I sure hope Harry Reid knows what he is doing, or he might wind up helping Mitt Romney in the end. As Romney refuses to release his tax returns we cannot be certain whether the accusations are true, but Reids claims that a Bain investor told him that Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for ten years sounds rather fishy. Even a Bain investor actually did say that, how credible would this be. I’ve never seen a financial adviser show their personal tax returns to a client. If Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns when he should, while running for president, whey would he have shown them to a client when their was no reason to?
The reactions of the McCain people, who did see many of his returns four years ago, also makes me doubt there would be anything as damaging as not paying taxes for ten years. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his rate was closer to zero than 15 percent in 2009.
Of course we cannot be certain about this unless Romney does release his tax returns. Perhaps Romney did brag about not paying taxes, and perhaps the McCain people are covering for him out of party unity.
Harry Reid is sticking to his accusations:
On Wednesday, Reid stuck to his story, and broadened it.
“I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. “I have had a number of people tell me that.”
Asked to elaborate on his sources, Reid declined. “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me.”
“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”
A Romney spokesman said Reid’s charge was baseless and below the belt.
Burden of proof isn’t so one-sided here. Romney should release his tax returns, but that doesn’t free Reid of being obligated to back up his charges too.
There are possible up-sides to this. Reid is drawing even more attention to Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns. This might also force Romney to release his returns.
One possible down-side to this is that should Romney release his tax returns, whatever comes out might not be as bad as Reid is alleging, and the meia story could then change to Romney’s vindication. If it turns out that Romney is hiding something such as only paying around 5 percent for a couple of years, the story could then be that the charges of paying no taxes for ten years were outright false as opposed to how little taxes Romney paid.
Looking at the reactions to this around the blogosphere is amusing. Conservatives seem unanimous in condemning Reid for making false accusations, which is rather hypocritical considering that conservatives (including Romney) make false accusations about Democrats on a regular basis. Most conservatives can’t conceive of responding to liberals with anything other than a gross distortion of the facts. As Steve M. says, “welcome to our world, Mitt. Now you have a vague sense of how Democrats feel all the time.” Still, do we really want a Democratic leader acting like a Republican?