Does, or did, Romney own shares in the Bain fund that is an owner of HCA (which appears to be engaging in Medicare fraud)?*
*The New York Times article explains:
*The New York Times article explains:
If my name was Harry Reid I would be reserving one question for Romney’s announcement of his VP pick:
“Governor, how many years of tax forms did you request from Governor/Senator Jindal, Pawlenty, Portman?”
And August 27th is not that far away. Particularly if the idea is to announce the VP pick prior to the Convention itself.
Rock and hard place. Goose and gander. Pot and kettle. Scylla and Carybdis.
As Shakespeare might have said:
“Double, double (standard), and trouble.
Fire burn and cauldron bubble”
I don’t see how Romney can chill this particular pot in time to keep it from burning him.
by Linda Beale
What’s Romney Got to Hide? (Part III)
In the last two posts, I explored a number of fairly simple questions that might be raised about Romney’s activities that would be clarified by seeing multiple returns (hobby versus investment/business losses; business versus passive activity losses; amounts of preferentially taxed income; income reported from Bain Capital and/or from foreign accounts) and some of the “squirrelier” possibilities that tax experts have raised (potential that Romney participated in the IRS voluntary disclosure “amnesty” program for reports on offshore accounts after the initiation of unraveling of Swiss banking secrecy as a result of the UBS scandal, in order to avoid weightier penalties, including potential criminal charges; contributions to IRAs that were undervalued, possibly by claiming zero value for partnership interests; use of aggressive tax sheltering transactions to ‘create’ capital losses to offset substantial capital gains, resulting in the net capital loss carryforward on the 2010 tax return).
Ed Kleinbard, a former partner at Cleary Gottlieb who served as chief of staff for the JCT and is now a law professor at Southern California, has joined with Peter Canellos, a prominent tax practitioner and former chair of the prestigious New York State Bar Association Tax Section, to address these issues regarding the importance of seeing multiple past years of Romney’s tax returns. See Kleinbard & Canellos,Why won’t Romney release more tax returns?, CNN (July 18, 2012). Hat tip Calvin Johnson.
So what do Kleinbard and Canellos add to this debate? Perhaps most importantly, they note the importance of transparency in the vetting of presidential candidates : as they say, “[t]he U.S. presidency is a position of immense magnitude and requires a thorough vetting.” (emphasis added) Accordingly, they point out the advantage to the American public of the disclosure practice initiated by Romney’s father George Romney four decades ago and .
Since George Romney inaugurated the practice more than 40 years ago by releasing 12 years of tax returns in his bid for the Republican Party nomination, presidential nominees have been transparent with voters about their personal finances. For this reason, we have not suffered a significant tax scandal involving a nominee or sitting president since President Richard Nixon’s abuse of the tax code.
Disclosure goes to the heart of the truthfulness with which a nominee engages the American people, and it assures us that he in fact has comported himself before the election with the high moral character we associate with a future president.
What the American people deserve is a complete and honest presentation by Romney of how his wealth was accumulated, where it is now invested, what purpose is served by all the various offshore vehicles in which he has an interest and what his financial relationship with Bain Capital has been since his retirement from the company. These are all factors that go to the heart of his character and values.
Like the rest of us who have discussed this issue, Kleinbard and Canellos note that it is Romney’s abject refusal to follow his father’s example and disclose a decade’s worth of returns that “undermines the assumption” that would otherwise apply “that there cannot be any tax skeletons in his closet.” Our only tool is to “reconstruct his financial record” from what he has released. And that leads us to “red flags that raise serious tax compliance questions with respect to his possible tax minimization strategies in earlier years.” Disclosure, they note, could “replace speculation with truth-telling.”
Kleinbard and Canellos go on to discuss some key issues (some already addressed in prior posts)
Will Romney respond to these continuing calls for full disclosure about how his wealth has been built, where it is invested, and just what purpose the various offshore entities serve? If he does not, we can only think the worst.
crossposted with ataxingmatter
by Linda Beale
Romney to release tax returns Tuesday (finally)
Romney’s bitter loss to Newt Gingrich in the Republican primary in South Carolina demonstrated that playing the patrician elite above the fray has its limits as a campaign strategy. Romney’s strategists had apparently thought that they could get away with not releasing tax returns–at least not any except his 2011 ones (maybe) when filed–but they hadn’t counted on vicious attacks from the GOP right that questions his vulture capital millions and his top1% effective tax rate.
That’s what happens when there is a campaigner who thinks that earning $370,000 from speeches given to meaningless conventions of some trade or another is “just a little money”, while admitting that the money he still earns from the vulture fund where he oversaw takeovers of companies (and layoffs of employees and offshoring of work) manages to be taxed at a preferential rate of merely 15%.
So after the loss to Gingrich (an odd man to try to claim a populist mantle when he had a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s and disposes of old wives the way most people dispose of old socks), Romney has now announced that he will release returns plus an estimate of his 2011 taxes due. See Michael Shear, Romney to Release Tax Returns on Tuesday, The Caucus, New York Times (Jan. 22, 2012).
One does wonder why it will be Tuesday when they are released. Why not today? or six months ago? Will they be redacted? Will the accompanying schedules that show his income coming through tax haven “companies” located in the law offices that house 18,000 others in the Caymans be there? Questions that we will have fun examining on Tuesday, anyway.
Oh, and Mitch Daniels, current governor of Indiana and Bush assistant who helped preside over the real growth of the federal deficit as Bush pushed through huge tax cuts while increasing federal spending (especially on preemptive wars), will give the GOP response to the State of the Union message. The Tea Party has picked Herman CAin–the author of the infamous 9-9-9 plan who wanted to shift the tax burden brutally onto the backs of the working poor. The GOP seems to have tax cuts for the rich accompanied by increasing burdens for the poor in its blood, doesn’t it
originally published at ataxingmatter