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Romney’s been down this tax return road before, and it’s a dead end

Romney’s been down this tax return road before, and it’s a dead end

Is this really happening again?  Is Mitt Romney refusing, even assuming he is the nominee which looks likely, to release any more tax returns?

Romney released his 2010 return and projections for 2011 only after a disastrous couple of weeks of refusing to do so.  I predicted at the start that his position would not stand, and it didn’t.

Romney’s current position came in response to the Obama campaign making it an issue:

President Obama’s re-election campaign is calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns dating back to the 1980s, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Following a front-page Wall Street Journal article Thursday reporting that employees at Bain Capital, Romney’s former private-equity firm, were allowed to invest their retirement money in companies the firm acquired through a special share class, the Obama camp is seeking Romney’s old tax returns to see if they contain information about the investment arrangement….

The Romney campaign pushed back Friday with their own request in an e-mail to National Journal: that Obama release the transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders.

“The Obama campaign is playing politics, just as he’s doing in his conduct of foreign policy,” Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul wrote. “Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over.”

I don’t think Romney needs to release returns going back to the 1980s, but he should survey what past nominees have done and come up with a reasonable time frame, perhaps going back a decade to when he was Governor of Massachusetts.

For now, Romney can get away with a “no new tax returns” policy because it’s still the primaries.  But once he is the nominee, the media which now is building him up will turn its full attention to taking him down, and the refusal to release tax returns will dominate the news for a few cycles, and then be a persistent talking point.

Romney has made it worse by tying the release of tax returns to Obama’s release of notes and transcripts of meetings with foreign leaders.  The two are apples and oranges.  The public expects candidates to release tax returns without precondition.

The public does not generally expect the President — any President — to reveal private meetings with foreign leaders.  Given Obama’s hot mic comments to the President of Russia, Romney is right to make private promises to foreign leaders an issue, but it has nothing to do with tax returns.  By tying the two together, Romney actually weakens the case for disclosure of Obama’s back room promises.

Just release the returns, and release them early.


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How release a bunch of tax returns, and promise to release the rest when 0bama releases his high school, college, and law school transcripts? Yeah. Let’s have transparency.

Romney is the GOPE (Grand 0ld Party Establishment) choice. They have piled on all the alternatives. They wouldn’t see the problem this is going to be. Remember almost half of this country doesn’t pay Federal taxes, and they want MORE from those who do. 0bama will stoke the flames of class war and resentment.

    Milwaukee in reply to Milwaukee. | March 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Sorry, I meant “How about releasing a bunch…”

      StrangernFiction in reply to Milwaukee. | March 31, 2012 at 11:29 am

      They wouldn’t see the problem this is going to be.

      More importantly, they don’t care to see. The GOPE would rather have another four years of Obama than have a non-statist in the White House.

    How release a bunch of tax returns, and promise to release the rest when 0bama releases his high school, college, and law school transcripts? Yeah. Let’s have transparency.

    How about he also releases his rec letters to be accepted into college and law school, his financial aid forms, his tuition payments and any papers he wrote about social issues of the US Constitution.

    Just tie the release to Obama’s release of proof that he has any useful knowledge of economics.

Obama’s West Wing operatives already have all the tax information they need.

The question is, does Romney want to release, or have them “leak” it?


Romney should release according to what other candidates have released. I’m sure it wasn’t 25 years worth. I think it’s great that the Romney side asked for Obama to release records of his meetings w foreign leaders. I say, ask him to release all of his personal records-school, health, work etc. I am not a Romney supporter btw, I like Gingrich, just sayin’.

Ditto. Why are Romney’s records fair game but you are a birther or racist if you hold Obama to the same standard? It’s not impolite to ask about that birth certificate. It doesn’t make anyone a crazy conspiracy nut to report Sheriff Arapaio’s findings.

    Trucker20 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Well, yeah it kinda does make you a birther and conspiracy nut…sorry.

    The birthers are kind of off the radar, but are there any calls from them for Romney, Santorum, Gingrich or Paul to release their birth certificates?

Who the hell keeps their taxes from the 1980’s? The IRS only expects you to save taxes from the past 10 years, I think. Or is it 7 years?

Anyway, this is just part of the “get the rich guy” strategy that will backfire on Obama.

    ThomasD in reply to Tamminator. | March 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

    That argument won’t last two seconds in the media.

    It’s not like Romney’s been doing his taxes all by himself, shoebox of receipts on the floor and calculator in hand, for all these years.

