Friday, August 17, 2012

Is a Tax Amnesty the Skeleton in Mitt's Closet?

Back in 2009, the US Government offered an tax amnesty:
Wealthy U.S. taxpayers, concerned about an Internal Revenue Service crackdown on the use of secret overseas bank accounts as tax havens, are rushing to meet a Thursday deadline to disclose those accounts or face possible criminal prosecution. The concern was triggered this summer when Switzerland's largest bank, caught up in an international tax evasion dispute, said it would disclose the names of more than 4,000 of its U.S. account holders.
The decision shattered a long-held belief that Swiss banks would guard the identities of its American customers as carefully as they did their money, and it raised concern that other international tax havens might be next. Under an amnesty program, the IRS is allowing taxpayers to avoid prosecution for having failed to report their overseas accounts. As a result, tax attorneys across the nation have been besieged by wealthy clients who are lining up to apply even though they will still face big financial penalties.
Mitt Romney should release all of his tax returns; it's hard for me to believe that any independent voter would even consider voting for him if he refuses to do this. But I would expect that for the most part his tax returns will show that he took advantage of every possible loophole written into the tax code by wealthy Congresspeople on behalf of their wealthy friends.

And when Romney says: "I didn't pay one dollar more than required." many Americans will agree: Why would I pay more than I have to my government?

But what if Romney took advantage of the 2009 amnesty? This is a completely different matter. American citizens took this action specifically to avoid paying taxes that they owed the government (us, in other words, the taxpayers).

And it sure wasn't an issue of not being able to pay those taxes. He just didn't want to.

That would make Mitt Romney a tax dodger.

And that could lose him a whole bunch of votes.


Joel Garry said...

But it would get him a whole lotta Tea Party votes!

Steven Feuerstein said...

Joel, I am not so sure of that. I believe that there is a significant constituency in the Tea Party made up of Americans who are righteously and rightly angry at what has happened to our government (corporate takeover, in essence). I don't know that they will look all that positively on a tax dodger.

Joel Garry said...

There may be a significant constituency, but the majority support the rabid foaming at the mouth nutcases who will twist everything around so that their guy will be "the one." Just look at what they say, keeping in mind that what they say about others mirrors their own problems:
While I can sympathize with the theoretical underpinnings of the Libertarians and Teabaggers, the expressions of them around here (Southern California) is just nuts. One day I walked off the train just as they were walking away from a tea party protest on the pier, man, these folk are out there in Westboro-church-land, to put it mildly. They have every right to speak their minds, just as I have every right to point and laugh. You should see the guys in front of the post office with the life-size Obama-with-Hitler-Moustache poster. That's starting to get less than funny.