"Mitt Can't Release His Returns"

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    From our "With Friends Like These" file: (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:24:31 PM EST
    The State of Illinois' favorite deadbeat dad, Congressman William Joseph "Joe" Walsh (R-Barrington), hits the stump for Romney, telling his fellow teabooties that they shouldn't expect much inspiration from the GOP nominee.

    It should be noted that the real Joe Walsh -- the one who so happens to be the guitarist for The Eagles, and not the guy who had to be dragged repeatedly into state court by his former wife for stiffing his own kids -- has endorsed Congressman Walsh's opponent, Tammy Duckworth, and has even held a fundraising benefit concert on her behalf.

    From our "Blather-Reince-Retreat" file: (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:35:47 PM EST
    RNC Chair Reince Priebus "triples down" on his claim that Sen. Reid is a "dirty liar," while Mitt Romney -- the vindictive guy who admitted that he likes to fire people -- calls upon Reid to reveal his source.

    Yeah, right -- like that's going to happen. I'm beginning to think that Sen. Reid has to be enjoying this. He's quite obviously struck a pretty deep nerve, which given the present volume of GOP whining would tend to indicate that he's probably a lot closer to paydirt than those pearl clutchers over at the Washington Post will ever dare to admit publicly.

    Shouldn't the WaPo (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by lilburro on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    be doing a bit less whining, a bit more investigating?

    One thing is clear, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 06:38:43 PM EST
    We now have the reduced the issues on which this election will be decided. Romney's position on his taxes has effectively taken him out as far as giving the electorate a reason to vote for him.

    Mitt's new slogan: "How much do you hate Obama?"

    And that's a road that has ... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:17:50 PM EST
    ... its own very real perils and pitfalls for the Republicans. A nakedly racist appeal to white voters could also court a tremendous backlash, particularly among the rapidly growing Hispanic and Asian communities in this country, as people begin to completely write off the GOP in perpetuity as a bunch of dangerously unstable crackpots.

    So McCain has a lot of houses... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by fishcamp on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:13:26 PM EST
    fine.  That he can't remember how many is semi-believable.  I lived in Aspen for 40 years and saw and knew people with too many houses, but so what.  Several houses equals big taxes and we all know this. But to not reveal your taxes wtf is Romney thinking?  Once again I just don't get it.  Do you?

    Dirty Liar (2.00 / 2) (#22)
    by friendofinnocence on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:40:50 PM EST
    The head of the RNC said Reid is a dirty liar.  I tend to agree because he has presented no evidence at all.

    Republicans don't like it much (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:59:50 PM EST
    when Dems play the game the way they do, huh?

    But hey, while we're talking about proof and evidence, where's Priebus' proof that Reid is a liar?

    Oh, right - he doesn't have any.

    Funny how that works...


    Some friend (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Yman on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:18:21 PM EST
    You have evidence that Reid wasn't told that Romney hadn't filed taxes for 10 years?

    Failure to file? (none / 0) (#25)
    by coast on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:44:11 PM EST
    The accusation is that he did not "pay" any taxes for 10 years.  If you knew a thing or two about taxes you would realize there is a huge difference between not paying and not filing.  One can file and not owe any tax and you can technically say he didn't pay any tax, even though he didn't owe any tax to begin with.  If he didn't file, then the IRS would be doing back flips.

    Correct (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 07:14:37 AM EST
    Hadn't paid taxes for 10 years.

    Feel better?


    Now that we have that lesson out of the way. (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by coast on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 08:27:40 AM EST
    Explain how one doesn't pay income tax for 10 years, yet the two returns he has released (for 2010 and 2011) show he paid paid taxes?  Note that Reid's accusation on the floor insinuated it was the latest 10 year period.

    LBJ would be proud - politics at its finest.


    Exactly, (none / 0) (#43)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 12:01:13 PM EST
    the only ways I can see for him (or anyone) to "not pay any taxes for 10 years" are:

    1. He had some humungous - and I mean HUMUNGOUS - financial losses prior to that 10 year period, such that he could carry those losses forward and use them to reduce his taxable income to zero over those following 10 years. These losses would likely have had to be, say, 90%+ of his wealth. Clearly that did not happen.

