Invictus here.

Mitt Romney didn’t have a very good week. When the Romney Campaign releases his 2011 taxes as a subject-changer, it’s a safe bet that things haven’t been going swimmingly.

Let’s oblige them by wading into this tax story.

Here is what we know: GOP candidate Mitt Romney has released his two most recent tax returns. According to Politifact, that’s far fewer than most presidential candidates disclose. As an example, Romney’s father, George, had released 12 years of tax returns. He has steadfastly refused to release the rest, despite being goaded by many players — not just Democrats and media pundits, but by members of the GOP establishment as well. Regardless, he has not been very forthcoming.

Why has he refused? There are no good answers, only speculations. Given that not releasing additional tax docs has cost Romney politically only increases the arm chair hypothesizing. All summer, the incumbent has battered the challenger on this (and related issues). Romney’s approval ratings have been hurt. His refusal is helping to coalesce a detrimental media narrative: There are different rules for people of privilege than for the rest of the country, and Romney has taken advantage of them. These week’s 47% gaffe only plays into that same narrative.

While the Obama ads have been politically effective, it’s been even more surprising that there has not been a successful counter from the GOP candidate. Romney was even vetted as a Veep candidate in 2008 by the McCain camp, where they ostensibly saw his tax records. McCain himself said Romney provided 20 years of records, and has paid his taxes . . . but then again, he passed over Romney for Sarah Palin as Veep.

The Obama campaign has offered to drop the issue if Romney releases just 5 years of tax docs. Still, the Romney camp has refused.

All of these minor sleights and unanswered accusations have led to a cottage industry of imagining what secrets might be hidden in these tax records. We do not know, but we can use some deductive reasoning to come up with some reasonable theories as to why Romney won’t share with voters what he showed the McCain camp (or perhaps, what took place post-McCain).

Here are our 5 top contenders:

1) 0% Tax Rates: The released tax documents show a very low tax rate, and Romney has said he never paid less than a 13% rate over the past 10 years. However, its not inconceivable that through a combination of aggressive tax planning, use of Trusts, earned income carry forwards and use of tax havens like Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Romney may have paid no taxes whatsoever in 2009 and years prior. His advisors may have correctly surmised this would be fatal to his Presidential aspirations.

Since I began composing this post, the Romney campaign has released a letter from his accountants to the effect that, over the period reviewed, the Romneys’ lowest tax rate was 13.66 percent (though there was a bit of numerical gymnastics to make that true in 2011). Note that Romney’s letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers discusses “adjusted gross income” — not total income; this subtle difference has already been debunked.

Not surprisingly in the post-Enron, post-WorldCom world, the word of an accountant ain’t worth the pixels used to write it. And, if it’s true, why not just get them out there and be done with with?

Well, maybe it’s:

2) Voter FraudThe Guardian and others came up with an even simpler theory: That Romney has voted in a state in which he was not technically a resident (i.e. voting in Massachusetts when he was actually a resident of California).

I first saw this in Forbes, which mentioned that “Romney appears to have escaped relatively unsinged from the apparently unrelated revelation that he may have committed voter fraud in January 2010, when – despite not owning a house in Massachusetts and having given every appearance of having moved to California…”

3) Broken Tax Laws: Personally, I assign this a very low to moderate probability. However, without releasing his returns, Romney leaves himself open to speculation that he may perhaps have crossed a line and submitted returns that are somehow numerically fraudulent and/or otherwise illegal (separate and apart from the aforementioned address issue).

BR has raised the issue of Romney’s IRA. William Cohan at Bloomberg has also wondered how he was able to legally amass $102 million in his individual retirement account — tax free! — during the 15 years he was at Bain Capital, despite contribution limits that would seem to make that all but impossible. What sort of rate of return is that, anyway?

Regarding the IRA contributions, Victor Fleischer, Professor of Law at University of Colorado is rather blunt: “Bottom line: Mitt Romney has not paid all the taxes required under law.”

Beyond that, it’s possible he is:

4) Much Wealthier Than Previously Reported: Romney’s wealth has been guesstimated at around $250 million. Returns from which we might infer that his wealth is significantly greater – not that $250 million isn’t a huge number – might be somewhat off-putting to the electorate, particularly in light of Romney’s recent well-publicized 47% gaffe (which actually was not a gaffe at all, but a core belief among some conservatives).

