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Letter: Harry Reid descends to lowest form of politics

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  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    This is not that complicated an issue.

    Looking at candidates' tax returns is a time-honored tool the public uses to measure candidates' statements about public financial policies against their personal financial behaviors. Do they really "walk the walk," or are they "Do as I say, not as I do"?

    Ronald Reagan released six years of his tax returns when he ran for President. George W. Bush provided eight years' returns.

    Romney is the first presidential candidate in history to have a Swiss bank account. We are justified in asking why.

    Romney has a 401(k) retirement account valued at more than $100 million, when contributions to 401k's are limited to $6,000 per year. We are justified in asking how a $100M 401k is possible.

    Mr. Romney, if you want to prove that Harry Reid is a terrible person, there is a simple and 100% effective way to do it - release several years of your tax returns.

    Failure to do so absolutely dooms Mr. Romney's candidacy.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    At first everyone thought that Mitt would stonewall on his taxes for a while, and then when the pressure got too great he would reluctantly release them and face the music. After all what could possibly be so bad that Mr. Romney would let his tax returns become the central issue in his campaign? We have seen the Cayman Islands accounts, the Swiss bank accounts, the Bahamian offshore accounts, and the huge tax breaks that Mitt claimed for his beloved olympic horse Rafalca, what could possibly be more embarrassing than what we had already learned? Either Mitt is pathologically passive aggressive or there must be a real doozy somewhere in those tax returns!
    Harry Ried may be off base with his accusations, but Mitt could put all the speculation to rest very easily, and the guessing game won't go away until Mitt releases those tax records.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    I believe that Reid crossed the line with his unsubstantiated accusation that Romney has years where he paid no taxes.

    That said, it would be an easy thing to refute. And would really damage the democrats if Romney released many years of tax returns and PROVED Reid to be wrong.

    As George suggested, "Even if it were true that accounting circumstances of gains and losses permitted avoidance of payment of taxes in some years....."

    So, George is agreeing that it is possibly true. And that it would be no big deal.

    So, then why not release them? Even some GOP leaders are calling for that.

    It is damaging for him not to release. And I am betting that Romney believes that it would be MORE damaging if he did release them.

    Now I REALLY REALLY want to know whats in them.

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    Well, there is an easy way to disprove the claim of Sen Reid, assuming it's not true.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    Do you really think Reid came up with this on his own? Or do you think he was told to make the attack by others in his party? Just as Mitt won't make birth certificate attacks, nor will Obama suggest Mitt has tax issues. Take it a step further, and be ashamed of the whole process.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    Typical blame the messenger response... bottom line, if Romney is hiding something in his tax returns, including the fact that he paid virtually none over many years, it will not be acceptable to the American public.

    Romney owes it to both the GOP and the American people to be transparent in his taxes. Yes, it may expose all sorts of legal tax loopholes and schemes, but the American people deserve to know the facts and the privileges of being wealthy.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 5, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    Excellent letter Mr. Jackson. If Reid is so concerned about Romney's taxes, he should have the IRS handle the investigation. Reid is only trying to deflect attention away from the miserable Obama record! Democrats didn't care a whit when their man Bernanke cheated on his taxes! Democrats take hypocrisy to a new low!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    There's no innuendo. Reid spoke based on a source he deems highly credible. Everyone wants to go after the source rather than the substance. Romney can clear this up in short order. What's he hiding? What financial activities and entities with whom he has had dealings might be an influence on him if he were to become president? Why is he so secretive? The nation has a right to full disclosure for the person who wants to take control of the government. All I see in response from Romney and his supporters are excuses and rationalizations. The "kill the messenger" tactic won't make this distraction go away and only leads to more questions. We deserve to know, Mitt, if you want to be president.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    I would have preferred not to see Sen. Reid not pull a right winged stunt like that. The stunt that is played almost daily by Fox and friends. The ones that "bear false witness". The ones that start off "It has been said...." The ones that call 70 plus members of Congress, communists or the one that accuses an esteemed government official a spy for the Muslim Brotherhood. I don't remember your outrage before George. Is something new you are trying?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Reid never said Romney broke the law... half the point of all this is Democrats want to expose just how ridiculous the tax code is that rich people can pull all sorts of legal accounting tricks to get out of paying a lot of taxes.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    So in other words, Reid is using the same tactics that the GOP has done for 3 years and 8 months?

