For thee, but not for me.

Yes, it’s true: Mitt Romney asked his Veep candidates for more years of tax returns than he’s prepared to show us peasants.

I had assumed that Jon’s snarky question below – “When Mitt Romney was vetting Paul Ryan for the VP nod, how many years of Ryan’s tax returns did he ask for?” – would remain just that. Surely the answer had to be “More than two,” and therefore surely the Romney campaign would refuse to answer the question, adding it to what is already a very long list.

But I’d underestimated the sheer not-ready-for-prime-time-ness of the Boston operation. “Senior adviser” Beth Myers let herself be mousetrapped by a reporter’s seemingly innocent question about the storage of the vetting documents into revealing that the campaign had asked for “several” years of returns, before hastily locking the barn door by refusing to say how many.

Wiktionary defines “several” as “more than two or three but not very many;” thus, certainly more than the two years Romney thinks those of us in the peasant class should be satisfied with.

So I propose – after a brief pause while we all point out that Paul Ryan is a lunatic extremist on issues such as reproductive choice and global warming as well as within his core (in)competence on fiscal matters (where he’s so extreme that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called his plan morally deficient) – that we all get back to discussing MITT ROMNEY’S TAX RETURNS and why he doesn’t want us to see them.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

3 thoughts on “For thee, but not for me.”

  1. Hey, here’s a thought: even after intense media pressure to release his taxes, as well as a several point dip in his popularity and electability over same, Romney has refused to give his tax information up. Most other candidates with maybe some unsavory but not terrible history would have folded long ago.

    That says to me there’s something really interesting (read: damning) in Romney’s taxes. We should all (media and public) not only continue the pressure on him, but increase it. Ryan is a distraction with which the Romney campaign hopes to pulls us away from his own personal/political liabilities. Let’s not follow along.

  2. Those Ryan taxes would likely be interesting in themselves. Janna Little Ryan is from an old [by OK standards], well connected, Republican family from Western OK. She was a successful tax attorney before marrying Ryan. Her late father left her a trust of well over $1 million. The Ryans are well into the top 1%-2%.

    She is first cousin of the Blue Dog congressman Dan Boren, who seems to renounce the Boren populist tradition for the Little conservatism. Janna is named for Dan Boren’s mother.

    BTW Ms Ryan’s father was a George Wallace elector. The black guy in the Whites Only House likely galls her no end.

    Paul Ryan has developed a Dixie native side. He hunts with Dan Boren frequently and noodles[?!] for catfish in Southeast OK. His dogs are even named Boomer and Sooner. Is a conversion to Southern Baptist far behind? Or maybe a run for a Senate seat in 2014 if Tom Coburn retires, assuming Paul Ryan is between jobs that election.

  3. See, the bishops aren’t all bad!!!

    Also, I think the outdoorsmanship is a good thing, in the long run. Ryan seems like a hardhead, so it will really *be* a loooooong run, but, if someone cares about nature, sooner or later that penny has to drop.

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