Romney’s failure to adequately answer questions about his tax returns were widely perceived as the reason for his woes in South Carolina. When asked whether he would release his tax returns….he initially said no. Later, he changed that to April by which time the primary will be over. Finally he caved and released his 2010 return and the 2011 estimated return. Incredibly he answered, “maybe!” when asked if he will follow his father’s example of transparency by releasing 12 years of return. The whole episode left an impression of a bungling person uncomfortable with his wealth and success and does give the impression that he has something to hide.
Questions abound and it is better that they are asked now than later! One day before the Florida Primary, Romney’s Finances is indeed coming under withering fire from his opponents! Check this out!
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s vast fortune is putting him under withering fire just one day before the most important vote so far in the Republican primary calendar.
Discrepancies between Romney’s tax returns and the financial disclosure he filed when he started his run for the White House last year are raising new questions about whether he has hidden huge sums from the Internal Revenue Service, claims the campaign of his nearest rival, Newt Gingrich.
“Governor Romney’s taxes are like an onion,” Gingrich communications director Joe DeSantis alleged on Monday, 24 hours before the Florida primary. “The more layers you peel back, the stronger the aroma.
“The people of Florida — indeed, the people of the United States — deserve answers to the questions raised by his secret network of hidden foreign bank accounts and shady tax accounting procedures.”
Among the new questions raised:
- Why does Romney need to squirrel his money away in foreign banks, best known for their ability to hide income from the tax man?
- Why does he claim he provides “services” to his former company, Bain Capital, so allowing him to pay reduced taxes, at the same time as saying he retired from the company more than a decade ago?
- Is the barrage of vicious attack ads that he has launched against Gingrich, in effect being funded by government bailout money given to his biggest donor, Goldman Sachs?
“Every time he takes a step toward transparency, new questions emerge,” DeSantis said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.
“Why does an American citizen even need a Swiss bank account? There are plenty of banks here in the U.S. He says he pays taxes on everything and that’s great. But why does he need to place this money overseas in the first place?
“We all know that foreign accounts are usually used to obscure something, so we have to ask: What is it he is trying to hide?
“Putting it simply, it looks like he is trying to game the system.”
Questions were first raised last week by the Los Angeles Times, which compared Romney’s tax returns with his filings with the Federal Elections Commission. The paper discovered at least 23 overseas accounts on his tax return that were not included on his financial disclosure forms.
Among his assets were funds based in what the Times called “low-tax foreign countries such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.”
Then The Wall Street Journal raised the question of whether Romney should be entitled to pay 15 percent tax on money he earned from “services” to Bain, when he previously had claimed he had retired from the company in 1999.
A Romney campaign official acknowledged to the Journal that the form was completed using “boilerplate language” and Romney had not actually provided any new services to Bain. Under complex tax laws, “you can have it both ways,” said the official, who also acknowledge that, “from a consistency standpoint,” the situation looked odd.
“In the complex accounting of Mr. Romney’s income, that could land him with a bill for back taxes,” the Journal reported.
DeSantis told Newsmax, “If you just look at the failure to disclose foreign bank accounts in his FEC report, you have to wonder why. There seems no good reason why any lawyer worth his salt would think you don’t need to include these assets.”
Romney already had come under attack from the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation which advocates for open government. Editorial director Bill Allison said failing to tell everything defeats the purpose of disclosure reports.
Romney’s campaign has claimed that the omissions were “trivial.” His spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, called it “a minor discrepancy” and said the former Massachusetts governor would be amending his FEC filing to include the information.
DeSantis said that, if that omission were the only issue concerning Romney’s finances, he could accept his word. However, he said it was “part of a pattern,” with too many other issues raised, such as whether he is entitled to a lower rate for his work for Bain, and his acceptance of $367,000 in campaign donations from Goldman Sachs, which received billions in bail out money.
“You have this perverse situation where this company received taxpayer money and is now donating to Romney to fund his attack ads.
“This comes at the same time that he is finding clever ways to reduce his own taxes, which in turn raises real suspicions even in such a respected conservative newspaper as The Wall Street Journal,” said DeSantis, who described Goldman Sachs as “the poster child for crony capitalism.
“The American people, and Republican voters in particular, know about the grotesqueries of Mitt Romney’s tax situation, his unwillingness to be completely transparent and his general attitude of gamesmanship when it comes to disclosing his sources of income,” DeSantis said.
“He treated the FEC in the same way he treats the taxpayer — looking for every loophole he can.”