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Governor Romney, Just Release The Tax Returns And Get It Over With

While the round robin interviews that Mitt Romney gave Friday afternoon were primarily concerned with the Bain affair, they did make news in one other respect in that Romney made clear that it was his intention to not release any more tax returns other the two returns he released in January. All of this, of course, is a replay of the controversy that Romney found himself in the middle of back in January when Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were continually hammering him about releasing his tax returns. At the time, I argued that Romney was committing a mistake by being stubborn about releasing the returns because it made it appear that he was hiding something. Eventually, of course, he ended up releasing his 2010 returns as well as an estimate for his 2011 taxes, which are still being prepared as of this date since Romney had requested an extension for that year (Romney has said he will release his 2011 return when it is completed). Back during the January controversy several of Romney supporters, most notably Chris Christie, said Romney should release his returns. This time around, Romney’s reluctance to release further returns is causing consternation among some Republicans:

It’s a bad sign for Mitt Romney when conservatives begin to question why the presumptive Republican nominee won’t release more of his tax returns. But on Sunday, that’s what happened. Conservative analysts joined Democrats in wondering whether Romney is just being impolitic in not releasing several years worth of returns — or whether he’s trying to hide something.

Democrats have been calling on Mitt Romney to release more than one year of his tax returns with a series of web videos and public statements. So far, he has released his 2010 returns and an estimate of his 2011 returns.

To politicos across the ideological spectrum, Romney’s unwillingness to release anything beyond these two years raises the question: if it’s worth the bad press to keep the tax returns private, they must contain something worse.

“The cost of not releasing the returns are clear,” said conservative columnist George Will, on ABC’s “This Week.” “Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

On the ABC roundtable, Republican strategist Matthew Dowd had a similar take.

“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it,’” Dowd said. “So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.”

“Many of these politicians think, ‘I can do this. I can get away with this. I don’t need to do this, because I’m going to say something and I don’t have to do this,’” Dowd said. “If he had 20 years of ‘great, clean, everything’s fine,’ it’d all be out there, but it’s arrogance.”

In the last week, several Republicans have advised Romney to release his returns. That lis tincludes former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former RNC chairman Michael Steele and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who called for “total transparency” and said he releases all his tax returns. On “Fox News Sunday,” the Weekly Standard’s editor Bill Kristol added his voice to the list as well, calling for Romney to “release the tax returns tomorrow” and “take the hit for a day or two.”

One can argue about whether or not tax returns are really relevant in any way to a person’s qualifications for the Presidency, but it would be an academic argument. For some forty-four years now, starting when Romney’s father released a dozen years of his returns when he ran for President, it has been customary for Presidential candidates to release copies of their tax returns, and not just two years of them either. In March of 2008, Barack Obama released six years worth of tax returns and thenreleased one more return when his 2007 return was ready for filing, so a total of seven years of returns. Other candidates have done something similar. The only reason their was a tax controversy surrounding John Kerry in 2004 is because many Republicans argued that his sole return shielded significant income that was being reported on the returns of his wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry. However, despite calls for her to do so, Heinz-Kerry did not release her returns. Nonetheless, the practice of candidates for President releasing multiple years of returns is now a long standing one and Romney is bucking a pretty strong tradition by insisting he won’t release anything more other than his completed 2011 returns.

Given how this whole issue of tax returns went for Romney in January, it’s rather puzzling that he’s insisting on this position, but John Cassidy thinks he understands why:

With even prominent Republicans saying that his current stance is unsustainable, the obvious question to ask is: Why is the Mittster being so obstinate? He surely isn’t standing on principle, for what principle would that be? The notion that very rich men running for President shouldn’t have to disclose as much information about their personal finances as less wealthy candidates? The principal that if your father also ran for President, and released twelve years of tax returns, then you can release just two and claim the family average is a respectable seven years?

No. It’s only fair to assume that Mitt is doing what he always does: acting on the basis of a careful cost-benefit analysis. Will’s comments on this were spot on: “The cost of not releasing the returns are clear,” he said. “Therefore, [Romney] must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

Cassidy goes on to list four possibilities about what could be in the returns:

  1. Extremely high levels of income — well, that’s likely but everyone knows that Romney is a really rich guy so I’m not sure why he’d think it would be any more of a disadvantage to provide documentary evidence of that;
  2. Offshore accounts — This certainly seems possible. Romney’s returns and financial statements have revealed that several of the Bain investments that Romney had an interest in included overseas investments. Again, this has already been revealed so I’m not sure why he thinks it would be reason enough to continue saying no when asked for returns;
  3. Controversial investments — Cassidy refers to the offshoring/outsourcing issue, and I’m sure we’d find more of that in past investments. Once again, though, we already know about this so the damage is done.
  4. Low Tax Rate — Since most of Romney’s income comes from investments, it’s highly likely that his effective tax rate will be somewhere in the teens for many years in the past. That was the case on his 2010 return, though, and the estimate for 2011 seems to suggest something similar for last years. So, again, if this is the reason he’s fighting to keep secret something people already know about.

James Fallows quotes a few people who make similar speculative guesses about what might be in the returns that would make Romney reluctant to release his returns.  We have no evidence to suggest that any of these guesses are true, of course, and there’s no evidence at all that there’s any nefarious motive behind Romney’s reticence to release his returns. However, as long as he refuses to do so, he leaves open the question of why, and that leads to people speculating. One other factor that might be motivating this decision is something mentioned back in January, namely the fact that the returns would reveal the extent of his tithing to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Indeed in his 2010 return, roughly $4.1 million went to the LDS Church, all of it tax deductible. So this would both emphasize Romney’s Mormon’s ties at a time the campaign might not want to do so, and contribute to the reduction of Romney’s effective tax rate.

Whatever the reason, though, it strikes me that Romney is making a serious tactical mistake in refusing to release anything more than he’s already released. In addition to feeding speculation of the type that Cassidy and Fallows engage in, it’s yet another thing that the opposition can use to try to through the campaign off message. Regardless of what the cost would be of releasing the returns, it strikes me that it cannot possibly be any worse than the continued drip, drip, drip of the media asking Romney and his surrogates why he isn’t releasing any more returns, or of the Obama Campaign and SuperPAC ads that continue to bring the issue up as well. Tax returns aren’t likely to be the issue that decides this election, but they also aren’t the hill for the Romney campaign to die on. They ought to release the returns, at least seven years just like Obama did in 2008, perhaps even more than that. Questions will come, inevitably, but they cannot possibly any worse than creating the impression that you have something to hide.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Agreed. If there’s a problem there, it’s something that should have come out years ago. If there’s no problem, there’s no problem. Release them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  2. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s a counterpoint: President Obama, just release the records and get it over with.

