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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Truth Is Not A Distraction

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

August 21, 2012

By Perry Redd

As the presidential race reaches higher heights, the current attacks on each of the candidates are not expected to get any tamer.  It is said, with good reason, that “politics is a contact sport.”  Anyone who cries for civility when it comes to running the free world, is simply posturing. In all of these attacks, the hope is that some truths will come out.

We know that the person who wins the presidential race will be not only the chief executive, but who we’d like to think best represents us both at home and in front of the world.  We’d like to think that person’s character is unimpeachable and reflects my interests, if not my thinking.  How that person conducts him/herself in their private lives is highly important.  Once an individual steps into the public arena, their life is not all thiers anymore.  Athletes know it, singers know it, politicians know it.  Politicians have lost careers over their personal life and lifestyle choices…and we, as Americans, accept that.

So when Mitt Romney chooses not to release his tax returns, it is an issue with the people whom he’s hoping will elect him.  The presumptive GOP nominee has faced withering criticism from Democrats over the release of his tax returns, including a charge by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid that Romney had paid no taxes for a ten year period. Reid did not specify if those were the last ten years, or an earlier period.  The Romney campaign has complained that this issue is a mere “distraction” from the real issues that Americans want to talk about.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Romney’s tax burden and payment are indeed issues we want answered.

Last week, Romney called insistent questions over his tax documents “small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face” such as unemployment and the nuclear threat from Iran.  I’d beg to differ. Knowing whether or not if the person elected to lead neglects to pays his taxes, when I am demanded to pay mine—for things like wars of aggression—are anything but “small-minded.”  It would go against my interest, conscience and best judgment to vote for someone who won’t do what I am asked to do.

Now, I do think the accusation coming from the other side is way out-of-bounds, but that’s what opponents do—when they want to win. Sen. Reid had told reporters an anonymous source gave him a tip. A source close to Reid later said that Reid got the information from an investor with Bain, the private equity firm Romney ran.  I don’t believe in making accusations and then not backing them up, but it’s out there now and strategically, Reid brought a valid issue to the table.  We need to know.

If Romney says the race is about Obama’s “record” regarding the economy, then I shall argue pay and taxes are about the economy.  Part of Romney’s “record” is his work at Bain Capital and how he contributed to the American economy.  He did talk about his tax burden.  “I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13%. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. I paid taxes every single year,” Romney said, explaining he had gone back to check his records after being asked by a reporter about the tax rates he had paid.  That’s what he said, but we don’t know that to be true!  That’s why (like Obama’s birth certificate) Americans want to see the proof.

What would make Mitt Romney think that we’ll just take him at his word?  Then, in an effort to divert the issue he responded to questions about how much he pays in taxes by suggesting that people should take into account his total contributions to the government and charities.  Why should we do that when you won’t release the statement of your earnings?  We’ll consider that also.  Sure, Romney likely gave a ton to charity, but you’ve got to have a ton to do that!  How did you earn it?  How much of the whole is it?  And how much did it set you back?

In the final analysis, how a man makes, saves and spends his money is important to the electorate.  If you plan on making the policies that will govern how I will make, save and spend mine, then yours is relevant too.  Revealing his tax returns for the past decade is sufficient, and will reveal Romney’s truth of the matter.  That truth is no distraction…so we’re waiting.

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2 Responses to “Truth Is Not A Distraction”

  1. Thanks for the Truth!


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