    No, he has surely hired professionals, and those guys keep the records forever.

      My tax professionals don’t. They have EXPLICIT instructions to destroy records after 7 years which is one year beyond the exceptions to the standard “3 year statute of limitations” for assessing and collecting taxes.

      Section 6501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and section 301.6501(a)-1(a) of the Income Tax Regulations state the IRS is required to assess tax within 3 years after the tax return was filed with the IRS.

      Under 301.6501(a)-1(b) of the Tax Regulations no proceeding in court by the IRS without assessment for the collection of any tax can begin after the expiration of 3 years.

      There is an exception which changes the statute of limitations to 6 years under IRC Section 6501(e) if you under-stated your gross income by more that 25%, understated your gross estate by more that 25% (Estate Tax), understated your Gifts by more than 25% (Gift Tax).

      There is always the fraud exception too (Section 6501(c)(2)), which means that the statutory period does not begin running, but the IRS has the burden of proving the fraud FIRST (the limitations period is PRESUMED to run).

      If the accountants and tax professionals are following “best practices” they should be destroying data after 7 years unless the IRS had filed some sort of action.

        ThomasD in reply to Chuck Skinner. | March 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        That certainly sounds like a wise approach, but you clearly note that it is one that requires explicit direction from the client. Hopefully Romney has been equally thoughtful, and his accountant(s) can then attest that there simply are no old records to be had.

        Sadly, I doubt that will prove the case.

Cant say I blame Romney. Obama is obviously setting up the discussion as a rich guy v poor guy argument…like most everything he does. Obama wants a divide.
But we knew this would happen way back when discussing how Newt would be a harder target for this sort of thing.
I hate to say we told you so but we told you so.

    “rich guy v poor guy” .. so new making less than, say, $5 million is poor ?

    Hope Change in reply to jimzinsocal. | March 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Or, jimzinsocal, besides I told you so, what about this…?

    THIS kind of issue is another reason the Romney people do NOT want to have a national conversation this summer, over who can defeat Obama. They are hoping against hope that Romney will get enough delegates. But that looks increasingly unlikely.

    By this summer, it will be pretty clear what the MSM, White House, Democrat (BIRM) plan is, to take Romney out, and how unable Romney is to respond effectively to the attacks.

    Because all Romney has is “himself” to offer. I swear I actually heard him say in a speech, “Because, my gosh, this country has just got to be free.” Maybe Dan Quayle could be his Vice Presidential running mate. “A mind is a terrible thing to lose; oh, yes, how true that is.”

    Romney is just hoping to BE President. And everyone can see that. Romney is Bob Dole with less charisma; H.W. Bush with less of “the vision thing”; McCain with zero of the steady, trustworthy conservatism — oh, wait, that’s McCain, too.

    Romney said at the Romneycare signing ceremony that Teddy Kennedy was his closest collaborator on Romneycare. Who do the GOPE thinking they’re going to be fooling here?

    On the other hand, Newt has been putting together SOLUTIONS his whole life. For our country. Newt wants to be President SO HE CAN RESTORE OUR NATION’S ECONOMY AND OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.

    By this summer, coming up on the convention, the American People will be paying attention at a whole new level. Newt’s superiority of solutions and implementation will be obvious.

    People reviewing Newt’s PLAN will see that we can CHOOSE to have a good future again, a REALLY GOOD FUTURE, instead of lies, recession, rising prices, possible depression, blocking job creation, higher taxes, tyrannical agencies, joblessness, and constant worry and fear about what this bunch of incompetent scoundrels and Leftists will do next to destroy our economy and our country.

    People will see the remarkable, shining alternative of producing our own oil again and all the benefits that brings, and returning manufacturing to the US; having a vibrant economy with opportunity, jobs and unprecedented levels of savings, TO NAME JUST A FEW of the improvements we’ll be making, will appeal to the American People, and NEwt will be the nominee.

    This scenario can happen. Can you picture it? It will be so great! This is within the realm of possibility. The KEY is us, the American People. We can do this.

Romney has an understandable reluctance to release tax returns in this climate.

