BY WILLIAM C. HENRY “And that’s all they’re going to get.” Quoth the man who would be President upon being asked by a reporter about his lack of customary disclosure of several years tax returns as well as his reaction to criticism of the conflicting paper trail surrounding his involvement with Bain Capital, plus his failure to explain in any up-front manner the justification for his ownership of off-shore bank accounts in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and elsewhere. Never before in the annals of presidential campaigning has a major-party candidate so blithely shot such a tall and rigid middle finger to the American electorate with seven so seemingly inconsequential words.Surprised? Hell, I’d say it’s just what you should expect from the guy who says he’s the candidate with the unparalleled business/entrepreneurial acumen to lead us out of the promissory land, and who’s now running as fast as he can away from any and all semblance of personal history concerning same.
Romney says that every business and personal financial move he’s ever made was always carried out within the strictest of legal guidelines. Could be. But what about inside ethical and moral boundaries, to say nothing of “patriotic” and “spirit of the law” ones? What is it with your thumbing your nose at such close-to-home disclosure precedent and the perception it leaves behind. For God’s sake, Mitt, you’re no neophyte when it comes to politics, so what are we left with to chalk this behavior up to other than brazen let-’em-eat-cake arrogance inherent in a sixty-five year out-of-touch lifetime in the bourgeoisie. Well, that too. But my guess is that the real reason behind all this stonewalling is just plain old unadulterated fear, i.e., trepidation that full disclosure will cause a whole lot more damage to his veracity and political aspirations than circling the wagons. I’m betting that a complete airing of his financial dealings would show: 1) there were a number of years he paid very little, or, in fact, no income taxes, and, 2) that he’d face all kinds of fall-out for having used a multitude of loopholes available only to the rich and powerful to avoid paying said taxes. Also, it’s pretty hard to defend utilizing offshore accounts on the basis of those country’s currencies being more stable or holding greater speculative value than the good old fashioned American greenback. You don’t have to be a CPA to understand why such accounts carry the monikers “secret” and “numbered.”
An interesting side note to all of this is that back in 2008 when John McCain was seriously considering Mitt Romney as his Vice Presidential running mate he asked Mitt to provide several years of tax returns. Romney complied. A short time after receiving them, McCain announced that he was selecting Sarah Palin. Sarah who? An unvetted Sarah Palin over a vetted Mitt Romney? Really? For the record, it’s widely believed that there had to have been some pretty damaging information contained in those tax documents to have so abruptly derailed all consideration of Romney’s getting the nod. But enough of this digression. Mitt, it’s time to show at least a bit of fortitude in lieu of any honesty or openness. Hitch up your Ralph Laurens, quit the whining, and get on with pontificating your tried and failed, laissez-faire, trickle-down, every-man-for-himself, simplistic solutions to the myriad of complex social, economic and infrastructural problems facing the America people. Oh, and be sure to keep up the racist innuendo and quotes-out-of-context stuff. Altogether devious and diverting. Incidentally, remember the sign on Harry Truman’s Oval Office desk that read, “The buck stops here”? I’m told they’ve already cast one for yours — on the dismal chance there could be a catastrophic lapse in judgement on the part of the voters — to read, “All questions about my bucks stop here.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.