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    To Midvaliean 7:49 a.m. Aug. 5, 2012

    Do you really think Reid came up with this on his own? Or do you think he was told to make the attack by others in his party? Just as Mitt won't make birth certificate attacks, nor will Obama suggest Mitt has tax issues. Take it a step further, and be ashamed of the whole process.

    --------------------------

    No -- this is coming up because Mitt is trying to hide something. If he has nothing to hide, he should release his (complete) tax returns back to 1999, when he claims he left Bain Capital contrary to what is shown by his signed, filed financial statements for Bain after that date. by not releasing his tax returns for those years, Mitt is showing that there is something in his tax returns that would hurt him worse than his not releasing them. It's time for Mitt to come clean, and how the people of the Untied States how he handles his financial affairs on a regular basis, instead of just one year (come to think of it, he didn't release a COMPLETE tax return for 2010 either).

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    Mitt Romney should announce that he will release his tax records a few days before the election.

    Here's why: If Mitt Romney were to release his taxes now, people would strongly approve of what they see and would say, "What wonderful, generous people the Romneys are." As a result, Romney would surge to a huge lead in the polls. This in turn would cause wealthy people and corporations to stop donating to his campaign.

    Clearly, that's why he hasn't released his taxes so far.

    Of course, I've been wrong before.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    Was Harry Reid out of line? Sure. It was McCarthy-ite behavior.
    So how about we make this deal? Harry Reid tells everyone who his source was.
    And Mitt Romney releases his tax returns.
    The best response to dirty politics is really just the truth.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 3:28 p.m.

    I agree with the previous comment. And I would like to add: Although two wrongs don't make a right, the GOP did request that the President produce his birth certificate (which he didn't technically need to do). But he did so to show has nothing to hide. He also has stated he is a Christian a number of times and told us that he goes to a Baptist Church in Washington (and that certainly doesn't need to be told) So, Mitt do the same and show everyone you have nothing to hide with your taxes and the suspicious people will start to go away. I hope you can.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    Just as George Zimmerman found out, in America circa 2012 you are "guilty until proven innocent". Harry Reid has no shame so it doesn't really surprise me. The fact is Romney is a private citizen and his tax returns are between him and the IRS. If some of you posters want to change the law and strip more liberty from individuals then have at it. Until the law is changed you should just move onto another topic because just like Harry Reid you're out of line- unless you just don't believe in the rule of law.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    blue, joeblow, omni scent, Baron scarpia, esquire, furry, kimber
    guilty until proven innocent. yep, BO and the dems are turning us into the soviet union.

    Eric S.
    harry should tell us who his source is - the one committing a felony by releasing confidential tax information. Then BO should release his college transcript.

    even ABC News (ABC!!!!!!) said harry is irresponsible and out of line. ABC!!!! The All Barack Channel! said harry is out of line!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 5, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    "Just as George Zimmerman found out, in America circa 2012 you are "guilty until proven innocent"

    Mr Martin would probably agree with you.

    Unfortunately, he was judged and sentenced by mr Zimmerman. His trial is already over.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:12 p.m.

    "...Harry Reid descends to lowest form of politics...".

    On arrival, greeted by Republicans.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:14 p.m.

    >Lost in DC
    Well, I called Reid's accusations McCarthy-ite. And SOME commentators on ABC News This Week agreed, if that's what you mean by "ABC said. . . " See, ABC news is a news organization--their newsgathering and editorial wings are separate entities. That's how news works, in real news organizations. Unlike Fox News, which doesn't really do 'news' per se, but instead serves as the propaganda wing of the RNC.
    As for the college transcript thing, three reasons why he shouldn't release anything.
    First and foremost, there's no information relevant to this election in his college transcripts. They'll show he went to college, got good grades, got into law school, edited the Law Review. We already know all that.
    Second, the Right doesn't really want them. They're only trying for some false equivalency--Romney won't release his tax returns, well, Obama won't release his college records! No such equivalency exists; Romney is proposing changes to federal taxes, so it's fair to ask what his taxes show. Would he personally profit from his own policies?
    Third, the Right wants those records. Reason enough to withhold them.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    The super rich have long been used to enjoying the services of the very craftiest tax lawyers and accountants to help them dodge every possible tax liability. Pretty sweet deal, as long as you have the good sense not to try to run for president or something.

