The contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt---their business careers and willingness to come clean about their financial affairs--was the focus of Paul Krugman's July 8 op-ed in the New York Times.
Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, author of numerous books, and a New York Times Op-ed Columnist.
In his op-ed Mitt's Gray Areas, Krugman notes that when George Romney ran for President, he released 12 years’ worth of tax returns. Those returns reveal that he paid a lot of taxes—36% of his income in 1960, 37% over the whole period.
“George Romney was open and forthcoming about what he did with his wealth, but Mitt Romney has largely kept his finances secret. He did, grudgingly, release one year’s tax return plus an estimate for the next year, showing that he paid a startlingly low tax rate. But as the Vanity Fair report points out, we’re still very much in the dark about his investments, some of which seem very mysterious.
Put it this way: Has there ever before been a major presidential candidate who had a multimillion-dollar Swiss bank account, plus tens of millions invested in the Cayman Islands, famed as a tax haven?”
Krugman contends that Mitt Romney’s “ refusal to come clean suggests that he and his advisers believe that voters would be less likely to support him if they knew the truth about his investments.” Krugman says voters have a right to know that truth.
“One more thing: To the extent that Mr. Romney has a coherent policy agenda, it involves cutting tax rates on the very rich — which are already, as I said, down by about half since his father’s time. Surely a man advocating such policies has a special obligation to level with voters about the extent to which he would personally benefit from the policies he advocates.
Yet obviously that’s something Mr. Romney doesn’t want to do. And unless he does reveal the truth about his investments, we can only assume that he’s hiding something seriously damaging.”
To access Klugman’s op-ed, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/opinion/krugman-mitts-gray-areas.html