Let me stipulate, for the record and posterity, that I have no problem with this. I literally could not care less about it. But I’m a weirdo who thinks records in office should count for or against candidates for the presidency. I’m clearly an outlier and am not the kind of voter who might be swayed by this sort of thing at all.
Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.
That’s quite a lead-in. He must be a crook. Or, not. Or, it’s easy to imply that he is, even when he is not.
“I can tell you we follow the tax laws,” he said recently while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. “And if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”
And…he likes firing people! Boo-yah!
But tax experts tell ABC News there are other reasons Romney may not want the public viewing his returns. As one of the wealthiest candidates to run for president in recent times, Romney has used a variety of techniques to help minimize the taxes on his estimated $250 million fortune. In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.
Official documents reviewed by ABC News show that Bain Capital, the private equity partnership Romney once ran, has set up some 138 secretive offshore funds in the Caymans.
“Secretive offshore funds in the Caymans?” Why, he just might be funding a secret apocalyptic Mormon colony with that kind of dough! Or planning on funding a clone army to take over the US Virgin Islands! Will no one stop this madman?!?
Look, tax evasion is illegal, but anyone with serious money knows that tax avoidance is not only legal, but smart. Why give the unproductive government more of your own money than you have to? There’s no hint of anything untoward going on here with Romney at all, but that won’t matter to the Democrats and the way they portray it might matter a lot to low-information voters. The Democrats’ ads practically write themselves if he doesn’t stay ahead of these kinds of stories.
Mitt Romney (spoken with menace and a sneer, over a bed of foreboding, atonal music)…vulture capitalist who preyed on struggling companies, destroying thousands of jobs and lives (shot of family at kitchen table, clutching bill marked “Unpaid” with another marked “Foreclosure” lying on the table, their car being towed away visible through nearby window, audio of Gingrich and Perry saying “vulture capitalist” a couple times in echo)
He makes more in 30 minutes from speaking to his fat cat cronies than most Americans make in a year through backbreaking labor (shot of Romney giving a speech, cut to sweaty minority carpenter or some such)…
Fat cat bankers destroyed our economy and tossed you out of your house (shots of fat cat banker, Romney grinning, family getting evicted)…
They probably robbed and killed your grandmother in cold blood when you weren’t looking (shot of dead grandmother with Romney standing over the body clutching a fist full of money)…
Don’t let their greed control America…
Vote for all that’s right, and sunshine, and puppies…Protect your other grandmother…Vote Obama.
Obama won’t run that ad, but one of his Soros-funded super PACs will, and the media won’t call him on it, except maybe late on a Friday night in the dead of summer just so they can say they did. Gov. Romney would serve himself and his party well to get those tax returns out sooner rather than later, and get this stuff off the table.