Vetting

English: Official photo of Governor Tim Pawlen...

English: Official photo of Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tim Pawlenty knows how it is to be vetted as a VP candidate. He was vetted by John McCain in 2008 and again by Mitt Romney in 2012. In his campaign autobiography entitled, Courage to Stand, Tim went into great detail about the hours that he and his wife spent gathering all the paperwork that the McCain campaign demanded. I am not at home this week, so I cannot check the book to see if he mentioned how many years of tax returns he submitted. This morning, he was asked by George Stephanopoulos how many returns he submitted to the Romney campaign. His answer was “several.” When is it proper to vet a VP candidate in greater detail than the person at the top of the ticket?

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Mitt’s missing taxes

Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt (Photo credit: Freedom To Marry)

Steve Schmidt, John McCain‘s 2008 campaign manager,  is one of the few members of the GOP appearing on TV whose word I trust. He stated that there was no problem with Mitt‘s tax returns, which included through 2007. Mitt has released 2010 and estimated 2011. That leaves only two missing years, 2008 and 2009, which covered the beginning of the crash and the Great Recession. It is those two years that Mitt is refusing to release,  because they probably contain information damaging to his campaign. Perhaps he managed to pay little or no Federal income taxes in one or both years. Tax experts have stated that it would be difficult for Mitt to pay no taxes in those years, unless Mitt were severely aggressive in taking advantage of the tax laws.

Mitt’s many millions

English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C...

English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. closeup view of vocalists Joan Baez and Bob Dylan., 08/28/1963 Español: Bob Dylan con Joan Baez en la Marcha por los Derechos Civiles en Washington, D.C. (1963) Italiano: Joan Baez e Bob Dylan durante la marcia per i diritti civili a Washington, 28 agosto 1963 Polski: Bob Dylan i Joan Baez w 1963 Deutsch: Joan Baez und Bob Dylan beim Marsch auf Washington am 28. August 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many millions must a millionaire have
Before you say enough?
How many homes must his family have
Before he loses count?
How many tax returns must he finesse
Before the IRS calls?
The answer my friends is written on the wind
The answer is written on the wind.
Mitt’s millions are estimated between 250 and 1,000.

My thanks to Bob Dylan for the inspiration and hours of pleasurable listening.

Hypocrisy

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States Hou...

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ripe odor of hypocrisy fills the air with its rotten scent. This morning I saw a blog post from the Right criticizing Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi for not releasing their tax returns while calling on Mitt to release his. While I favor full disclosure from all elected officials and candidates for office, Reid and Pelosi have complied with the law binding them. Only 17 members of Congress out of 535, that is 3%+, have disclosed their taxes as we expect of presidential candidates. That means that Reid and Pelosi are part of the about 97% of Congress who comply with the law, but do no more.