That proposed assumption will hold only for a second, but bear with me… Barbs flew today on the weekly news shows today, in one case with RNC chairman Reince Priebus accused Senator Harry Reid of being a “dirty liar.”Thus, the brouhaha over Mitt’s taxes continues. A simple effort to take all aspects of this controversy into account reveals one simple fact: The Democrats want to embarrass Mitt Romney for being rich. We arrive at this conclusion quite easily, given that only a little speculation is required to assume that there is no way that Mitt could have avoided filing tax returns for ten years.
To explore that impossibility, let’s assume for a moment that Senator Reid’s assertion is something other than a concocted political ploy designed add fuel to the Obama campaign strategy that is based on “Kill Romney” and class warfare. For Reid to be correct, his declaration could only be factual under two specific sets of circumstances. Either Mitt failed to file income tax returns or he filed his income tax returns in accordance with the rules followed by every other American taxpayer and his financial situation was such that no taxes were required to be paid. To explore those two possibilities, let’s let lay out what we know to be fact before engaging in a little speculation of our own. First the facts! Mitt Romney:
- Worked hard as a missionary, something that I saw and experienced first-hand in France. Read previous MittTheMan.com post here.
- Worked hard during summers selling things like cordless microphones to make money for school. Read here.
- Is smart. He was selected to address his graduating class at Brigham Young University. Read here.
- Is VERY smart! He was admitted as one of only 15 students in a joint Harvard Business and Harvard Law program and later graduated in the top 5% of his class in business and with honors from the Law School in the top 30% of his class. Read here.
- Is rich, but he made his money convincing other people to make their money available to him and his partners for investment. Read here.
- Joined his siblings in donating the inheritance they received from their father to Brigham Young University, specifically to create the Romney Institute of Public Management in the business school. Read here.
- Returned to right the ship at Bain Consulting after starting Bain Capital and worked for a symbolic $1 per year. Read here.
- Gave up his $135K per year salary as governor. Read here
- Set the example for others by donating $1 million to the Olympics and encouraged others to do the same. Read here.
- Said that he would accept his $250K per year salary at the Olympics only if the Games were able to end with a profit. They did, so he accepted his salary, but he then promptly donated that to charity. Read here.
Is there anyone in their right mind who would say that this simple list of known facts reads like information from the background of a tax cheat? Furthermore, the Internal Revenue Service is well-equipped to root out and bring to justice any and all who refuse to do its bidding. As of January 2012, they had even started a program to increase the rate of high-income taxpayers who were being audited.To assume that this program had anything to do with Mitt Romney’s candidacy would be pure speculation, which is not my purpose here. It is interesting to note, however, that the cited article quotes IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge, who said, “We base our audit decisions on tax issues, nothing else. We don’t play politics here.” Remember now that we are working for the moment under the assumption that Harry Reid’s accusation has some basis in fact. We add to that the fact that we know (personally and from evidence provided above) that Mitt is indeed smart enough not to try to engage in income tax evasion as some have speculated might be the case. We will finally now engage in the one bit of speculation here we will allow ourselves for this article. Given our temporary assumption that there is some basis for Reid’s accusation, we have to also assume (another word for speculate) that if Mitt did not pay any taxes for ten years, then his accountants used authorized deductions to reduce his tax liability to zero. Unlike Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, who was unable to correctly use Turbo Tax to avoid errors in his tax return, we can easily guess that Mitt does not prepare his own returns. Indeed, this might be another small bit of speculation, but I would say it is a pretty safe bet that Mitt has several accountants who have taken on that role for many years now. The conclusion from our speculation and from our temporary assumption that Harry Reid is correct in his accusation has to be that Mitt has been doing for many years now exactly what the United States tax code has required of him. If he has not paid taxes, then it is because of laws that are so convoluted and complicated that someone of his financial means might be able to avoid paying taxes for some number of years due to deductions from business losses, tax shelters, loopholes and the like. But each of those would come from noting other than the monster created by the same class of people represented by Harry Reid and the other “Congress Critters” (a wonderful term I picked up years ago from science fiction writer and longtime contributor to Byte Magazine, Jerry Pournelle). So to end this piece, be assured that I don’t believe for a minute that Harry Reid is correct in his accusation that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years. But if I am wrong, then it is all Harry’s and his buddies’ fault! Either way, I agree with Rush Limbaugh that it is a losing proposition for Mitt to open up his returns to the voyeurs in the Democrat Party (the opinions of Ed Rollins, Hailey Barbour, George Will, and William Kristol notwithstanding)! Let’s end on this note. For once I agree with Jon Stewart:
On “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Stewart tore apart Reid, calling him a “terrible” person and calling it a “bull sh-t shot.” “I cannot believe you just went dead dad shame on Mitt Romney,” Stewart said. Asked how Reid was responding to such criticism, a third person close to Reid shrugged it off entirely. “It’s impossible to say how little he cares,” the Reid confidante said. “He literally could not care less.”
By the way Reid’s reaction removed any glimmer of respect I had for the man. He does indeed totally merit Rush Limbaugh’s nickname of Dingy Harry.