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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Obama Campaign Just Wants Five Years of Your Taxes, Mitt

Posted by on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

This is pretty smart:

President Barack Obama's campaign is offering Mitt Romney a deal: if he releases five years of tax returns, Obama's team won't criticize him for not releasing any more.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina made the offer to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a letter Friday. Messina says he is taking the step because Romney "apparently fears the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide."

This is really good strategy. It makes Romney's "they'll-never-be-satisfied" argument look hysterical, and it makes the Obama campaign look even more reasonable now. I do have to wonder where five years came from, though. Do they have inside information on Romney's taxes? Was the number picked because it seemed the most reasonable? Or did they not care about the number because they know Romney will never release any of them?

 

Comments (25) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Nah.

Insist on 2004-2010.

Trust me.

I was right about 40-100 story buildings in Seattle, after all.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
2
My guess is they know or have a good line on something being REALLY damning in that 2009 return, and are trying to bait Romney into releasing it. If I had to put money on it, it'd probably be the amnesty for tax-dodgers.

Or maybe there's some residency irregularities or something's not matching up to his public statements and they want him to go ahead and shoot himself in the dick.

Either way, Romney has been his own worst enemy on this one, in a hilarious fashion. How did he not see this coming? He's been running for office for 5 years, for pete's sake!
Posted by FonsieScheme on August 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
edie murphy beverly hills have eyes cleary 3
It's a no-win for (R)money. If they capitulate and release them it makes Obama look strong. If they don't, they continue to look like they're hiding things.
Posted by edie murphy beverly hills have eyes cleary on August 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
4
@1 I dunno, sticking to that original 10 years of disclosures would start to look like both sides are afraid to compromise. But this absolutely screams "WE KNOW YOU DID IT! WE KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE HIDDEN!", which seems to drive Mitt insane.

Secondly, it also conveys the impression that Obama's open to compromise, and hammers home again how unreasonable Mitt's being.
Posted by FonsieScheme on August 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
blip 5
This shit is too funny. Even the conservative blogs are running the letter. Of course they're mocking it, but nonetheless they are breathing life into this story for another news cycle or 2. Anyone talking about this at all, in any context, is terrible, terrible news for Romney.
Posted by blip on August 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
6
I just can't fathom, though, what would be so bad in these that it'd be worth hiding. Hell, he should have dumped them once he clinched the nomination, when they would have been quickly eclipsed and forgotten by the time the Olympics rolled around.

Unless, of course, whatever's in them is toxic enough to get him kicked OFF the ticket... And if that's the case, why is he running for President anyway? I just don't get the political calculus here.
Posted by FonsieScheme on August 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
7
I'd just like to see 4 years: 1999-2002. The "I was CEO of Bain except I wasn't" years.
Posted by Prefunk on August 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
Then I demand Obama release five years of birth certificates!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
9
I do have to wonder where five years came from, though. Do they have inside information on Romney's taxes? Was the number picked because it seemed the most reasonable? Or did they not care about the number because they know Romney will never release any of them?
1) Romney has been running for President full-time since 2007, the time encompassed by Obama’s proposal (this is in the letter from the Obama campaign).
2) In 2008 Obama released six years of returns iirc; he’s released ten years now because he’s been President for almost four years. So he is setting a standard for Romney slightly lower than the one he set for himself in Romney’s position, rather than demanding Romney match him year for year in 2012 or demanding Romney match his own father’s standards.

I think it’s not really clear whether the Obama campaign thinks there’s a huge discovery in those five years (the Swiss Bank amnesty, for example), or if this was just a ploy to make an extremely fair request and extract a rejection.
Posted by Warren Terra on August 17, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
10
2009 was the tax amnesty for foreign accounts. If they believe Romney took advantage of it, they would also want to have the 2008 return to show that he illegally hid those accounts.
Posted by also on August 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
11
@8 While I'd hate to advocate this kind of political skullduggery, part of me would love to see, just for once, a Democratic operative plant a successful rumor about Mitt Romney's transcripts being bought and paid for.