With hordes of left-wing groups with few scruples, such as the Black Panthers, OWS, Hoffa’s Union thugs, Soros’ agenda groups (radical environmentalists, gaystapos, etc.) waiting for Obama’s signal on stage left and on stage right, there are the actual Republican voters and taxpayers, the Tea Party and grass roots conservatives angry about Romney’s liberalism, lies, lack of integrity and convictions, and his prolific use of tax payer dollars to fund Romneycare, to cushion the MA budget, to bail out his businesses and the Olympics. It was the public purse that enabled Romney to gain and keep his considerable wealth (20 million per year in investment income) – so conservatives have billions of very good reason, utterly despise and resent Romney as the Republican candidate.

From both viewpoints, Romney has An Embarrassment of Riches.

All this makes him a target rich candidate.

Personally, I wish Romney had asked the President to release his college transcripts and other records. Then we might learn if his current hubris is due to “C” or “A”.

DINORightMarie | March 31, 2012 at 10:08 am

I am still ABO, but I am sharing this video like crazy today, because it is going to take a miracle (and people working at the lowest levels) to try to keep Romney from getting the nomination:

Newt Gingrich is one of the greatest American thinkers of our time.

Romney has so many things like this, so many dead ends he doesn’t realize he is taking……….I needed a lift.

Hope this at least lifts some spirits, and maybe inspires us to do the work the MSM won’t do and SHARE the vision, the message, the record.

    Hope Change in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Hi DINORightMarie – thanks for the link. That is “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH,” one of the most brilliant speeches out there. That speech alone has convinced people Newt is the only one they can support.

    Thank you for posting that. It is truly inspiring and it gives you the resolve to fight. Thanks.

      Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | March 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      We’re not fighting for a particular candidate. We’re fighting for a vision of America and a better future.

      Here’s the question we will be asking this summer: who are we as a nation?

      The comments here today are decidedly discouraged. I can understand that.

      But this is not over. Until the moment Romney has the requisite number of delegates, this is not over. As I understand it, no one is even halfway there!

      This is from the Vince Haley email from yesterday:
      “Every day the chattering class goes on cable television babbling on that the Republican primary is over. Just accept it, they say. But guess what? The voters aren’t buying it.

      In fact, no candidate is even halfway towards securing the 1,144 delegates necessary to win the nomination. Not even halfway!” [end of Vince Haley email]

      This is an ongoing battle for our future and the futures of the ones we love. The opposition, the GOPE, the MSM are trying to psych us out. THEY FEAR NEWT.

      Are we going to let them psych us out? If you want to, sign up at to get emails so you can keep track of how this is gong. Don’t believe the MSM spin.

      This is about the future and whether the people we love will have lots of opportunity or end up paying the equivalent of a new house in interest payments to the Chinese for the national debt that GOPE and Democrats have run up. This is about whether we will have a president who guts the military budget and sells out our defenses to the Russians in secret.

      This isn’t about Newt or any one person. This is about America. Can we spare money? Can we spare time? We can help our country return to being FREE AND PROSPEROUS.

        “The voters aren’t buying it.”

        A significant portion of them are. Barring a massive implosion, Romney is still the most likely nominee.

        Meanwhile, those who refuse to drink the koolaid are demonized for standing in Romney’s way, as if his own shortcomings as a candidate have nothing to do with how hard it’s been for him to lock up the nomination.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to irv. | March 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm

          I will vote for NEWT if I have to write in his name.

          Romney is the opposite of a qualified, capable or deserving candidate for the job.

          Romney violated ethics, got wealthy on the public largesse. He will say and do anything for a vote or a dollar. He has proved he cannot be trusted.

Another whiff of what is to come in a general election featuring Romney vs. Obama.

We’ve seen plenty others making brief appearances – Romneycare being the template for Obamacare; Romney’s abortion position merry-go-round; Mormonism and it’s prior history of racism, and anti-Catholic bigotry (that one I’m sure Axelrod thinks is his ace in the hole that will allow Obama to get away with the contraceptive mandate fiasco.)

Rest assured there are many others. Also have little doubt that the beltway insider types running the Romney campaign will have no effective counter for any of this.

And certainly do not expect the base to rally to his defense, he’s no Sarah Palin and the TEA parties will only play along if it looks like he’s a sure winner.

^^That would be great…get the transcripts at last.
I dunno about how the campaign will work out. I can forsee the set up: Paint Romney as the rich guy verses Obama who does fist bumps (virtually/verbally) with Sharpton and Jackson in order to keep the racial slant obvious. In simple terms…rich and white against poor and black with exhibit A being the Florida kid. Expect more of the same from Obama. Determine the group he wants votes from and hell find the “enemy” to scapegoat.
So far we have rich people, anyone associated with oil companies, catholics, conservative Jurists, anyone associated with hedge funds, commodity traders…sheesh..the list is getting longer.

