that, like a twice married man keeping a mistress on the side, for the Jew/”Christian”/Muslim/Mormon Cult of Male Domination pulling one over on the taxman is as “American” as grandma’s apple pie, granddad’s pickup truck.

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 1:09 PM:

    Americans for Tax Reform - Grover Norquist has on his website that Willard just signed the pledge.

    This means Willard Romney will not raise taxes on the rich.

    Alex Mistri from Solyndra recently held a fundraiser for Willard (but they are blaming Obama for the company going out of business, oh and Rep.Darrell Issa went to this too)

    Alex Mistri is a Lobbyist, and so is another person Rick Baker that is helping Willard.

    Maybe the 99% need to get together and form 'the people united,' since these lobbyists/corporations are calling themselves Citizens United which is actually the 1% is united against all of us.

  • Skip on January 22, 2012 1:10 PM:

    Reading SKM's posts, it appears that Romney in the White House will set a whole new precedent for corruption in the US government. And if he doesn't, Gingrich will.

    How are all the blood-laden lessons of the topplings of rulers in the Middle East going unrecognized by the citizens of this nation, all the news about how deadly and difficult it is to excise entrenched corruption from a nation's government? I think the Republican candidates are a clear indication that our society is actually being pushed backward by the few at a time when the rest of the globe's many are struggling to move forward into the future. How can the citizens of this nation not see other peoples struggles with dictators and wealth amassed only at the top, not see what it takes to overthrow those kinds of regimes, without being properly cynical and very critical of whom we select as our top leader. Is the "It can't happen to us" mentality so thoroughly pervasive here to the point of self-destruction? Even, EVEN the Republican leadership should be at least taking note of how these ousted rulers are ending up; they're celebrated. Celebrated because they are dead.

    Romney's real resume appears to be very sordid. Gingrich's track record equally so. How are these men even getting close to the presidential seat? Electing them are not going to change their characters. What it will do is put them and their cohorts in control of our vast military machine, assisted by a Congress currently stuffed with ideologically simple minded dolts, and smoke-screened by a media that uses its venues to insist it isn't greed nor power which is the enemy of this nation, it's a Democrat.

    Ya just can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. We are seriously dealing with more than our share of pig's ears this election.

  • Frequent Poster on January 22, 2012 1:10 PM:

    The Mittster still doesn't get it.

    He will be facing demands for the release of several years of returns; for a full accounting of his offshore investments, including (but not limited to) those in the Caymans; and a full accounting of his role and actions at Bain Capital.

    Once the snowball gets rolling, there's no stopping it. Oh, and then there's that unreleased Ethics Committee report about Gingrich.

  • Texas Aggie on January 22, 2012 1:15 PM:

    There are lots of sayings in English about how kids resemble their parents: "The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree; chip off the old block; as the twig is bent, so the tree's inclined; etc."

    Mitt is living proof that they are just words put together in a random order. If there were ever anyone as different from his father, I don't know who it might be. His father didn't take advantage of tax breaks that were available; he offered his workers a profit sharing program; he criticized people who idolized social Darwinism; he released 12 years of his tax returns. On the other hand we have Mitt who goes to the rack before he releases even two years. And what you want to bet that his accountants have been furiously rewriting since before the campaign began?

  • cwolf on January 22, 2012 1:17 PM:

    He'll need to do better than that.

    First of all, unless the docs are offered under oath, by an ethical accountant, lawyer or other professional with long time access to Mitt's shit (the family CPA will do)- then anyone can easily "scrub-a-dub-dub" the numbers.
    Since the IRS is under no obligation and would likely refuse to verify Mitt's returns, no one would know if Mitt's just lying again until it's too late - if ever, unless the info comes from a believable source.

    Anyhow, that's how I'd handle it if I were in the "vetting" business.

    OT: Speakin' of shit,,, er Mitt, but I finally got a Decent Capcha: seen Speachin

  • SW on January 22, 2012 1:22 PM:

    We need the last ten years Mittens. Otherwise the default assumption has to be that you are an off-shore tax evader.