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2012 11:44 p.m.

    @Blue:

    "This is not that complicated an issue."

    True. Obama could release his sealed papers and be done with it. What's he hiding, Americans wanna know?

    "Looking at candidates' tax returns is a time-honored tool the public uses to measure candidates' statements about public financial policies against their personal financial behaviors."

    The guy's tax returns are in order, otherwise the IRS would be on his tail. He followed tax law.

    "Do they really 'walk the walk,' or are they 'Do as I say, not as I do?'"

    We'd like to see if Obama's 'sealed' papers are in order... for exactly the same reason.

    "Romney is the first presidential candidate in history to have a Swiss bank account. We are justified in asking why."

    Why? Because American banks are prone to fail... such as Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns.

    "Romney has a 401(k) retirement account valued at more than $100 million. We are justified in asking how a $100M 401k is possible."

    You won't find your answer to his 401k on his tax returns. Perhaps his 401k grew becasue of brilliant investment strategies while yours languishes because of abject stupidity/disinterest re investments.

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    "Guilty until proven innocent" -lost in DC

    Well, like Kimber already said, it was demanded of Obama to release his birth certificate, which he did. After, it was demanded of him to release his long-form certificate, which although rediculous, he also did.
    One big difference is that releasing many years of tax records is customary, releasing birth certificates is not. It was a tradition started by candidate George Romney.
    Ronmeys records are of particular interest because 1) he has money stashed away in foreign accounts. 2) the value of his 401k seems to exceed federal limits on contributions 3) he seems so intent on hiding that information.
    I mean, he gave several years of returns to John McCain when being vetted for VP, and he went with Sarah Palin.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Aug. 6, 2012 1:33 p.m.

    Please lets remember there is such a thing as "PRINCIPLES" Too many jump to the conclusion and believe Reid's accusation against Mitt Romney based on Reid's secret 'litle Bird' tweeting that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in ten years and is hiding something bad by not opening 10 years of his taxes. There is such a thing as INTEGRITY, HONESTY, AND PRINCIPLES. Reid should and must prove his accusations or apologize to Romney and to the American people for wrongful, intentional, slander born on false malicious, intentional lies. The 'proof ball' is in Reid's court.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Aug. 6, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    It's very simple to me; republicans claim to be overtaxed. Show me.

    Romney was very careful not to say he paid federal taxes. He only said he pays lots of taxes.

    This year I had heard the endless cries from republicans that half the country doesn't pay any federal income taxes.

    I just want to see if Romney is a huge hypocrite or not. He doesn't want us to see his tax returns and that is the fact we know.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Aug. 6, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    If voters want an interesting read, plow through Mitt and Ann Romney’s 2010 tax return, the only completed return released to the public. Romney’s effective tax rate was 13.9 percent on income of $21.6 million, and he has amassed an IRA estimated between $20 million and $101 million, despite limitations on contributions. Amazing return on investment. Remember when Republicans demanded every detail of how Hillary Clinton made a profit on a $1,000 commodities investment. Where now is their curiosity?

    The Romneys have accounts and investments in Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Germany, Australia and Switzerland. Several of these locales are infamous for sheltering funds from U.S. taxes. When billionaire Warren Buffett was asked if he had a Swiss bank account, he replied, “No, there are plenty of good banks in the United States.”

    grace rodgers/lubbock

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    @Blue:

    "Mr. Romney, if you want to prove that Harry Reid is a terrible person... release several years of your tax returns."

    We don't need Romney's tax returns to know that Reed is a terrible person... What Reed did could be considered unethical and possibly even felonious.

    @liberal larry:

    "We have seen the Cayman Islands accounts, the Swiss bank accounts, the Bahamian offshore accounts, and the huge tax breaks that Mitt claimed for his beloved olympic horse Rafalca, what could possibly be more embarrassing than what we had already learned?"

    So, why do you need the returns if you know what's in them?

