"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Romney and Geithner

Just a thought on the Romney tax returns kerfuffle.   Isn't the Secretary of the Treasury and, hence, the supervisor of the IRS, Timothy Geithner, who famously failed to pay self-employment taxes in the early 2000s while he was working at the International Monetary Fund? 

Meanwhile, what could we possibly learn from Romney's tax returns?   Two things that we would undoubtedly learn is that he pays more in taxes each year and gives more to charity each year than most people earn in their lifetimes.  

But he's right not to release them -- Obama would just demogogue that there were years where he paid very small percentages (undoubtedly for tax year 2008 and 2009 because of capital losses, and perhaps other years because of carry-forward treatment of losses from the market crash of 2000-2002).  And the media would spend the next month picking them apart, exhibiting a curiosity they have never had for the details of Obama's past.

Finally, again, it bears repeating that a man like Romney has extraordinarily complex personal finances, administered through a blind trust which undoubtedly has a corporate trustee and a silk-stocking law firm and a Big Four accounting firm.   The notion that a man at that level would have anything untoward in his tax returns after all that vetting is ludicrous.

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