    2. He made zero money over the 10 years. Clearly that did not happen.

    3. He income was entirely from tax-free municipal bonds for those 10 years. Clearly that did not happen.

    Clearly somebody be fibbin' about Romney's taxes...

    What is the maximum (none / 0) (#44)
    by NYShooter on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 12:29:17 PM EST
    "contribution" one can make to a charity?

    You can give as much as you like (none / 0) (#54)
    by coast on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 05:50:32 PM EST
    but the general limitation on a deduction is 50% of your AGI (though some types of contributions are limited to lower percentages).  Any contribution above the limit is carried forward and deducted in future periods if allowable.

    Could you point out ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 07:34:39 PM EST
    ... the part where Reid "insinuated it was the latest 10 year period"?

    Funny stuff.


    Indeed, funnier every time you make such (2.00 / 1) (#80)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:56:18 AM EST
    redonkulous comments!!
    "He [Mitt Romney] didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain, but obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?"
    It was clearly the ten years from 2nd grade to Sr. in HS.

    You redonkulous, you.


    IOW, you can't ... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:15:02 AM EST
    ... point it out, because it only exists in your head.

    BTW -

    It was clearly the ten years from 2nd grade to Sr. in HS.

    That is a "redonkulous" statement, given that Mitt is 65 years old and has only released two years of returns.


    You are entertaining! (none / 0) (#82)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:34:05 PM EST
    Thanks ... you too (none / 0) (#83)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:36:52 PM EST
    Still no way to explain that logic, huh?  It must have been the past 10 years that Reid was referring to be-caaaaaaaause ...

    Oh, well ...

    ... work with what ya got ...


    Do you have evidence that Reid (none / 0) (#46)
    by gadfly on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 01:50:20 PM EST
    was told that Romney hasn't filed taxes?  If so who told him that?  Harry cannot have it both ways. An unnamed source does not cut it. He is either telling the truth or he is lying as he did during the Abramoff payoff scandal.  Then there is the question as to whether or not Harry paid taxes on the $1.1 million he suspiciously siphoned off the Coyote Springs land sale, back about 2006.

    please...the issue IS NOT whether he filed (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by DFLer on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:26:05 PM EST
    but how much he actually paid in tax liability....and at what rate (percentage of income) it ended up being (as compared to most "middle class" Americans rate). It's not a matter of "legal or not legal" It's a matter of how it will seem to most Americans, if his taxes paid v. income is a lower percentage than, say, Warren Buffett's secretary. It's a political issue.

    Of course it will be lower, (none / 0) (#55)
    by coast on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 05:57:30 PM EST
    just as Warren Buffett's was - for the simple reason that he garners most of his income now from investments.

    of course, and that is why he won't release (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by DFLer on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 08:52:53 PM EST
    because the results will expose the unfairness of it all....and will be seen as a political liability.

    Leaving aside for the moment that this (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:35:11 PM EST
    isn't about whether he filed the returns, but whether he paid any income taxes, let's not kid ourselves that "unnamed sources" haven't been cutting it just fine for the GOP for forever; it's all well and good to tell Harry that he can't have it both ways, but this is live-by-the-sword-die-by-the-sword stuff, which means that if we're going to stop having it both ways then everyone needs to stop, not just Democrats whenever Republicans have their own tactics used against them.

    So I will ask you the same question I asked of someone else just as unskilled in the art of deflection: what proof do you have that Reid isn't telling the truth - or better - what proof do you have that Romney did pay income taxes for the years in question?

    Right...none.  Zip.  Zero.

    We get that you want this to be about Democrats; you want to do whatever you have to to take the spotlight off of Romney.  But guess what?  This isn't going to go away until Romney releases his tax returns.  Romney can either release them, or spend the next three months dealing with the speculation about what's in them and suffering the political consequences.

