Remain Calm! All Is Well!!!: Something Taxing This Way Comes
Posted July 19, 2012on:
I’m back from Tennessee, and it’s good to be home. The convention was enjoyable, and it’s always a pleasure to meet up with old friends. I love the Nashville area – my heart has been thoroughly blessed, and I may have to up my Lipitor dosage in order to cover the whopping increase in saturated fat intake over the past seven days. I’m embarrassingly fond of Southern cuisine, and yes, I’m embarrassingly aware that it is über-awful for my general state of health.
The drive home was through drenching storms, and we appreciated the suggestions for driving songs. Anyhow, between the convention and the drive home, we managed to miss seven days of a news cycle. We left in the middle of the screeching about Mitt Romney’s taxes, and we arrived home to – wait for it – further screeching about Mitt Romney’s taxes. Go figure.
Not that there are not other storylines out there. Syria is worse than ever, Hillary Clinton’s limousine was attacked by Egyptians accusing her of selling out to the Moslem Brotherhood (wonder where they got that idea?) There are murders, missing children, and multiple examples of man’s inhumanity to man. There are storms, heat waves, and power failures. That said, apparently nothing whatsoever can get Mitt off the hook with his taxes. This has gotten so bad that even Republicans are begging him to release more forms, as the two years that he proffered seem to have only whetted the public’s appetite. Just to name a few:
1. George Will: On “This Week”, Will commented that the cost of not releasing the forms are high, so the cost of releasing them must be higher.
2. Bill Kristol: Bill suggested that up to ten years of returns should be published, then Romney should give a speech a few days later on capitalism.
3. Ron Paul: Paul remarked that people wanted to see these returns, and Mitt might as well give them up.
4. Robert Bentley: The Governor of Alabama went a step further, suggesting that this looks as though there is something to hide.
5. Pete Sessions – The Honorable Texan has called Romney’s tax returns “fair game”.
6. Matthew Dowd: Dowd went even further than the Guv, hinting that there is likely something to hide, and stated firmly that there are arrogant people who think that they can do anything whatsoever.
7. John Weaver : This Republican strategist said that there is no whining in politics. He advised Mitt t stop demanding apologies and get on with the release.
8. Chuck Grassley: The Gentlemen from Iowa said that, while he did not think that Romney should be called upon to do anything extraordinary, he should release more years.
9. Rick Perry: Governor Goodhair released ten years’ worth of taxes. Get the point, Mitt?
10. Rick Tyler: Newt’s advisor pointedly reminded Mitt that there were repeated calls for more tax forms all the way through the primary, and he is living with the results now.
Had these statements been made by the Democrats, one might well have been able to blow then off as harassment. Sadly, these remarks are all attributed to those who would at least supposedly like to see a Romney ascent to the White House. Even the editorial staff of the National Review is now hammering him.
Even worse, it seems as though the infamous 2010 returns are incomplete. Someone who knows much, mush more about taxes than I do (translation: almost everyone else in the world) picked up on the fact that the FBAR has been FUBAR’d. Check this out, from Huffington Post:
Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, a document that first informed voters about the existence of his Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But people who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.
The Romney campaign did not respond to HuffPost’s request to view the document.
Tax experts say it is almost certain that Romney did file the form, known as a Report on Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or “FBAR” in accountant slang. The penalty for not filing an FBAR can be severe, and the IRS would have expected to receive the form since Romney listed the Swiss bank account on his tax return. Listing the account on his tax return and then failing to file the subsequent FBAR would have been asking for a hefty fine, and would probably have heightened IRS scrutiny of prior tax filings.
Nevertheless, Romney’s omission of the form from the earlier disclosure raises questions for tax policy experts about the function of his Swiss bank account, and whether or not Romney used other offshore bank accounts that did not generate interest.
The article goes on to discuss Swiss and offshore bank accounts, which are something about which I shall never have to concern myself, so I am unable to generate any interest in discussing that further at this time.
It’s really simple, Mitt. Your tax returns are the new Obama’s birth certificate. You have permitted this to go on so long and so far that even your own acolytes are begging you to just put the damned things out there. Pundits are now wondering aloud if you manage to avoid all taxes in the crash of 2009. This all may come down to whether you are more determined to sit in the Oval Office or keep your finances private.
After all, campaigns are a job interview. Romney has stated unequivocally that his business acumen is just exactly what the nation needs to set it to rights, and Bain and his tax returns are basically his resume. If he’d like to be hired, he will need to show a properly full portfolio of work.
This is an open thread.
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