  • lamh35 on January 22, 2012 1:44 PM:

    Newt has already said the Romney's 2010 release is good enough.

    So who exactly is gonna be pressuring Mittens to release more??? Not the MSM that's for sure.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 2:20 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Joe O. on January 22, 2012 2:26 PM:

    I wanna see his tax returns from before he was running for President. My only criticism of this article is that the media needs to stop assuming Romney is dirty because he won't release his taxes. I'm a tax accountant and take my word for it his taxes are very complex and 100s of pages long. There is a lot that could be misconstrued and turned against him unfairly (i.e. late fees and surcharges). Full disclosure I am for President Obama and I think Newt Gingrich as a candidate would destroy the American people with his divisive rhetoric.

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 2:34 PM:

    "Coming soon is the article when Benen hammers candidate Obama to release his college transcripts and writings."

    How, exactly, are college transcripts like tax returns? It's not like Obama (or Willard or Newt) are going to college now. But they all pay taxes every year. Taxes can show where your political interests lie. Transcripts can't.

    This is just a dull-witted, phony and transparent ploy to distract from Willard's hidden sources of wealth and his parasitizing of the US tax system.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 2:40 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 2:46 PM:

    "You are for our presidential candidates being tranparent, aren't you?"

    Not about everything. I really don't care whether or not a presidential candidate is religious. I don't care about the sexual preferences of our presidential candidate. I don't care about the food allergies of any of the presidential candidates. I don't care what size shoes they wear. I don't care where they went to high school. I don't care whether they follow pro sports. I don't care what their eye color is. I don't care what model car they own.

    I could go on and on naming all sorts of things as trivial, inconsequential and irrelevant as college transcripts. That's not the kind of transparency intelligent, informed and thoughtful voters care about. YMMV.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 2:46 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 2:49 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • DAY on January 22, 2012 2:49 PM:

    In re full disclosure:
    Since all these so-called candidates SAY that they are Christians, we need to see baptismal certificates and foreskins.

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 2:51 PM:

    Shorter manapp99: "I know you are but what am I?"

    Typical middle school kid response, manapp.

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 2:54 PM:

    "How about previous writings expressing political opinions? How do you feel about those?"

    Depends. If they were made as a candidate for elective office or during service in elective office, yes.

    If they were made in middle school, like you and your little classmates, not so much.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 2:57 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:00 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 3:01 PM:

    Shorter manapp99: "I know you are but what am I?"

    There you go again . . .

  • Skip on January 22, 2012 3:05 PM:

    mannapp99,

    Are the character comparisons between Obama and ANY of your candidates going a bit rough for you?

    We understand your displaced anger, but to be fair, Steve's never asked to see Newts or Mitts college transcripts or writings, equal being equal.

    After your futile search for any bits of negativity to take our President down a peg or two for your own comfort, feel free to use the same search criteria on your candidates, because you are about to have to vote for one of them.

    I wish you well with that.

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 3:07 PM:

    Just to be clear, I think the Obama administration isn't as transparent about its judicial policies as it should be.

    None of this has anything to do with Obama's college transcripts. No serious adult cares about that, manapp.

    Funny that none of your quotes cited the need for Obama's college transcripts, just a dull-witted, phony and transparent ploy to distract.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:12 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 3:17 PM:

    Benen is a rabid GOP hater . . . ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:17 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:20 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:23 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Joel on January 22, 2012 3:23 PM:

    Ah, little "manapp,"

    You had your childish little tantrum above. Run along now, adults are talking.

  • Anonymous on January 22, 2012 3:24 PM:

    So how would seeing anyone's tax returns help you to decide who to vote for in a Presidential contest? What information would you get that speaks to qualifications?

    that's a bit of a straw man.

    'Qualifications' are laid out in the Constitution.

    As for what information is in tax returns...

    Have you ever filed a tax return, manapp99?