And, finally, a theory I have not seen advanced elsewhere that seems to me as plausible (maybe more so) as any other. I can’t take credit for this idea, but it certainly seems viable:

5) Did Romney Make a “Bet Against America”?: Some facts in support of this theory:

Romney suspended his presidential campaign on February 7, 2008. At that time, the Case-Shiller Comp 20 (NSA) stood at ~175 on its way to ~139 in the spring of 2009. The S&P500 stood in the low-to-mid 1300s, off the fall 2007 high, on its way to the infamous March 2009 666 low.

In 2011, we learned that:

Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson is upping the ante on his already huge bet on Mitt Romney, opening his palatial Southampton home for a late August fundraiser. [...]

A big bundler for Romney’s campaign, Paulson—who made billions betting on the decline of the housing bubble -

And, earlier this year, there was this:

The Republican candidate has accepted donations from controversial hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson, but Thursday night he made their association more explicit by allowing Paulson to host a fundraiser, Ben Jacobs reports.

Paulson’s housing market short, of course, is now widely considered one of the greatest trades of all-time. Now, I do not know the depth of the relationship between Romney and Paulson. And, importantly, I don’t know when it began. The Romney campaign could, of course, answer those questions – assuming, that is, they ever get asked.

But the question needs to be asked: Do Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns - in particular for 2008 & 2009 - contain evidence that he “bet against America” via participation in John Paulson’s wildly successful housing market short and/or, more generally, by being short equity markets during the decline? Of course, such behavior is hardly illegal. But I doubt his personal enrichment during that period (particularly via a housing market short) would play well with the tens of millions of Americans who were simultaneously being financially devastated. If this is the case, it could explain a lot. For example, Romney could not release, say, 2000 – 2007, withhold 2008 and 2009, and have 2010 and 2011 already in the public domain. That’s clearly a non-starter which would only focus the country on those two years and what might be contained in those two returns. The only alternative – which appears to be the way his campaign is playing it – is to declare everything prior to 2010 off-limits. Further, when McCain saw Romney’s returns and declared their contents benign, his (McCain’s) campaign would obviously not have seen the 2008 and 2009 returns, as they’d not yet been prepared or filed. Profiting handsomely from a housing/stock market short could easily be turned into an anti-Romney sound bite that would only add to the narrative of the candidate as a ruthless über-capitalist concerned only for himself while the 47 percent moocher class struggles.

The bottom line is that there’s something in Mr. Romney’s tax returns that he doesn’t want made public. Having bet against America would be at the top of my list – far more devastating, in my opinion, than simply having paid an absurdly low rate.

h/t You Know Who You Are

@TBPInvictus

Adding: I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the comments raising the possibility that Romney participated in the 2009 Swiss Bank Account Amnesty program. Yet another possibility – #6.

Category: Current Affairs, Politics, Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

68 Responses to “5 Theories Why Romney Won’t Release His Tax Records”

  1. Robert M says:

    I believe that Rmoney has not released year after year of tax returns since 1995 because one, he claimed to live in MA when he didn’t. Two, he took part in 2009 amnesty for tax dodgers using Swiss secret acct’s.

  2. techy says:

    I second Robert M, it maybe legal to get a tax amnesty but imagine what it will do to your political campaign.

  3. techy says:

    plus 102 million in IRA is only possible if you game the system to your favor using loopholes.

  4. BigSpooky says:

    +1 for the tax amnesty theory.

  5. jeff in indy says:

    this falls in the WGAS category…

    Invictus: Not. I’d say tens of millions GAS.

  6. Greg0658 says:

    curious what is the highest ranking government employee that can request/order the packet delivered to their desk? for inspection purposes only of course.
    or does a computer (under some App) need to kick the record out for inspection by low level ops?

  7. dolbydog says:

    It’s also been suggested that he has made charitable donations to Planned Parenthood in the past. He was much more liberal in the past, and has admitted to being Pro-chioce earlier in his career.

