Thursday, July 19, 2012


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         In a recent speech in Roanoke, Virginia, President Obama made the very legitimate and eloquent point that any successful business person is indebted to others for help along the way. “Somebody helped to created this unbelievable American system that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you have a business, you didn’t build that.” The “that” referred of course to all the things that other people had done. Everybody in his audience understood what he was saying.
         But Mitt Romney, of course, took the President’s words out of context and accused the President of saying that business owners deserve no credit for their own success, which is not only false but ridiculous.
         But that kind of dishonesty from the Republican candidate is to be expected, not only because he does it all the time, but because he is desperate to change the subject from his own unwillingness to reveal his tax returns. So he follows the game plan: attack, attack, attack. Never give a straight answer to any question. Turn it into an attack against the President.
         Even many of Mr. Romney’s Republican allies and conservative supporters are urging him to reveal his tax returns. All agree that the presumptive nominee is digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole, and it certainly has diverted the public discourse from his favorite topic, the economy. Neither the media nor the President is going to let up until the former Governor complies with the growing public demand for him to reveal his tax returns. His refusal to do so has convinced many Americans that he has something to hide.
         What did Mr. Romney do to earn more than $100,000  a year for the three years following his supposed retirement from Bain, three years during which he was still the sole stock owner, President, C.E.O., and Chairman of Board of the Company? Now he is saying he retired “retroactively”! That’s a new one!
         As long as Mr. Romney uses his experience in the business world as his main qualification for being President of the United States, President Obama has every right to question his opponent’s business practices, including his off-shore accounts, his record as a job creator, and his relation to Bain Capital and the outsourcing of jobs to other countries.
         Will Mitt Romney release his tax returns? Some think Yes, some think No. If there is detrimental information in any of the returns, it could be disastrous for his campaign if he does release them. But it could also be a disaster if he doesn’t! That’s the dilemma he has brought upon himself.
         He says his accountants are working on his 2011 return, and that’s all he will release. Why are they working on his returns now? And what does “working on his returns” mean?
         You have a lot of explaining to do, Mitt.

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