Imagine this: for absolutely no reason at all, I start demanding that you pay me $1,000.00. You don’t owe me a penny, much less a thousand bucks. I didn’t loan you anything, sell you something, or provide you any service. Yet, I start to demand the money anyway.
What would you do? You’d probably tell me to go jump in a lake, or worse. You’d wonder if I was crazy. If I keep demanding it, you’d try to get away from me. Whatever your reaction, the last thing you’d do is give me a thousand dollars!
After some time passes, and you continue to refuse my demands, I finally tell you that if you’ll just pay me $500.00, I’ll forget the whole thing and leave you alone. How do you react? My guess is you’d still tell me to leave you alone, as you don’t owe me anything! There would be no reason for you to give me that money, even though my demand has been cut in half. If you don’t owe me any money, you don’t owe me any money, regardless of how much I’m demanding or how much lower my demands get.
This is exactly what Obama and his minions have been trying to do to Mitt Romney and his tax returns. They started out by demanding that he release 10 years of returns. Was their demand based on any actual legal requirements? Of course not. They just wanted to harass him into releasing them.
When he refused, they used the well-known tactic of accusing without evidence just to pressure him into proving them wrong. They claimed that he was likely a felon and hadn’t paid anything for the last 10 years. Any proof of that? Seriously? They don’t need proof. If the baseless accusation is serious enough, that’s all they care about. They demanded that Romney release the returns to prove them wrong.
Romney didn’t bite. I haven’t agreed with everything Romney has done in his campaign, and he wasn’t my first choice among the Republican candidates, but I’ve been impressed with his response on this. He finally told Harry Reid to either put up or shut up. Predictably, Reid has done neither.
So the Democrats decreased their demands. They “offered” that if Romney would just release 5 years of returns, they’d let the whole thing go. When they issued that statement, I was very curious as to how Romney would respond. To his credit, he once again told them to forget it. Remember, he doesn’t owe them a single thing. So it doesn’t matter that they “generously” decreased their demand to 5 years. He didn’t owe them 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years.
Of course, tons of voters have gotten caught up in the nonsense, and have also demanded the release of the tax returns. They don’t know why he’s required to release them, they just know they want to see them.
So is this a requirement? Nope. According to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (an oxymoron if ever there was one), a presidential candidate must file Office of Government Ethics Form 278 (OGE Form 278), which is a very detailed financial report. You can find the requirements here.
Nowhere is a tax return listed as a requirement. The OGE form appears to contain more detail than a tax return would. But regardless of any of that, it is clear that a presidential candidate is NOT required to release his tax returns. If it were, Obama and Harry Reid would have pointed to the specific legal requirement and demanded that Romney fulfill such requirement. Because they can’t do that, they have to resort to accusations and hope that the voters go along with it. Unfortunately, many of their supporters just march right in line without giving it a second thought.
Just as you would refuse to pay me $500.00 when you don’t owe me anything, Romney has refused to release 5 years of tax returns when he isn’t required to release any. I think he’s doing the right thing.