    It's his choice.


    Do you have evidence that Reid WASN'T told that? (none / 0) (#50)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:33:37 PM EST
    Of course I do (none / 0) (#78)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:01:01 AM EST
    Reid's statement.

    Do you have any evidence he wasn't told Romney had paid no taxes for 10 years?


    Even Harry (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 03:48:50 PM EST
    "isn't certain" about the 10 years.

    Did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid really hear from an investor in Bain Capital that Mitt Romney didn't pay income tax for 10 years? Probably not. Even if he did, what are the odds that this "information" was just uninformed speculation? Pretty good. "Now, do I know that that's true?" Reid told the Huffington Post's Sam Stein and Ryan Grim. "Well, I'm not certain." Brilliantly played. Make the accusation as broad as possible--10 years!--so that Romney will want to demonstrate that Reid (or Reid's source) is a liar by releasing tax records showing he only paid zero taxes for, say, three years. Reid shrugs, says, "I guess my guy was exaggerating." Romney's candidacy takes a huge and possibly fatal hit. Advantage: Obama.

    And, then there's Salon, no friend of Romney, has this to say:

    Still, Romney has refused to release more than two years of returns, prompting Democrats to accuse Romney of hiding something nefarious. But is it even possible for someone of Romney's wealth to pay nothing for 10 years?

    Maybe, but probably not. David Miller, a tax attorney with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York, told Salon that knowing what we know about Romney's tax returns, it's "highly unlikely" that he paid nothing. It would be easier for someone like Steve Jobs to pay zero, as most of his wealth was in company stock, which isn't taxed until sold and may never be sold, as in Steve Jobs' case, Miller said. But Romney's arrangement with Bain is different. He would have earned management fees and when Bain sold the underlying companies that it invested in, Romney would have been subject to tax on his share. "It's possible he paid very little in taxes, but I find it hard to believe that he paid none," Miller said.

    Joshua Kamerman, a lawyer and CPA in New York who is president of an eponymous firm, agreed. He told Salon that while it's theoretically possible for Romney to have had zero tax liability for 10 years, Reid's claim is "preposterous." Charitable donations can shield up to only 50 percent of tax liability, while other means can lower the rate. But to pay nothing, Romney would have to sustain business operating losses, Kamerman said. The IRS lets people carry over losses for up to 20 years until they make a profit from which to deduct them. But Kamerman said this is almost certainly not the case for Romney, whom he said Reid is just trying to "embarrass." "It's just as unlikely that Romney had no income at all for 10 years and thus didn't file any returns," he said.

    Irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 04:41:05 PM EST
    Reid didn't make the assertion, he said someone from Bain made the asssertion, so it really doesn't matter if, in reality, it's ten, or just three years The onus is on Romney. And, as long as Romney refuses to pony up more than two years of tax returns, he fails. I'm with BTD on this one: I think 2009 is Romney's problematic tax year.

    Remove all the vowels from ... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:06:42 PM EST
    ... RNC Chair Reince Priebus' name, and what are you left with:

    RNC PR BS. But enough with the cheap shots.

    Unfortunately for hyperventilating Mr. Priebus -- and apparently you also, by extension -- the only one who can really prove Harry Reid wrong is Mitt Romney himself. And thus far, he's declined to do so, which only lends further credence to Reid's contention that there's something in the Mittmeister's tax returns that he doesn't want anyone to see.

    Speaking for myself only, I'm not at all worried or concerned that Romney is hiding something from me, because (1) I'm a declared Democrat, and (2) I've never believed a word he's said anyway. It's quite obvious that I have no intention of voting for him, so I'm not really the type of voter he should be worried about, because he never had me in the first place.

    Rather, the people Romney's actually deceiving with this painful tax return kabuki -- and the people the RNC should really be worried about -- are the voters who constitute the GOP's base.