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:25 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Unabogie on January 22, 2012 3:31 PM:

    Come on manapp99, just what do you assume is in those transcripts? That he got poor grades before he got better grades and then fantastic grades so he was named president of the Harvard Law Review? Hmmm, why would that be interesting, since he wrote about his poor work ethic early in his life in a book called "Dreams of my Father". So that's not it...

    Aha, since we're fluent in Teahadinese we're well aware of your insipid conspiracy theory that President Obama applied as a "foreigner".

    You should give it up. He's the President for 5 more years. And he's not Caucasian.

    Deal.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:33 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • Skip on January 22, 2012 3:37 PM:

    manapp99:

    When have presidential candidate's NOT disclosed their tax returns, including G. W. Bush? Why should that process stop for Mitt?

    This is, however the first time I have heard of any President being asked to disclose his college transcripts and all writings therein. Is there an example of this before now?

    Steve a GOP hater? Your posts indicate rather strongly that that is the conservative pot calling the liberal kettle black. You are nowhere close to sounding like you yourself maintain an impartial view. So how can you denounce someone else for something you yourself participate in?

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:42 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • exlibra on January 22, 2012 3:46 PM:

    If you owned a company and needed to hire someone would you ask to see their tax returns? -- manapp99, @3:20PM

    Depends on the position I wanted to hire him for. A janitor is easily replaced, if he gets nailed for tax avoidance. But, a CEO is a bit different. Not to mention that, if the SOB is shifty in one area (like paying taxes), he might be equally untrustworthy elsewhere (one reason I never trusted Geithner, for example. Though is was, probably, the reason his confirmation went to swimmingly, even among the Repubs; tax cheaters is something that Republican Senators approve of)

  • Kathryn on January 22, 2012 3:46 PM:

    lamh35.... Gee, I wonder why Gingrich has said one year is enough! Don't fail us again MSM.

  • manapp99 on January 22, 2012 3:50 PM:

    [Comment Deleted]

  • jcricket on January 22, 2012 4:03 PM:

    "Have you ever filed a tax return, manapp99?"

    Have you ever seen the tax return of a business person? It is a little more involved than the 1040 EZ you file ever year with your single W-2.

    Nice dodge. But if you had ever filed a tax return you would know that all kinds of revealing information is wrapped up on various schedules and forms. Schedule D, 4952 and 3468 are only scratching the surface.

    So, by dodging the question and throwing out your knowledge of the existence of the EZ (wow!), i think you pretty much confirmed your status as an adolescent.

    Too bad, because if you want to learn about the adult world, talking politics in a way that is not flame-throwing would have been a great way to learn.

    Tell you what, why don't you change your handle and try again in a less belligerent manner. Try asking questions instead of pretending to come to the table with knowledge. Poseurs are always revealed.


  • Memekiller on January 22, 2012 4:10 PM:

    I would certainly rather keep the tax returns alive, and have the issue play out. Romney will eventally be damaged enough to have to release the rest of his returns, and the closer he capitulates to November the better. And the parsing, vacillating sleaziness of his evasiveness has to be so much more damaging than what we all assume in in there.

    Unless, what's in his tax returns is soooo bad, this route is actually less damaging. I can't imagine what that is because I, like everyone else, am assuming the worst, so it has to be even more dispicable than I can imagine.

  • Skip on January 22, 2012 4:13 PM:

    Okay, we have established common ground here. Agreed, it's political tripe, but every candidate has to jump through hoops. It's to prove their metal in their responses far more than it is about the items. And when a candidate hedges, then the item gets attention. The more you try to hide a zit, the more attention you bring to it, no?

    We all go through hoops, you go through hoops to apply for a job, to secure a mortgage, and to get a mate. Not sure why you've decided to claim the mountain top for Mitt's tax returns though.

  • Frequent Poster on January 22, 2012 4:16 PM:

    Coming soon is the article when Benen hammers candidate Obama to release his college transcripts and writings.

