It probably wouldn’t go away for long, but Romney could make a serious dent in the current Bain news cycle if he simply released more tax returns.
During an interview with CBS News today, Romney reiterated that he will not release more returns. And this time he said why.
(CBS News) Mitt Romney is not budging an inch when it comes to his personal taxes. Despite repeated calls by Democrats and, over the weekend, by some of his fellow Republicans to release more tax returns, Romney says two years worth of returns is enough.
“The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more: More things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try to take a mountain out of and to distort and to be dishonest about,” Romney said Monday on Fox News Channel.
Romney can’t actually clarify what he believes the opposition is distorting or being “dishonest” about, because to do so he would have to come clean. All he can do is be intentionally vague and hope people lose interest.
Meanwhile, speculation over what he’s hiding continues to mount.
From The New Yorker
Romney’s filings indicate that his effective federal income-tax rate in 2010 was 13.9 per cent, and his estimated rate for 2011 is 15.4 per cent. Those figures reflect the fifteen-per-cent tax rate on capital gains and dividend income. But it is perfectly possible that in earlier years he paid even lower rates. Since his 2010 and 2011 returns were prepared during an election campaign, it seems likely that his accountants took a conservative approach to deductions and other aspects of his finances. In prior years, they may well have been more aggressive. And maybe at some point Romney suffered some investment losses that enabled him to reduce his tax burden in subsequent years. Obviously, we don’t know. But there may have been a year in which Romney’s federal tax rate was in the single figures, and possibly even close to zero.
This seems pretty unlikely. But, hey, as Matthew Dowd noted, “there’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it.’ ”
There may be no way to confirm it, but Abby Huntsman of Huffington Post is reporting that people close to Romney say he would exit the presidential race before he would reveal more tax returns.
Romney has clearly calculated that more financial disclosure would effectively end his candidacy.