    Besides, if you don't want politicians with Swiss bank accounts, etc., you need to fire Reed and Pelosi both of whom are reported as having foreign bank accounts.

    @Esquire:

    "Reid spoke based on a source he deems highly credible."

    Regardless of source. The disclosure, without Romney's permission, is a felonious act.

    @atl134:

    "Reid never said Romney broke the law..."

    Well, we know for sure that either Reed or his anonymous source broke the law since he/they disclosed Mitt's tax return without his permission.

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 2:21 p.m.

    @atl134:

    "... half the point of all this is Democrats want to expose just how ridiculous the tax code is..."

    The Congress is well aware of accounting tricks. Congressional members use them themselves. If Romney is pulling 'accounting tricks' he is only following Congress' example.

    @Furry1993:

    "No -- this is coming up because Mitt is trying to hide something. If he has nothing to hide, he should release his (complete) tax returns..."

    If Obama has nothing to hide he can release his 'sealed' papers.

    @Eric Samuelsen:

    "Was Harry Reid out of line?"

    He's not only out of line... His action is reported as being felonious.

    "So how about we make this deal? Harry Reid tells everyone who his source was.
    And Mitt Romney releases his tax returns."

    How about this... Harry Reed resigns as Senator for his misdeeds and Ann Romney runs over his with her horse?

    @Eric Samuelsen:

    "As for the college transcript thing... First... there's no information relevant to this election in his college transcripts."

    Transcripts are but one of several 'sealed' documents that have been requested.

    "No such equivalency exists..."

    The equivalency is the unsealing and release of documents.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    @freedomingood:

    "If voters want an interesting read, plow through Mitt and Ann Romney’s 2010 tax return, the only completed return released to the public."

    You have one return and will get another as soon as it's filed with the IRS. Why could you possibly want more?

    "Romney’s effective tax rate was 13.9 percent on income of $21.6 million, and he has amassed an IRA estimated between $20 million and $101 million, despite limitations on contributions. Amazing return on investment."

    IRA's are meant to be invested. Why do you fault Romney for being an astute investor? You must be raging with jealousy.

    He will pay taxes on the IRA account when he is old enough to be required to make distributions.

    "Remember when Republicans demanded every detail of how Hillary Clinton made a profit on a $1,000 commodities investment. Where now is their curiosity?"

    Did Republicans get what they requested? No.

    "... there are plenty of good banks in the United States."

    Yeah, sure. And there are many of those good banks that have gone belly up. Looks like Romney was smart to put his money elsewhere.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 7:24 p.m.

    Mr. Bean, I'm not sure I've ever seen so many rationalizations....

  • Solutions not Stones Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    Seems like if team Obama had something better they could talk about they would.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 8:12 p.m.

    Geeez George,, Your ashamed of harry reid? What about All of the trash thrown at Obama the last 3 and a half years. Marxist, socialist, He wants to destroy the country, Muslem, birth certificate. You dont know what your talking about. Im glad some democrats are finally beating down the GOP at their own game. Name calling, and inuendo, and maybe outright lies. Where do you draw the line?? The GOP has been crossing it for Obama's whole term. Does it bother you cause the shoe is on the other foot??? WAAAHHHH!!!

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 6, 2012 10:40 p.m.

    I have read tons of comments complaining about how fifty percent of people do not have to pay taxes. I guess they were complaining about Romney too!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 12:36 a.m.

    We talking about the same ABC news that mistakenly identified the wrong Holmes in the Colorado shooting and said it was "tea party" related...I'm not saying Fox News doesn't have its issues but all our news is jaded. The days of Murrow and Cronkite are long gone...

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    my brother is LDS and lives in Vegas and there is no surprise here at all with what Harry has stooped to...

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    Eric,
    How do we KNOW he got good grades without the transcript?

    I would disagree that the All Barak Channel is a news organization. Just like ANY media outlet, Fox included, ABC is a ratings chaser. And it was during one of their supposed NEWS broadcasts that they said harry was irresponsible, not one of their op-ed shows.

    Omni-scent
    Yeah, BO released something akin to birth certificate – 3 years after he was elected. Would you be happy of Romney released his tax returns in the same time frame? and please tell me when I have called for his birth certificate – I never have.

