It was Romney himself who invited Americans to consider the vast private-sector experience he acquired at Bain Capital as his primary presidential qualification.
So far, so good, Governor. Now, since you brought up your business experience, we need to know much more about it. You always did due diligence on the companies you bought, so you will understand America’s need to do the same. Former presidential candidates have customarily provided years of tax returns to this end so we expect the same from you.
What’s that? You’ll show us just two years of returns?
But it was your father, George, who famously released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president, saying, “one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.” So, American voters need to review your tax returns to get the full Romney picture.
In fact, we want to see them back to 1999, when you claim you left Bain Capital to become CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. SEC filings suggest you were making decisions at Bain long after you say you left the firm. We also have the matter of your corporations and accounts in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.
Mr. Romney, is there something you don’t want Americans to see?
What’s that? You think releasing your returns will create a distraction from President Obama’s record?
Well, the president’s record is actually pretty good, Governor. He pulled the economy back from the brink of a second great depression with almost no help from Republicans. GM is alive and bin Laden is dead, as we like to say around here.
So it’s your record as a businessman we need to fully understand. You have told us your wealth is the product of your business acumen, your ability to manage and overcome huge problems. Tax returns serve to validate your claims.
Arms folded over his chest, lips pursed, Romney vigorously shakes his head and petulantly mutters, “It’s an attack on success because you’re envious of my wealth!”
At this point Romney would be shown the door absent a job offer.
This is why many prominent Republicans along with Democrats are calling for Romney to release his returns. Americans have every right to know everything there is to know about the person who will be making life and death decisions in the White House. But Romney believes he’s above this vulgar fray. He considers himself entitled to the presidency because, well, he’s Mitt Romney, the embodiment of government by and for the one percent.
We already tried this from 2000 to 2008. The results were pretty ugly for 99 percent of us.
Nevertheless, the one percent wants to call the shots again, so they’re unleashing a torrent of negative propaganda that says almost nothing about why Romney is the right candidate and much about why Obama is the wrong one.
When Romney’s qualifications are questioned, the right wing media attack dogs bark “class warfare.” Meantime, birthers still screaming for the “real” certificate seem to care not a whit about Romney’s years of fuzzy offshore finances.
By blowing off demands to see his tax returns, Romney reveals his utter disdain for average American voters and our democratic process in general. He is also telling us much about the sort of president he would be.
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.