    It's long been apparent that these voters aren't at all that enamored with Romney as it is, given his totally lackluster performance in the primaries against some truly mediocre competition. If he accepts the nomination and the bottom subsequently falls out of his campaign because of his tax charade, the consequences could be devastating downticket for the GOP. It's not that these Republican voters will turn around and vote for President Obama and the Democrats, but that they'll throw up their hands in frustration and stay home in November.



    I disagree (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jack E Lope on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 12:20:24 AM EST
    ...the people Romney's actually deceiving...are the voters who constitute the GOP's base

    ...because the people I see as the GOP's base will vote for Dubya Mitt Romney - even if they have to hold their noses - to get that Muslim Godless Commmunist Kenyan Anti-Colonial out of the White House.

    The target would probably be the swing voter - those who are still able to be convinced one way or the other.

    Dubya Mitt Rmoney's supporters are more-likely to rationalize the tax issue with some statement along these lines:

    If you knew a thing or two about taxes you would realize there is a huge difference between not paying and not filing.  ...you can technically say he didn't pay any tax, even though he didn't owe any tax to begin with.

    You know, deflecting the issue away from paying zero taxes on a huge income to not owing any taxes...on a huge income.

    My first suspicion was that Dubya Mitt Rmoney does not want to release the most-recent tax return on which he paid zero taxes (or, possibly, received a tax credit leading to a refund) on a larger-than-the-average-American income.  That doesn't mean 10 years of zero-tax, but it would look pretty suspicious to release 9 years of returns with a 1-year gap....


    Fixed the question so coast can't deflect: (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jack E Lope on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 12:39:09 AM EST
    You have evidence that Reid wasn't told that Romney hadn't paid taxes for 10 years?

    A phrase worth considering? (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lentinel on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:59:23 PM EST
    Sometimes in the Democratic party it takes somebody with some sort of guts to stand up...

    Ya think?

    The Ragin' Cajun needs subtitles... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:16:15 PM EST
    or closed-captioning; man, he's hard to understand sometimes.

    Aside from that, he sure seems to be enjoying this, doesn't he?  Something tells me he's been havin' a high ol' time pushin' Mary Matalin's conservative buttons on this one, and on so many more.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:11:46 PM EST
    You remind me of Whoopi Goldberg in the 1986 comedy-thriller Jumping Jack Flash, trying vainly to decipher the lyrics to the Rolling Stones song of the same name in order to pick up an important clue to a mystery. After playing and then re-playing it, she implores to the stereo in utter frustration, "Mick, Mick, Mick! Speak English!"

    Better lighting too... (none / 0) (#32)
    by fishcamp on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:33:47 PM EST
    so we could read his lips...

    John McCain has seen the returns (none / 0) (#2)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:29:28 PM EST
    ...and has not said a word in Romney's defense.

    Maybe somebody should ask him why not.

    Stop Making Sense! (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by shoephone on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:33:59 PM EST
    No, he hasn't, has he? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:51:32 PM EST
    But what John McCain DID say was that Sarah Palin was a better vice presidential candidate than Mittens. And that speaks volumes, even if it was wholly unintended.

    It should also be noted that the 2008 McCain campaign did a pretty thorough job when it came to its opposition research on Romney.


    Could it be (3.00 / 2) (#10)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:46:19 PM EST
    That Palin was a better vice-presdiential candidate because she wasn't a white male? And that she would bring an energy to the campaign (which she did)?

    Do you really think it was because of something allegedly in Mitten's tax returns?


    And could it be ... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:15:45 PM EST
    ... that -- like I also said above -- the McCain campaign did a pretty thorough job of opposition research on their GOP primary opponent from Massachusetts, and didn't like what they learned?

    Sometimes, the correct choice can be "All of the above."


    If Palin was considered (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:02:54 PM EST
    ...a better VP candidate than Mitt, it says that her cluelessness, laziness and repellent personality still beat his tax returns.

    That's gotta leave a mark.


    Why not both? (none / 0) (#12)
    by magster on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:05:18 PM EST
    I have a tendency to think that the (none / 0) (#16)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:35:27 PM EST
    campaign that really could not and did not properly vet Sarah Palin, beyond checking the box marked "female," could not have properly vetted Romney's tax returns, either.