    Esquire,
    Not seen so many rationalizations? You NEVER read any of the comments defending BO’s record?

    But as to the headline – ‘Harry Reid descends to lowest form of politics’ – what do you expect from the lowest form of politician?

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Aug. 7, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    Why won't Romney open the tax records like the other Presidential candidates have? What is he hiding? Reid can only tell what he was told and Mitt can blow him out of the water by showing the returns - IF they show Reid's informant was wrong.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    It appears obvious that Mitt is hiding something in those tax returns. He hasn't necessarily done anything illegal, as I imagine he has the best lawyers and tax accountants money can buy. But he's done something with his finances that he knows will be very damaging to his candidacy and he's willing to take the heat for hiding his tax returns over the heat from releasing them. Whatever it is he's hiding, it's got to be something very very damaging.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 7, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    Goodbye Romney. Either you're planning your timing for releasing the taxes or betting on the 'anybody but Obama' votes. Bottom line is you don't have the integrity to release your tax returns like your father ... and why is that? LOL

  • Moe1138 95066, CA
    Aug. 7, 2012 5:05 p.m.

    I'm sorry I got to this so late.
    I wish people would stop considering this matter as a political one. Those of us who are members of the church know the seriousness of "Baring False Witness" and the penalties that accompany it. A U.S. Senator, a member in good standing and attacking another member. I hope the church publishes a comment soon, if it hasn't already or get ready for a mass church exit.
    We should expect better of our leaders...be it political or evangelical.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    Moe1138,

    Romney has demanded to see the tax returns while running for Govener and Senator.

    You have concluded that Reid is "baring false witness" when you have no idea what he knows or who told him. That would be false witness as well claiming Reid is lying when you don't know that.

    As for mass exodus. I guess you have to choose what you really believe in the most.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Aug. 8, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    Why should Romney or anyone of us "have to" prove anything when an accusation based on hearsay is leveled against us? Let the accuser prove the allegations - or foerever hold his/her peace.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 8, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    Romney doesn't have to show his taxes because of Reid's allegations. He should do it because it's precedent! Kind of like 4 year terms you know .... kind of like his father you know ...

    The fact that he shys so far away from it, much like Obama and his birth certificate, lead you to believe they're BOTH covering something up.

    Neither one of these men have integrity IMO.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:34 a.m.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the author except on one critical point. Harry Reid is not suggesting impropriety on Mitt Romney's part. He's only suggesting Romney didn't pay any taxes. This is actually worse in my opinion because it suggests taxes should be paid for the sake of paying taxes, not because they are a form of revenue for the govt to cover its costs, and therefore should and could be reduced just by responsible cost management.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    Why should Romney submit to a false accusation by the lowest echelon of the Democrat political machine. The only thing releasing the tax returns is provide more distraction from the President's and Democrats poor performance over the last 4 years. Frankly, if he has found a way to not pay taxes legally for the last 10 years that alone should qualify him to be President. Nobody that pays taxes likes paying taxes. And, look how the President is playing this we need the rich to pay more, but the majority they do not need to even though having the rich pay more does nothing (about 700 billion over ten years) to in any meaningful way reduce the budget. Mr. Obama knows that to reduce the deficit spending must be reduced and he will not do this because that takes a way funding for those he panders to for votes. Romney should simply say the past tax returns are similar to my current returns and when the President releases all of the information on fast and furious I will release one more of my returns. Time to play dirty with the dirt slingers from Nevada and Chicago.

  • BRM Pleasant Grove, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    If Romney paid no taxes (legall of course) then all this is is a witch hunt by the democrats. If Romney caves in to Reid's attack he just encourages this type of gutter politics. If I were Romney I would demand that Obama release his documents first.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    Romney could clear this all up by releasing more taxes.. Or Not!! Maybe he would just open up a can of worms . Thats what im betting on. Oh well no matter. Obama leads by 10 points and its going up every day. Too Bad Mitt!! Im Just Glad that the educated people of this state, the ones who give us Orrin Hatch,every 6 years, And Mike Lee, And our wonderful Utah Legeslature, Dont have a voice in our national election. Heck, they would have voted for Bush AGAIN if he could have run in 2008. DUH!!! There really is a god. He just doesnt reside in UTAH