    1) The Justice Department records on Fast & Furious.
    2) Obama’s legislative records from his time in the Illinois legislature.
    3) A full accounting of how much Stimulus money went overseas.
    4) Elena Kagan’s papers regarding her role as Solicitor General during the fight over ObamaCare.
    5) The White House records on Fast & Furious.
    6) Obama’s college transcripts.
    7) Obama’s records from this “tenure” as a Constitutional Law lecturer.
    8) The full accounting of Obama’s reputed membership (they claimed him as a member at the time) in the “New Party.”
    9) A full accounting of the funds Obama oversaw from this time heading up the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

    That would be a good start…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 99 Thumb down 72

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Again…this is not a new issue. Nothing has changed. He held the same position when he ran for Giovernor. Clearly there is something there that he does not want the rest of the world to see.
    But if he does release them now he will seems weak…and whatever it is he’s hiding will be magnified.
    I do agree that this is not the hill to die on. But let’s also agree that we do not know what is on (or in) the hill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Indiana Jones is out with more of his Jordana Brewster fantasy!!!!
    Oh yeah…and Obama’s College transcripts.
    Seriously? And you call yourself a action-hero?
    Spielberg should be calling his lawyers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

  5. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: He shouldn’t have any problem with releasing all those things, because nobody will care anyway. Aside from “Fast and Furious,” all this stuff was old news in 2008. The only reason “Fast and Furious” is remotely relevant is because it happened while he was actually President.

    Well, there’s the Kagan stuff, too, but that’s pretty much moot at this point given the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare.

    People just aren’t going to pay a whole lot of attention to the same old warmed-over crap that was raised by Obama’s opponents in 2008. We have nearly four years of his Presidential record on which to judge him, and if that’s not enough to defeat him, all the college transcripts in the world won’t make a bit of difference.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 5

  6. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Really, you just get more shrill and desperate sounding with each passing day.

    Beyond the fact that some of the documents you’ve mentioned are matters of public record (ie. Obama’s legislative record)… The issue here is that, as Doug pointed out, EVERY FRIGGING CANDIDATE INCLUDING OBAMA HAS DONE THIS SINCE ROMNEY’S FATHER. And Obama’s already released his information.

    As far as the rest of that stuff – beyond the current government documents – please point me to any candidates who have voluntarily disclosed things like their grades.

    You are getting beyond pathetic Jenos. Seriously, this is shitty trolling even by your usual low standards.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 7

  7. Jenos,

    If the items you listed only #1 is relevant to anything in this election

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5

  8. PD Shaw says:

    Agree he should release seven years of returns at the least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  9. Ben Wolf says:

    @mattb:

    You are getting beyond pathetic Jenos. Seriously, this is shitty trolling even by your usual low standards.

    He’s hoping if he does enough “for the cause,” he’ll get a blogging gig a WND or RedState. There’s an army of conserva-trolls out there hoping to hit it big.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 6

  10. MBunge says:

    Another factor that may be at work here is that Romney could be just reflexively uncomfortable at being forced to acknowledge and defend his privileged status. There may be some small part in his soul that recognizes how ridiculous is it for the fabulously wealthy to receive so many additional benefit from the tax code and simply doesn’t want to have to think about it.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  11. Jen says:

    It does seem strange that he would be so obstinate when the obvious issues are already out there. The only thing I can think of is something along the lines of making a charitable donation(s) to an organization/organizations that would undermine his stated stance on an issue. But anyone planning on running for president on the Republican ticket for as long as he has wouldn’t run the risk of doing something like that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  12. Derrick says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Ah yes, the Chewbacca defense, I’ve seen this one before.

    LOOK OVER THERE!!! iTS FAST AND FURIOS 5: ELEN KAGAN’S NEW PARTY OCCIDENTAL TRANSCRIPTS!!!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  13. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You forgot his kindergarten records.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  14. Offshore accounts — This certainly seems possible. Romney’s returns and financial statements have revealed that several of the Bain investments that Romney had an interest in included overseas investments. Again, this has already been revealed so I’m not sure why he thinks it would be reason enough to continue saying no when asked for returns;

    I am not an expert, but I believe the 2010 returns showed the most benign form of offshore account … parked money.

    If, say, Romney had set up a Bahamanian corporation, with he and his family as owners, and that corporation took profit off the top from Bain .. would that shield Romney from US tax? I know the IRS is supposed to be on top of things like this, but I don’t know how complete their barriers are.

    Romney’s “earning years” might have a lot of tricks that his “retired years” do not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  15. Tsar Nicholas says:

    You can lead somone to reality, but alas you can’t make him think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. Mikey says:

    Maybe it says “Bain” on them somewhere more recently than Romney has discolsed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  17. (But good on ya Doug, for joining the call.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. Add a “5″ to your list of possibilities:

    “5) Romney skated on something actually illegal, and with attention he’d be back in hot water”

    a Democrat’s dream

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  19. Scott F. says:

    I think Charlie Pierce may be on to something:

    Contempt for The Help

    The unwashed have no right to go through the personal business of their betters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: You forgot his kindergarten records.

    You misspelled “Madrassa.”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 27

  21. anjin-san says:

    Romney is screwed on this deal. He badly needs to release his returns. But it is a reasonable supposition that there are things on them that are toxic. Even if that is not the case, he has forcefully stated he will not release them, so if he does he looks weak.

    In other news, Obama may have done finger paintings of Chairman Mao and Ho Chi Mihn when he was 4. Indy is leading the calls for him to release his pre-school artwork…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    Mr. Obama is pulling away from Mr. Romney in Virginia (up by six) and Ohio – a state Romney must carry. Obama is up by seven points in Ohio. Seven! With unemployment at 8%!

    So, I must disagree with my friends above: I think Mitt Romney should stay the course.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: If you’re going to give me #1, then you ought to go along with #5.

    And the constant lies about “offshoring” and “outsourcing” makes #3 very relevant.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20

  24. anjin-san says:

    @ Tsar

    You can lead somone to reality

    We can’t even lead you to reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. rodney dill says:

    @mantis: Kenya might have misplaced them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  26. rodney dill says:

    @PD Shaw: I agree, he probably should release the seven years to match what Obama has release.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  27. Lib Cap says:

    Hmmm… nope.

    Let the show go on !!!

    I mean, there are so many miscommunications and misstatements happening from the Romney camp, especially with all the previous quotes coming up from Bishop Willard himself… well, it’s just a hoot.

    We are watching the self-destruction of a presidential campaign.

    When even the usual defensive taking heads are no longer on your side, well, it pretty bad.

    How long until the campaign staff is canned for this?

    No matter, as the damage is done.

    (… needz mor popcorn.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: The issue here is that, as Doug pointed out, EVERY FRIGGING CANDIDATE INCLUDING OBAMA HAS DONE THIS SINCE ROMNEY’S FATHER.

    There’s no need to shout, chum… unless you want to disguise that you’re BSing here.

    In 2008, McCain released his 2006 and 207 tas returns. Romney’s doing the same thing — his last two years’ returns.

    So you were only off by 40 years. No need to get too upset.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 20

  29. The Q says:

    Jenos’ arguments are fast becoming like the black dude at Altamont – the collective pool cues and foot stomping are provided courtesy of this sites Hells Angels, who are only too happy to mutilate whatever parses for an informed opinion by Jenos.

    And, just as the Angel’s were justified in stopping this gun toter in the crowd, so too are the actions of the commenters here who are swift to lampoon and dismiss the inane ramblings of Jenos

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. rodney dill says:

    You can lead somone to reality, but it requires a really strong rope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. PD Shaw says:

    @john personna:” Romney’s “earning years” might have a lot of tricks that his “retired years” do not. ”

    That would be my assumption as well. One theory might be that he can’t turn over 12 years like his father because that would take him into the pre-severance agreement window, so he’s holding out until closer to the election when he will turn over seven years like Obama, his critics will look foolish, and there won’t be time or energy to launch a call for 12 years of filings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. John D'Geek says:

    Add one to your list: Mormon cultural sensitivities*.

    Mormon culture is rooted in 19th century Puritanical New England. You won’t see any paintings hanging in the Chapels (Temples are a different story), and bragging is “highly discouraged” (which is not to say that there aren’t any that do brag). It’s especially private when it comes to one’s own financial affairs — from farmers and plumbers to bankers and CEOs. Bragging about wealth harms the “equality of participation” that underlies the “brother/sister” & “lay leadership” cultural notions.

    He may very well only view releasing these as “bad form” — more of a cultural bias than anything else.

    * “For those who came in late …”: I was Mormon for 25 years; I am now Buddhist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  33. Scott says:

    I think the main problem with his tax returns is that they are very complex and unexplainable to the general public. Those of us who file fairly normal 1040s have a problem understanding why income is not taxed the same way regardless of source. After he cashed out from Bain, he presumably is receiving income taxed at 15% while the rest of us are taxed at higher rates. His returns will highlight the maniipulation of the tax code and legislators who write the code for the benefit of just a few and without regard as to whether there is an national benefit to such codes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  34. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You misspelled “Madrassa.”

    Are you claiming that Noelani Elementary, a public school in Honolulu, is a madrassa?

    Got any fried chicken and watermelon emails to forward while you’re at it?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  35. G.A. says:

    Any posts on the Marxist Idiot Obama coming anytime soon?Or are you guys just selling kook aid these days? Doug?

    Remember rule No.1 when running a stand:Don’t get high on your own supply…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 26

  36. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: As madrassa literally means “school”, all 310 million Americans attended at one point or another. Including you, you lovely muslim.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  37. stonetools says:

    My bet is that there is some truly toxic stuff on those returns. Note that none of the people that saw those returns (McCain and his staff) are urging Romney to disclose on the ground that the returns are actually innocuous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  38. C. Clavin says:

    One thing about the tax returns…
    All the discussions have been that Romney was paid $100,000 during the 3 years when he ran the Olympics and was unable to multi-task in any possible way. But if you read Romney’s MA finacial disclosure forms they say he was paid “at least” $100,000 as a Bain executive. My guess is that he made a lot more and if the amount came out there would no longer be any doubt that he was in charge of Bain at the time. Conjecture – yes. But clearly very possible…and probable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  39. C. Clavin says:

    “…Marxist Idiot Obama…”

    I thought he is a Muslim. You wingnut trolls need to get your ideologies straight. And your fingers out of your noses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  40. James in LA says:

    Maybe this is what Mitt Romney doesn’t want seen. It is allegedly McCain’s opposition research.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/78582788/McCain-2008-Oppo-File

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. James in LA says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: With respect, No. One. Cares.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  42. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In 2008, McCain released his 2006 and 207 tas returns. Romney’s doing the same thing — his last two years’ returns.

    Good strategy. Do whatever the guy who lost last time did! Maybe Romney will “suspend” his campaign to go fix some Olympic cyclists bike or something, and then complain that the president didn’t do the same thing.

    (Uh oh. I used the word Olympic. Am I going to be sued?)d

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  43. James in LA says:

    Snatches from the opposition research:

    “After calling for economic divestment from Iran, Romney was embarrassed by the Italian branch of Bain & Company – Romney served as CEO in early ‘90s – received $2.3 million contract from National Iranian Oil Company in 2004.” ;

    “Romney has proposed doubling the size of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and supports “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

    “Romney Charged Fee For Being Blind”

    “Romney Sat On Board Of Damon Clinical Laboratories, A Bain Capital Portfolio Company Fined Nearly $120 Million In 1996 Due To Medicare Fraud”

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/78582788/McCain-2008-Oppo-File

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  44. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In 2008, McCain released his 2006 and 207 tas returns. Romney’s doing the same thing — his last two years’ returns.

    Ok… So you’ve managed to dig up the only other person being that last Republican candidate. So, that’s one out of a how many other candidates (including past Republicans likes Reagan, Bush I and II, Bob Dole, and ROMNEY’S OWN FATHER)?

    So guess what, even among his fellow Republican’s he’s still in the minority.

    And does anyone really want to follow the oh so excellent election strategy of the McCain campaign? As you have helpfully helped us rediscover, McCain during his presidential run (for two years) missed more law making than anyone else in the Senate (including missing far more votes than Obama). And of course there was the overall brilliant “hail-mary game change” strategy which almost led to Joe Liebermann on the ticket, and foisted Govenor Palin upon an unsuspecting nation.

    So wait, you’re totally right, I take it all back. I think it’s a great idea for Team Romney to copy plays out of the Team McCain handbook!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  45. sam says:

    @PD Shaw:

    so he’s holding out until closer to the election when he will turn over seven years like Obama

    Actually, Obama as turned over 12 years of tax returns. See, Tax History Project: Presidential Returns

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  46. Rob in CT says:

    My assumption is that he doesn’t want to do it, not because there is anything actually illegal in there, but because it will demonstrate – yet again – how the fabulously wealthy simply play by different rules than the rest of us, and the ignorant hoi polloi will object. Which, in turn, is not just a problem for Mitt Romney himself but general GOP rhetoric and policy proposals as well.

    My guess is that he figured the return he did release (2010?) would be enough, and that’s the most “normal” return he has.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. sam says:

    Meant to add: To date

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    From Political Wire:

    Did Romney Commit Perjury?
    When Mitt Romney signed a federal financial disclosure form for his current presidential bid, he stated under the penalty of perjury that he had not been involved “in any way” with Bain Capital after he left for Utah in February 1999.

    Mother Jones reports that during a 2002 hearing to determine if Mitt Romney met the residency requirement to run for governor Romney said that “after he departed Bain in February 1999 he went through a transition period regarding his work in Boston.”

    “When a lawyer challenging his eligibility asked Romney, ‘Did you remain more or less continuously in Salt Lake City from February ’99 to the end of the year,’ Romney answered: ‘Actually, there was some transition away from my work in Boston for the first few months and then I pretty much stayed there after.’ Trying to clarify this, the lawyer, after referring to this ‘transition,’ asked, ‘So from February through the end of the year you were pretty much full-time out in Utah, right?’ Romney replied: ‘Well again, the beginning of the year was a good deal of time back and forth, but towards the last half of the year it was pretty much exclusively in Utah.’”

    Andrew Sullivan: “If there was a good deal of time back and forth in the first few months and some business conducted all the way through to December (‘pretty much exclusively’), and if Romney’s own lawyer tells an inquiry that Romney’s work for Bain ‘continued unabated just as they had,’ then it is incontrovertibly true that Romney’s statement under oath that he was not involved ‘in any way’ in Bain business after February 1999 was a lie under oath.

    David Gergen disagrees that Romney lied: “I may be wrong but based on what we know so far, I would conclude that we do not have persuasive evidence to show that he has.”

    Gergen is hedging his bets… hardly a ringing endorsement for Mitt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  49. LaMont says:

    My take is…Even if his prior years’ tax forms just confirmed everything we already know, it could be debilitating to Romney. If you find yourself having to explain any details (and there could be a ton of details in his tax forms), you are already lagging. We are in political “dumb” season – meaning, if you can’t explain it away in approx. 3 sentences or less, you’ll likely look guilty trying!

    Besides, it would take way too much time cleaning up deductions taken for the purchases of things like dressage horses anyway. Let alone having to explain such things.

    One more subtle but extremely important reason it probably is not in Romeny’s best interest to roll out more tax information. We are political junkies. So the political narrative to us can be quite different than the narrative to others. The “others” are many and are the deciding voters. Being that the tax forms may only confirm what the political junkies pretty much already know, it runs the risk of painting a narrative of making Obama look like the truth teller while Romney loses his ability to condemn Obama for bending the truth. Right now, no one (the “others” or common voters) really knows or even cares whats is true or not. They take on the tact of picking the lesser of two liars. Most politicians rely on clouded information to win elections. The releasing of more tax forms could clear some of those clouds!!!

    Romney is indeed between a rock and a hard place!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. sam says:

    BTW, anyone know if McCain released his tax returns during his senatorial campaigns? I suspect he did, but cannot find anything as yet. If he did, then the release of two during the presidential campaign would have just brought he releases up-to-date (as John Kerry has done throughout his senate career).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. jan says:

    Regarding yet another sidebar topic of tax returns…..

    In fact, not every candidate does release tax returns, and those who do often make public only a small sample, as Romney has.

    In 2008, GOP nominee John McCain shared only two years of tax returns. Republicans Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani, and Democrat John Edwards did not release any. Four years earlier, Democratic nominee John Kerry released only his 2003 tax return, and his wife, Heinz ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, refused for months to release her own before relenting.

    While Obama is calling for Romney to submit 12 years of tax returns, Obama submitted tax returns only from 2000-2006 during his own 2008 presidential run. However, there is still the matter of his college records…..

    Asked if the president would submit to the same level of scrutiny he has demanded of Romney, Messina did not give a direct answer.

    Obama made the same BFD regarding Hillary Clinton’s tax returns when she was running against him in the primaries. And, she was considered to be dragging her heels too. He also lied and exaggerated her record, which she publicly called him on. I guess he uses the same campaign tactics on everyone, no matter which party they are in. Obama did the same when he challenged his democratic opponents in Illinois, concerning their signatures collected, so that he could run unopposed.

    But, President Obama, “What about those 3 consecutive months of retail sales being down?” Oh, yes, I forgot, can’t discuss questions dealing with the sagging economy, only the ones that can superficially discredit a worthy opponent.

    I think what most people are interested in, though, is less about Mitt Romney’s money, and more about their own, and how Obama is spending it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 23

  52. PJ says:

    @Rob in CT:

    My guess is that he figured the return he did release (2010?) would be enough, and that’s the most “normal” return he has.

    I’m guessing the 2006 returns are “normal” too, since he was running in 2008.
    Potemkin tax returns for 2006, 2010, and 2011, so if he has to release more than five and this is the case, then the fact that he tried to trick the voters would be rather obvious.

    And this is also the reason why candidates should release more just two tax returns, makes it a lot harder to “fix” the returns you release.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  53. mattb says:

    @jan:

    . Four years earlier, Democratic nominee John Kerry released only his 2003 tax return, and his wife, Heinz ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, refused for months to release her own before relenting.

    You missed a critical note on Kerry — the reason that he only released the 2003 was that he had regularly released all of his records for years as part of his senate campaigns. So all of Kerry’s releases were already public. (source: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/romney-gillespie-kerry-tax-returns.php among other locations)

    Republicans Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani, and Democrat John Edwards did not release any.

    You do realize that none of those individuals won their respective primaries. So they were never the actual nominee… Again, little fact you seem to go right over.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  54. mattb says:

    @jan:

    While Obama is calling for Romney to submit 12 years of tax returns, Obama submitted tax returns only from 2000-2006 during his own 2008 presidential run.

    This is a fair point. Though note that we now have a 12 year period of Obama’s tax returns. Still Romney has yet to release even a six year period of releases bringing him up to parity.

    Jan why do you hate fairness and tradition?

    However, there is still the matter of his college records…..

    Again, please name the candidates who have freely released those records. With one or two possible exceptions, this is not stardard practice… again, it’s weak tea.

    In other words: Movement Conservatives, we love to talk about “fairness” until we are actually called upon to act in a fair manner. Ditto Tradition and other loaded words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  55. john personna says:

    Y@jan:

    You can only shout “rabbit!” so many times before people are on to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  56. john personna says:

    (Trying 3 or 4 “rabbits!” in one comment is kind of a give-away, or in Jenos’ case 9 “rabbits!”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  57. anjin-san says:

    You can only shout “rabbit!” so many times before people are on to you.

    Yea, Jan has a bad habit of lying and then moving on to the next thread when she is called on it. Not really sure she even merits a response.

    @ Jan

    Still waiting for you to show where Obama said “America is not exceptional”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  58. mattb says:

    BTW, @jan and @jenos,

    What makes your position here so intellectually dishonest is that both of you have argued in the past that Obama “should have” released his long form birth certificate sooner, even though he had already released legally accepted and verified documentation of his birth.

    So in the past, you’ve both argued for disclosure that goes above and beyond the traditional documentation that candidates submit (in fact, I believe to day Romney has only released his Certificate of Live Birth). And yet here you are turning all sorts of mental gymnastics to suggest that Romney should buck tradition.

    As you have already demonstrated, if the tables were turned, you’d be using this same basis for your attack.

    Real solid intellectual consistency there.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  59. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You forgot two items – show the real birth certificate, and produce post-election plan to confiscate all guns.

    Also, I can help you with your list …….. you’re welcome.

    1) The Justice Department records on Fast & Furious.
    ** Issa has been provided thousands of documents
    2) Obama’s legislative records from his time in the Illinois legislature.
    ** Public Record
    3) A full accounting of how much Stimulus money went overseas.
    ** Have Issa request this
    4) Elena Kagan’s papers regarding her role as Solicitor General during the fight over ObamaCare.
    ** Have Issa request this
    5) The White House records on Fast & Furious.
    ** See #1 above
    6) Obama’s college transcripts.
    *** Have Issa Request this
    7) Obama’s records from this “tenure” as a Constitutional Law lecturer.
    *** Have Issa Request this
    8) The full accounting of Obama’s reputed membership (they claimed him as a member at the time) in the “New Party.”
    *** Have Issa Request this
    9) A full accounting of the funds Obama oversaw from this time heading up the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
    *** Have Issa Request this

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    Remember rule No.1 when running a stand:Don’t get high on your own supply…

    So what prompted you to break rule No. 1.?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  61. rudderpedals says:

    I don’t think there’s a hermetic seal on the old, unamended returms he gave the McCain campaign and assume those will come out before the election but maybe not before Tampa. Maybe Palin has a copy? Romney has to assume this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  62. The Q says:

    Jan, meet Meredith Hunter, Meredith Hunter meet Jan.

    Uh, Jan, like 3 months of declining retail sales vs. two years of negative GDP under W. immediately followed by 14 straight quarters of positive growth under Obozo.

    Does your side really want to make that argument?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  63. mantis says:

    @al-Ameda:

    3) A full accounting of how much Stimulus money went overseas.
    ** Have Issa request this

    Or just go to recovery.gov

    4) Elena Kagan’s papers regarding her role as Solicitor General during the fight over ObamaCare.
    ** Have Issa request this

    Actually, those have largely, if not entirely, been released under FOIA. Judicial Watch tried to make hay out of them during the confirmation.

    6) Obama’s college transcripts.
    *** Have Issa Request this
    7) Obama’s records from this “tenure” as a Constitutional Law lecturer.
    *** Have Issa Request this

    Those aren’t government documents, so not really in the purview of House Oversight. In any case, what possible relevance could Obama’s grades in college or the grades he gave to students while on faculty have to this election?

    8) The full accounting of Obama’s reputed membership (they claimed him as a member at the time) in the “New Party.”
    *** Have Issa Request this

    Likewise, not Issa’s purview, but the “New Party” was a failed 3rd party attempt that never went anywhere, was poorly organized, and based on a rather stupid idea about “electoral fusion.” Obama went to one of their meetings and they endorsed him in his state senate race. Now the wingnuts want to pretend they are sekrit soshulists and it’s all a big conspiracy or something. They are welcome to keep digging. I’m not sure exactly what they are requesting, or from whom, but I doubt the idiots could answer that themselves.

    9) A full accounting of the funds Obama oversaw from this time heading up the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
    *** Have Issa Request this

    Actually, the challenge documents are archived here in Chicago at UIC. Come have a look! I’ll even show you where in the library you can find them, Dr. Jones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  64. C. Clavin says:

    @ Jan…

    “…can’t discuss questions dealing with the sagging economy…”

    Actually you should feel free to discuss it. But it would be good if, instead of just bringing right wing talking points, you thought about it for yourself first and formed your own opinions. Only you and Mrs. Erickson care about what Erik Erickson thinks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  65. The Q says:

    I can just see Obama now at their first debate after haranguing Mitt for months about his decision to withhold release of his tax returns.

    “Mitt, I’ll bet you $10,000 your returns are an embarrassment to you and that why you won’t emulate your late, great father.”

    Game over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  66. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “@ Jan

    Still waiting for you to show where Obama said “America is not exceptional”…”

    And to explain why her business is still in California when she repeatedly said that the state’s high taxes will drive all smart businesses away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  67. mantis says:

    @wr:

    And to explain why her business is still in California when she repeatedly said that the state’s high taxes will drive all smart businesses away.

    Well, she did say smart businesses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @ Jan…

    “…and how Obama is spending it…”

    I can tell you exactly how he’s spending it…at a far slower rate than anyone going back to Reagan. You’ll probably change your opinion, now that you know it’s based on faulty info, right? Yeah, thats what I thought.
    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/rickungar/files/2012/05/MW-AR658_spendi_20120521163312_ME.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. Jeremy R says:

    @jan:

    While Obama is calling for Romney to submit 12 years of tax returns, Obama submitted tax returns only from 2000-2006 during his own 2008 presidential run.

    2000-2007.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  70. C. Clavin says:

    Hey Jan…you should note too that Clinton is the next lowest spender…and Reagan the biggest spender.

    You know…I realize you are out there on the fringes somewhere to the right of Ginnie Thomas…but if you examined Obama’s actual record (not the Hot Air version) I don’t see how you could be against him.
    Saved the Auto industry without nationalizing it.
    Saved the Banks without nationalizing them.
    Saved us from a second Depression.
    Reformed health care using the private sector system already in place…and it is already showing dividends.
    Killed OBL.
    Killed Quadaffi.
    Killed al Awaki.
    Reduced the size of Government.
    Flattened the curve of spending growth.
    Seriously…if a Republican had accomplished half of this you would be clamoring to put his face on Mt. Rushmore. Maybe you should remove your blinders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  71. al-Ameda says:

    @mantis:
    Thanks for the legwork.

    With Jenos, there really is no point to his talking point stuff, therefore I used “have Issa request it” as the default. Sometimes, Jenos is absurd; as if Obama’s legislative record in Illinois is not known – it’s an ‘effing public record for god’s sake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  72. anjin-san says:

    I’ve been thinking about Jenos and “Indiana Jones”. Seems like if we took Howard Wolowitz and shaved 50 odd points off his IQ, we would have something much closer to the real Jenos. Let’s have some truth in advertising…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You misspelled “Madrassa.”

    Ok, maybe I’ve had too much wine, but this made me laugh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  74. An Interested Party says:

    Isn’t it just a damn shame that Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, and Tony Rezko don’t have the same relevance as Mitt Romney’s tax returns? Life’s just so unfair for some people…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  75. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Wow, this thread still is going on. Yikes.

    In any event, today’s work is done and thus I’m bored and ergo I’ve thought some more about why Romney won’t release the returns, besides bad advice and being dumb and cocooned and such.

    To my way of thinking if you rule out the “conventional wisdom” (which I almost always do on principle alone), that leaves one major item remaining and thus IMO the prime suspect:

    The tax returns would disclose an investment in a company/enterprise that does stuff that would be abhorrent to signiticant numbers of people who otherwise would be quite viable prospects for Romney, or the returns would disclose significant donations to a “charitable” cause that by word and deed falls either on the extreme left or the extreme right side of the political spectrum. If that’s what’s going on here then the mistake not only is Romney’s current state of intransigence it’s not having preempted or at least watered down this issue by disclosing the relevant returns during the primaries. Bad move. Real bad move.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  76. anjin-san says:

    In any event, today’s work is done and thus I’m bored

    Are you a lawyer today, or an oil company executive?

    Maybe a cowboy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  77. mantis says:

    I’ve been thinking about Jenos and “Indiana Jones”. Seems like if we took Howard Wolowitz and shaved 50 odd points off his IQ, we would have something much closer to the real Jenos.

    Just so you know, he stole it from a Star Wars novel. Han Solo uses that name as an alias. Get it? Han Solo-Indiana Jones. Har dee har.

    I believe in another thread Jenos acknowledges the author who first gave Solo the alias, A. C. Crispin.

    It’s a poor name choice, IMO. Solo had much more style and intelligence. Jenos should call himself Ned the Nerfherder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  78. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Are you a lawyer today, or an oil company executive?
    Maybe a cowboy?

    Retroactively, I won the lottery a few times. I’m beginning to like the Romney approach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  79. Ned the Nerfherder says:

    I resent that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  80. swbarnes2 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Retroactively, I won the lottery a few times. I’m beginning to like the Romney approach.

    Republicans are laying the groundwork for big business’s new money making tactic: retroactive layoffs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  81. Jenos Chinos says:

    Ned the Nerfherder used to beat me up after school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  82. Ron Beasley says:

    Drip Drip Drip
    Romney’s Magical IRA
    I still think he can’t release them because they would be too toxic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  83. john personna says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Hard to see how anyone could get tens of millions into tax protected accounts legally – but it is certainly against the spirit of the thing. All those limits are there to let the middle class have special savings for their retirement, while keeping the rich out.

    Guys with a few hundred million were actually supposed to pay tax on their investments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: What makes your position here so intellectually dishonest is that both of you have argued in the past that Obama “should have” released his long form birth certificate sooner, even though he had already released legally accepted and verified documentation of his birth.

    Go screw yourself, you “intellectually dishonest” clod. I’ve NEVER been on the birthers’ side, and have nothing but contempt for them. Do NOT lump me in with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda:I’m not Issa’s constituent. But I am an American citizen, and Obama’s constituent. That’s my basis.

    As far as the Fast & Furious, how generous of the Obama administration to turn over 5% of the required documents. I’m quite certain that they weren’t carefully reviewed and redacted to avoid anything overly incriminating.

    But it’s an interesting idea. Maybe next year I’ll just give the IRS 5% of what they say I owe, and tell them I’ve complied as much as I’m going to. I’m sure that will go over real well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  86. C. Clavin says:

    Indy…you should definitely do that

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  87. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As far as the Fast & Furious, how generous of the Obama administration to turn over 5% of the required documents. I’m quite certain that they weren’t carefully reviewed and redacted to avoid anything overly incriminating.

    5%, that’s Issa’s estimate? Darrell Issa is the new Ken Starr, the gatekeeper of a new permanent investigation. I expect the Republican House to initiate impeachment proceedings shortly after Obama is re-inaugurated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Take the number of of documents Holder’s turned over, multiply it by 20, and you have (roughly) the number of documents Issa subpoenaed. I actually rounded it up to simplify it — it’s actually less than 5%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  89. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    That presumes of course that Issa knows what he’s asking for, that he’s not fishing?
    I think Obama is smart to run this one out until 2013, he can deal with a possible impeachment effort by the House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  90. gVOR08 says:

    @Rob in CT:

    My guess is that he figured the return he did release (2010?) would be enough, and that’s the most “normal” return he has.

    And my recollection is that they delayed months as they struggled to get it to the feeble what was it, 14% rate. It’s too late to massage his earier returns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  91. Jay says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Like Romney’s fucking tax returns are relevant to the election?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  92. Jay says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Like Romney’s tax returns are relevant to the election?

    “Mr. Romney, there isn’t a single shred of evidence you did anything wrong, but you need to release your tax returns to prove you did nothing wrong. And please also tell us when you stopped beating your wife. Thanks!”

    This is beyond absurd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  93. Jay says:

    @gVOR08: Yeah, the 14% rate he is paying on top of money that was already taxed, prior to investing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  94. michael reynolds says:

    He gave 23 years to Mr. McCain while trying out for the Veep slot.

    He gives the American people 1 year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  95. C. Clavin says:

    Jay clearly doesn’t understand how taxes work.

    Anyway…I’ll bet you there are years when Slick Willard paid 0% taxes. What else would be worth the beating he is taking?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  96. john personna says:

    @Jay: It’s not like releasing taxes is unheard of. It’s become standard. It was started by Mitt’s dad of course, so if there was anyone on earth who should have been prepared …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  97. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: ” I’ve NEVER been on the birthers’ side, and have nothing but contempt for them. ”

    Except when it was convenient for you to use them in an attempt to make Obama or other liberals look bad.

    Come on, loser. Spare us the self-righteous justifications. Everyone here has been reading your slop for years. We all know exactly what you’ve done, and what you’ve later pretended not to. And you can now call me stupid in lots of words, but you won’t be fooling anyone.

    If you want to be a troll, you have to be prepared to have everyone around loathe and despise you. That’s the whole point. So don’t start whining and pouting because no one seems to like you anymore — you not only asked for this status, you fought for it. Grow up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  98. john personna says:

    @Jay:

    Taxed “prior to investing it?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  99. Jay says:

    @john personna: It doesn’t matter. This is a non-issue.

    Obama was the first President since federal matching funds were launched not to take them – even after he said he would.

    Candidates do different things. Big deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  100. Jay says:

    @john personna: Yes, money is made via income before it is invested. Romney made income which was taxed. Then he invested that money. On capital gains and dividends he is paying additional taxes on top of what he already paid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  101. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Go screw yourself, you “intellectually dishonest” clod. I’ve NEVER been on the birthers’ side, and have nothing but contempt for them. Do NOT lump me in with them.

    Wow.. that hit a nerve.

    First of all, go back and read, I DIDN’T call you a birther.

    You (and another poster with a similiar name, writing style, and political views who disappeared from OTB just before you arrived) have however, on multiple occasions written that Obama has contributed to and perpetuated birtherism by not releasing his long form birth certificate. You went so far as to say that if he wanted to end it he should have released the long form document sooner.

    So no, you never said you agreed with the birthers. You did however state that they had a point in so much as Obama should have released the document.

    If you don’t see how that logic is essentially the same as calling for Obama to release the birth certificate (even if it’s to shut up the Birthers)… well I can’t help it if you are that much of a dishonest troll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  102. michael reynolds says:

    I have a crazy new theory about what Mitt is hiding: I think he may have hidden income from the Mormon church and unter-tithed.

    No law broken, but his credibility within his church would be shredded.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  103. mantis says:

    You (and another poster with a similiar name, writing style, and political views who disappeared from OTB just before you arrived) have however, on multiple occasions written that Obama has contributed to and perpetuated birtherism by not releasing his long form birth certificate.

    I don’t think that’s true. Jenos hasn’t been commenting here all that long, at least under this name, and I don’t recall him pushing that line.

    Of course, I still contend that he is not the same person as Jay Tea, as some others believe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  104. ebmac says:

    @Derrick: Isn’t that exactly what Obama is doing? “Let’s not talk about my record and this terrible econonmy…look over their..Bain!…tax returns! So many important issues to talk about…Mitt may have offshored jobs 12 years ago! as a private businessman! Lets focus on that and not my failures and offshoring billions of stimulus dollars!” Please get real. If you think something like Fast and Furious or 40 months of over 8% unemployment is not worthy of discussion, but what legal choices were made at a private company 12 years ago is worthy…then you are obviously not someone to be taken seriously

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  105. ebmac says:

    @mattb: I am sure if you put a little thought into it you could recognize the fallacy of your comparison. I am by no means a birther as I think that whole movement is wrong. However, making the comparison of tax returns and birth certificates is apples and oranges. One is related to the Constitutional requirements for being eligible to be President, while the other is not. I believe every single presidential candidate should provide a birth certificate as it provides information on the age and natural born citizen status of the candidate. Tax returns? that is simply a choice each candidate makes and has zero to do with their eligibility to be President. So in essence, your post was a complete failure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  106. anjin-san says:

    Tax returns? that is simply a choice each candidate makes and has zero to do with their eligibility to be President.

    It has nothing to do with their eligibility to be President, but that does not mean it has nothing to do with someone deserving the votes of those they are seeking them from. If Romeny has nothing to hide, he has nothing to worry about. He shared them with John McCain, but he is telling the American public to eat cake.

    As for birth certificates, the republic survived for more than two centuries without candidates producing them.

    Perhaps you should put more thought into things yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  107. G.A. says:

    So what prompted you to break rule No. 1.?

    lol, Dude you cant tell tell that Obama is an idiot Marxist yet?

    As you sit here doing his silly class warfare narrative that is nothing more then a combination of worship and hate and you accuse me of abusing some flavor of aid? lol….

    This is truly sad….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  108. @Jay:

    Your proposal goes beyond a progressive tax. It isn’t even a flat tax. It’s actually a system where the idle rich pay a lower tax rate than working people. That’s … unique.

    But what really bothers me more than that, it’s a typical “what we should have to pay” argument, based on feelings, and completely divorced from the cost of government, and what we need to cover the bills.

    You know, the right loves to talk about the US “becoming Greece” without seeing themselves choosing the Greek path. Sure, the Greeks overspent, but they only had about 3 in 10 people paying tax. The rich skated, as well as the poor. When you stop collecting taxes, your government goes broke.

    Make a plan where taxes and spending work together. If you can reduce spending, really, and not later, that’s great too. But don’t just “promise.” That’s not just a Democrat thing now. Do you remember “sequestration?” The GOP is bailing on that cut promise as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  109. Lib Cap says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Wow, this thread still is going on. Yikes.

    lol.

    Yep… that is likely the sentiment of the Romney campaign, as well as many conservatives.

    ” Won’t this just go away ?!!?!”

    … nope

    It’s ugly and getting worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  110. mattb says:

    Looking back at the post from last, I have to agree with @mantis — there was no need to bring up the spectre of Jay Tea. I don’t know if Jenos and Jay Tea are the same commentor, and it doesn’t mater. I shouldn’t have associated their posts together. Sorry about that Jenos.

    That said, Jenos, unless I’m very mistaken, you have put forward the idea that Obama should have released the long form earlier in order to put this controversy to bed.

    Which gets to:
    @ebmac:

    However, making the comparison of tax returns and birth certificates is apples and oranges. One is related to the Constitutional requirements for being eligible to be President, while the other is not.

    You are completely correct that in a normal situation, the two are not the same. It is true that proof of birth is constitutionally required.

    However, you miss the larger picture. Again, Obama had already presented the necessary documentation (i.e. the certificate of Live Birth) to prove his eligiability. Calls for the Long Form, after the standard was met, were therefore *going beyond* the standard.

    So that’s the first point. My second point, is that there are official standards and defacto standards. The fact that since Mitt Romney’s father, it has become the defacto standard to release the tax returns. The fact that conservatives can only come up with John McCain as an example of a nominee who hasn’t released their taxes only serves to demonstrate this.

    What’s another terms for defacto standards? Tradition. And this gets us back to the weakness of Jenos’ position, considering that he has continually attacked Obama for his “breaks with tradition.” Just look up any thread, for example, that deals with Obama at last year’s White House correspondents dinner to read passionate screeds on how Obama’s behavior was out of line and disrespectful because *he broke with the traditions of the event.*

    So my problem is that this is clearly an area where people seem to only care about established traditions when it suits their argument and then ignore them otherwise.

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  111. mattb says:

    @ebmac:

    If you think something like Fast and Furious or 40 months of over 8% unemployment is not worthy of discussion, but what legal choices were made at a private company 12 years ago is worthy…then you are obviously not someone to be taken seriously

    This also pretends that discussion is a zero sum game.

    It also pretends that there has been *absolutely* no discussion of the Fast and Furious and the current economic situation over the last few years. Both are ridiculously false statements.

    The broader issue is that the Romney Campaign has yet to be able to find a way to take a leadership position in either of those discussions. That isn’t the Obama Campaign’s fault. It’s the Romney Campaign’s fault.

    And for the moment, just as Obama supposedly perpetuated birtherism by not releasing the long form birth certificate, so too is Romney perpetuating this current situation (and keeping the conversation from being refocused).

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  112. Barry says:

    @ebmac: “Mitt may have offshored jobs 12 years ago! as a private businessman! Lets focus on that and not my failures and offshoring billions of stimulus dollars!””

    Considering that ‘old’ record is what Mitt’s running on…………..

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  113. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @mantis:

    Of course, I still contend that he is not the same person as Jay Tea, as some others believe.

    Maybe they just have a lot in common. For instance, they both know a short lady with an airbag phobia. Stranger things have happened.

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  114. bobtuse says:

    @michael reynolds: most excellent angle!

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  115. @Rufus T. Firefly:

    For the win.

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  116. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    lol, Dude you cant tell tell that Obama is an idiot Marxist yet?
    As you sit here doing his silly class warfare narrative that is nothing more then a combination of worship and hate and you accuse me of abusing some flavor of aid? lol….
    This is truly sad….

    Dude … do you know what Marxism is? Evidently not.

    It is truly sad that Mitt Romeny cannot explain any of this Bain business convincingly to the public. He made his fortune utilizing LBOs to acquire firms, strip assets, close plants and lay off American workers. Nobody cared much in the 80s and 90s, but now after the 2008 financial catastrophe – one that was largely engineered by financial services firms and corporations – the public certainly does care.

    It is certainly not class warfare to discuss whether or not that the LBO activity of firms like Bain Capital are beneficial to our economy.

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  117. anjin-san says:

    Google Analytics shows that the number of searches for “Bain Capital” has jumped dramatically in the last week. Many of those Google searches came from swing states — including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — where the Obama campaign is airing ads attacking Romney and his record at Bain.

    The interest in Bain also went up on Twitter. According to the third-party analysis tool Topsy Labs, the number of tweets mentioning the private equity firm jumped last week, dipped quickly on Sunday and then spiked on Monday. Topsy says it weeds out tweets by bots or “spammy sources.”

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  118. jukeboxgrad says:

    rufus:

    they both know a short lady with an airbag phobia

    Wow. Nice work. I think that settles it. Notice these words: “I knew a very short woman.” They are an exact match. And what do you find if you google those words, as a phrase? Those two comments, and very close to nothing else.

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  119. jukeboxgrad says:

    mattb:

    It is true that proof of birth is constitutionally required.

    The constitution requires that POTUS is a citizen. It doesn’t specify a need for a birth certificate (they essentially didn’t exist, at the time) or for any specific written proof.

    Your statement is misleading because it encourages a widely-held belief that happens to be false: that POTUS candidates have routinely presented a BC. No, they haven’t. I’m pretty sure that Obama was the first major candidate to do so. Romney has now done so. I don’t think there are any other examples.

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  120. rodney dill says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: …but I’m not so certain Jenos Idanian #13 is the same as Jenos Idanian.

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  121. mattb says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    Totally correct that the key thing is proof of natural citizenship.

    Your statement is misleading because it encourages a widely-held belief that happens to be false: that POTUS candidates have routinely presented a BC. No, they haven’t. I’m pretty sure that Obama was the first major candidate to do so. Romney has now done so. I don’t think there are any other examples.

    My understanding is that candidates/their campaigns/their party have had to produce some form of evidence as to citizenship. This has typically taken the form of an affidavit or other legally binding document.

    To your point, it is my understanding that up until the most recent cycles, this wasn’t typically done through the release of a birth certificate.

    BTW, your name is still a banned term on the site :p

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  122. jukeboxgrad says:

    Totally correct that the key thing is proof of natural citizenship.

    The constitution doesn’t say anything about proving this via documents. In fact, it says nothing about proving it.

    My understanding is that candidates/their campaigns/their party have had to produce some form of evidence as to citizenship. This has typically taken the form of an affidavit or other legally binding document.

    “Produce” to whom? As far as I know, no such thing ever happened, pre-Obama. Do you have an example?

    your name is still a banned term on the site

    Call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late for dinner.

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  123. lb 22 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The reason McCain only released two years in 2008 is because he has been in Congress for decades, and had already released many years worth of returns previously. The two years he released represented the taxation period since the last time he ran for election. If you think Romney should follow McCain’s example then you should be calling for a couple of decades of his returns.

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  124. mantis says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly:

    Maybe they just have a lot in common. For instance, they both know a short lady with an airbag phobia. Stranger things have happened.

    Ok, you’ve convinced me. I’m quite surprised, actually. Jenos just seemed dumber than Jay Tea was before he vanished.

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  125. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @rodney dill:

    I think you’ll find the answers to all your questions here.

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  126. mattb says:

    @lb 22: Ahh… so in that respect he was the same as Kerry. Good to know.

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  127. jukeboxgrad says:

    A new theory, from Bloomberg:

    it’s possible that … he wound up paying no U.S. federal taxes at all in 2009. If true, this would be politically deadly for him.

    Makes sense to me. Also notice this:

    The “zero tax in 2009″ theory — again, this is sheer speculation — gains further sustenance when you consider it’s the only year for which nobody knows anything about Romney’s taxes

    Because it happened after he gave 23 years to McCain. Anyway, 2009 could be a big problem, because “there’s no way he could release additional returns without including that year.”

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  128. G.A. says:

    Dude … do you know what Marxism is? Evidently not.

    NO I just say Obama is a Marxist idiot for the fun of it.

    It is certainly not class warfare to discuss whether or not that the LBO activity of firms like Bain Capital are beneficial to our economy.

    All you guys do is hate on rich non liberals with made up talking points.The same old same old crap as Obama proves how much of an idiot Marxist he is and for that we get crickets….

    I give up…sigh…

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  129. anjin-san says:

    I give up

    Oh please, oh please…

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  130. mantis says:

    NO I just say Obama is a Marxist idiot for the fun of it.

    Yes, we know.

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  131. rodney dill says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: It does help to be able to see the tricks from the inside.

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