Discuss: What is Mitt Romney hiding in his tax returns?
Majorities of voters polled want Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more than a couple of years of personal income-tax returns. They have come to expect it from those seeking the nation's highest office, and Romney's refusal stirs all sorts of speculation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did his best to arouse suspicion when he suggested Romney was being shy because he had not paid taxes over the past 10 years. Even for conspiracy theorists, who wonder about offshore accounts and Swiss banks, that seemed a bit much.
Well, a Friday column in The New York Times, by business writer James B. Stewart, explains the Internal Revenue Service is well aware that fabulously wealthy people can and do avoid paying any taxes. These are folks who can and do pay lots of money to accountants and attorneys to avoid paying lots of money to the federal government. Rules work in their favor.
The column does not speculate about Romney or dwell on the finger wags from Reid, the Nevada Democrat, but affirms the fantasy of not paying taxes does exist.
Romney is worth something on the order of a quarter of a billion dollars. Good for him. He took his father's fortune and turned it into some real dough. Where Romney will fall down with voters is behaving as if he can do anything he wants, even as he runs for president.
He is one of those guys who was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple. A little humility would go a long ways.
The country is still getting to know Romney, and he tries to prevent that at every turn.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics