Mitt Romney Really Needs to release his Tax Returns
Mitt Romney is in trouble. His stubbornness concerning his tax returns is only helping him dig himself even deeper into the hole he has already dug. As I have noted before, Romney's refusal to release his tax returns is a weapon that Obama and the Democrats can use against him. And use it they have; Some of the latest polls show that voters distrust Romney because of his refusal to release that information. Romney has lately relented somewhat, perhaps taking Senator Harry Reid's challenge, by admitting that he went through his returns "and over the past ten years", Romney claims that he "never paid less than 13 percent".
Well, it's a start. Thirteen is not Zero, although some potential voters still pay more than Romney's alleged "13 percent". The problem is, people were just about to forget those pesky tax returns when Romney chose Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. The Romney Team was trying hard to make the budget the new central issue of the campaign. Now, Romney brings up his taxes again. And he can not even blame the other side for making it an issue this time. Romney brought it on himself.
Romney has always baffled me when it comes to his tax returns. Every other Presidential candidate has released their own information. Romney's father, George, released 12 years worth of information in his own bid for the Presidential nomination. Obama has also released his own tax returns. It is not at all unusual for a Presidential Candidate to release their tax information. What is unusual is for a Presidential Candidate to hide their information.
What does Romney's refusal to release his tax returns say about him? In the world of politics, they say whatever you want them to mean. The Obama Campaign has tried hard to define Romney for voters, and their efforts may just be paying off, in no small part because of Romney's tax information. They have tried to paint Romney and his wife as elitist snobs. That argument works when Romney refuses to release any of his past information, because it seems to suggest that he has a certain sense of entitlement.
Romney is in a worse position than he might think. Obama is leading in the polls, is ahead in the race for the most electoral votes, and has a position on taxes that most Americans support. Romney keeps blaming Obama for trying to distract voters from the real issues in the campaign. That argument doesn't seem to be working. Romney's own tax returns, or lack thereof, is causing the biggest distractions. And Romney can not blame anyone but himself.