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What is Mitt Romney Hiding? (It's Starting To Look Like Romney Has A Dirty Tax Secret)
Middle Class Economist ^ | 07/07/2012 | Kenneth Thomas

Posted on 07/07/2012 2:07:01 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Mitt Romney has so far released only one year of tax returns (2010), plus an estimate for 2011. This stands in stark contrast to his father, Michigan Governor George Romney, who released 12 years of tax returns when he began running for President in 1967. As his father said at the time, "One year could be a fluke." So the questions remain about what is in Romney's older returns.

Two stories this week and last have ratcheted up the pressure. One is a recent web exclusive for "The Last Word with Laurence O'Donnell" where David Cay Johnston has five questions for Romney that can only be answered with his tax returns. The other is a blockbuster story by Nicholas Shaxson (h/t TPM) in the new Vanity Fair on the shadowy world of Romney's tax havens. Together, they put a laser-like focus on the finances of the man who could become our 45th President.

Johnston is a well-known former New York Times reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the author of the major books Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch. If you don't have time to watch his 3:45 video, here are the five questions:

"1. Did you buy any illegal or gray area tax shelters?
"2. Did an IRS audit ever uncover serious problems with any of your tax returns?
"3. Did you make use of offshore vehicles to defer, or avoid paying, federal income taxes?
"4. Did you take advantage of any tax strategies that the IRS did not uncover in audits?
"5. Did you fully tithe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints every year and take a deduction on your tax return that shows that?"

These are important questions. We know that Governor Romney has had a Swiss bank account, as well as money in other tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Bermuda, and Ireland. Romney's answer to any question about his taxes has basically been, "Trust me." But the guy's running for President, for Pete's sake. He owes us more than that.

Shaxson, a researcher for the Tax Justice Network and author of the book Treasure Islands, asks us to consider the possibility that maybe not everything Romney has done tax-wise has been  legal. He opens with a story told by a former Bain employee about how Romney encouraged him to lie to get secret information on competitors. There is, of course, the fact that Romney has funds parked in numerous tax havens and the fact that his supposedly "blind" trust invested in a business started by Romney's son Tagg, and the fact that he has $102 million in his IRA despite a contribution limit of $2000 per year for the entire 15 years Romney ran Bain. Obviously nothing to see here...

The standard answer of the Romney campaign to all this is that he always followed the law. As Jon Stewart had to point out since the major media did not, Romney did plenty to affect the law he was supposedly "just following," including his defense of the "covered carried interest" tax loophole that let him treat his fees at Bain as if they were capital gains (15% tax) rather than wages (35% tax). All perfectly legal and as Johnston points out in his book by that name, that is the real scandal.

Further, Shaxson reveals that an early filing of the original Bain Capital fund in 1984 showed that many of its foreign investors were routed through tax havens and that at least one was a notorious financial criminal, Robert Maxwell. Thus, Bain helped foreigners take advantage of the fact that the United States has set itself up as a tax haven for non-citizens (see also Jason Sharman's paper on setting up anonymous companies in the U.S. and elsewhere; h/t Robert Kudrle). Shaxson quotes Rebecca Wilkins of Citizens for Tax Justice, “It is shocking that a presidential candidate should think that is O.K.” for Bain to service the likes of Robert Maxwell.

The bottom line is that there is a lot of unsettling information in what investigators have so far been able to piece together about Romney's finances. The easiest way for Governor Romney to put to rest what his campaign described to Shaxson as "unfounded allegations and insinuations" would be to release his tax returns. Yet he has not done so and shows no sign of changing his mind. Josh Marshall calls the questions "kryptonite" and thinks Romney will come under a lot of pressure to release more tax returns. Let's hope so. The guy's running for President, for Pete's sake.

Updated to correct "covered interest" to "carried interest." Thanks to m.jed at Angry Bear.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: 2012electionbias; davidcayjohnston; dnctalkingpoints; doublestandard; godgap; inman; obamawasntvetted; religiousvote; romney; romneysmears; taxes
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1 posted on 07/07/2012 2:07:06 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m more concerned about what he will do with my money than what he did with his own.


2 posted on 07/07/2012 2:11:41 PM PDT by pnut22
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To: SeekAndFind

According to the article it appears to what he did was legal.


