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Mitt Romney Should Release His Tax Returns

Updated on August 11, 2012

Mitt Romney is at war. Not just with President Obama, but Harry Reid, too. "His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son," said Reid, in an interview to the Huffington Post. Reid has also pounded Romney on the floor of the Senate chamber. “So, the word’s out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t,” Reid said, in the Senate chamber. Actually, Reid has been talking about Romney's tax returns a lot. He seems to be very interested in them. Now, the Senate Majority Leader has very nearly named names, when he claimed to have spoken to an unnamed investor at Bain Capital who told Reid that "he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years."

Reid actually hasn't named names, because it is highly unlikely that he has any names to name. But that hardly stopped him. All Reid needed was the media attention, and Romney and several other fellow Republicans were only too happy to oblige him; "Harry Reid should either put up or shut up," Romney said in an interview on FOX News. Reince Preibus, the RNC chairman, called Reid a "dirty liar", and Senator Lindsay Graham said Reid was "making things up". All of this may be true, but Republicans are fighting a losing battle.

Reid has managed to provoke a strong reaction from Republicans, who are both eager to defend Romney's integrity, but are also nervous about his deciding not to release more than two years of tax returns. Romney has met Reid's challenge, but instead, he should just release those tax returns. Here are three reasons why...

1. This is not a fight Romney will win. Romney is running for President, here and now. Reid will not run for Senate again until 2016. There is no possible way for Romney to threaten Reid, who is obviously raring for a fight. To make matters worse, Reid is being backed by even more Democrats, and the Obama Campaign will definitely not be missing this opportunity to cast doubt about Romney's background.

2. The longer Romney puts it off, the more the Democrats arguments make sense to voters. Americans don't like paying taxes (who does?). And they especially don't like rich people not paying their taxes. And whats more, Obama's argument that the rich need to pay their fair share in taxes is an argument that is resonating with most Americans. Romney hiding his tax returns makes him look like what he is; a rich dude who gets tax cuts.

3. If Romney releases his tax returns, it becomes a non-issue. Sure, whatever is in there is probably something Romney is embarrassed about (most likely that his tax rates are lower than everyone in the middle class). The Obama Campaign and the Democrats will make it a two day issue, but once the truth is out, Reid and all the rest of them look like fools. And Romney will look like what he was; a man who was persecuted for a bad decision.

But I doubt that Romney will release his tax returns. He has gone too far to turn back now without looking weak and timid. Romney has dug himself into a hole, which is something that he does rather well. And he refuses to haul himself out of it.

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