Open Letter to Ann Romney
I don’t like your attitude very much. It seems very entitled and imperious. You say you have done everything legally required, and there will be no more tax returns. Not only do you say it, you say it with a snarl, as if those you’re asking to vote for your husband are simply too stupid to understand what a tax return filed by a Very Wealthy Couple looks like. As if you’re saying “we’ve given all you people need to know.”
Oh wait. You actually said that.
Ma’am, you’ve released *one* return. ONE. If we’re really lucky, we’ll get to see the second one 15 days before the election, when it’s too late to really understand how you and your husband run your finances.
Here’s the thing. I’m not looking for a fight with a woman who is fighting for her husband’s election, but you’re simply wrong about your pronouncement that what is in those returns isn’t relevant, doesn’t matter, and won’t matter if you do release it. You assume the reason we’re asking for these returns has to do with some sort of attack on you.
Don’t you understand the attacks are happening because you refuse to disclose this information to people who you’re asking to trust for four years? Or are you just above it?
Here is a list of legitimate, real reasons why voters are entitled to access to your tax returns, whether you like it or not:
- The next President of the United States must lead an effort to reform our current tax code. It’s long overdue and must be done. We’re entitled to understand how you approach your own taxation, and what interests your husband will serve if he were leading that effort. Simply put: Will a Romney Administration consider the needs of the working poor over the needs of corporations and the wealthy?
- Ordinary people don’t have offshore tax shelters. Why do you? Why do you consider it American to shelter income from taxes offshore? Why would your investments take precedence over patriotism?
- Americans deserve to fully understand how Bain benefited your family. It’s well established at this point that Bain Capital was in the business of mergers and acquisitions. People lost many jobs to offshoring, mergers, and just plain asset-stripping. It’s fair for them to understand what kind of profit you took from those lost jobs, particularly when you claim you know how to create them.
- Ordinary people endure far more invasive inquiries for minimum wage jobs. You can get all high and mighty with us, but to get an $8.50 per hour job, many ordinary people have to endure (and authorize) a credit check, and in the case of government jobs, a background check. In many cases, they have to submit to a drug test, too. That drug test requirement isn’t because their potential employer believes every applicant is a drug addict. It’s because they want to make sure this applicant isn’t one.Similarly, we’re entitled to know whether any possible future President is a tax dodger. From the one single return released, it certainly appears that there are some dodgy tax items that deserve closer scrutiny. The problem is, we don’t have enough information to say one way or the other, and you think we shouldn’t see it.
You say to us: “Trust me.” I say to you: “Why?” What have you done to earn my trust? You treat me like I’m some kind of scum for asking reasonable questions about issues that truly do matter. We’re entitled to know how you manage these things, how you approach taxes, how we can expect to be treated in a Romney administration. Telling me “you people don’t need to know” does not foster trust. It fosters resentment.
You haven’t given us one single reason to trust you. You say, well, we tithe, that makes us good people. No, it doesn’t. Anyone can write a check. So what? A central tenet of LDS doctrine is the requirement to tithe, at a minimum. a very bare minimum. That’s not evidence of integrity; it’s evidence that you seem to place the LDS doctrine above the tax laws currently in effect in this country. That’s hardly reassuring.
You say to us: “You don’t need to have that information.” I beg to differ, for the reasons I’ve stated. Here’s what you risk with this attitude, Mrs. Romney. You risk alienating voters who might have been in your camp. I say might, because there are plenty of other reasons not to vote for your husband. But by shoving your puffed-up chest and a mighty attitude of high dudgeon in our faces not once, but several times, you exclude those who might otherwise be convinced.
You want your husband to represent me, Mrs. Romney? You want him to have that job, a job I pay for? Then both of you need to submit to my hiring requirements. This election is a by the people, for the people moment, not an appointment by the oligarchs, no matter what you might think. We, the people, are your Job Interviewers, and right now we’re inclined to say we’ll get back to you with our decision after the returns are released.
The fact that you would place yourself and your husband above even one other person in this country tells me you and your husband are unfit to occupy the White House. That you do it to the voters who are entitled to know exactly who they are voting for disqualifies you entirely.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy your retirement to California. Bye, now.