Because, honestly, given how much certain racist voter blocs like to bray about Obama's "Affirmative Action" degrees, Romney's looking like he's got all the intelligence and strategic thinking of Dan Quayle out there.
Posted by FonsieScheme on August 17, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 12
Brilliant. Any year that Romney skips up to the two he released for 2010-2011 will make him look like a secretive paranoid hiding person if he skips 2009. If he does nothing, he looks like a secretive paranoid hiding person.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on August 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
13
BECAUSE BOWIE
Posted by Actionsquid on August 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
14
According to Ann Romney, releasing more tax returns "will just give them more ammunition," with "them" meaning "Democrats" and "more ammunition" meaning...what, exactly? What's in there?

Naw, she doesn't sound like someone with something to hide. She says Mitt is honest, shouldn't that be enough?

#NotEnough
Posted by rainbird on August 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
15
@10: You've got it. The smart money is on Mitt Romney took advantage of the 2009 tax amnesty program to move his money from an illegal Swiss tax shelter back to the United States. Do you know how hard it will be to spin "He's retroactively not a felon"?
Posted by Ruke on August 17, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
16
Hold it. I know what's in Mitt's tax returns...the certified original of Barack Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate.

/ExplainsEverything
Posted by rainbird on August 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 17
@14 - It means there's literal ammunition in the tax returns, and it's all on a hair trigger. First person to open those files gets a face full of lead.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on August 17, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 18
Not just 2009 and the amnesty. Also, how was Rmoney positioned in 2007, then in 2008, and then what did he do in anticipation of the 2009 amnesty?
Most Americans who had 401k's or other investments lost a shit ton of wealth 2007-09. Those who had inside access made new fortunes on top of the ones they already had during that period. Mitt's tax returns from those years will probably expose him as an insider who doubled his fortune while most people lost their shirts.
Posted by Sir Vic on August 17, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 19
Given all the leaks out of the damn White House, do you think the IRS doesn't know how to leak shit?
Posted by Westlake, son! on August 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
20
The Bush Tax Cuts were eased in. I don't remember exactly when the final ones were put into place, but I'll bet it is in that period of time. And it will show how steeply his taxes dropped. Had a client whose taxable income went up $100,000 but their taxes WENT DOWN $3000 when the dividend rate was put into place. It's disgusting the tax rate the wealthy pay.
Posted by bareboards on August 17, 2012 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 21
@19 - No joke. Nixon's tax returns were leaked, after all.

I'm sure the Republicans would have a field day with "Obama" leaking them, so there would have to be something career-ending in there to make it worth it.

Back to Nixon: a lot of people think his "I'm not a crook" speech was just about Watergate, but it was also about some iffy irregularities in his tax returns, resulting in his being forced to pay $400K in back taxes. It's also why releasing tax returns is standard procedure now.

And even if it weren't already standard procedure, hoo-boy, it sure will be after Romney loses this election for looking like a man who's hiding something so God-awful that would end his career if it were revealed.
Posted by Free Lunch on August 17, 2012 at 6:49 PM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 22
I'm going with C) They do not care about the numbers because they know he will never release them. It keeps the story in the news, shuts down the "never satisfied" argument, and makes Romney look like a guy who is hiding something, some more.
Posted by Aurora Erratic http://www.finemesspottery.com on August 18, 2012 at 6:38 AM · Report this
pasteyboy 23
I think its more that you are supposed to keep the last 5 years of your tax returns incase you are audited by the IRS.
Posted by pasteyboy http://pjorno.com on August 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 24
@4 you don't understand framing.

The only way you get a good result is if people like me push for a larger period, allowing "compromise" to occur at a good median point.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 18, 2012 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 25
@23 - 7 years for partnerships and corporations.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 18, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this

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