Somebodyisfromhere.com once expressed an uneasiness about Mitt Romney’s failure to adequately explain his taxes. He thought it was a bit uncomfortable in the wake of former potential VP John Edwards‘ trial.
Today Romney said, “I never paid less than 13 percent in taxes.”
That’s the weird problem with Romney… but it’s not why you think.
First of all, from movies, I’ve learned that you shouldn’t use a negative like that. Isn’t it supposed to be, “I’ve always paid more than 13%”?
Somebodyisfromhere.com also studied a lot of Public Relations in college, but he doesn’t remember that. So he’ll just move right along.
Romney’s problem is bad politics. Let’s assume that he’s being honest and he paid that much. Let’s assume it would be too big of a risk for him to lie about it.
His problem isn’t that he paid 13ish percent. Sure that will stick in the crawl of some people, but what can you do about them besides write them off?
He’s rich and he used his richness to hire good accountants in order to get him to pay less taxes. That’s the American Dream.
Hell, Romney’s problem is that he doesn’t concede and he doesn’t pivot well. He does the same thing with the Auto Bailout. He should say it would have happened on its own or happened faster. Instead, he takes credit.
Here, with taxes, it was an inevitability that he was going to be forced to confront this. Why did he wait so long? Why not say it before the bump he expected by naming a VP? Why not have said it months ago?
His problem is that he should have announced it on his own terms. He should have said, yes I paid 13% and I would do it again because it was the legal thing to do. However, in the future rich people like myself should pay a hard 20% or whatever.
Rich people say they don’t pay enough taxes all the time. Remember Warren Buffet?
Even if he came out with something slightly different than that of his party’s line he would look tough. Hey, I’m willing to make sacrifices like everybody else, it’s just Obama wants an amount that is bad for American progress.
Instead, he’s the guy that that is embarrassed by paying so little.
It just adds to the confusion about him. It plays up the fact that he kept money overseas despite the fact he’s been running for President for most of a decade which is financially smart, but politically stupid.
Like everything else, it makes him appear like the guy that thinks, “I know what the right play is here and I do want to be President, I really do, but… man, I really like money.”