Mitt Romney’s troubles with regards to public scrutiny of his finances continues, and this time the comments carry a lot more weight and credibility , as they come from someone who has previously had a lot of sympathy for Mitt Romney with regards to these very public and very damning attacks on his financial endeavors: Steve Rattner, a private equity professional who is seemingly generally a conservative, and therefore unlikely to cast the Republican Presidential nominee in an unfavorable light without very good reason. Steve Rattner appeared on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, and had some very harsh words regarding the trickery Mitt Romney has used to avoid paying taxes.
“If you say to your tax people, as he seems to have done, ‘I want every trick in the book. I want to push this to the edge…’ I will tell you that as a private equity guy, I’m familiar with many of the things that he did. And I know many people who have done many of the things that he did. I do not know anyone who did everything that he did.”
Steve Rattner didn’t stop there, though. He went on to mention perhaps the most incriminating of Mitt Romney’s many tax tricks, the account in which he has what is believed to be $100 million in tax free money.
“Some of what he did, like the IRA, I have asked fellow private equity guys. None of us had even known this was a possible trick, if you will. He has pushed the envelope all the way to the edge, to his benefit, and I think that Americans would find that pretty distasteful.”
Now, perhaps this would be just another attack ad to be written off as liberal media spin, if it were coming from the other side, but this stuff is coming from a guy who is on the side of the right. It isn’t spin to make him look bad, it’s truth coming from Steve Rattner, a conservative who obviously has many concerns about Mitt Romney’s secrecy with regards to his finances, and, overall, a lot more integrity and regard for the American people making informed decisions about political candidates than Mitt Romney ever did. As if Steve Rattner’s words weren’t enough, there have been rumblings from inside Mitt Romney’s own party regarding his financial prowess and continued refusal to release his tax returns.
Quite a few prominent Republicans have called on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, in addition to Steve Rattner’s statements in his television appearance. Former Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is usually a complete yes- man when it comes to toeing the party line, insisted that Mitt Romney was doing the wrong thing by refusing to be more transparent with his finances.
“I think anyone running for office, if they get asked within reason to give people background about what they have been doing, including tax returns, should do that. That’s my deal on it,” Perry told Austin, TX reporters, according to a Politico report on the matter.
The bottom line is, Steve Rattner blew the whistle on just how deep Mitt Romney’s tax tricks go, and people who would normally- and perhaps still do- support Mitt Romney in this battle for the 2012 Presidency are calling for Mitt Romney to be more forthcoming with regards to his finances. When the likes of high ranking Republican consultants and officials are calling one of their own out for lack of transparency, I think it’s safe to say that they all believe there to be something to hide. In today’s political climate, releasing tax returns from just one recent year- in this case, 2010- and estimates from one other year is just not acceptable. Add in Mitt Romney’s wife’s condescending comment to voters with regards to them having given “you people” all we deserve to know, and there is a situation that is ripe for political explosion against Mitt Romney and in favor of Barack Obama. Transparency is the key to ending Mitt Romney’s troubles with regards to financial secrecy, but he refuses to cooperate with the people he claims to serve. However, if there is as much to hide as everyone, even people on his own side, seems to think, then it could be just the beginning.