The heat is turning up quickly on Mitt Romney now that he has unequivocally ruled out a release of any additional tax returns from 2009 and prior. Since we know Mitt Romney never changes his positions, I guess that’s the end of the story.
Except that it isn’t. It certainly doesn’t help Mitt that his latest line of defense is that Teresa Heinz Kerry, whose name was not on a ballot, did not release her tax returns in 2004, therefore he doesn’t have to. Since the actual candidate, John Kerry, released 20 years worth of returns, and the potential future First Lady filed separate returns from her husband, it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. He’ll have to do better than that if he wants this issue to drop below the fold. I hear that Mamie Eisenhower and Nancy Reagan didn’t release their returns either. So there.
In the absence of official information, the media, the public and his campaign opponents will fill in the facts for him. How kind. The story will be told whether Mitt participates or not. (Isn’t it shocking that a guy who has been running for 7 years now hadn’t anticipated and planned for this?) The fact of the matter is that the lack of details and transparency on his tax returns is potentially more distracting and damaging than whatever could be found on the returns. Unless whatever is on his returns disqualifies him from elected office and leads to a grand jury investigation and an Obama reelection uncontested.
But I would never start such speculation.
It’s not like he doesn’t have his reasons for not releasing the returns. After reviewing the top ten reasons why Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns, he might be taking the correct path of obstruction and delay:
Top Ten Reasons Mitt Won’t Release His Tax Returns
10. Not sure he has his receipt to support the deduction he claimed for dropping off a van Gogh at a Salvation Army drop off station in Worcester.
9. Estimated dimensions of his home office space that he lists on his taxes is larger than the average single family home in America.
8. His signature includes a little smiley face in place of the dot above the ‘i’ in ‘Willard’.
7. His 2006 deduction for installing energy efficient windows makes him look like a tree hugging environmental wacko to the GOP base.
6. Not sure in retrospect if his haircare products really qualify as a medical expense.
5. Claimed on his 2008 return that his generous contribution to the McCain-Palin ticket was a “gambling loss”.
4. He would have to explain why he once checked the box that $3 of his refund could be used for public financing of Presidential campaigns.
3. His last 7 years of returns list his occupation as “Presidential Candidate”.
2. The Founding Fathers never had to release their returns.
And the Number One reason Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns:
1. Not enough time left before Election Day to correct them.
Thankfully Mitt has explained when defending his various off shore accounts that he was out of the loop. Everything has been in a blind trust (which is a misnomer, since the trust can see what’s happening – he’s the one that should be blind). This defense could be tough to maintain for 4 more months given his explanation of what a blind trust is: