Majority Of Americans Want Romney To Release More Tax Returns

According to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll, a majority of Americans believe Mitt Romney should release more tax returns:

WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans, including almost a third of Republicans, say GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the two years he has promised to disclose, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

The issue is one Democrats have been hammering, including an open letter to Romney signed by almost two dozen mayors released Thursday that noted controversial disclosures in the 2010 return he already has released and demanded: “What else are you trying to hide?”

Those surveyed are divided on whether the likely Republican nominee is trying to hide anything. While 42% predict the release of additional returns would not reveal anything politically harmful, 44% believe it would include damaging information — including 15% who say they believe the revelations would be so serious that they would “show he is unfit to be president.”

(…)

In the poll, those surveyed:

• Are divided on whether presidential candidates in general should release their tax returns. Forty-seven percent call it “largely irrelevant” to helping voters decide who should be president while 44% say it provides “legitimate information that helps voters make better decisions.”

• Agree by a substantial margin of 17 percentage points that Romney in particular should release more than two years of returns. By 54%-37%, they say Romney should release tax returns from additional years. Those calling for more disclosure include 75% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 30% of Republicans.

Meanwhile, Ann Romney spoke about the issue today and echoed the position her husband has taken:

Ann Romney reaffirmed her husband’s insistence that no additional years of tax returns would be released to the public on Thursday morning, arguing that they have already “given all you people need to know.”

“He’s a very generous person,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts of Mitt Romney. “We give 10 percent of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person who is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it. Then, when he was governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take a salary in the four years.”

“We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she said.

Personally, I’m sympathetic to the idea that tax returns are largely irrelevant in evaluating a candidate, but it strikes me as such an inconsequential issue that withholding them causes more problems than its worth. The Romney camp apparently thinks they can get away with this intransigence, but the poll indicates that the public isn’t too impressed by it. How long they’ll be able to keep their position given polls like this is unknown.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, Taxes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she said.

    Lady Romney need not answer to The Help.

  2. David M says:

    It’s also increasingly looking likely that the 2010 return Romney released was incomplete.

  3. wr says:

    Now the voters are “you people.” God knows what we’ll be if he ever gets into office.

  4. legion says:

    “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she said.

    So, we should just take your husband’s word that everything is in order and no further investigation is needed? Just like you guys took Obama’s word that he was born in Hawaii, and stopped asking for more birth certificates? Uh-huh…

  5. Jr says:

    There has to be something in there so bad that is keeping Mitt from releasing them……because no can be this stupid or stubborn.

  6. Fiona says:

    I think by “you people” she was actually referring to the media (which, we all know, is nasty, liberal, and out to get the Romneys). But the whole exchange didn’t come off well for her. She looked visibly annoyed and came off as defensive, much like her husband does when asked a question he doesn’t want to answer.

    Yeah Ann–we all understand that you guys are filthy rich, pay a lower percentage of income tax than a lot of people with far lesser incomes, and make use of tax havens that most of us will never be able to utilize. But comments like this only make people wonder if you and Mitt can understand what it’s like to get by on a middle class income in this country, let alone one that’s closer to the poverty line.

  7. @wr:

    From the context of Mrs Romney comment it’s clear she was referring to the media

  8. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’ll accept the correction, and glad to hear it.

    As for the Romneys, if they really don’t want to release these returns, it seems to me to be pretty obvious that they have to come up with an answer for one question: Why not?

    If I knew I’d be running for president and wouldn’t be releasing my taxes, you can bet I’d have an answer. Even if it’s ludicrously technical, I’d come up with something. Because it’s not his enemies he has to worry about now, it’s all his friends on the right You know, like the NR guys who are suddenly calling for the release.

    If Romney had an answer, guranteed that all his supporters would glom onto it. “Of course he wants to release them, but the horizontal flomshoft will manumit the ontology.” Whatever words he gave them they’d repeat. But they’ve got nothing…

  9. DRS says:

    Barbara Bush the sequel.

  10. paladin says:

    My guess is that as the economy continues to tank and jobs are lost yet the establishment press and Obama hollar about “tax returns”, even more will consider Romney’s tax returns irrelevant.

    The fact that 47% NOW consider tax returns “largely irrelevant” will only grow if Obama and his allies in the press continue to harp on this. It will look like they are avoiding issues voters care most about—which they are.

    The voters aren’t as stupid as Obama wishes they were—he fooled them once; it ain’t gonna happen again.

  11. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The inescapable conclusion is that from Romney’s perspective those older tax returns are a flaming toxic disaster of a train wreck. Therefore I don’t think we’re going to see those returns.

  12. David M says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The inescapable conclusion is that from Romney’s perspective those older tax returns are a flaming toxic disaster of a train wreck. Therefore I don’t think we’re going to see those returns.

    The longer this goes on, the more this is the obvious conclusion.

  13. jpe says:

    It’s also increasingly looking likely that the 2010 return Romney released was incomplete.

    The FBAR isn’t a tax return. It’s a money disclosure form filed w/ the Dpt of Treasury, and has nada to do w/ taxes.

  14. mantis says:

    @jpe:

    The FBAR isn’t a tax return. It’s a money disclosure form filed w/ the Dpt of Treasury, and has nada to do w/ taxes.

    Hehe. The IRS is part of the Treasury Department. Here’s where you download the FBAR from:

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f90221.pdf

    Notice the URL? Yeah, that’s the IRS.

    Here’s the FAQ:

    Q. How do filers report their accounts to the IRS?

    A. Filers report their foreign accounts by (1) completing boxes 7a and 7b on Form 1040 Schedule B, box 3 on the Form 1041 “Other Information” section, box 10 on Form 1065 Schedule B, or boxes 6a and 6b on Form 1120 Schedule N and (2) completing Form TD F 90-22.1 (PDF).

    TD F 90-22.1 is the FBAR. 1040 is your tax filing. They go together.

    Dope.

  15. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Nah, I’m going with she was referring to the voters. After all, isn’t that what Romney and the right are doing with Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comment?