For reasons unclear to me, Mitt Romney is still being recalcitrant about releasing more than two years of taxes. I really, honestly, don’t understand why. He made some whinny comments the other day about how it will just be ammunition for the Obama campaign, but, well, tough. That’s the way politics works.
For the record, I don’t really see what politicians should release their tax returns for the X number of years before they started running. Frankly, their taxes aren’t really anyone’s business, and I don’t know that it caters to the public’s need to know things about the people they are going to elect. On the other hand, it has become the standard (ever since George Romney, Mitt’s dad, did it back in the day), and I suppose unless there is a good reason not to, Romney should.
This brings us to the question of whether or not there is a good reason. We already know he pays a far lower tax rate than many in the middle class. We already know he’s likely had all sorts of (probably legal), shenanigans done in order to make sure he pays that rate. So it’s probably true that we won’t learn anything new or useful from them. On the other hand, they might show massive things Romney doesn’t want us to know about, like overseas bank accounts and the like. Stuff that might not be illegal, but is still shady as hell.
Either way, given that the GOP intelligentsia is starting to make vocal noises about Romney releasing more years, he probably will. It’s just a matter of if he does it now, when he can control the message at least somewhat and display at least a scintilla of leadership, or if he does it later, when it looks like he’s just doing it because everyone is telling him to.