It has been noted that there is no law requiring a presidential candidate to release tax returns. That fact is correct. However, Mr. Romney's own father set the standard for transparency on this issue when he released 12 years of his own tax returns. Mr. Romney states that he doesn't want to release his tax returns because he is afraid of negative political attacks. I don't believe that being afraid of what might be done with the information is a sufficient reason for Mr. Romney not to release his tax returns. More likely, people will be more angered by the preferential tax treatment that Mr. Romney has received from the current tax code. Mr. Romney is asking for us to consider him for the presidency of our country. In such a position, he will be setting tax policy and also signing tax laws. How can we assess his view of the tax code without knowing how he applied the tax code to his own income?
The argument is made that a person is "smart" to use every tax loophole that is available. Of couse it's well known that many tax loopholes have been given to specific special interests. Lobbyists ply our elected officials with money and in return they get preferences that ordinary working people do not get. There are many tax strategies that push the envelope on legality. When someone has their money all over the world and uses foreign tax havens, we have an interest, as the voting public, to make sure that we agree with the tax strategies used. We have a right to know that Mr. Romney, or any presidential candidate, has been loyal to our country in their pursuit of their wealth. Tax returns will give us that information.
Requesting information from a candidate in order to make an informed vote does not make a person jealous of wealth nor does it imply that wealth is evil. I am angry though about the 15% "carried interest" loophole that allows millionaires and billionaires to classify their income as investment income rather than ordinary wages. Also, let me again repeat the question: How does someone get an IRA worth up to $100 million dollars? I want an answer to that question. Doesn't everyone want an answer to that one?
There is that argument out there that 49% of people don't pay taxes. I believe the statistic is that 49% of people don't pay federal income tax. Working people pay local, state, Medcare & Social Security taxes. Even if people don't work they pay sales tax & gas taxes. It's not fair or correct to make the statement that people on the lower income scale do not pay taxes. So do we want to increase federal income taxes on the working poor so the wealthy can have more tax cuts? I don't know, you tell me.
What I want most out of our government and those who represent us, no matter what political party, is transparency. I want to know who funds their campaigns and to whom they owe a debt. I want to know if they've been moral in the way they've conducted themselves in their personal and business lives. As they make business decisions, have they been loyal to our country and the American people. That's what's important to me and that's why I, along with prominent people from both political parties, call on Mr. Romney to release his tax returns.