Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Richie Rich Romney doesn't want to play “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

Senator Harry Reid just called out Mitt “Richie Rich” Romney, claiming he’d heard from a source that the reason Romney won’t release his tax records is because he hasn’t paid any taxes in ten years.

Well, gosh-all-whillikers. The richer a guy is the less he has to pay. Isn’t that built into the tax code, written by “our” Congress for the purposes of wealthy friends and supporters?

Romney is upset with Reid. Part of it may be that Reid, like Romney, is a Mormon. There is a sort of code, “Thou shalt not diss a fellow Latter-day Saint” (unless that fellow Saint is of the other political persuasion. Then it’s apparently okay.)

I had a conversation with a relative on Sunday night. Like me he was raised in Utah, like me he was raised Mormon and dropped out when he got the chance. His take on Romney’s tax forms was, “I don’t think he wants to release them because it’ll show he didn’t pay his full tithing to the [LDS] Church, and they’ll find out.”

(As an explanation, an LDS bishop consults with each member each year and asks them, “Have you paid a full and complete tithe?” and the answer, if negative, could deny one a permit to go through the LDS Temple, a punishment to the devout.)

That’s one theory. I countered with, “What if he paid his full 10% tithing on all of his millions, but didn’t pay any taxes? His opponent could say he cared more about his church than his country.” That would not go over well with the Mormon-haters amongst Republican voters.

Any of those three reasons would be enough to get him to hold his tax information close to his vest. Any of the three, or even any combination of those reasons could be enough to enrage enough Americans that he could kiss his White House dreams goodbye.

The other thing that came to mind concerns Romney's potential running mate. Should they release their tax information, or in deference to Mitt keep it private? It sounds like a lose-lose to me.

If Mitt were smart about it and better advised he’d probably just release his taxes and take his lumps now, before the convention. Undecided voters would have time to make up their minds, and the people who are supporting him now would probably support him then, even if they are pissed off at him in the short term.

No matter how you look at it, Mitt needs to make a decision and show those tax returns or ‘fess up as to why he’s not making them public.

P.S. His wife, Ann, attended the equestrian events at the Olympics. Someone didn’t sit her down and say, “Ann, do you know how this horsey stuff looks to voters? It’s a real high class, upper crust sort of sport, like polo.” Luckily she seems to have dodged the bullet as far as the news media goes, but I noticed, and I’m sure a few other people noticed, also.

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