Is Romney hiding immorality, criminality, both, or neither?

I am not a huge fan of Paul Krugman and his ‘we need government stimulus’ mantra. That being said, I was deeply impressed with his most recent New York Times column. I urge you to read it - shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

You will draw your own conclusion about what Krugman is saying (or charging). By my take, he seems to be implying that if Romney continues to clam up about his finances, then he must be hiding something; something immoral or criminal, and quite possibly both.

So, I ask: should Romney run through the gauntlet of financial transparency that Krugman is demanding?

I think the answer must be ‘yes’ and cannot possibly give a better set of reasons than has Krugman - essentially that Romney’s continued obfuscation and/or nondisclosure is tantamount to admitting his guilt (moral, criminal, or both).

(again, the Krugman piece is here)

I don’t think there is anything necessarily illegal or immoral indicated by the fact of off shore accounts. If I had $300 million sitting around, I’d look for creative ways to invest and protect it. I also am a bit sympathetic to the idea that a person shouldn’t have to bare all to run for President. However, the press and the voters certainly have a right to ask these questions and the candidate might take some heat if he or she isn’t going to answer.

Imagine the fallout if President Obama had about a million bucks tucked away in Europe or the Caribbean.

He’s a Republican and a politician, so my assumption would be “both”. And not just about his finances.

Good to know I must have something to hide since I have a Cayman Islands bank account. :rolleyes:

Come to the Caribbean and just try to open a Cayman account without showing proof of who you are and where you got your money. Good luck.

Romney knows that his past history of amassing an enormous fortune by ruthlessly downsizing or bankrupting companies and exporting jobs is not popular with the voters. Naturally he’d want to let the public know as little about his finances as possible; releasing the tax forms would draw attention to his personal fortune, at least for one news cycle. He doesn’t want that. Of course it’s possible that he was involved with criminal behavior, but there’s no reason to assume that’s the case when it could just be deflecting attention from one of his weak spots.

Another point is that during his time at Bain Capital, the company took advantage of a lot of government handouts and specialized tax breaks. Having attention focused on that fact would make his hypocrisy on financial issues plain as day.

I think the only thing we can say for sure is that it will show the Romney is ridiculously rich, which is and of itself is probably something Romney wants to avoid bringing up even though it is well known. he’d prefer it remain a background thing and not a forefront thing. Now there is nothing wrong with just being rich, but it makes it very hard to deliver a message in an election that you give a shit or even understand regular folks concerns.

Krugman continually has an ax to grind. His partisanship is glaringly evident in all of his writings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, but he often loses any semblance of objectivity as a consequence.

If he and others in his camp want to defeat Romney, there have to be better ways to do it than implying he’s a crook and a thief. Of course, that’s the populist view of all rich people–that they got that way by cheating, swindling, earning billions from the sweat of small children laboring in their factories, or as one poster put it, “ruthless” business practices.

Romney earned his money. He was smart (and lucky, if you wish) enough to take advantage of business opportunities. Maybe everyone can stipulate to that and we can move on to examining his fitness for the presidency of the United States.

It should be stressed that Romney has complied with all legal requirements. It is unlikely given that that he’s hiding anything illegal. he could be hiding things that could prove politically embarrassing. But really, right after the President claimed executive privilege to avoid anything embarrassing coming out about Fast and Furious, isn’t Krugman embarrassed himself to bring up this charge?

Krugman’s counterpoint of Romneys Sr and Jr underscores (in mind, at least) that the appearance of transparency is as important as what’s behind the screen. The medium is the message - with Mitt, it seems to be a medium not permitting much light to pass. So the message is even darker.

Romney is trying to reveal as little as possible about anything. His strategy is just to pass the threshold test: in most elections, if the incumbent is unpopular, the challenger will win as long as he passes the threshold of being taken seriously as a Presidential candidate. Reagan and Clinton passed that test easily. Kerry failed, barely. Romney is no Clinton or Reagan, but I think he’s stronger than John Kerry was. So he’s just trying to coast and hope that the 52% or so of Americans who don’t want to vote for the President choose him.

Everything may be perfectly legal, but that doesn’t mean that voters shouldn’t consider some of his foreign investments.

For example- from here:

Does he still have those investments? As President, will he do what’s best for the country, or what’s best for his investments?

I think it’s a legitimate consideration.

Okay. Why do you have a Cayman Islands bank account? Do you live there? If not, what’s your reason for having the account?

I live in Cayman. My pay can only be direct deposited to a CI bank account. But it could just as easily been to invest in European bonds, many of which are traded on the Cayman Stock Exchange. Or Canadian mutual funds, or corporate bonds for an American insurance company. All listed on the CSX.

Krugman insinuates ill of Cayman and attempts to smear Romney by association, referring to “tens of millions invested in the Cayman Islands, famed as a tax haven?”

Cayman has Tax Information Exchange Agreements with many countries, including the US. Romney does not get any particular tax advantage by having investments in Cayman or Switzerland. Income is still taxable at the same rate.

"I’m sorry, I can’t divulge information about that customer’s secret illegal account.

Oh crap, I shouldn’t have said he was a customer.
Oh crap, I shouldn’t have said it was a secret.
Oh crap, I CERTAINLY shouldn’t have said it was illegal.

Oh, it’s too hot today."


Why would an American have bank accounts there if there’s no advantage for him?

I don’t necessarily think that Romney should have to produce financial statements just because someone says so, no more than I thought Obama needed to produce his birth certificate to answer the birthers. But your post raises the question.

I think we can assume that as one of the richest businessmen in the country, the IRS has and has had him under a microscope.

I keep seeing this on the main page and thinking it says “Is Romney hiding immortality…”. I won’t believe he isn’t until we see a birth certificate from the 20th century, thankyouverymuch!

Der Trihs not saying that would have been about as likely as the Sun rising in the west.

Cayman to IRS:
“In accordance with our obligations under the Tax Information Exchange Agreement signed between the Cayman Islands and the United States on 27 November 2001, here you go! Did you want the names and contact details of the beneficial owners of that trust while we’re at it? We’re one of only two countries world-wide to half 100% compliance with collecting such information in a recent study so I’m sure we have that information, unlike some companies registered and trusts registered in that on=shoring center Delaware, USA.”

The US has exerted a measure of extra-territorial control on overseas banks. In short, a foreign bank with US customers must disclose financial information about that American’s accounts or risk the wrath of the US governments on any of their US based operations. Some banks have reacted by closing accounts of Americans rather than dealing with the US IRS.