The Left by Y.I.Wearblack
I don't often agree with Newt Gingrich, but at least he is going to show the American people his tax returns. Why can't the front runner, Mitt Romney?
When Mitt Romney stumbled through the answer to the question posed to him at the Fox debate in South Carolina regarding the release of his tax return, I didn’t think too much of it.
I knew he was rich and that he probably didn’t want to let everyone know just how rich because it might work against him in the general election-the “envy” factor. It isn’t a particularly ethical choice, but in the world of ethical choices put before presidential candidates this isn’t the one I’m going to call him out on.
When he sheepishly admitted that he pays, “oh, about 15 percent” I did not think it was a heinous crime, but it did cause me to raise my eyebrows. After all, most of the hedge fund guys pay 15% and so does Buffert. Let’s face it, everyone takes advantage of the tax code and comfort their consciences by assuring themselves that it is perfectly legal. So, that makes it okay. Well, sort of.
However, if it is shown that Romney or Bain Capital knowingly shielded gains in off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes; even if legal, that is something which should disqualify him as a candidate for President. We expect a certain ethical standard of our candidates, especially when it comes to the responsibility to pay one’s taxes. Why should average citizens pay taxes if rich people don’t pay them?
If the President of the United States doesn’t pay them and thinks it is all right to cheat the tax code, that is a game breaker for me. If tons of Romney moneys are growing tax free in Cayman bank accounts without any taxes being paid on an annual basis, legal or not he should hang his head in shame.