Tahlequah Daily Press


July 23, 2012

Romney should show tax returns

TAHLEQUAH — Everyone already knows Mitt Romney’s a millionaire. Any voter who would reject him for president based on his income has already done that. So why is he fussing so much about releasing his tax returns?

Romney wants voters to hire him for a job – one of the most important jobs in the world. And the president is not a private citizen; he’s about the most public person on the globe. The American people have a right to personal information about him they wouldn’t get for anyone else.

Ironically, Romney’s own father, George, started the tradition of politicians’ releasing tax returns. In the ensuing 40 years, most political aspirants have reasoned this denotes  transparency. When a candidate won’t comply, it suggests he might have something to hide. Though a candidate is not required to provide these details, doing so suggests an attempt to be above-board and honest. It offers a peek into his priorities, and reveals something about character. For astute voters, and for those riding the fence, this information can be a deciding factor.

Several years ago, when Al Gore was running for president, one of his tax returns created  a stir. Despite his comfortable cash flow and hefty portfolio, Gore had only donated $400 and change to charity the previous year. Under the commonly held wisdom that what you do with your money is more important than how much you have, this was a revealing statement for voters. The average middle-class American was donating more than five times that.

Romney was likely embarrassed by the fact that he only paid 13.9 percent taxes in 2010, and this is understandable. This shines a glaring light on what many people consider to be a problem with the current tax system, since most Americans pay more like 25 or 28 percent, or even more. But this isn’t the underlying issue; in fact, Romney’s 2010 tax return raised more questions than it answered.

For instance, how did Romney end up with a $100 million IRA, in light of contribution limits for retirement plans? Is it appropriate for a presidential candidate to bet against the U.S. dollar by investing in Swiss francs? Most folks would also invest in Swiss banks if they had the money, but in this case, they may be forgiven for wondering whether the Romneys reported everything they made, or if they took advantage of an amnesty program in 2009 for unreported foreign bank accounts. And the public might also legitimately ask whether Romney reported and paid gift taxes on his mammoth trust funds. Maybe Romney is just sensitive about his wealth, which is so vast it’s incomprehensible to most people. Or maybe there’s something he doesn’t want the public to know – something that would be seized upon by CPAs, tax experts and financial experts as evidence of a footloose approach to financial and tax law.

The president of the U.S. is one of the most powerful people in the world. His influence reaches not just every domestic domain from the Beltway, to the plains, mountains and sea. It also affects what happens at pinnacles of power, like 10 Downing and the Kremlin, all the way to the smallest village in sub-Saharan Africa.

The president’s salary and benefits package of $600,000 is insignifcant compared to what Romney’s used to pulling in. But as president, he will have access to something far more important than another income: He’ll have the kind of power that could make us or break us – literally, access to a button that controls our fate.

So, yes, how much money Romney has earned is our business, and to a great extent, so is what he’s done with that money. It’s the best indication of what he might do with ours.

Text Only
  • Tourism Council and chamber should cut the proverbial cord

    They are defined by two separate purposes and operate under two distinctive sets of bylaws, but years of conflicting opinions have left lingering questions and confusion over the relationship between the decades-old Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the younger Tahlequah Area Tourism Council.

    July 30, 2014

  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN