Romney Releases Two Years of Tax Returns
Major Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney, under considerable pressure, released two years of tax returns this morning. Important features include income of about $20 million per year, annual taxes of about $3 million or 15% and giving to his Mormon church of about 10%, consistent with Christian teaching about tithing (the issue of whether Mormonism is or is not part of Christianity will be left for other bloggers to address). Romney, whose wealth approaches one quarter BILLION dollars, explained his hesistancy in releasing the records as an accomodation to the manager (trustee) of family trust funds.
There is no obvious evidence that Mr. and Mrs. Romney and their tax preparers were anything other than upright on preparation of their tax return. Regarding their wealth and income, a lot of people are uncomfortable with Wall Street these days (and probably with at least some cause), but nothing to date has come to light that indicates that Romney has done anything illegal or even clearly unethical while working for Bain. None of this means that Romney automatically deserves support--there are still reasons such as disagreeing with his political positions, concern about depth of commitment to present positions on social issues, concern about his ability to connect with everyday voters or belief that Romney, like John McCain, will not hold up well in the street fighting of a general election campaign to support other Republican candidates and certainly plenty of political issue reasons for Democratic-leaning voters to support President Obama.