  8. lalaland says:

    The thing that’s so galling about Romney not releasing his returns, is that HE’S ALWAYS WANTED TO BE PRESIDENT, and so year after year, instead of minimizing his deductions to ensure his returns were presentable to the American public, he took as much as he could, believing he could stonewall their demands.

  9. theexpertisin says:

    While pouring over Romney’s tax returns are as salacious to the left as Obama’s mysterious Connecticut social security number and his college records are to the right, the truly important issues that are being deflected into oblivion by the Obama Chicago team (with some support, I admit, from an ill-defined Romney campaign) will be haunting us far after the upcoming election.

  10. LiberTea says:

    All speculation, and worth that much.

    I’m more concerned about what the FedGov does with the GDP than what Romney does legally with his own money.

    If the IRS had a bone to pick with him, I’m sure that under Mr. O’s influence, it would have done so, given that Mr. O has been abusing his privileges of office to trounce even just contributors to the opposing party’s campaign.

  11. Moss says:

    Does not really matter since his trust deficit is insurmountable. The guy is not electable. Not electable if he does release them and not electable if he does not. When one speaks of the field being tilted, Romney epitomizes that reality.

  12. contrabandista13 says:

    I plan to voet for Romnee, he’s such a good bussines man and god feering famili man…. Hes going to take care of al them muslimss and muchers… No really, “all seriousness aside”….. If he were a stock, I’d short him big time…! OT: there’s some heavy gossip on FB… Zuk in PB LN…. that’s all….

  13. RW says:

    Interesting speculation. One I’ve heard elsewhere but not here (yet) is that the Romney’s shorted the church on the required 10% tithe. I understand the preferred term in the CJCLDS is “offering” but the reality appears to be that the church expects its current members to pay 10% of their income to the church, in addition to offerings and other donations and does not take lightly any attempt to renege on that obligation of membership.

  14. philipat says:

    This is entirely irrelevant and a total waste of space. So long as Romney is following the law, who cares what his tax rate is. If you don’t LIKE the tax laws, you should use the democratic process to change them. Romney is now being criticised for NOT taking the full, legally available, deduction for deductions on charitable donations in 2011 so as to “Artificially INCREASE the taxes paid and the tax rate. This seems to put him in an impossible lose/lose situation.

    I also take issue with the fact that being smart enough to recognise the insanity in the mortgage market as a result of irreponsible (And possibly fraudulent) actions of Wall Street and invest accordingly means “Betting against America” rather than just a smart investment.

    This is a BUSINESS blog and, with respect Invictus, I am sick of your Liberal political bias and garbage. I wish Barry would just release those pictures involving himself and sheep so that we could be rid of this.

    Invictus:
    Yes, it’s a business blog. However, a) it’s election season b) the next president will have an impact on the economy c) we do have tags for both “current events” and “politics,” and this post qualified under both d) Romney does nothing but invite speculation by withholding his returns, and I’m simply obliging him. That said, I’ve never made any bones about my liberal leanings. They’re right out there for all to see. The vast majority of my posts use data, graphs, charts, tables, and the like in support of either my own arguments or my takedown of others’. The fact is that if not for the leash that Barry keeps me on, I assure you I’d be way, way off the reservation.

    I readily concede that it’s likely Romney did nothing illegal though, of course, it is still a possibility. And while shorting the housing market with/via Paulson (if it happened) may have been a great investment strategy, it will simply not play well with the electorate, and Romney should have weighed his desire to capitalize on a decline in the housing market vs. his desire to ascend to the presidency. There is arguably no more important job on the planet, and the notion that in 2012 he’s going to keep his tax returns secret should border on a disqualifier.

    Should Barry release the photos, my leverage is gone; let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  15. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    I think voter fraud is the answer. As opposed to tax issues — which the freekin’ IRS doesn’t even understand — it doesn’t take a very much deep thinking to understand why voter fraud would be viewed as very bad thing for a Presidential candidate, and Romney’s core base is fairly well known for avoiding deep thought.

    If it’s voter fraud, Romney would alienate another huge chunk of the 47%.

    OTOH, Obama is still black (and a Kenyan/Indonesian/Madrassa-attending/socialist/communist) — so there’s no telling if there is anything that could possibly be bad enough about Romney to overcome such character flaws.

