Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for President.
George Romney chose to release more than one year of tax returns because releasing a single return wouldn't prove anything, he told Look magazine's senior editor. It could be a fluke, or even a cynical manipulation designed to make the candidate look good. What really mattered was how a candidate managed his personal finances over the long haul. ( See CNN Money report )
In contrast, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has released only his 2010 tax returns and an estimate of his 2011 taxes, claiming he’ll release his 2011 tax returns before the November election. He has adamantly refused to release any earlier tax returns.
And yet, when Mitt Romney was being vetted for the 2008 Vice President slot, he turned over 23-years worth of his tax returns to the John McCain campaign. 23 years!
Shall we conclude that Romney considers it more important to provide factual financial information about himself to McCain’s campaign staffers than to “we, the people”? He expects the American people to support and elect him to our nation’s highest office, but thinks they don’t deserve to see more than a year or two of his tax returns? What’s in those earlier tax returns that Romney is so determined to hide from the general public?
Interestingly, ABC and other news sources report that the Romney campaign requested “several” years worth of tax returns of the VP contenders.
Hey, if tax returns are trivial matters in determining a Republican candidate’s qualifications for high office, why were the McCain and Romney campaigns so interested in examining several years of them?
Facing significant criticism from Democrats and Republicans over the release of his tax returns, Willard "Mitt" Romney insisted Thursday that he’s paid at least 13% personal income taxes over the past ten years. Oh, yeah? Well, he has not produced evidence to back up that claim.
Mitt Romney reveals his tax rate for ten years, but not his tax returns? Obviously, he favors a much lower standard of transparency than his father.
Mitt Romney is now calling Americans who wish to see more of his tax returns "small-minded." This extremely secretive, flip-flopping politician expects us to believe what he says and trust him. Why should we?
And as for Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan:
Huffington Post reports that on Sunday, Ryan said that he'd turned over "several years" of tax returns to the Romney campaign during his vetting process, but would only make two years of tax returns public for voters. Apparently, Ryan, a Republican politician from Wisconsin who aspires to the second highest office, feels the American public deserves to have minimal information about his personal finances-- and less than what he's disclosed to Romney's campaign staff.
And USA Today reports: “While being vetted by Mitt Romney’s campaign, GOP vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan amended two years of his financial disclosure statements to add an income-producing trust worth between $1 million and $5 million that he had previously neglected to report.”
As one Daily Kos contributor put it: “Oops. He forgot to disclose more than a million dollars. Trust him, it was just a little mistake. Trivial. Like when Mitt Romney omitted a $3 million Swiss bank account from his own disclosure forms. His campaign said it was a "trivial" error and that they were making "some minor technical amendments" to correct the snafu.” (See Los Angeles Times post)
*** Update Aug. 18: Financial disclosures/tax returns do matter. Remember Spiro Agnew? Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States (1969-1973), serving under ( Republican) President Richard Nixon. Per Wikipedia: During his fifth year as Vice President, Agnew was under investigation by the United States Attorney's office in Baltimore, on charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy. He was formerly charged with having accepted bribes while holding office as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and Vice President of the United States. On Oct. 10, 1973, Agnew was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge that he had failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967, with the condition that he resign the office of Vice President. Agnew is the only VP in US history to resign because of criminal charges. 10 years after leaving office, Agnew paid the state of Maryland nearly $270,00 as a result of a civil suit that stemmed from the bribery allegations.