That’s the million dollar question about Mitt Romney. Why isn’t he releasing his tax records? Is it that he may have not paid enough on his taxes or is he a tax defier? Is he trying to avoid a three years maximum jail sentence for tax evasion? Is he trying to protect people he had partnered with who may have bad skeleton, namely money laundering criminals or families tied to death Squads whom Romney has helped in his off-shore tax heaven operations? Would releasing his tax returns reveal blood money Romney has been a part of?
I am no conspiracy theorists but by profession I make a lot of informed assumption and drill down to find the bottom line when I see something blurry. If I can’t find the answer and things continue to be blurry, I am left with nothing but calling it out as I see it and that is why I am inclined to say I may have to agree with Harry Reid. I actually go a little further and say that Mitt Romney is not reporting his taxes because if he does, it will open up a whole host of questions related to how he has made his money, who he has made it with and whether there has been more unethical business behaviors buried in his past activities as it appears to be the case.
I don’t know about you but if I have offshore investments and I feel that my investment activities are entirely proper and legal, and that I have paid all my taxes that I owe, I don’t see any reason to be secretive about my tax records especially if I am to run for the President of the United States of America. So, the next obvious question to ask as a citizen who is going to cast a vote come November 6th is, what could Mitt Romney be hiding by not releasing his past tax records while even some prominent conservatives from his own party had demanded he release them?
Considering the bits and pieces coming out of some investigative reporting, Romney’s Bain Capital involvement with anonymous offshore tax haven accounts goes back to the inception of Bain Capital. In fact, according to the LA Times:
The first outside investor in Bain was a leading London financier, Sir Jack Lyons, who made a $2.5-million investment through a Panama shell company set up by a Swiss money manager, further shielding his identity. Years later, Lyons was convicted in an unrelated stock fraud scandal.
About $9 million came from rich Latin Americans, including powerful Salvadoran families living in Miami during their country’s brutal civil war.
According to Bain executive Harry Strachan, while Romney was concerned about reaching out to a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles, despite the many accusation made that these investors were involved in “illegal drug money, right-wing death squads, or left-wing terrorism”. However, it didn’t stop desperate Romney from profiteering from these people when their region was engulfed in turmoil, while some of these prominent families — “including the Salaverria, Poma, de Sola and Dueñas clans — were also at the time financing, either directly or indirectly through political parties, death squads in El Salvador.” However, the $9 million from the Latin Americans connection amounted to 40% of Bain’s initial outside funding indeed rewarded Bain Capital handsomely – a 173% annual return on their investment over a decade according to prospect prepared by private bank.
Amy Goodman at Democracy now, had this interesting video interview with Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim on her show a few days ago that is worth watching (transcript can be found here) about Romney’s ties to investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador:
In fact, kicking off his Presidential bid in 2007, Romney was flying to Miami to collect on his down payment catering to his valued clients that made him millions and/or who he has made a lots of money to. At the Miami-Dade Lincoln Day Dinner, he didn’t waste time but embrace these same families that have been implicated as funding directly or indirectly death squads by mentioning them by name saying, “I owe a great deal to Americans of Latin American descent. When I was starting my business, I came to Miami to find partners that would believe in me, and that would finance my enterprise. My partners were Ricardo Poma, Miguel Duenas, Pancho Soler, Frank Kardonski, and Diego Ribandinarea.”
Not that Romney’s business involvement with folks with ties to death squad and drug money are not bad enough, not to mention his many lies and flip flopping positions, but touting of his success in business as a reason why he is qualified to be a commander-in-chief while unwilling to be transparent about his tax returns that his own father pioneered as the prerequisite for becoming a candidate, one must wonder and ask what more could there be that voters don’t know about Romney’s business dealings that if he releases his tax return will raise eye browse or may just be the end of the road for his Presidential aspiration.
A recent vanity fair article has built a case in detail on how someone with some much gray area in his character and business dealings — one with so many questionable business decisions that helped tank businesses and many Americans out of work, a Presidential candidate who has set a new, low bar for transparency, someone who has moved his money to “jurisdictions where there is virtually no tax and virtually no compliance” to avoid having to pay their fair share of tax – can nail down the Republican nomination for president of the United States. I guess America is indeed a land of opportunity even for liars, flip flopping artists and crooks like Mitt Romney after all. For Romney, he is buying his way to opportunity with lies and deceits while planning to screw up everything for the working class by taking away their share and giving a hand out to the rich.
So again the question voters must ask Mitt Romney who has made his business experience and success with finance a cornerstone of his presidential run is why is he not opening up his records so the American people can really see his accomplishments. I think like the many inconsistencies Mitt Romney tells every hour, it would not be untrue to say Mitt Romney’s signature Presidential qualification, his business experience, doesn’t add up and the fact he does not want to share his tax records may be the most telling fact voters must examine to realize about how wrong of a choice he is for America.
And then there is this theory for why Mitt is not releasing his tax returns in the article by Dave Lindorff, Is Romney Trying to Conceal a Massive Tax Fraud Scheme? Mitt’s Big Secret
The answer may well be that 2009 was the year that the Treasury Department decided to offer an amnesty from prosecution for tax fraud to any of the tens of thousands of millionaires who were known or suspected to have illegally hidden income abroad in the Cayman Islands or in Swiss banks — a felony, but one that people thought they’d never be caught at.
That year alone, some nearly 30,000 people, many of them no doubt prominent in society, politics and business, and customers of the finest accounting firms, reportedly voluntarily came forward to the IRS to admit that they had hidden some of the estimated $100 billion in income that crooked rich Americans have for years been secreting away in banks overseas. Under the terms of the program, they were able to just report their fraud, pay the taxes, penalties and interest on the money and then walk away scott free, with no charges and with their returns kept confidential by the agency.
That is, unless they decided to run for national office, where the expectation is that they have to release their income tax returns to the media for inspection.
I guess we will just have to wait and see but saying he never paid less than a 13 percent tax rate in the last 10 years on its own leaving so many questions unanswered does not cut it and Americans sure won’t be fooled come election day.
I am still waiting for an answer to what more could there be in Romney’s tax returns that will shade more light about his shady characters, the kinds of investments he has made, the number of American jobs he shipped oversees, the shell companies he represented, his relationship with some of his investors involved in money laundering and some with ties to death squad and possible criminal activities and if in fact he has paid his share of taxes. Sign the petition to Congress for Romney to release his taxes.