    The general public doesn't care. Obama will be judged as president, not as a college student. Romney will be judged as a candidate, and in his case it'll mean coming clean about his full financial picture. Whine as much you want, but that's how it'll go.

  • Michael W on January 22, 2012 4:28 PM:

    Please, stop feeding the troll.

  • jcricket on January 22, 2012 4:28 PM:

    Mitt's probably been in the silver-spoon, entitled bubble so long that having someone else dictate the terms of acceptable action on his part grates against his nature.

    Kind of shows how little grace he has under pressure, doesn't it?

  • Kathryn on January 22, 2012 4:49 PM:

    @mannapp99....... "there is no law that any candidate release any records, so precedent on any releases means nothing. This is all a political trap". There is indeed strong precedent in regards to releasing tax records by those running for president. There is zero precedent to call for a presidents birth record. The birth record crap (CRAP) was pure nonsense with no facts, none, to back up the conspiracy theorists. Due to the power of FOX media propaganda and relentless internet bull shit aided and abetted by MSM and the nauseating phony Donald Trump, Pres. Obama released his long form birth certificate. Watching Barack Obama humiliate Donald Trump at Correspondents Dinner was almost worth it, but not quite.

    Mitt, like all candidates for president since his own more admirable father, will and needs to release his tax records. One can only surmise they are problematic due to his foot dragging. Oh, one more thing mannapp99, Obama is now and will be in the future a more capable president than Mitt Romney would ever be.

  • lkt on January 22, 2012 4:50 PM:

    I wonder why there are no calls for the release of college transcripts and writings "expressing political opinions" for Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul, or the other nuts who've already exited the clown car. Clearly college transcripts and writings are of great importance to RWNJs. They've been whining about their importance for the better part of 4 years. Yet, I haven't seen one call by RWNJs for them from the clowns in their car. Very, very interesting...and telling.

    Oh, let us also not forget that the daddy one of the Gee Oh Pee candidates was born in Chiuahua, Mehico [sic]. It's quite curious that the RWNJs haven't declared him ineligible to serve because both of his parents weren't US citizens. Hmmm. I wonder why that is.

    By the by, whatever happened to the incessant whining and outrage by RWNJs and the media about Presidential candidates not wearing flag pins. The lack of discussion/whining/outrage about how none of the Gee Oh Pee candidates wear flag pins is also quite...interesting.

  • exlitigator on January 22, 2012 5:13 PM:

    To me, the issue of the tax return is that it will undermine his economic message. Romney's entire economic message is that the reason are economy is bad is beacause of the crushing burden the government places on "JOB CREATORS" and the wealthy. His returns will show how false that argument is.

  • Cha on January 22, 2012 5:18 PM:

    "Williar's such a fucking sociopathic, vicious, pathological lying, mittmopper. So now he and that stupid campaign of his thinks it's alright to release 2010 and a summary of 2011's tax returns..then the distraction will go away so he can continue lying his damn mouth off? That will be the "gift to the Democrats"..he was whining about?

    Mitt's ugly coreless robotic assholery is all a gift to Democracy.

  • Bob on January 22, 2012 5:19 PM:

    Drip...Drip...Drip...

    Let Willard release his 2010 and estimated 2011 returns. Given his complex financial situation there will no doubt be more questions that might be answered with release of earlier returns. Moreover, whatever might be in the 2011 return will no doubt come up again in when he releases the final 2011 return. That is, unless Gingie is the nominee by then.

    Drip...Drip...Drip...

  • Elie on January 22, 2012 6:29 PM:

    lkt:

    You have several good points that I hope are reintroduced over and over --

    My only thought is that while valid, the message actually reinforces what we don't want reinforced -- that folks born out of this country but who are Americans, shouldnt run..

    The Republican unfairness has to do with white privilege and no rules, constitutional requirements or anything will stop that --- those folks just have to be outlasted. They will never stop their message that basically asserts their hegemony as white people. We are unable to change that through rational logic or the rule of law since the tribal identifications and beliefs are too strong. They can only be suppressed by the electorate until they die of old age....