    But it's certainly possible that they saw enough or looked carefully enough to know they just didn't want to go there.  For all we know, just the size of the numbers on the first page was enough to deep-six Romney as a running mate if what they were looking to market was a VP of the people.

    As long as Romney withholds the returns, people will be free to speculate about what's in them; you'd think he'd want to have gotten all of that behind him instead of having it right in everyone's face as they come down to the last three months of the campaign.  From a political perspective, it's just about as dumb as it's possible to be.  Not exactly a harbinger of good news for what life with President Romney would be like.

    Obama's not exactly running away with the election, but on this issue, I think he's playing it exactly right.  Will that be enough for him to sew up the election?  Too soon to tell, but I don't think he should count on it.


    Confidentiality (none / 0) (#3)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:33:58 PM EST
    I'm sure McCain would be violating some kind of confidentiality agreement if he said anything substantive on the topic. He could only do so with Romney's agreement. But if he would agree to that he would also be willing to release his returns.

    Why Would Mitt Object ? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:13:09 PM EST
    All he has to say, "I have sen them and he paid taxes all those years."  Hardly the same as releasing the returns.

    I stand by my earlier remarks, Harry Reid is telling the truth.


    Just because we heard (none / 0) (#26)
    by fishcamp on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:00:04 PM EST
    that John McCain saw Romney's tax reports do we really know this is true?

    John McCain himself says so (none / 0) (#31)
    by DFLer on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:28:08 PM EST
    According to HuffPo
    Sen. John McCain said on Tuesday he can "personally vouch" there was nothing disqualifying in the 23 years' worth of tax returns that Mitt Romney submitted to his team in 2008, when he was vetted for a vice presidential spot.

    "Everything was fine," McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill. "I can personally vouch for the fact that there was nothing in his tax returns that would in any way be disqualifying for him to be a candidate."

    "Disqualifying" (none / 0) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:22:46 PM EST
    Maybe not legally "Disqualifying"

    But, embarrassing enough to the point of being politically "Disqualifying?"


    This from a guy that didn't (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:41:10 AM EST
    think Sarah Palin was too embarrassing....methinks his bar is set pretty low.

    Are you sure (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:43:52 PM EST
    McCain has seen them? Or is it assumed? Maybe Romney's refusal to provide them to McCain is why Palin was so much more attractive than Romney as a VP.

    I believe that Romney had provided ... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:27:53 PM EST
    ... the McCain campaign with tax returns going all the way back to 1986, in consideration of his prospective candidacy as vice president. And then afterward, the McCain folks decided to choose Sarah Palin. Hah!

    This is beginning to resemble (none / 0) (#13)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:25:28 PM EST
    the 2008 attack on McCain for having 7 houses, although I expect this to actually get worse.

    And (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:32:52 PM EST
    at least the taxes Romney paid or did not pay have some relevance to the issues going on in the counrty right now. How many houses McCain or Kerry had really just wasn't relevant.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#37)
    by Left of the Left on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 01:39:10 AM EST
    at least the taxes Romney paid or did not pay have some relevance to the issues going on in the counrty right now.

    Lets not build a simple political attack into anything greater please. Is it a good way to attack Romney, yes.

    But him refusing to not release them is evidence of nothing, and he is under no obligation to do so. It's just dumb politics. The country is in a bad spot and saying his taxes matter in regards to whats facing the country going forward is laughable, my god.

    There is a difference between recognizing an attack is beneficial and accepting it be played and enveloping yourself in it and carrying it forward.

    Romney and the Republicans will never have my pity, but smears will never have my support.


    Well, I disagree (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 06:18:47 AM EST
    since we are having a debate on taxes and what they should be. You know, Romney dug this hole for himself. And he just keeps digging and saying "trust me" I paid them. I'm sorry but "trust me I paid them" probably is not good enough for a lot of people.

    of course (none / 0) (#47)
    by Left of the Left on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:04:54 PM EST
    Romney could settle this by releasing his taxes. Yes, Romney could be seen as hiding something. If that's not good enough for people they can simply not vote for him.

