I don’t normally discuss politics because let’s face it, someone’s always going to flame you even on your own turf. I’ve got better things to deal with than people who disagree with me on principle because of who I am or think that I’m deluded and just need “the facts” to understand that I’m wrong. This is a presidential election year, though, and I think it’s actually more important than the last one since if Romney wins, there’s a potential for 16 years of republican “governing” to inherit if Ryan wins thereafter.
So. I’m just going to post my thoughts over the next few months when things come up. I’m not looking for an argument, I’m not looking to proselytize, and I probably won’t respond if you comment to the effect of “here’s why you’re wrong…” I don’t need an education. I certainly don’t need you (whoever you may be) to school me out of my own opinion.
Opinion number 1… Why won’t Romney release his tax returns?
Here’s what I don’t get. Four years ago, a big stink was made over Obama’s birth certificate not being real and him being a foreign citizen. And in the beginning, I kind of rolled my eyes but said, okay, I can maybe see where they’re coming from. So Obama released his long-form, original birth certificate (or maybe it was the State of HI, I can’t remember) and most of the country moved on, barring the crazy Birthers.
Flash forward to today. Mitt Romney, a presidential candidate, refuses to release his taxes prior to 2 years ago. Not only that, the 2011 taxes are estimated, not even fully submitted or what have you (however rich people do their thing with extensions, I’m not sure). He says that it’s not relevant and that Obama’s people are trying to distract from major things like medicare and tax cuts/raises, etc. That regular people don’t care about his returns.
“Given the challenges that America faces – 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, 1 out of 6 Americans in poverty – the fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face,” Romney said in South Carolina.**
I’m sorry, how are the tax returns for a presidential candidate small-minded? Every president for the last 30 years has released a decade’s worth of returns, including his own father. I would really like to know how the man who might become my president (against my will) handles his finances. That’s actually a pretty damn big deal. If he was a private citizen, or even still Gov of MA, then I could see his point; it wouldn’t be anyone’s business. But private citizens don’t determine national tax policy. Private citizens don’t dictate financial reforms of a sweeping nature that affect millions.
Here’s the irony. If he’d released the 10 years at the start like everyone else, I wouldn’t have even cared no matter how bad they were. I’d’ve gone, “Okay, whatever,” and then gone on to complain about how he wants to make women into second class citizens again and remove gay rights altogether. I’m really not what you would call excessively political, outside my general sphere of human rights issues, and finances make my eyes glaze over, but I definitely need to bring this up, even if it’s just on my blog with my 6 followers.
He’s the one who made this into a big deal. He’s the one who’s keeping secrets. If everything really was on the up-and-up, wouldn’t he have just released them at the outset? By exempting himself from the standards set, he’s just holding himself up for greater scrutiny from everyone.
It’s not just the Obama campaign who wants to see his returns now. I want to know what he’s hiding. At this point, I’m honestly not expecting malfeasance; I don’t think he’s that stupid. I’m really just expecting his returns to look like any rich person taking advantage of every tax shelter/dodge/loophole available. That makes him a jerk, but not a criminal. But then, if he doesn’t release them, I don’t know that. No one does. I can’t just take his word for it because a) he’s a politician, and b) he tends to flip-flop a lot which doesn’t lend itself to being trusted.
This isn’t anything not already being said. I know that. I’m just throwing in my .02 because I’m a regular citizen and he said we don’t care, that it doesn’t matter to us, but we do and it does. Come on, Mitt! Show us what you’re made of. Release those taxes so we can move on. Unlike Birthers, once you show us what you’ve got, assuming there’s nothing untoward in the returns, we’ll move on. Promise.
** Taken from online cnn.com article – http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/17/obama-camp-lets-make-a-deal-on-tax-returns/?hpt=hp_bn3