I just suggested to the Romney campaign that they do an ad highlighting the sheer arrogance of Romney’s “Trust me, and I won’t let you verify” theme, on his personal finances and on the specifics of his “plan” (see my post from yesterday, below) and how, exactly, it could be expected to grow the economy rather than crash it.
UPDATE: Occasionally I update a post of mine by adding all or part of an exchange between a commenter to the post and me when I think the exchange illustrates or adds something important. The following exchange between a reader named David Michel and me warrants it, I think:
DAVID MICHEL: bev, baby even john stuart mocked harry reed on this point. why dont you just go to work for obummer,wait you aredy did!
ME: Actually, David, I share Jon Stewart’s dismay and anger about Reid’s statements, partly because the tactic is so obviously appalling, and partly for the reason that your comment highlights: Some people aren’t (or pretend not to be) smart enough to understand the distinction between, on the one hand, whether Romney failed to declare and pay taxes on his overseas bank accounts (especially his Swiss one) until 2009 and then took advantage of the IRS’s new and temporary amnesty program that year to declare the account(s) and pay the taxes with no criminal liability, and (separately) whether he significantly misrepresented the value of the securities he placed in his IRA account in the Cayman Islands (according to numerous experts, the only plausible explanation for how the value of that account [came]* to now be between $20 and $101 million), and, on the other hand, whether instead, Romney paid no taxes at all for 10 years.
Reid’s allegation makes what ACTUALLY happened seem suddenly trivial—which it is not—and draws attention away from [those most] likely possibilities.
Look. There are only two reasons why Americans use foreign bank accounts in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and [Bermuda]. One is to avoid or evade paying taxes on the income placed into the accounts and on the interest on the accounts. The other is to launder illegally-gained money (e.g., drug money). The chance is really, really small, I’m sure, that Romney’s reason was the latter. That leaves the former. Romney says that he saved no money on taxes by maintaining those overseas accounts in those countries, but he does not say, then, why he had and has those accounts there. Nor does he say how he was able to parley the maximum annual deposits into his IRA account into such a huge amount of money, nor why he chooses to keep his IRA account in the Cayman Islands.
That he and his wife have pronounced the answer to these mysteries none of the public’s business is itself significant, not just because of what it suggests about what those answers are but also what it says about their view of what is and what is not relevant to the public’s [informed decisionmaking] about who should hold the office of the presidency.
These are serious issues. I doubt that Romney will make it all the way to November with being asked point-blank by a reporter questions along the lines of those I’ve stated. But, who knows?