    Also, voter fraud would explain why the IRS hasn’t done anything to Romney. As long as they’ve been paid, I don’t think residence and/or voter fraud are of much importance to them.

  16. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    theexpertisin Says:

    ”While pouring over Romney’s tax returns are as salacious to the left as Obama’s mysterious Connecticut social security number. . .”
    ______________

    I’ve heard this before, but I can’t seem to find any information on SS numbers being tied to individual states.

    Is there a code involved in SS numbers that indicates a person’s state of origin?

    Invictus: All I’ve ever seen on that issue is here:
    http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/geocard.html

  17. gman says:

    The man gives more money to the Mormons than he pays in taxes!
    He has the balls to talk about “since of entitlement” and “people not paying there fair share” AT AN EFFING PE EVENT! CARRIED FORWARD INTEREST ANYBODY!

  18. 10x25mm says:

    Why should Romney release more records? He has already released the same number of tax records President Obama released when he was running in 2008. This whole issue is just an attempt on the part of reptile journalists to push the Obama construct of Romney.

    The IRA valuation is obviously the result of a rollover, any freshman accounting student should realize this. No story here.

    Residency for voting purposes is elected by the voter and can be different from other types of residency without any violation of law. This is a common situation when one moves from one address to another.

    The other conjectures in this post are just as weak and suggest a political agenda, rather than an economic agenda. The quality of this blog is deteriorating…..

    Invictus: Point #1 debunked in a matter of minutes:
    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/03/obama-releases.html

  19. James Cameron says:

    > Is there a code involved in SS numbers that indicates a person’s state of origin?

    ” . . . The first set of three digits is called the Area Number . . .

    “The Area Number is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1972, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the State in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be the State where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1972, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant’s mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, either prior to 1972 or since.”

    http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/geocard.html

  20. q7 says:

    Do Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns – in particular for 2008 & 2009 – contain evidence that he “bet against America” via participation in John Paulson’s wildly successful housing market short and/or, more generally, by being short equity markets during the decline?

    Invictus! Really this is beneath you.

    Is it betting against America when you recognize the stupidity and greed in the housing bubble and short it?

    Is it betting against America when you recognize the only way to pay off impossible debts is to debase the currency and you go long gold?

    Be a patriot leverage to the hilt wrap yourself in the flag and go down it flames.

    C’mon, you know better.

  21. ezrasfund says:

    …and some interesting ideas about Romney’s just released 2011 return.

    It appears that Romney did not take all of the charitable deductions to which he is entitled in order to keep his tax rate above the self-declared 13% rate. A small price to pay for the Presidency… if he doesn’t decide to file an amended return.

  22. bjssp says:

    Invictus,

    Any thoughts on the Megan McArdle post re Romney’s taxes linked to below? Unless I am missing something, it seems like she’s using the classic trick of debunking arguments few it any were making and pretending as if this washes away all of the other questions.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/21/romney-drops-his-tax-returns.html

  23. ReductiMat says:

    It must be a nice world to live in when one believes a single political party provides them with all the answers and that the single alternative is wrong an equal amount of times.

  24. FNG says:

    Invictus,

    Normally you write as a complete partisan hack. However this time I think you did bring up some very justifiable criticism of Romney. Thank you. Don’t let it go to your head….you’re still a douche.

    Invictus: Great comment. Laughed out loud. Thank you.

  25. CharlesII says:

    Since Romney has proven through his response to the tax return issue that he’s secretive and deceptive, it almost doesn’t matter what tax sins he may have committed. He’s already proven himself to be unworthy of our trust.

  26. CharlesII says:

    10x25mm says, “Why should Romney release more records? He has already released the same number of tax records President Obama released when he was running in 2008.”

    Amazingly false. CNN reported in 2008 that Obama released six years of returns.

    That’s a good reason not to rely on the right-wing echo chamber for facts. And at the very least to check the date when blog posts are made.

  27. KLeBrun says:

    Betting against America does not frame the issue properly. If he knew that the housing bubble was a big scam that would hurt millions of Americans he had a moral obligation to speak up rather than profiting from it. If he made a quick buck off the bubble while watching the country go down in flames he lacks the moral character to be President. He can’t be trusted!!!!

