So Sen. Harry Reid claims to have some super-secret information on Governor Romney's tax payment status. It must be true information - after all he was so certain of it that he took to the Senate floor to divulge it - where he can't get sued for slander. The problem with Senator Reid's super-secret information....the only way his source would know this information would be if he/she had HACKED the IRS database (which is a felony) or worked for the IRS and released that information without permission (which is also a felony). Guy Benson explains.....
Even if this "source" at Bain (the identity of whom Reid has valiantly withheld -- on "principle," natch) exists, he would have zero knowledge of Romney's personal income taxes. Do your co-workers have access to your personal taxes? Exactly. This is ridiculous on its face.
Logical Lady Jennifer Rubin asks the million dollar question of this flap. Just how WOULD an mere investor at Bain have seen Romney's taxes?
Reid is where he loves to be: the center of controversy. He has accused Mitt Romney of paying no taxes for 10 years. Romney denies the accusation and challenged Reid to put up or shut up. In an apparent response, Reid repeated the charges on the Senate floor. Countless aides have echoed their boss. They and he attribute their information to a source they will not name.
Whether such a source exists, really, is beside the point. It could be that someone did indeed tell Reid that Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. Journalists get that sort of tip all the time, and their responsibility is (1) to check it out and (2) identify the source. Reid has not done the latter and apparently has not done the former, either. The truth is that Reid doesn’t really care if the charge is true or not. He would prefer the former, but he’ll settle for the latter.
For Reid, this is yet another brazen and tasteless partisan attack. As majority leader, he has managed to sink the public image of the Senate even lower than it would otherwise be. He contributes to bad feelings, gridlock and the sense — nay, the reality — that everything is done for political advantage. Reid is a crass man, the very personification of the gaudy and kitschy Las Vegas Strip.
Reid's attack IS backfiring. Instead of smearing Romney, it has smeared the President.
Still, he is not some backbencher, but the Senate majority leader. He is the face of the Democratic Party in the Senate and the ally of President Obama. Yet, not a single Democrat has had the spine to rebuke Reid. The White House has been given the chance and explicitly ducked its duty. Other members of the Senate have run for cover. They fear Reid and, if truth be told, sort of like what he’s doing — constantly needling Romney, keeping him on the defensive about taxes and his insistence on releasing only two years of his returns.
The politics of this squabble are delightful. But Reid has managed to draw both his party and his president into the gutter with him. When Reid accuses the Republicans of being overly partisan, he now lacks all credibility. For a long time it’s been difficult to believe anything he says. Now, it’s impossible.
As for Obama, he is tarnished by this episode. The fresh new face that promised us all a different kind of politics is suddenly looking cheesy. The soaring rhetoric that Obama used in his first campaign has come to ground in the mud of Harry Reid’s latter-day McCarthyism.
As much as I don't like her writings, Ann Coulter summed up exactly what this is in her latest column.
And that's how Obama became a U.S. senator. He destroyed both his Democratic primary opponent and his Republican general election opponent with salacious allegations about their personal lives taken from "sealed" court records.
Obama's team delved into Sarah Palin's marriage and spread rumors of John McCain's alleged affair in 2008 and they smeared Herman Cain in 2011 with hazy sexual harassment allegations all emanating from David Axelrod's pals in Chicago.
It's almost like a serial killer's signature. Unsealed personal records have been released to the press. Obama must be running for office!
Team Obama (and that includes the Senate Majority leader) is so desperate to distract people from their miserable economic condition that they will pull out any and all stops to try to smear Governor Romney. There's only one problem with that...no matter what they pull out against "Dudley Do-Right (as Ms. Coulter called him) the voters CAN NOT FORGET that every day it gets harder and harder to put food on the table and keep the roof over their heads. When voters are in conditions that desperate, they don't care about the personal - they care about the policy. What will the candidate do, POLICY WISE to better my condition. They have already seen what Barack Obama wants to do and they KNOW it is making things worse. That is why, even in safe blue states like Pennsylvania, President Obama's job approval is hovering around an abysmal 45%.
I will leave the last word on this issue to Politifact.
Salon.com -- which is generally considered a liberal media outlet, thus no friend to Romney -- asked two tax experts whether they thought it was likely that Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. They concluded, "probably not."
The article quoted David Miller, a tax attorney with the firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York, saying it’s "highly unlikely" that he paid nothing.
"It would be easier for someone like Steve Jobs to pay zero, as most of his wealth was in company stock, which isn’t taxed until sold and may never be sold," Miller told Salon. The Salon article continued, "But Romney’s arrangement with Bain is different. He would have earned management fees, and when Bain sold the underlying companies that it invested in, Romney would have been subject to tax on his share. 'It’s possible he paid very little in taxes, but I find it hard to believe that he paid none,' Miller said."
Salon also quoted Joshua Kamerman, a lawyer and CPA in New York, who said while it’s theoretically possible, it’s also "preposterous."
"Charitable donations can shield up to only 50 percent of tax liability, while other means can lower the rate," the article said. "But to pay nothing, Romney would have to sustain business operating losses, Kamerman said. The IRS lets people carry over losses for up to 20 years until they make a profit from which to deduct them. But Kamerman said this is almost certainly not the case for Romney."
We asked Lawrence J. White, an economist at the Stern School of Business at New York University, for his view, and he concurred with Miller and Kamerman. "I agree that it's extremely unlikely that Mr. Romney paid no income taxes for 10 years," White said.
Reid has said Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. It was no slip of the tongue. He repeated the claim on at least two more occasions, at one point saying that "the word is out" when in fact it was only Reid who put that "word" out.
Reid has produced no evidence to back up his claim other than attribution to a shadowy anonymous source. Romney has denied the claim, and tax experts back him up, saying that the nature of Romney's investments in Bain make it highly unlikely he would have been able to avoid paying taxes altogether -- especially for 10 years.
Reid has made an extreme claim with nothing solid to back it up. Pants on Fire!