In case you didn't know, Mitt Romney has decided to dump a bunch of disclosures on the American people on a Friday afternoon. They relate to his taxes. No, you're not getting his tax returns. You're getting a summary. Big deal.
A very dishonest act such as this should not be rewarded by the media, but it will be. I suspect that they will say that Romney has, in advance of the Presidential debates, finally disclosed everything. Well, a summary isn't disclosure. A summary is used to hide things.
Specifically, where did Romney hide his money? Which overseas tax shelters were used to hide money? From the looks of a summary, that information isn't available. A summary is perfect for showing that he paid some taxes, but it won't detail how Romney and his accountants arrived at a tax rate between 13 and 20 percent. I suspect that if Romney hadn't kept so much money in overseas accounts, his effective tax rate would have been, ahem, more along the lines of 30 to 35 percent, which is where it should have been.
Should have been, but clearly was not. At no point did Romney, who made millions every year, approach the tax rate for millionaires in this country. But, let's face it. Millionaires on the dole never pay their fair share. That's why they scream when someone talks about raising the tax rates to fifty or sixty percent. It would mean that, after tax shelters, they might have to pay 30 or 40 percent.
Romney's summaries are a joke. Will the media see through them? Don't count on it.
Dan Froomkin is the first to catch the fact that the Romneys overpaid taxes in 2011 to keep from being seen paying only NINE PERCENT of their income in taxes.