  28. eliz says:

    Ann Romney said during her NBC interview (start at 9:00 min in):
    “And the only reason we don’t disclose any more is – you know- we become a bigger target.”
    “It will only give them ammunition.”

    I think that makes it pretty darn clear that they ARE, indeed, hiding information they think a chunk of the voting public (whether political opponents, or political allies) would find unsavory.

    As for the “blind trust” hogwash – see Mitt Romneys Blind Trust Not So Blind.

    From where I sit, Mitt and Ann appear to be wealthy, arrogant, deluded elitists who are a drain on society.

  29. CharlesII says:

    Adding: Romney has released two years of returns plus a summary letter on the tax rate and assorted financial disclosures which are, to speak charitably, incomplete and probably deceptive.

    At this point, Obama is up to 12 years worth.

  30. ReductiMat says:

    I should add: “Go favourite team, go! They are demonstrably better than your team!”

  31. spudvol says:

    Snopes has taken care of the Obama-Connecticut SSN BS

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/ssn.asp

  32. rd says:

    Philipat:

    It is highly relevant. The current Republican party, including Romney, have been making a big deal about people who have been on the receiving end of government largess along with “not paying income tax.”

    The people that they are railing against are receiving benefits passed by Congress, just like Romney’s very low tax rate and numerous deductions, tax credits etc. were passed by Congress.

    If Romney and others want to rail against low income people receiving benefits through the tax system, he should also be offering to take a hard look at the tax system overall which includes numerous preferential treatments of wealthy people, including very low capital gains and dividend tax rates, agricultural subsidies, and numerous investment tax credits.

  33. sparta47 says:

    Question regarding Carried Interest for Bain income:

    To qualify for the capital gains treatment of Carried Interest where private equity gets to turn ordinary income into long term Capital Gains for tax purposes, Does the taxpayer represent they are “Active managers”, not passive investors??

    If yes they must be active managers how is this consistent with his “retirement” in 1999 & statement that he has nothing to do with the management of Bain?

    How can one be an “active manager” for tax purposes in a “blind trust”?

  34. victor says:

    Invictus: I do have another theory that somehow must have escaped your inquisitive pen. Having learned from Obama’s timing in releasing the long version of his birth certificate, Romney is biding his time all the while being assured by his many advisers that it’ll help him to release the records on his schedule. Fellow Mormon Harry Reid’s statements are already being relegated to mud slinging just like Trump’s were.

    Everybody knows that the IRS must have audited all of Romney’s returns, they routinely do so with large income returns; if they’re satisfied why belabor the issue? And his charity givings are quite telling, I hear his financial assets have been in a blind trust, not sure for how long though.

    Finally one in my family has been a high income earner (non-finance) for a while now. He always tells me that he wants an even higher income and that he tells his tax accountant to minimize his taxes including using charity deductions. Anything wrong with that?

  35. Hey You says:

    The real reason Romney doesn’t release his taxes is he is a KGB agent and he got some big bonuses from Putin that might be embarrassing; or was it he is a secret agent for the Chinese; he has received a massive commision on a real estate deal where he sold a bunch of California beach front property to the Chinese. The Red Chinese are going to use this property as a beach head to invade the US mainland to collect on their bonds.

    See, this stuff is easy to figure out…!!!!!

  36. There is also the extreme variant of #6: Romney did not take the voluntary amnesty, but was one of the 4500 names handed over by UBS to the IRS. The Romneys did bank at UBS. Still, I think amnesty is more likely, and likelier than your top 5.

    See: http://middleclasspoliticaleconomist.blogspot.com/2012/09/ubs-whistleblowers-award-reminds-us.html

  37. ilsm says:

    What Romney has not done:

    Go to Vietnam in 1969, went to France instead, huckstering Joseph Smith

    Pay taxes, does not care about civil society

    Send sons to Iraq, or any “service” outside of Joe Smith’s cult. (Ryan same)

    Had a real job. (Ryan same)

    Needed a loan from anyone but family. (Ryan same)

    Created any jobs. (Ryan same)

    Rebuilt a company.

    Refrained from outsourcing.

  38. rktbrkr says:

    Whatever the reason(s) Romney is willing to take the chance of losing the election (sacrificing a few % on this tax mystery) rather than face the certainty of losing if he made the returns public.

