By Perry Diaz
The recent brouhaha about Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s refusal to disclose his tax returns prior to 2010 is causing a lot of political migraine for Romney. It simply wouldn’t go away. Even his wife Ann has been trying to assuage the American public that there is nothing in those tax returns that is not right. She said, “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life, and so the election will not be decided on that. It will be decided on who will turn the economy around, and how will jobs come back to America.” But if there was nothing that could hurt Romney, why hide them?
Yes, why hide them if there is nothing to hide? And there is only one logical and practical answer: Mitt Romney is hiding something. If so, what is he hiding? Of course, he’d say, he’s not hiding anything, which is so absurd that even some Republican leaders are telling him to disclose everything from as far back as 20 years.
But what if he’s really hiding something that would scuttle his presidential campaign and lose the election to President Barack Obama? If that was the case, then he would rather not disclose and instead take a big chance that the American voters love him so much that they’d forgive him for keeping whatever secrets he’s hiding in his tax returns.
But the problem is that the American voters are not enamored with Mitt. As a matter of fact, the USA Today/Gallup poll taken in May 1-2 shows that his 31% “likability” rating among voters is much lower than Obama’s 60%. And if these voters who like Romney would vote for him regardless of what’s hidden in those tax returns, then he would lose the elections to Obama provided all other factors remain the same until election time.
In other words, Romney is in big trouble! And big trouble I mean just like the kind of “big trouble” Chicago mob kingpin Al Capone had in 1931 when the U.S. government nailed him for tax evasion.
But can the U.S. government do that to Mitt Romney, who would be the next president provided he’d beat Obama by just one electoral vote? Yes, Romney is just one electoral vote from the presidency come November 6, 2012. And he can get that one electoral vote over Obama if he’d convince voters in seven battleground states that he is their man. But he has to win in all battleground states to get that one electoral vote plurality over Obama. However, if he’d lose just one battleground state to Obama, it’s over for him. Yes, it’s all seven battleground states or nothing!
So, what is he going to do to win all seven battleground states? With the Obama campaign endlessly attacking Romney and reminding the voters that he’s hiding something in his tax returns, which could be as bad as paying no taxes in those years prior to 2010… and, lest I forget, last year, 2011. Which reminds me that he did not file his 2011 tax returns last April 15 but instead he requested for a filing extension, which is due on October 15. He promised that he would disclose his 2011 tax returns by that time. If he would do that, does that mean that he’s not hiding anything in his 2011 tax returns? Yes, it would be fair to presume that if he’d disclose his 2011 tax returns, he’s not hiding anything. But then again, the voters would ask him why he’s not disclosing his tax returns prior to 2010 if he’s not hiding anything in those years?
It looks like Mitt Romney’s head is caught in a vise that is slowly tightening, as election time is getting nearer.
Well, he just might decide to hell with it, he will disclose his tax returns and explain as much as he can why he did not pay taxes or if he did why it’s not as much as every American middle class taxpayer paid? Oh, shucks! And that’s where it’s could really hurt him. How could he explain why he paid lesser taxes than the middle class taxpayers or, worst, zero taxes? Ugh! That’s going to really hurt him. Simply put, there is no acceptable excuse to the American voters why a presidential candidate did not pay taxes!
Well, he might try the “I’m sorry, I blew it” approach. He can go on television, fall on his knees, jerk a few teardrops from his eyes, and beg for forgiveness from the American people. Then he’d promise to amend his tax returns and pay his shortage including interest and penalty. He’d promise to donate $100 million to charitable organizations. He’d promise not to receive his salary. He’d promise to serve only for one term. He’d promise to be kind to dogs and donate $50 million to SPCA. He’d promise… well… He’d promise anything just to get the American people to give him a second chance.
But would the American people forgive him after spilling his emotions on national television? Maybe… Might be. And would they vote for him? Hmm… That might be too much to ask. Would the American people forgive him and also vote for him?
Then, Al Capone — or was it his ghost? – appeared out of nowhere. “Mitt,” Capone whispered, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” “What? Who are you?” Romney shouted at the top of his voice. “Shh….” Capone answered, “Be quiet and listen to me. This is Al Capone.” “Heck, no! You’re dead… you’ve been dead a long time ago!” Mitt said. Then, he looked at Ann who was nudging him, “Mitt! Wake up! Wake up! You’re having a nightmare!” “Huh?” Mitt said, “Nightmare? Gee, that was a horrible dream.”