Despite those clamoring for his tax returns, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has steadfastly refused to release other than the past two years, causing many to wonder what he’s hiding.
This week, the Obama campaign unleashed an ad attacking GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney for, among other things, squirreling money away in offshore accounts. Without directly accusing him of using them as tax shelters, the implication is clear: millionaire Romney is hiding his assets from Uncle Sam in order to dodge the IRS.
But is that really the case? What is the purpose of having holdings in Switzerland, Bermuda or the Cayman Islands, if not to avoid paying U.S. taxes? As Romney has explained, “some foreign entities are formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States,” which could be good for the economy, right? What’s the real story?
Meanwhile, both sides are ratcheting up the attacks. Obama’s campaign is pressing Romney’s record at the helm of Bain Capitol, saying the company invested in firms that shipped jobs outside the U.S.
Romney went on the talk show circuit this week to demand an apology from the president (he’s still waiting). Meanwhile, Romney supporters this week equated Obama with socialism, being un-American and Chicago ‘felons.’ Who should apologize first? Are both camps going off the deep end? How much bloodier can this campaign get?
Jonathan Wilcox, Republican Strategist; former speech writer for Governor Pete Wilson
Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist; former senior Obama advisor in 2008, who now runs the Los Angeles office for the Dewey Square Group
James Hines, Richard A Musgrave collegiate professor of economics at the University of Michigan