    There are probably a couple of problems.

    1) The guy owns beautiful homes around the globe and he claims he was living in his son’s basement? Puhleeese.

    2) The guy is a living, breathing tax shelter. (Remember, tax shelters are people – just like corporations.) His aggressive tax posture took him over the line with one or more of these shelters and he accepted IRS amnesty. Doesn’t make him a bad person but it makes him unelectable.

    Surprised a reporter hasn’t asked him about his tax payments to states. Someone as allergic to federal taxes as Romney has probably been minimizing his state taxes too. Both CA and MA are high income tax states, I bet Romney made his NH home his legal residence after he left office in MA. Which is fine, technically you get into situations where you count the number of nights spent in various residences when you’re ultra wealthy like Romney but MA may have missed this. I think Romney was claiming NH residence for tax purposes when he voted in MA and then claimed basement residency at his son’s rented place. Hard not to smirk at that explanation. There should be a MA tax return available to back up that vote.

    Some states provide real estate tax breaks for legal residents – like Florida “homestead”, if California provides that, property tax records, which are public should show if Willard took that credit the same year he claimed to be a MA resident living in the basement.

  39. ilsm says:

    victor: ” tax accountant to minimize his taxes including using charity deductions. Anything wrong with that?” Then don’t spend other peoples’ money and other peoples’ lives providing your income security.

    FNG: hilarious! Thanks for a Monday AM chuckle the guy in the next cube thinks I am looking at porn………..

  40. rktbrkr says:

    One land mine for Romney is a leak, don’t think an IRS employee would ever do it but it sounds like his returns pass thru batteries of accounting and law firms and a credible leak would be doomsday for Romney.

    I think in the future Repub and dem candidates will be required to submit their returns to their national committees for review.

    Don’t know if Romney has any skeletons in his closet but it sounds like bones rattling in there.

  41. wileycoyote says:

    I care about this as much as I care about Obama not releasing his records from Columbia. I just want a President who will do something the help us grow out of this stagnation. I don’t think either’s ideology gives us a prayer.

  42. Irwin Fletcher says:

    Appreciate you being honest about being a big time Lib, even if you are out of your mind.
    The honesty part means something.
    We have embassies being attacked and ambassadors being murdered, with a president who can’t tell us the truth about it, and you guys are spending time focusing on a guessing game (with no facts) about somebody’s tax returns (who files every year, follows the law and has been accused of nothing). Yea, this is really important stuff.

  43. Robert M says:

    Irwin Fletcher

    There is nothing like pretending to be a magician and using sleight of hand. Simply because current events have over taken the release of the tax records doesn’t make them irrelevant. Rmoney has been running for 12 years and was vetted for VP 4 yrs ago so he should be prepared, don’t you agree?
    As to current events we can only speculate what ubiquitous ignorance will spew from the Gov’s mouth given his statement on the Olympics, the embassy attack and death of 4 people-evidently state dept employee’s aren’t people and his ability to keep a secret-see MI6.

  44. romerjt says:

    In a tax world of people of average means, would income made in the stock market ever be taxed a LOWER rate than income made as salary? What would the arguments for that sound like the average wage earner? Would there ever be tax shelters in Bermuda? How can a man who taxes are determined by these factors make that 47% remark?

    He’s made paying taxes the issue, how can he NOT show his returns? Outrageous. This man’s view of the world and himself is so distorted that America will suffer greatly if he is elected. My grandmother used to say, “oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”

  45. number2son says:

    Some funny comments from the Babbitry this morning. I guess they have a right to be a bit cranky, given the magnitude of Romney’s incompetence. But there’s still hope that their voter fraud initiatives in key states might actually make this snoozer of an election closer than it ought to be.

  46. mathman says:

    Neither of these two corporatist representatives of the 1% are going to make anything any better for (the former) middle class, the dollar or foreign policy, so vote for a third party candidate if you want something different. Otherwise, you know we’re in for the same ol’ same ol’.