3 posted on 07/07/2012 2:13:17 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: SeekAndFind
"All perfectly legal and as Johnston points out in his book by that name, that is the real scandal.
4 posted on 07/07/2012 2:15:12 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: SeekAndFind

If only these reporters had asked 1/10th the questions about Obama when he was running for POTUS. We might not be in this mess now.


5 posted on 07/07/2012 2:15:35 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: SeekAndFind
(It's Starting To Look Like Romney Has A Dirty Tax Secret)

We can't have a person like that in Washington..../s

6 posted on 07/07/2012 2:15:49 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: SeekAndFind
"5. Did you fully tithe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints every year and take a deduction on your tax return that shows that?"

What does this have to do with anything? Since when does Vanity Fair care about how much money people contribute to their church?

7 posted on 07/07/2012 2:16:23 PM PDT by Cu Roi
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To: SeekAndFind

I guess this time we canbt count on a “transparent” administration either...


8 posted on 07/07/2012 2:16:23 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: SeekAndFind

The most curious question I have is why anyone would post an article that poses a question raised by a scum bag like Laurence O’Donnell.


9 posted on 07/07/2012 2:17:48 PM PDT by JIM O
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To: EGPWS
Yeah, really.

He ought to call on the treasury secretary for pointers on how to really do it right, and walk.

10 posted on 07/07/2012 2:18:07 PM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: Perdogg
Point 3 asks whether he used offshore vehicles to defer or avoid federal taxes. Yes, that's the point of these instruments, to defer or avoid taxes in a legal manner, which distinguishes it from tax evasion.
11 posted on 07/07/2012 2:20:21 PM PDT by Cu Roi
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To: SeekAndFind

He should agree to release these records when Obama releases his college, Social Security, Passport, Law License, birth and youth travel Records. In other words, when pigs fly.


12 posted on 07/07/2012 2:22:28 PM PDT by JustTheTruth
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To: SeekAndFind
he has $102 million in his IRA despite a contribution limit of $2000 per year

Doesn't everyone?

/s

13 posted on 07/07/2012 2:22:41 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (A Choice, not an Etch-A-Sketch. TomHoefling.com)
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To: JIM O

or is link to a website that links to Paul Krugman.


14 posted on 07/07/2012 2:23:04 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: SeekAndFind

Of course he is hiding a LOT. I am disgusted the GOP elite foisted this pig in a poke on us. Most disastrous GOP nomination in history. And, yeah ... that includes McLame.


15 posted on 07/07/2012 2:23:09 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: SeekAndFind
Meanwhile, Barack Obama still shields his paperwork and even shields Eric Holder's paperwork.

This from a President who declared he would usher in a new transparency of governance.

16 posted on 07/07/2012 2:23:40 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Fools.Damn fools.Welcome to the USSA. Socialism is slavery to the State and the Supreme Court did it)
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To: SeekAndFind

I got as far as “Laurence O’Donnell” and stopped there.


17 posted on 07/07/2012 2:24:36 PM PDT by jeffc (Welcome to the United Socialist States of America)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

18 posted on 07/07/2012 2:25:00 PM PDT by GregoTX (Federalist)
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To: SeekAndFind

Johnston is a well-known former New York Times reporter,

“5. Did you fully tithe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints every year and take a deduction on your tax return that shows that?”

THIS IS A CAMPAIGN QUESTION?
With a bastard manchild in the White Hut claiming to be a Christian with ZERO evidence of his faith?

The New York Slimes. Always classy.


19 posted on 07/07/2012 2:25:48 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Fools.Damn fools.Welcome to the USSA. Socialism is slavery to the State and the Supreme Court did it)
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To: RIghtwardHo

20 posted on 07/07/2012 2:27:31 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (A Choice, not an Etch-A-Sketch. TomHoefling.com)
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To: pnut22

This is only of concern to the 49% of the public that pays no income tax.
They hate to lose a cent of other people’s money.


21 posted on 07/07/2012 2:28:28 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“These are important questions. We know that Governor Romney has had a Swiss bank account, as well as money in other tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Bermuda, and Ireland. Romney’s answer to any question about his taxes has basically been, “Trust me.” But the guy’s running for President, for Pete’s sake. He owes us more than that.”

BWHAHAHAHAHA!


22 posted on 07/07/2012 2:29:35 PM PDT by goldi
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To: SeekAndFind

Since the media is suddenly interested in candidate finances, its not too late to publically air the relationship between Obama and Tony Rezko - finally.


