With calls for presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns one might suspect the candidate has more to hide behind his wealth. Just how much is this Republican contender worth? And how much does (did) he pay in income taxes?
The clamoring from the left would lead one to believe Mitt Romney is the biggest tax cheat in America. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has gone so far as to declare Romney has paid no taxes for the past 10 years.
This fabricated allegation echoed by other prominent Democrats (unwilling to release their own personal tax information) is part of the Chicago-style tactics President Obama’s campaign has employed. From the sound of their ranting one would think Romney was on the same level as good old Al Capone.
“Big Al” as Capone was fondly referred to, made his living the old fashioned way — illegally. Since the federal government couldn’t charge him with racketeering, prostitution, gambling and murder they investigated him for tax violations. And sure enough, in October of 1931 Capone was indicted for income tax evasion. The 11 year sentence he was handed was the longest stretch for tax evasion ever given.
And if Democrats have their way, “Big Mitt” Romney will be sentenced to runner-up status in November’s election for refusing to reveal more than two years of his tax returns.
Romney’s gang of course, isn’t having any of this. It sees this quest for additional tax records as nothing more than an attempt to garner negative political fodder to embarrass the boss.
In reality, when someone earns the kind of money Romney makes, they pay big bucks for tax lawyers and financial advisors. If Romney, like you or I, didn’t file his taxes correctly he’d have the iron fist of the Internal Revenue Service breathing down his neck. And who could deny the IRS today isn’t more powerful and feared than any of the gangsters of yesteryear?
Any review of Romney’s tax records would also likely reveal he’s taken advantage of tax codes to keep as much of his money as possible. Doesn’t everyone? The tax codes are all legal. Just what tax filer doesn’t take advantage of all the legal loop holes available to them?
And we might also learn Romney’s investments include overseas funds. Here again, anyone with a 401k retirement account may see foreign stocks, bonds and mutual funds intermingled with American investments. Oh the shame!
Like Capone before him, the federal government is finding it difficult pinning anything on “Big Mitt.” Linking him to murdering the wife of a former steel plant worker in a recent television attack ad didn’t get it any leverage. Nor has attacking him on his track record with socialized medicine — since he’s strongly voiced his opposition to Obamacare from the beginning of his campaign.
The only thing left is income tax evasion or … just not paying more in taxes than some believe he should have.
For Big Al, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the tipping point for public outrage against the Chicago mob boss. The public had experienced all the blood and guts they cared to witness.
Will Obama’s gang pull off its own Chicago-style October massacre (surprise) to force “Big Mitt” out of the race? Will his gang members take advantage of an international crisis to better position their boss in the public’s mind? Or will their Occupy Wall Street henchmen hit the streets to foment more destruction and class warfare?
Until the IRS formally indicts “Big Mitt” on income tax evasion, all these demands to release his tax returns are meaningless. Let’s just accept the fact Mitt Romney is playing by the rules of the tax laws like everyone else. Who can possibly defend anyone wanting to overpay their taxes? Unless of course you live in California.
Richard Esposito is publisher of the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Wednesday.