Op-Ed: Mitt Romney's 2011 tax returns reveal a calculated deception

Posted Sep 22, 2012 by Marcus Hondro
Mitt Romney's trying to make himself look like a upfront, caring guy. He released his 2011 tax returns earlier than promised - so cooperative! - and they show he paid more taxes than needed. But they also show a calculated and deceptive plan.
Mitt Romney speaking to supporters at a rally in Tempe  Arizona.
Mitt Romney speaking to supporters at a rally in Tempe, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore
Other than the bulk of his 2010 taxes, already released, and now 2011, Romney is not releasing any other years. Yes, he just put out some gobbledygook of a summary for other years, but a selective edit does wonders. If willing to put out a carefully edited summary, why not simply release the returns in their entirety? Logic suggests it's due to hidden off-shore accounts or unethical tax-loopholes or revelations about his connection to Bain Capital, or some combination of the above, and more. In other words - he's hiding something.
This scenario seems a likely explanation for all of this: after failing to gain the GOP nomination in 2008, he knew he'd likely return for another try. John McCain had not selected Romney as a running mate - choosing instead to hoist himself on his own petard with Sarah Palin - and while McCain weakly denied it, there has been speculation it was because of what his tax returns showed. In any case, the pristine 2011 return, along with his refusal to follow precedence and release 8 or more years of returns, suggest that sometime after the 2008 election Romney and his people sat down and tried to find a way of turning a liability - his inability to release his tax returns without committing political suicide - into something approaching a strength.
Mitt Romney: Omission and deception
They settled on a plan to release two good years of returns that would put his tax world in the best possible light. It would have taken time to create returns that showed him in a positive tax light, and make certain they did not include residual information they did not want known, hence no 2008 and 2009 returns. What better way to deflect from the storm they knew would come when he refused to release sufficient returns than a return from a year in which he paid MORE than required? You can bet your bottom tax dollar that for the years he won't let the American people see he did not pay more than required.
With this return Romney is trying to say he is a moral guy with nothing to hide, but in reality he is the kind of guy who criticizes a health care program when it's virtually the same program he advocated. The kind of guy who tells Ohio voters Obama wants to take the vote from the military despite knowing that is not the case. The kind of guy who funds startup companies that seek to profit from 9/11. The kind of guy who secretly tells rich friends that 47 percent of Americans are whining, self-proclaimed victims who expect to be taken care of, then toadies up to those same whiners for their vote. The kind of guy who hides information from the very public he seeks to serve.
Mitt Romney calculatedly planned to change his tax habits for two years in order to make himself look like an upfront and caring guy when he is almost anything but.