23 posted on 07/07/2012 2:30:06 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: SeekAndFind

Romney was clearly a bad choice.


24 posted on 07/07/2012 2:32:08 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: SeekAndFind
Obama has a dirty-life secret.. he has released virtually no documents and the trickle he did release are questionable

Racist? Who me?

All we are saying♩♪♫
is give release a chance♩♪♫

25 posted on 07/07/2012 2:35:04 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: CaptainK

They worry about wealthy peoples’ tax shelters (although they had no outcry when Ted Kennedy shielded his OWN estate from the inheritance taxes he demanded of everyone else).

They do not worry about illegal immigrants wiring HOME to Mexico billions of dollars annually (and then possibly leaching off welfare to make up the difference because they are POOR (by choice since they wired money out of the country)).


26 posted on 07/07/2012 2:36:01 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Fools.Damn fools.Welcome to the USSA. Socialism is slavery to the State and the Supreme Court did it)
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To: a fool in paradise
They do not worry about illegal immigrants wiring HOME to Mexico billions of dollars annually (and then possibly leaching off welfare to make up the difference because they are POOR (by choice since they wired money out of the country)).

We could annex Mexico as our 51st state, and keep the money in the country.

:)

27 posted on 07/07/2012 2:38:59 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: EternalVigilance
  and the fact that he has $102 million in his IRA despite a contribution limit of $2000 per year for the entire 15 years Romney ran Bain

  Doesn't everyone?


  $102 million after 15 years with max contribution of $2000/year!!
  That's incredible!!
  I used to place tiny classified ads making $30 a week in thousands of newspapers all over the country and I could never do anything like that!
  He should be on TV advertising something like a seminar on how to make money by doing seminars.

  Romney is just AMAZING!!
28 posted on 07/07/2012 2:40:12 PM PDT by Maurice Tift (You can't stop the signal, Mal. You can never stop the signal.)
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To: SeekAndFind
And yet none of the MSM cares to see Obama’s birth certificate.
29 posted on 07/07/2012 2:43:13 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: Maurice Tift

I always thought you could contribute what you wanted, but the tax decuction is on only the tax permitted amount


30 posted on 07/07/2012 2:46:56 PM PDT by Chickensoup (STOP The Great O-ppression)
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To: Chickensoup
  I always thought you could contribute what you wanted, but the tax decuction is on only the tax permitted amount

  Yes - I'm sure that's correct. $2000 would have to be the max tax free contribution per year. A few words may have been accidentally left out of the article by the writer...
31 posted on 07/07/2012 2:55:54 PM PDT by Maurice Tift (You can't stop the signal, Mal. You can never stop the signal.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Interesting how nobody in state-controlled media ever wonders what Ubama is hiding, and there is so much more to look for.
32 posted on 07/07/2012 2:57:23 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yuh moron. You write a premise and answer it in the same article?

Idiot.


33 posted on 07/07/2012 3:00:31 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live thnrough it anyway)
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To: RIghtwardHo

I have a question — Is there a law against depositing your money in an offshore account?


34 posted on 07/07/2012 3:09:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: JIM O; SeekAndFind

“..why anyone would post an article that poses a question raised by a scum bag like Laurence O’Donnell.”

EVERY article that contains something negative about Romney will get posted by the anti-Mormon-ism/anti-Romney group here at FR.

They so deeply despise “Mormon-ism” that they fail to realize that they are helping 0bama get re-elected. I guess it is their view that Commun-ism, Marx-ism or Social-ism is better for the country than Mormon-ism?

They fear that Romney is going to turn the U.S. into a Mormon controlled & dominated country. The Baptists, etc. thought the same about JFK turning us into a Catholic nation. That, we know, didn’t happen.

Romney was never my first choice, nor was he ever even on my ‘short-list’ to be President. I do know that we cannot withstand 4 more years of 0bama.

ABO


35 posted on 07/07/2012 3:17:01 PM PDT by panaxanax (Voting 'Third Party' will ensure a Communist-Marxist-Socialist dominated Supreme Court!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Gee Ken: Mr Journalist:

Would you like a list of all Obama hasn’t released?


36 posted on 07/07/2012 3:18:28 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: SeekAndFind

It is unbelievable to me that this guy has been running for President for 12 years and in all that time it never occurred to him that he was going to be forced to show his taxes?


37 posted on 07/07/2012 3:23:59 PM PDT by DManA (hOW)
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To: pnut22
I’m more concerned about what he will do with my money than what he did with his own.