  47. MikeDonnelly says:

    The tax amnesty and betting against America narratives do seem the most likely but both of those would be after the 2008 VP pick, so neither would explain the McCain – Palin vs. Romney VP pick. While I love the tax return & picking Palin line, I don’t think that is why McCain veered away from Romney. And I do think 0%, or amnesty or betting v. America in 2008 or 2009 is likely. Otherwise not releasing the returns is doing tremendous damage for no reason.

  48. AHodge says:

    ton of good comments here
    blogs were saying that McCain looked at 27 years of Romney returns in 2008… and chose palin
    we dont know wha th they saw? but bad before 2007
    cant they get some disgrundled Mccain staffer to squeal?
    the % are % of Adjusted.. the adjustments would be a field dayas noted
    he may also just be hiding or grey area or offshore account stuff
    sothat his income is much highter than reported
    also there are blogs that he might have taken the 2009 amnesty–which would look bad as it illegal till that
    the IRA maybe was not reported at all\
    –it would be a near mathematical impossibility to produce the $102 billion result
    if the contributions were properly valued going in
    they are with near certainty functionally undervalued
    , though maybe not illegally undervalued

  49. AHodge says:

    sorry make that $102 MILLION dollars Dr evil for Romneys IRA. duhhh
    as if that isnt enough for an IRA
    its a wonderful thing en legally
    i do most of my options and speculating in my IRA

  50. Greg0658 says:

    I’ll speculate:
    1st the answer to my earlier question is probably Sen McCain
    2nd Palin was picked to acquire the push over the top female vote when the DNC ditched Hillary
    3rd the insight captured during that looksee – may have started the UBS catch & release

  51. Christopher says:

    I look forward to the wailing and gnashing in November…..LOL

    What part “thinking folks don’t buy the class welfare shit” do you people not understand??

    Do you think that the voters actually believe O is “one of them”?? LOL

    I must say….tripe like this lowers the bar on this site.

    One wonders if “Invictus” is a family relation by any chance?
    Or is there some blackmail involved??

  52. AHodge says:

    around the end of October the Ds
    if they have a lick of sense
    will run all those Ronald Reagan speech clips attacking rich tax dodgers and tax cheats
    and those not paying “their fair share”
    they may not need to
    the Rs may all be sayin Mitt who? not my guy by then

  53. Defining Quality says:

    “thinking folks don’t buy the class welfare shit”
    How stupid can you be? The entire history of civilization has Class Warfare as its Defining Quality.
    CentaMillionaire$ and Billionaire$ have enormous contempt for “We The People” and Mitt the Shit has become the poster child for someone with total “Shit For Brains”! 47% victim statement is proof in and of itself of “Class Warfare” in America! The poor have always been victimized by the Rich, a fact of world history, and the poor are being victimized by the arrogance of the WEALTHY whose Malignant Narcissism allows them to really believe they did not need others – 7,129,000,000 others to pray upon and manipulate so they could become RICH!
    All you dumb bastards reading this are incapable of thinking anything other than what someone else wants you to believe as you ignore observed reality!
    CentaMillionaire$ and Billionaire$ only exist because We The People continue to buy their Bullshit as we struggle to survive in a world designed primarily for their exclusive benefit!

  54. Tamu82 says:

    No question this is a problem for Romney. But why doesn’t anyone in the media questionhow Obama quadrupled his Net Worth from 2004 to 2011 on a Senator salary / Presidential salary / book proceeds? He gets a pass on this and I don’t understand why. If Romney must come clean on his tax rate (and he should) why doesn’t Obama have to come clean on how his Net Worth grew so much in such a short period of time? The numbers do not add up. I mean, if the Dems are wanting transparency from Romney on all of his income, how much he is worth, etc… why is this not a fair question to Obama?

  55. victor says:

    Tamu82: careful, “your attitude has been noticed” (hint: google the expression)

  56. MikeDonnelly says:

    Gov. Rick Perry has to be the record holder. A multimillionaire but has only gotten a public servant’s salary which was a max of $70,000 before becoming Gov.

  57. tbone says:

    I’m with Invictus and the Paulson bet against theory. When is someone at IRS going to wikileak his returns already?

  58. tbone says:

    I’m with Invictus and the Paulson bet against America theory. When is someone at IRS going to wikileak his returns already?

