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What Is the Real Problem with Romney’s Tax Returns?

September 29, 2012

Questions abound regarding Mitt Romney’s past tax returns, as well as how he managed to accumulate his vast fortune. Were shady financial dealings involved? Was everything about his tax returns above-board and totally legal? Why does he refuse to submit his past financial dealings and tax returns to public scrutiny as he seeks the most powerful elected office in the land? What, if anything, is he trying to hide?

Perhaps there are explanations for Romney’s reluctance to discuss such matters in relation to his campaign that involve no illegalities whatsoever. He certainly can afford tax attorneys and accountants to ensure he does not find himself in legal difficulties pertaining to his tax status. What if there is a deeper, less personal, reason for not allowing the answers to these questions to enter the political debate at this point in the campaign? Might he need to actually start putting specifics to his tax and budget proposals to show people how they will benefit as well as the wealthy?

How would the majority of voters feel about our tax code if they saw how it related to people in Romney’s economic class? Would there be more attention paid to why unearned capital gains income is taxed at a lower rate than earned salary or wage income, for instance? Would the fact that much less of the income of folks like Romney is subject to the payroll taxes that even workers who pay no federal income tax (his infamous 47%) pay?  Perhaps larger issues pertaining to the validity of his economic and tax plans, sketchy as they are, come into sharper focus upon examination of these important documents.

Mitt Romney has come to be seen by many as the poster child for the 1%. Revealing as his did recently that he paid more in taxes than he was legally required to last year and still paid a lower percentage than many middle class taxpayers says volumes about the inequities in our current tax policies. His call for further tax reductions for the wealthy and unspecified cuts in budget areas that aid those less fortunate than himself would likely not gain him much support at the polls.

Romney, Ryan and other defenders of policies that would only serve to increase income and wealth inequality in this country are increasingly failing to convince us of the validity of those policies or their ability to improve the lives and livelihoods of most people. Trickle down economics did not work under Reagan or Bush. Why would continuing or exacerbating those policies give better results under Romney? People are still looking for the good jobs that were supposed to be provided by the “job creators” who benefitted most by the Bush tax cuts that helped (along with the two unbudgeted wars) to explode the budget deficit they decry so.

The only thing that Bush’s tax policies accomplished was making people like Mitt Romney much richer at the expense of most of the rest of us. Trends in income and wealth accumulation have borne this out in numerous studies. More scrutiny of Romney’s financial past would provide a very good illustration of exactly which road we do not wish to continue taking in our economy. Decreasing revenues while increasing defense spending did not lower the deficit under Reagan or Bush. Drastically decreasing social spending to make up the difference is not the price that the vast majority of us should have to pay for doubling down on these policies so the rich get even richer while the rest of us get poorer.

Keeping the information hidden allows people to claim that trickle down will work and the money saved in huge tax cuts goes to create new jobs and build up our economy. Where is their fantasy world where this actually worked? How does our society benefit when wealth gained from our economy is not subjected to tax and is then invested elsewhere for greater even personal profit? I have seen many commercials with people stating how their lives were damages by such policies, but not one person who has stepped forward to publicly thank Mitt Romney for creating her/his job. It is long past time for the Romney campaign to come clean with the American people by releasing this information and giving specific details on how his budget and tax proposals will work.

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3 Comments
  1. As he used his churches exemption, he didnt pay any taxes for years. Thats what he didnt want to show anyone. How foolish can he be running for president and not knowing he would be expected to show his taxes

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  2. yes, he has a now illegal, but grandfathered in, ‘charitable trust’, that pays him back almost 100% of the money he puts in in tax free dividends, while the charity actually gets to quote a lawyer who set up these trusts, the charity gets as close to 0 that’s 0, as they can possibly work it. In order to pay close to 13.9%, for the two years returns he disclosed, he gave a few million directly to his charity, the mormon church, and didn’t take the allowed deduction. He probably paid nothing or next to nothing for the years he’s had that special charitable trust, that he has said since at least 1996.

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  3. valentinobenito permalink

    Mitt Romney is an artful dodger who managed to dodge the draft with four deferments — yet recommended Americans should fight in the Vietnam War — while he do missionary work in France, The fact that he caters to his fellow 1% crowd it’s no wonder he has a formula to dodge tax audits and pubic scrutiny. What gets me is that many people voted for this fool knowing full well he has a history of working for the industry that tears down companies for pure personal profit outcomes. Employees who lost their jobs and livelihood, thanks to Mitt and his pirates have yet to recover a normal life. Now he wants to run again,

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