    Reid's attack is still a baseless smear.


    How do you KNOW it's baseless? (none / 0) (#49)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:32:05 PM EST
    Uh (none / 0) (#58)
    by Left of the Left on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 11:47:35 PM EST
    the fact that there's no proof supporting it.

    Was that a serious question?


    Admit it, you have no idea (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 11:54:33 PM EST
    You fail.

    Ok, this is actually very simple (none / 0) (#60)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 12:02:50 AM EST
    A charge either has proof supporting it, or it does not. That proof must be presented by the person making the charge. I know not if the charge is true or not, all I know is there has been no proof presented to back it up.

    The accusation itself is not evidence that it is true. The burden of proof is on the accuser.

    This is fairly basic stuff here.


    Seriously, shoephone, (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 12:09:21 AM EST
    Ried's claim that "See, this one guy I know said this other guy he knows did this [fill in the blank]" is  pretty much the definition of a baseless claim.

    Seriously, yourself (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:03:36 AM EST
    Just because he hasn't named his source doesn't mean there is no source, or that there is no basis for the claim.

    Bottom line: Reid doesn't have to prove anything. The onus is on Romney to disprove -- which he could do quite easily, if his tax returns show otherwise, and if he provided them for perusal.


    Lets try it a little differently (none / 0) (#63)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:20:00 AM EST

    Bottom line: Reid doesn't have to prove anything

    Actually since he is making the accusation, yes he does.

    The onus is on Romney to disprove -- which he could do quite easily, if his tax returns show otherwise, and if he provided them for perusal.

    To say that Romney can easily disprove the charge by releasing his tax returns does not mean the onus is on him.

    I have two fairly straight and easy questions:

    1- What evidence is there to back-up Reid's charge? There has not even been a secondary source for the claim, or even a reporter saying they've heard similar stories. So what evidence is there to support the charge?

    2- If Speaker Boehner where to announce tomorrow that he heard from a former White House official that President Obama was clinically depressed and taking medication, would the onus be on Obama to show he wasnt?

    You frequent a law blog and are actually writing these posts? I'm blown away.


    I'd say the difference is in the politics and (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by observed on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:33:16 AM EST
    It wouldn't be reasonable to ask Obama to disclose medical information, based on a rumor, because there is no corrobating evidence.
    In Romney's case, however, there is a big stink, based on what we know already!
    How did he get $100 million in his IRA?
    Why didn't he release his form on foreign bank holdings from 2010? Why only 2 years of partial returns---far below the recent norm for Presidential candidates.

    Sure, complaining that Reid is playing unfair, dirty politics might be a good tactic for Romney, but it might not. After all, Republicans have done quite well with dirty politics of all sorts in recent years.

    In the final analysis, your points are completely irrelevant, IMO.


    and what exactly do you think (none / 0) (#66)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:55:43 AM EST
    my points are trying to achieve? Im simply pointing out that the Reid attack is a smear with no proof behind it. I aim to show or prove nothing more. I am in no way defending Romney.

    That he has not disclosed everything is evidence of nothing, that people take issue with what he has disclosed is also evidence of nothing. There was a very specific charge made by Reid, it is to that charge that I speak.

    Secondly the Presidents health is the public's concern. People had concerns with McCains advanced age, for example.

    It wouldn't be reasonable to ask Obama to disclose medical information, based on a rumor, because there is no corrobating evidence.

    This is the exact same situation regarding Romney, the only difference is one is medical, one is financial. There is no corroborating evidence of Reids charge to my knowledge. If there is then show it.

    I dont think the Left should be so gung-ho about this type of politics. Accept it, yes. Let Harry play it out and do the damage it will do to Romney, yes. But do not pretend it is anything other than what it is, a baseless attack.