  59. AHodge says:

    class warfare my ass
    i will do a cartoon
    a rogue knoght with his foot on a peasnats throat
    and a sword pointed
    the serfs calling to his family nearby
    and the knoght cries
    THATS CLASS WARFARE!!
    warfare would make it a two way fight- the abuse only runs one way now
    nobodies confiscating mitts wealth or capping Mitts income –obviously
    the rich should pay their fair share ask ronald reagan about tax cheats

  60. jolietjim says:

    And then, maybe he has invested in companies that would make you want to puke:
    companies overseas that exploit children as slaves in their factories, companies in the
    blood diamond business…maybe he likes Mexicans more than he says, and has some
    dough in a crystal meth factory run by the cartel.

    It would be so easy just to release the tax records, but when he does, he’s toast.

  61. ThePlainsman says:

    Tamu82 Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    No question this is a problem for Romney. But why doesn’t anyone in the media questionhow Obama quadrupled his Net Worth from 2004 to 2011 on a Senator salary / Presidential salary / book proceeds? He gets a pass on this and I don’t understand why. If Romney must come clean on his tax rate (and he should) why doesn’t Obama have to come clean on how his Net Worth grew so much in such a short period of time? The numbers do not add up. I mean, if the Dems are wanting transparency from Romney on all of his income, how much he is worth, etc… why is this not a fair question to Obama?

    I’m not even going to google the particulars on this. It seems like Obama was probably worth very little (in the grand scheme, mind you) and then he wrote a hugely successful and lucrative book! I’m going to guess the sales from his book alone are primarily responsible for this. Not worth looking up to me, but it seems obvious.

  62. techy says:

    ThePlainsman..

    Obama made 3.5 million in just one year from his book sales after he started running from presidency, its all out there in the open.

    his networth is not more than 10-15 million from what I know. Most of the money he made is from his book sales.

  63. 873450 says:

    victor Says:
    “Having learned from Obama’s timing in releasing the long version of his birth certificate, Romney is biding his time all the while being assured by his many advisers that it’ll help him to release the records on his schedule.”

    Let’s hope a fair minded debate moderator equates voter concerns surrounding Romney’s financial nondisclosure with those questioning the location of Obama’s birth.

  64. victor says:

    Most bloggers here have already made up their minds that Romney, who has already committed two mortal sins (he’s a Republican AND he is rich) must also be guilty of “something” because he insists on releasing his tax returns before 2009 on his schedule. So, damned the unemployment (it’s Bush’s fault) and the sluggish economy (didn’t the tsunami and the BP spill cause that?), we demand Mitt’s tax returns or else! happy piling on.

    ~~~

    BR: Did you even read the post? It appears that you have brought your own bias to the discussion . . .

  65. victor says:

    BR: I did read the post along with all the comments, carefully,I know that all 5 theories are clearly defined as speculations and I posted a previous comment advancing my own speculation for what it was worth. This last comment was addressed at the chorus of the “piler ons” showing overwhelmingly their anti Romney biases. I actually think that this whole “show me your tax returns” business is a red herring; call it my bias.

  66. BillG says:

    Robert M, that’s been my suspicion all along. I would bet serious money that he took advantage of the UBS amnesty. The fact that that happened in 2009 and 2009 is the first year of returns he refuses to give up plus the fact that he disclosed years worth of pre-2008 returns to McCain back when he was being vetted as a VP candidate but won’t disclose them to the public now seem to indicate there’s something nasty on that 2009 return. Its just too convenient for me to believe its all simple coincidence.

    And techy, amnesties are not ‘legal’ – they’re an immunity from prosecution in exchange for back payment and disclosure. And in this case it wasn’t even voluntary (ie turning yourself in). It was forced on people as a result of the UBS settlement. If you didn’t take it you risked your name coming up in the settlement and whatever penalty might ultimately result from that. You’re still a criminal if you take an amnesty – you just don’t get prosecuted.

  67. EMichael says:

    One other one.

    Perhaps Romney got caught in the financial crisis in 07, 08 and 09 and had little or no income compared to 2010 and 2011.

    Kind of hard to stand up and ask people whether they are better off now than four years ago when you personally are much better off.

    Imagine Obama and Romney in a debate where Romney hits this talking point and Obama can say “well, your income increased ten figures a year under my first administration”.