Exactly. Maybe these flacks should use their investigative talents to find Zer0's college transcripts. Or social security card application. Or selective service registration. Or any number of other missing details in Zer0's past.

Zer0 controls the IRS. If there was anything questionable in the Mittster's tax returns, I'm sure they would manage to leak it to the press. And still might.

38 posted on 07/07/2012 3:25:20 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: panaxanax

You got it. Get used to it and stop crying.


39 posted on 07/07/2012 3:26:47 PM PDT by DManA (hOW)
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To: SeekAndFind

The answer to questions about prior year tax returns should be, “When Obama releases his college records, I’ll release my tax returns.”

And then he should have a stock comment to make about the continued failure of the media to vet Obama.


40 posted on 07/07/2012 3:27:22 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: SeekAndFind

Not a word here about how Obama’s first EO sealed everything about his past. Just a “where’s there’s smoke” smear to justify looking for a problem.

Look, all Mitt has to do is hide his tax returns until Election Day. If he wins... he can follow precedent and seal his records!

/S


41 posted on 07/07/2012 3:30:57 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: SeekAndFind

Isn’t it a good thing that Romney proactively pursued all the tax breaks available? Keep in mind, he personally didn’t prepare his own returns - that’s my guess. It shows that he’s one of us!

It sure is ironic how the media is going after Romney with, once again, no vetting of ObamaNation.


42 posted on 07/07/2012 3:31:50 PM PDT by unique1
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To: Twotone

That would be good advice. People have been advising him to do it since the subject first came up 6 months ago. He still hasn’t figured out a strategy to deal with it. He won’t confront it directly and it would be political malfeasance for the opposition party not to make hay with it. He’s playing into their hands.


43 posted on 07/07/2012 3:36:35 PM PDT by DManA (hOW)
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To: Twotone

That would be good advice. People have been advising him to do it since the subject first came up 6 months ago and he hasn’t listened. He still hasn’t figured out a strategy to deal with it. He won’t confront it directly and it would be political malfeasance for the opposition party not to make hay with it. He’s playing into their hands.


44 posted on 07/07/2012 3:37:13 PM PDT by DManA (hOW)
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To: DManA

I couldn’t care less...

The left will make $hit up as they go along.


45 posted on 07/07/2012 3:37:28 PM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: SeekAndFind

Barack 0bama had maxed out his credit card and could not rent a car to give the 2004 DNC speech everyone raved about. I don’t remember who paid the toll.

Next thing we know, he’s a US Senator and talking about twiddling gum in his seat there, just prior to running for President, having people running a campaign with a call center in Gazs and refusing public money...and disclosure.

How about them apples.


46 posted on 07/07/2012 3:40:04 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

I just think it would be better to leave them to make stuff up rather than hand them issues ready made. Stupid issues that didn’t have to be issues if Romney had a lick of political sense.


47 posted on 07/07/2012 3:41:44 PM PDT by DManA
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To: fortheDeclaration

“And yet none of the MSM cares to see Obama’s...”

campaign finance or personal receipts and meetings/gifts from Solyndra or other such executives.

Or the Cayman accounts for 0bama, Pelosi, Reid, Raines, Geithner.....Holder....


48 posted on 07/07/2012 3:42:38 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: SeekAndFind

If private citizen Romney wants to take advantage of tax laws to squeeze every dime out of his tax bill I say go for it. More power to ya.

But he isn’t private citizen Romney. He’s been telling us he is the BEST person in the country to run as the party’s nominee for years. That means he might have to be expected to make sacrifices private citizens don’t have to. He may not be able to take advantage of every tax loophole because it may loose you some important votes. You might not be able to maximize the gain on your assets.

But apparently he has not been willing to sacrifice a freaking thing. He wants it all and he want us to thank him for it.

Well NOBODY was begging him to be President. And if he isn’t willing to to do what it takes to be elected than to HELL with him. Let him drop out now.


49 posted on 07/07/2012 3:55:01 PM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

“You got it. Get used to it and stop crying.”

LOL

Not crying. Just stating facts that you evidently agree with. Do you really think that living under Communism is better than having Romney as President?


50 posted on 07/07/2012 3:55:08 PM PDT by panaxanax (Voting 'Third Party' will ensure a Communist-Marxist-Socialist dominated Supreme Court!)
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