    Here's another comparison (none / 0) (#67)
    by observed on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:30:00 AM EST
    Suppose a leading public figure in 1983 said that he had been told privately that Reagan was senile (as he was, in fact).
    Romney is vulnerable here, and no amount of carping about unfair tactics will change that.
    Frankly, I think what Reid has done is quite mild.
    He did not accuse Romney of committing any crime.

    Jesus Christ (none / 0) (#68)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:32:00 AM EST
    Romney is vulnerable here, and no amount of carping about unfair tactics will change that.

    Are you intentionally ignoring what I'm writing?

    Yes hes vulnerable. Yes nothing will change that.

    I am not attempting to change that. Please go find someone who is and reply to them.


    I'm saying you're writing something (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by observed on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:37:24 AM EST
    jejune and irrelevant. Got it?
    Case closed, no need to respond.

    Very few people (none / 0) (#70)
    by Zorba on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:46:39 AM EST
    use the word "jejune" any more.  Love it!  Kudos, observed!

    Ha! (none / 0) (#71)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:49:10 AM EST
    Then why reply at all? I mean, the point I've been making is clear and yet you chime in saying my points are irrelevant regarding something I wasnt attempting to do. You know why they're irrelevant? BECAUSE I WASN'T SPEAKING ABOUT THAT.

    Thats even more ridiculous than the guy saying the onus is on the accused to disprove allegations.


    There's right and wrong, and then (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:55:28 AM EST
    there's politics.  And this is politics.  The kind of politics that Republicans have refined into an art form.  The same politics that saw - and still sees - Republicans wanting Obama to prove his citizenship, the same politics that had Republicans wanting the Clintons to prove they didn't have Vince Foster murdered - to name two.

    This is the politics of beating Republicans at their own game - and I get that they don't like it, but they have no room - not even a millimeter - to complain about a tactic they use all the time - proudly, and usually justify by invoking the voters' right to know.

    The ugly political culture in which we live now is one where anonymous sources are more prevalent than the ones willing to go on the record.  Where the administration leaks classified information that serves its political goals, and wants to prosecute leakers who don't.  The chances of your finding a named source for much of anything these days are about as good as your chances of winning the lottery, or being struck by lightning.

    I don't like it any more than anyone else does.  But let's not kid ourselves that this isn't how the game is played, or that Republicans have any moral high ground on which to stand here.  They don't.  

    My suggestion would be to suck it up, man up, grow up.  

    Romney has a choice to make: release the tax returns or keep stonewalling.  If he's standing on principle, he may need it to keep him company for his next gig of sitting on the sidelines.  If he has something to hide, or something to explain, the longer he waits, the closer we get to November, the deeper the hole he will have dug for himself.

    That's the politics of this - and right now, it's not working in Romney's favor.


    Thats great Anne, but (none / 0) (#73)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:21:02 AM EST
    How does any of that, in anyway, whatsoever, contradict what I've said.

    I mean, I agree with everything you said, not a word of that contradicts my point.

    This is politics as it is played now, do not attempt to act like it is anything more than what it is. <-- That's it. Thats my main point. The discussion beyond that with shoe, and in particular the post you are replying to, is attempting to show how wrong shoe is in believing it is the job of the accuser to disprove baseless allegations. It is wrong to say the onus is on the accused, and it doesnt stop being wrong simply because the accused is a Republican.


    All this whining over a charge which (none / 0) (#76)
    by observed on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:41:01 PM EST
    is extremely mild! Romney is not being accused of a crime, for godssake. In fact, he is not being accused of doing anything immoral or unethical.
    He's only being accused of using tax loopholes to pay nothing in taxes (probably not nothing, but close to it).
    Jeez..this is NOT hardball.
    This is a nerf ball knocking over a featherweight candidate.

    how difficult is it to understand (none / 0) (#77)
    by Left of the Left on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 01:39:59 PM EST
    That I am not complaining (or whining) about the attack, or either campaigns response to it, or the democratic party org. using it?