When ya cant run on your record? Simple: Tear the other guy down and those associated with him.

Romney is just not a good politician. That’s really what this shows.
On that note, he is on par with Barry.

The tax returns are coming out, its only a question of how much damage this dunce sustains before he releases them himself.

You’re right Prof, it is apple’s and oranges, although there’s a set up here that may still work. In a few weeks Romney could release his returns and then turn back to the Obama administration and say “See Moral High ground, you’re turn.”
Of course this supposes he learned anything from the last round of this and is just staging now (which may be unlikely.)
It also assumes some pretty devious stategy by his campaign, which they haven’t showed yet. That’s a lot of assumptions, but I’m clinging to my hope.

    Trucker20 in reply to tsrblke. | March 31, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    And then Romney will promptly be ignored or mocked by the Obama campaign.

    Even for Romney, the ‘release meeting notes & transcripts’ of meetings with foreign leaders thing is just astonishingly stupid.

    Will he be planning to do the same, just so the American people can be sure that prez. Romney is not ‘selling out America’ or whatever language he used?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

The brain trust running Willard’s campaign has to know that Axelrod plans to Gekko-ize him. This is just one step in the Gekko-ization process.

Willard’s financial affairs have to be enormously complex. It’s not like he gets sent a W2 every year and can file a form 1040EZ.

As complex as the tax laws and his financial affairs surely are, there’s probably going to be different ways to interpret how to present the info to the IRS each year.

It wouldn’t surprise me that after Willard succumbs to the pressure and releases several years of tax returns, Obama’s campaign may then rely on The New York Times and Washington Post “groupsource” technique employed after Sarah Palin’s emails were released. People will find there are alternative ways the tax returns could have been filed to create the impression Willard defrauded the government.

They had to see this coming. But their response is, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”.


MEANWHILE – after endorsing Romney, Rubio is at work on a modification of the Dream Act. Just what we DONT need, more incentives for illegals to flood our welfare roles and job market.

    Milwaukee in reply to Uncle Samuel. | March 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I would be more sympathetic to the Dream Act if I knew Affirmative Action was done, over, dead. Or if the borders really were secure. What’s to stop more parents from pouring over the border?

    For a child to be the in this situation, their parents Must be illegal immigrants. Will there be Any Consequences for those parents? Sure the kid can stay, but mom and pop go home, and the child does Not get the privilege of sponsoring anybody into this country.

The worst part about this is that you can just picture the Romney campaign staff seeing the demand for tax returns in the news and saying, “Ha! We’ll show him! We’ll turn this right back on him and at the same time remind people about his latest gaffe! He’s just made himself look bad and handed the campaign to Romney!”

From this alone it’s possible to predict that, after Romney becomes the official nominee, he will proceed to run a campaign so hapless, so self-absorbed and idiotic, as to make dumbass McCain look almost competent by comparison.

I agree that the GOPE is to blame for all of this. They refused to see the problem with RomneyCare and with all of Mitt’s wealth being a problem going against Obama.

Obama will play the class warfare/class envy card for all its worth. I don’t think Romney needs to go that far back on his tax records.

However, I do think that he needs to explain what Newt was trying to get people to see about his Bain Capital business and that’s the “ethics” part of the problem. People thought he was attacking the “free market” part of it, which he was not. There is plenty out there to see in the “ethics” issue.

We the People haven’t seen Obama’s college transcripts nor real birth certificate. But I don’t see the Romney camp going that route, beause John McCain wouldn’t even do it.

What we do need to pay attention to as Mark Levin pointed out on his show yesterday, now that Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan have come out with endorsements, their campaign coffers runneth over with Romney money now. And this is what I don’t like about this man. He has done it with Nikki Haley and Pam Bondi and no telling who else. He is buying his way to the Presidency and we’re supposed to all roll over and fall in line.

I’m in fear for our nation. I don’t even think the GOPE believes that Obama is beatable.

    “People thought he was attacking the “free market” part of it, which he was not.”

    That mischaracterization was always a cynical ploy. Worse, it worked and was one of the things that nuked Newt’s already weak campaign.

    Obama is absolutely going to attack Romney as a “vulture capitalist” and claims that he is only attacking free markets will fail completely, even though they worked against Newt. In the first place, Obama doesn’t support free market capitalism anyway. And in the second place, almost everyone has some suspicion of guys like Romney, who manage to get extremely wealthy without showing any evidence of having ever worked for a living.

