Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to Get Romney's Returns

 Larry Flynt, Publisher of Hustler Magazine

Back in early August the Daily Kos summarized the past record for presidential candidates (since Reagan-Carter) in releasing their previous federal income tax returns to the electorate.  By and large, Republicans have been more effusive in releasing their returns than Democrats.  Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, an Eisenhower-style Republican, released 12 years of his returns when running for president in the Republican primaries in 1968.  The elder Romney famously said at the time: “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

Here is the record for release of tax returns from the Daily Kos:

Barak Obama-D: 11 years
Willard Romney-R: One year - 2010 (plus estimate of 2011).
Barack Obama-D: 7 years
John McCain-R: 23 years
George W1 Bush-R: 13 years
John Kerry-D: 5 years
George W. Bush-R: 7 years
Al Gore-D: 16 years
Bill Clinton-D: 19 years
Bob Dole-R: 30 years
Bill Clinton-D: 15 years
George H. W. Bush-R: 18 years
George H. W. Bush-R: 14 years
Michael Dukakis-D: 6 years
Ronald Reagan-R: 14 years
Walter Mondale-D: 8 years
Ronald Reagan-R: 10 years
Jimmy Carter-D: 8 years

I saw on the internet today that Larry Flynt of Hustler Magazine fame has offered a million dollars for information about Mitt Romney's pre-2010 tax returns.  In the past, Flynt offered similar bounties to the public for information about the sex life of various politicians he sought to discredit.  In one case, involving David Vitter, a sitting Republican senator from Louisiana, Flynt scored information that Vitter was a client of a D.C. prositution ring.  Vitter successfully defused the incident by immediately coming out to a Louisiana press conference with his wife and admitting his mistakes. Wendy Vitter made a very courageous and moving statement that day.

I suspect that unless the rumors are true that Romney's pre-2010 returns were stolen (by computer hacking) from one of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers' offices in Tennessee, Flynt's money will stay in his pocket.

How about a different approach for ferreting out the returns, since simple moral suasion and heavy political pressure from Dems and the media have not moved Romney from his position?   If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is convinced that the returns will astound us with how modestly (as a percentage of income, of course) the Romneys contributed to the public fisc prior to 2010, he should use his contacts to put together a fund to purchase the returns off Romney himself.  Maybe George Soros and other Democratic heavy-hitters would contribute $15,000,000 to a trust fund that will have as its goal the release of the Romney returns.  The trustee of the trust could be empowered to make charitable contributions to three veterans assistance charities that are rated A+ by Charity Watch:  Fisher House Foundation, the National Military Family Association, and the Semper Fi fund on the basis that each would received a million dollars for every year of tax returns for years immediately prior to 2010 the Romneys release.  Mitt Romney claims he is a strong supporter of American's vets.  This would allow him to show us and the vets.

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