    Also (none / 0) (#74)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:49:30 AM EST
    It's like dem voters have developed this inability to separate their support for the candidate/party and the candidate/party's actions. Like it's not enough to support Obama, you must embrace and justify his use of state secrets, you must embrace and justify extra-judicial killings. (These are general yous, I am not specifically speaking about you Anne), etc.

    It is possible to support a candidate/party and not lose sight of right and wrong, and I think some people have lost sight of that, and the embrace of this attack as something more than just politics (by some), is a sign of it. It's something we should be mindful of...as we (deservedly) beat Romney over the head with it.


    "Right, wrong," (4.00 / 1) (#75)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:02:54 PM EST
     "Lies, truth," "His responsibility, no, his responsibility," "Good for the goose, yadda, yadda, yadda."

    All irrelevant, IMO.

    Successful, or not, the only point I'm interested in.

    I believe there are time when the end really does justify the means. I further believe that this is one of those times. I believe the Republicans of today are toxic mutants of a major political party and have lost the privilege of being considered  a legitimate "opposition" party,  with simply a different point of view and/or philosophy.

    You need do nothing more than read a couple of paragraphs by Mike Lofgren to understand that today's Republican Party is the enemy of 99% of the American people, and the enemy of any semblance our country has of being the representative democracy our founders envisioned. I don't think it's hyperbole to state they're also enemies of Mankind as well. Whether an action is to be considered "right, or wrong" must be taken in context of what the stakes are.

    I happen to believe the stakes are nothing less than the life or death of our 250 year experiment with a Constitution based Democracy. One party wants to take us into the realm of a Plutocracy/Aristocracy, where all power and wealth resides within a tiny minority (Serfdom for the rest,) and the other wants to lead us with a flawed, inept, corrupt, yet not quite irreversibly unfixable form of Democracy.

    So, taking thing in context, imagine what a well-placed bullet in 1939 might have meant for 50 million soon to be dead souls? Should "right/wrong" have been a consideration then?

    For once, I'll borrow a phrase from the Tea Party. I want to "take back our country" from those who want to destroy it. If a statement by an aging Senator from Utah assists in that endeavor, the last thing I care about is whether it was "right or wrong." If it was successful, it was "Right."


    To be clear regarding #2 (none / 0) (#64)
    by Left of the Left on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:46:33 AM EST
    I'm simply presenting a hypothetical claim for matters of comparison. I am not pushing this in any way shape or form, if it happens to match one of the many ridiculous Republican conspiracy theories out there its merely coincidental, and in my defense it'd almost be impossible not to at this point.  

    I think (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    this IS worse. No one questioned McCain's taxes that I can remember. I didn't like the attack on the number of houses he had though. It reminded me of similar attacks from George W. Bush on John Kerry.

    I believe that it wasn't so much ... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    ... a matter of the number of houses McCain owned, as it was his apparent failure to recall exactly how many houses he owned.

    BTW I had one house in Aspen... (none / 0) (#29)
    by fishcamp on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:16:29 PM EST

    I see this as the political fight of the campaign (none / 0) (#57)
    by Realleft on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 10:32:47 PM EST
    ...to date.  Regardless of whether Romney paid some taxes, the issue goes straight to the heart of how he seems to see the US - as a society to benefit from for he and his own, but avoiding contributing toward beyond the bare legal minimum. While this does not make Romney stand out in any significant way from the rest of the super-rich, it raises the question of why Americans should vote for someone who puts money in Swiss bank accounts and offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying taxes (not to mention that truly dodgy IRA, which almost by default had to be gotten by manipulating loopholes). That someone with such a background is even in the running to be the leader of the country blows me away. Democrats should continue to hammer on this issue right up to election day. It may not be a large issue in itself, but it is representative of something really foul in the culture of the American super-rich - self-gain through legal manipulation rather than investment in the country and America society. It extends beyond individuals like Romney into how corporate CEOs and boards have prioritized their own and their shareholders short-term gain over reinvesting in either workers or American society in general.