by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Cal Thomas devotes his latest column to the Obama campaign’s ongoing attempts to distract voters from the real issues of the campaign by focusing attention on Republican rival Mitt Romney’s tax records.
Did anyone think the release of Mitt Romney’s tax returns would satisfy Democrats and make them focus on the real issues in this campaign, including President Obama’s failed domestic and foreign policy record and approaching massive tax increases? If so, please call me for a great deal on Arizona swampland.
The Obama campaign’s deputy manager, Stephanie Cutter, accused Romney of taking advantage of lower tax rates for capital gains available only to “those at the top.” Is Cutter saying Romney is wrong to obey tax law? The tax code is a mess. It, not Romney, should be the object of scorn. (And by the way, Americans with average incomes can benefit from lower capital gains taxes if they make good investments.)
Now that we know Romney paid a considerable amount of tax last year and in previous years, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should apologize for his comment about an unnamed “source” he claimed told him Romney paid no taxes for a decade. After Romney released his returns, instead of apologizing, Reid tried a new tack. “The information released today reveals that Mitt Romney manipulated one of the only two years of tax returns he’s seen fit to show the American people,” Reid said in a statement. “And then only to ‘conform’ with his public statements. That raises the question: What else in those returns has Romney manipulated?” Reid, of course, still has not released his 2011 tax returns. Is he hiding something? Suppose a “source” told me so?
I don’t care how much, or how little, the Romneys pay in taxes. I do care, and so should voters, about government overspending and a national debt that now tops $16 trillion dollars.