Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Regarding Romney's Taxes

In the recent debates trailing candidates attempting to trip up the front runner asked/demanded that he release his tax returns and since then it has been a growing issue. Whether it is bored media looking for something to fill air time or supporters of other candidates, there has been a a lot of discussion of whether Gov. Romney should release his past tax returns. Romney in response has shifted his position from "nothing to see here" to briefly discussing his tax situation and saying he'll release the returns at a later date. My feelings on this issue are mixed. I am not a Romney supporter because based on considerable research by a couple people (Tom Blumer & Dan McLaughlin) whose opinions I've learned to trust he is not someone we can rely upon to do the right thing and moreover his main selling point of "most electable" is clearly a myth. However, I can not get on board with the "Release the Tax Records" line of attack for several reasons. Primarily, I'm opposed to this as it reeks of the leftist nonsense of demonize this guy because his returns show he's rich or they reveal that his accountants properly applied current law to minimize his tax burden. As conservatives, do we want to attack someone for being successful? Do we want to criticize him for correctly following the law? Hopefully, your answer to both is a resounding NO! Secondly, what do we expect to learn from Romney's tax returns? Will we find out he is rich? Nope, that is already known. Will we find out that he pays a lower rate of tax based on the majority of his income being dividends, long term capital gains and other investment income as opposed to regular wages paid on a W-2. Nope, that also is already known. All Romney's tax returns should do is confirm that our tax system is a horrific mess which needs to be greatly simplified or abolished. Beyond that, the fact that everyone is clamoring for his returns shows what a gross violation of our privacy the mandatory income tax return entails. People over the last decade have denounced the Patriot Act over manufactured fears of loss of privacy yet they voluntarily provide all sorts of information to the government every year in hope of getting a tax refund. In recent years, I'll admit I joined in the laughter as released tax returns from various politicians confirm that most liberals (who believe charity starts and ends with government taxation) give very little to charity while those greedy conservatives turn out to be veryy generous. Thing is, it is none of my business whether my neighbor or a political candidate tithes to their church or gives to the Salvation Army, etc. Yet, because our income tax system has gotten so ridiculous all of that information is considered fair game. It is wrong. We should elect candidates based on their policy positions and readiness to perform the duties of the office they are seeking.

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