Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had an income of $13.69 million for last year -- of which assorted governments snatched up $1.9 million of it as his share of income taxes.
|ROMNEY: Not like you or me, financially|
No big deal, when you think about it. Many government officials try to make themselves seem “human” around Tax Day by making their tax returns public. They want us to know that they, too, had to make good with the Tax Man on April 15 – just like the rest of us.
IF ROMNEY HAD been like these other officials and made all this information publicly known some five months ago like everybody else, it wouldn’t have been an issue.
If anything, we might have said “Wow!” to the “$13.69 million” figure for a couple of seconds, would have laughed at the concept that Romney makes far less than a top-notch pro athlete, and would have moved on.
It certainly wouldn’t be any kind of issue now. We probably would have long forgotten the figure. We certainly wouldn’t care some six weeks prior to Election Day (even less time, if your plans are to use an early voting center to cast your ballot).
But it is an issue – because Romney made it one.
FOLLOWING MONTHS OF trying to claim that his personal privacy was being invaded by this now-standard political maneuver, Romney gave in on Friday. He made his financial information publicly known for 2011 – while also providing a summary of his effective tax rates (the percentage of his income that went toward taxes) for every year back to 1990.
Which means all this information has the potential to be fresh as we move into the intense portion of the campaign cycle.
When combined with the “47 percent” comments that make Romney sound like a pompous rich guy, this information makes him look like the ultimate pompous rich guy.
|Does Mitt Romney think his tax returns now will get him a chance to work in this office for the next four year? Photograph provided by the White House.|
Even the fact that (according to the Washington Post) Romney and potential first lady Ann donated just over $4 million to assorted charitable causes comes across as suspect.
FOR THE NEWSPAPER reported that the Romneys only claimed tax deductions for $2.25 million of their contributions. It seems that the Romneys wanted to ensure they paid a tax rate of at least 13 percent of their income during each year of the past decade.
Which makes us wonder if the Romneys have concocted a financial image for themselves – rather than handled Tax Day like the rest of us and given an honest accounting of how much money we took in for the previous year.
In all, this information and the way in which it was made public creates potential for so many questions that will linger in the minds of potential voters.
None of which would have cropped up if only Romney hadn’t taken the pompous route and tried to keep it all private. It really would have been a non-issue by now.
IN FACT, THIS disclosure may be even more ridiculous than when President Barack Obama tried to put a rest to all the “birther” nonsense by coughing up documentation to indicate he really was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
After all the years of not providing information, what made him think that his disclosure was going to silence anyone? Obama just drew more attention to a stupid, non-issue. He may have given it credibility it didn't deserve.
|OBAMA: Believe what we beleive|
If anything, it would merely convince the conspiracy-theorists of our society that this was somehow the ultimate conspiracy. They don’t want to see anything that would disprove what they want to believe. That disclosure didn’t change the perspective of anybody.
Just like Mitt Romney didn’t do a thing on Friday that would convince anybody that he’s anything other than a rich guy who doesn’t have a clue about what kind of daily lives the rest of us live.