  • Spiny Norman on January 22, 2012 6:51 PM:

    manapp99, have another Red Bull and get back to copying that freshman lit assignment out of Wikipedia. It's due tomorrow.

  • John Dillinger on January 22, 2012 6:59 PM:

    Romney will probably announce his tax returns from while he was governor were on those hard drives his staff purchased to prevent disclosure of what was on them.

    And what is with the RNC-compensated type troll? Steve must be getting under their skin.

  • smintheus on January 22, 2012 7:23 PM:

    Mitt has the political aptitude of a brick.

  • Peter G on January 22, 2012 7:56 PM:

    You know, I'm going to want to see the long forms.

  • TB on January 22, 2012 8:00 PM:

    My guess is that he'll only release one year's worth because in the previous years, his effective tax rate is probably in the single digits...

  • Jordan B on January 22, 2012 9:27 PM:

    This reminds of then Senator Clinton's bullshit over releasing her returns during the primaries. She didn't want people to see how much money she and bill had raked in over the years. It won't be good headlines for folks to see Romney is raking in 30 million a year.

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 10:02 PM:

    Oh boy! I missed the debate with mannapp or whatever the name is.

    Tax returns and financial disclosures are very important. Especially so when the republican congressional members are all millionaires+. This helps if ever convicted of bribery, lobbying...for instance a person makes accusations that one of our elected officials is facing criminal charges/indictments and can prove he/she gave person 'X' part of the money or other thing of value, we'd had somewhere to start.

    This is no different than in other professions, say stock broker, they are only allowed a certain value in gifts.

    But, again, Willard said something to the effect that he wanted to create a world where offshore wouldn't be necessary. This was in response to the big article on him in the L.A. Times about the shell companies in 2007.

    However, if you go the website of the Trilateral Commission, I believe it is their goal to merge/consolidate global banks.

  • Budly on January 22, 2012 10:23 PM:

    If he only releases his returns for 2010 then the press will ask (quite rightly) why it's only one year? And then we will do it all over again with demands that he release more returns from earlier years. He should release at least 10 years and make the issue go away in the near term. A republican electorate will not likely be too upset about wealth so now is the time to release the returns. The closer he comes to the general election (if he is the nominee) the more what his returns actually say about his wealth becomes an issue in the general election.

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 10:36 PM:

    I will only say something that I can somewhat have a leg to stand on. Meaning someone else provided a platform for me to speak.

    For instance, here is Willard in his own words, "Mitt Romney Promises to Raise Retirement Age, Privatize Medicare and Slash Government Jobs At Koch Event," http//kochwatch.org this video of Willard is also at Crooks and Liars.

    "Presidential White Papers: Mitt Romney" @ clubforgrowth.org

    "Governor Romney's Remarks at the Miami-Diade Lincoln Day Dinner," http://www.cfr.org/us-election-2008/governor-romney-remarks-miami-dade-lincoln-day-dinner/p13480 It was here that Romney admits the Democrats didn't want to confirm trade agreements, calls for a Second Marhsall Plan, calls for the biggest and best military in the world, and said Ricardo Poma was a business partner (giving him seed money to start Bain Capital) Looking up Ricardo Poma as someone on another site suggested, this guy has ties to squads in El Salvador.

    And my remarks about Willard saying 'he's not a Washington Insider,' the Tea Party did get elected on this talking point. In fact, from time to time John McCain has said it, even during his presidential election campaign.

    The problem with being in the private business sector and running for office at the same time does, in its on way create problems. For instance, in Costa Mesa, California on St. Patrick's Day, I think it was the Mayor, Monaghan, was at his business - a restaurant or pub type business while an employee who received a pink slip went to the City Hall and jumped off the building committing suicide. So, here you have an elected official that wasn't at his government job during the day hours, but at his own personal/private business instead while a tragedy happens at his government job.

  • SKM on January 22, 2012 10:43 PM:

    sorry about the mistake,
    it should be http://kochwatch.org to see the video - "Mitt Romney Promises to Raise Retirement Age...at Koch Brothers Event."

    Another point that should be taken, no wonder there are no jobs for the rest of us - they are taking them all, or giving to friends and family.

  • cwolf on January 23, 2012 12:18 AM:

    Hay Mods,
    Please don't let WM comment section turn into a series of pissing contests. (see above for gems such as:

    "...Typical middle school kid response,..."
    "...If they were made in middle school, like you and your little classmates, not so much...."
    "...You realize that I just posted your insult and directed it back don't you? Are you saying yours was a typical middle school insult? See what I mean about the creepy part?..."
    "...Oh crap...I should have known better than to get into a discussion with a kid at nap time. When you wake up I am sure you will not be so cranky. Unless, of course, your still teething..."

    There's probably more but so what?
    Even Wonkette has more disciplined commenters than those quoted above.

    Please protect the readability of WM's comment section by deleting useless personal feuds.


    [I missed the flame war yesterday, but the offending party's IP has been banned. We keep a better eye on things during the week than on the weekends. Apologies for missing the exchange at the time. --Mods]

  • SKM on January 23, 2012 12:24 AM:

    Make no mistake in this matter, when I said someone provides a platform for me - I am referring to, the information is already out there, most provided by the words he is saying on youtube videos.

    But, W. gave/awarded Gordon B. Hinckley (former president of the Mormon church - 15th Prophet) the highest medal - medal of freedom for "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."

    "Mitt Romney Mentions Author of Naked Capitalist - Youtube" 8-4-2007 www.youtube.com/watch?v=srKbhBYhOI this is the same book that Glenn Beck talks about. The author is Romney's mentor, at least that is what is reported. W. Cleon Skousen was a Mormon and John Birch Society member. It is also reported that Mr. Skousen was one of Willard's college professors.

    So with this, you want college transcripts of Obama, then let's see the transcripts of Willard, who went to Brigham Young University - a university that is allegedly a racist institution.

    In fact, why don't people look at the roll/list of members at JBS.

    With Gingrich, yes, he talks about Obama being the foodstamp president. It didn't start with Gingrich. When Obama was first elected, there was a man in California, Orange County. I think he was a sitting city councilman that made "Obama Stamps" which was supposed to be foodstamps, with pictures of watermelons on the white house lawn. People wonder why Paul doesn't really go up against Willard. So do I. Is it because they are both members of John Birch Society, or is it because Willard have given him campaign money as well.

    Did Willard try to set Perry up by giving him the $1 million donation, to dash his hopes of being president - that I don't know either.

    I do know that since 2008, Willard have been giving speeches at CPAC (so how is he NOT an insider?), and in his speeches, he has been blasting the president since 2008. In 2010, he gave a speech that was co-sponsored by John Birch Society and Oath Keepers.

    And let's not forget the tax returns for Sankaty LTD LLC, where Willard was listed as sole Shareholder and employee, and listed as CEO.

    Oh, and if you look at a site called bizzyblog, "The case against Mitt," she has a video of a campaign-townhall with John McCain, where he mentions Willard as on the list for VP - and please see the woman who supposed to had been scared out of her wits with the mention of Willard's name.

  • bob h on January 23, 2012 7:02 AM:

    When he decided to run for President for sure, he probably sanitized his returns with that in mind-close abusive shelters, donate more to charity, etc. We can assume 2010 represents a cleaned-up tax profile.

  • cwolf on January 23, 2012 2:40 PM:

    [I missed the flame war yesterday, but the offending party's IP has been banned. We keep a better eye on things during the week than on the weekends. Apologies for missing the exchange at the time. --Mods]

    ;) KooL,
    but,,,
    I hope my IP doesn't get banned... as with many other large buildings, there are more than a hundred PCs & Laptops on this LAN.

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