    The “VC” charge will work for Obama and Romney will be blindsided because he thought he already beat it.

    The only hope the Romney campaign has of beating Obama is that the price of gas will climb so high that people stop listening to what he says and just vote him out.

    Hope Change in reply to Scorpio51. | March 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Scorpio51 — They DON’T. The GOPE DO NOT think Obama can be defeated.

    What a bunch of maroons.

    That’s the whole point of why we have to defeat THEM, the GOPE.

    Rush has been talking about that for the past year. Rush says GOPE Washington insiders have been telling him that Obama can’t be beat an their hope is to hold on in the Senate. Which makes no sense.

    So these political geniuses completely ignore the intensive work and upsurge of the AMERICAN PEOPLE in the 2010 elections.

    We can carry them to a resounding victory this fall if they would just get with American principles. People are fed up to here with the Obama Depression. The list is endless of why we can win. But they’re so stupid and neutered by the MATRIX that they have lost their ability to see the AMERICAN PEOPLE and AMERICAN TRADITIONS.

    I support Newt because I support AMERICA. Period. That’s the KEY.

You can’t run to be head of the IRS’s Storm Troopers without expecting to have to post your own returns for all to see. Goes with the territory.

The tax return thing is just a light mortar fire over the USS Romney. He ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.

Romney, with all his ruthless Alinskyism in campaigning, is not nearly armored emotionally for a Chicago-thug, Islamo-fascist war.

THE LEFT always goes quickly past mere incivility, past ignoble, to mockery, lewdness, to deadly threats.

What they did to Sarah Palin, are doing in the Martin/Zimmerman case, to Walker and Kleefisch in Wisconsin, they will level at Romney, his wife, children and grandchildren.

Here’s a small sample:

The Islamo-fascist groups are the Italian Mafia, Nazis and North Korea on steroids – they ignore the Geneva conventions, Marquess of Queensbury rules or Emily Post. They do not value human life and with them there is no forgiveness, no mercy only hate and vengeance.

Romney is basically a coward and he stammers, stutters, hedges…he either lies or runs away when he is face to face with tough questions and opposition.

1. As a practical matter, Romney will almost certainly have to release his taxes, but I agree with previous commenters that calling for a release of Obama’s academic record would be a reasonable comeback to Democrat harassment on the matter.

2. Romney has made it worse by tying the release of tax returns to Obama’s release of notes and transcripts of meetings with foreign leaders. The two are apples and oranges.

And nuts: the Romney campaign is somehow equating the release of an individual’s tax returns to the release of the contents of sensitive, presumably highly classified negotiations.

This is absurd on its face, and it also has the effect of legitimizing Obama’s inexcusable security breach with Medvedev.

3. To those of a certain age: Romney reminds me of Robert McNamara, who was a master of charts and spreadsheets but had no clue—was stubborn in the teeth of blatant evidence—about their limitations wrt the real world.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to gs. | March 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Romney’s political machine is like a snazzy hi-power private jet without a GPS and gyroscope. He’s got a lot of money and power, but no clue how to use it or to govern, deal with domestic and negotiate foreign affairs once he got the job.

How many years of tax returns did Obama release in 2008? (Answer according to CNN: 7 2000-2006)

How many years of tax returns is one legally required to keep? (I think the answer is 7)

If Romney releases 7 years of tax returns, will the MSM go away and leave him alone (Answer: Ha!)

So far Romney’s been showing himself tougher and smarter than his opponents or critics give him credit for.
For instance, Romney held back on releasing his most recent tax returns earlier in the campaign than was traditional, which is being called a mistake, but recall that when he did, it make those who screamed loudest that he was hiding something look like fools when it turned out that the biggest secret was the extent of his religious and charitable donations.

    Browndog in reply to Confutus. | March 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    The one’s who were screaming the loudest were the libs-

    They’re not going to vote for Romney no matter what, and couldn’t care less about his charity.

    No, you release your tax returns because it is proper for the vetting of any and all Presidential candidates.

    It’s not about winning anyone’s vote.

    Trucker20 in reply to Confutus. | March 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Not tougher or smarter…just immensely richer and able to bury his rivals in mountains of money. He won’t be able to outspend Obama ten or twenty to one like he’s done with his primary rivals.

Screw the communist in the white house and his operatives.

STOP jumping through flaming hoops for those bastids and TEAR the narrative away from them.