Some people have expressed outrage that Mitt Romney would be asked to put out in the open more tax returns. So far the presumptive GOP nominee has released his 2010 and 2011 tax returns. However, because the issue of his tax returns has become such a distraction all sort so people besides Barack Obama are calling for him to just release them. What's the big deal?
Well, to be honest, there is no big deal. They are just tax returns and if someone running for public office thinks they can have real privacy, they should think again. In this case, when you are running for the highest office in the land you should provide this material and I think at least a decade's worth would give the public a good view.
But what has become a problem is that many Republicans are happy to just let that slide. I for one never let it slide with Barack Obama. We should have been able to see a decades worth of tax returns, college transcripts and yes, even a physical copy of his birth certificate. We ought to know who our leaders are and have that information available to us.
Even Romney's opponent in the GOP race Ron Paul said it would be a good thing. According to Politico,
“Politically, I think that would help him,” the Republican congressman and former presidential candidate said in an interview with POLITICO. “In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”
Paul on Tuesday agreed with that advice, saying Romney’s tax returns have become too much of a distraction.
“It’s a shame. The important issue is [what] the two candidates seem to agree on. They don’t really disagree with militarism overseas, they don’t disagree with the Federal Reserve system and the bailouts, and they don’t disagree on basically whether the role of federal government is wealth redistribution through welfare. So instead, they’re talking about tax returns and that to me is so disappointing,” he said. “It’s all a charade, I think it’s all contrived to not have a debate.”
In addition, Guy Benson at Townhall points out four reasons why Romney should not release more tax returns and then lists five reasons why he should. I tend to think the "should release" gives more credibility.
Benson lists these five positive reasons for Romney releasing more tax returns as:
- 1. Honesty is the best policy
- 2. People won't care
- 3. Bad optics - for Dems
- 4. A strengthened moral authority
- 5. Distinguishing accusations - immediate dismissal of a collection of charges
He's right. Instead of letting a steady drip run constantly, just take a wrench and squeeze it off. By putting out more tax returns it gives him the opportunity to simply take the issue of Bain completely off the table, unless there are real problems there.
I'm no Obama supporter and never have been, but when it comes to politics Barack Obama was right when he said, ‘The only people that don’t want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide.” I'm not saying Romney is hiding something. I'm simply saying he is on a political field attempting to play politics like it's a business. It's not.
George Will makes this point very well.
“Mitt Romney is losing at this point in a big way,” Will said. “If something is going to come out, get it out in a hurry. I do not know why — given that Mr. Romney knew the day that McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again, that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest. He’s done nothing illegal, nothing unseemly, nothing improper, but lots that’s impolitic, and he’s now in the politics business.”
Will continued in his interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week,
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“George, I remember — 1994 in September sitting in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Boston Commons talking with the Republican candidate for Senate, Mitt Romney, at a time when he was going through a mild version of this with all of the attacks on his private sector [experience]. The Republicans have now nominated someone from the financial sector at a time when the financial sector is in extremely bad odor. Hardly a day goes by — the LIBOR scandal, TARP, the condition of the country that we’re allowed to keep profits private and socializing losses — all of this conditions the atmosphere in which this is occurring.”