The following guest commentary is by Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Ralph Curry, a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper, Ranger and retired Army Major General. For nearly forty years he has served his country both in the military and as a Presidential political appointee, including for the Carter, Reagan & Bush 41 administrations.
It’s time Mitt Romney faced his critics and told them, in an explosion of transparency, that, “ I will be happy to release my tax returns as soon as President Obama releases his financial and academic records from Occidental and Columbia College and from Harvard Law School and reveals to the public who paid for his around the world trip.”
The public has as much a right to know these things about Obama as it has a right to examine Romney’s tax returns. In fact, it has more of a right to know about Obama because the Constitution requires examination of Obama’s birth certificate. It does not require examination of Romney’s tax returns.
Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader from Nevada, says he has heard from an unsourced Bain Capital investor that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid income taxes for 10 years. In a later statement Reid added, “Romney seems to think he’s above the basic level of transparency and openness that every presidential candidate has lived up to since his father set the standard in 1968.”
Reid publicly claims that Romney is using loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Romney retorted that Reid’s claims are “patently, simply false,” and that Reid needs to stop spreading unsubstantiated rumor. Reid refuses to back down. What if things turn out as Romney says, that over the years he has followed all tax laws and, as a result, has paid a lot of taxes?
No matter; Reid’s taking off the gloves loosed Obama’s minions for sustained, around the clock attacks on Romney’s refusal to release his tax records. Why does there have to be something dishonest about Romney’s not releasing his tax records on demand?
The underlying premise of both Mitt Romney’s supporters and detractors concerning the release of his tax records is that he has something embarrassing or criminal to hide. What if it is neither? What if it is as he maintains, “Let me also say categorically: I have paid taxes every year. A lot of taxes.” He also suggested that people should check out his website that lays out his financial disclosure statements dating back to 2002 plus his 2010 tax return.
This is not about finding loopholes to enable Mitt Romney not to have to pay more taxes, or about offshore accounts in foreign tax havens, about shell corporations registered offshore in the Cayman Islands, or about Swiss bank accounts, or about Romney supposedly hiding or covering up tax records. It is about much more than that.
It is about, “What is President Obama hiding from the American public?”
He has promised to run the most open and transparent administration of any president in our nation’s history. For three and a half years, he had done just the opposite. He has promised that America’s citizens would have a minimum of five days to read and study legislation before it is signed into law. Our citizens have been lucky to get twenty-four hours to read legislation before it becomes law.
Follow the old, time proven and tested public saying in Washington: if you do something dishonest, immediately confess it to the public and ask for forgiveness. If you’re innocent, drag it out as long as possible and show the public what a grasping, scheming, opportunistic rat your accusatory opponent is.
What happens in the end if it turns out that Romney didn’t evade paying taxes after all? Does Harry Reid and the Democrat party apologize to him? – Not a chance. Reid and company will suddenly pretend to be deaf, dumb and blank. The news media will immediately dry up all its speculative stories and pretend that its tax accusations against Romney had never been made. Once more the public will have been duped.
Once Romney initiates the attack on Obama’s failure to reveal his college records to the American people, it must be to the death. He cannot back off. But President Obama can avoid this introspection by simply releasing all his college transcripts and financial records.
The public has a right to know whom they have elected to be their president.