Sunday, October 28, 2012
Romney continues to refuse to publish his taxes. What is there?
Romney's Arrogant, Unprecedented Evasions of Disclosure Democratic Strategist
by staff, October 22, 2012 10:17 AM EST
Mitt Romney has already made some history -- no other presidential candidate in the modern era has refused to disclose more basic information about his policy proposals. As Thomas B. Edsall explains in The New York Times:
With the presidential election just two weeks away, Romney's gamble may be paying off. He has failed to specify where he would wield the budget knife, and he has defied, with a striking degree of success, the relatively quiet group of people who have called for him to honor a host of traditional disclosure and campaign practices.
It hasn't mattered. The Obama v. Romney all-poll average is now tied on RealClearPolitics and down to a tiny 0.4 point advantage for Obama on the Huffington Post politics section's Election Dashboard.
Romney's evasions of traditional disclosure have been ongoing and almost insolent.
In July, when Romney refused to release more than two years of tax returns -- in contrast to previous candidates of both parties, among them his father -- there was a huge uproar. National Journal published a list of 17 prominent Republicans, including four sitting senators, who called on him to release 10 or more years. Editorials in papers across the country denounced Romney's secrecy. The conservative columnist George Will declared that Romney "must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them." Will warned Romney that he was losing the argument "in a big way."
But it is Romney who appears to have won the argument. His tax returns are a dead issue, except on the left and liberal fringe.
The following article, by Democratic strategist and organizer Robert Creamer, author of Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, is cross posted from HuffPo:
As Election Day grows closer, some pundits seem almost breathless in their prediction that the Presidential election will be close. Well, of course it will be close. It has been obvious from the campaign's first day that it would be close. But there is overwhelming evidence that President Obama will win.
Why is the race so close?
1). First and foremost, the Republicans' trickledown, let-Wall-Street-run-wild policies sent the economy into a catastrophic recession just as Obama took office. This was not your run of the mill business cycle recession. It was caused by a financial collapse the likes of which America had not seen since the Great Depression.
The historic evidence is very clear that whenever there is a recession induced by a financial collapse, it take years for an economy to recover. American did not fully recover from the Great Depression itself until World War II -- almost twelve years after the stock market collapsed.
Had the Republicans remained in office and responded as Republican President Hoover did in 1929, the same fate could have awaited America once again. But instead, the Obama Administration moved immediately to stimulate the economy and shore up the financial system -- and especially to rescue the auto industry -- using policies that in most cases the GOP opposed.
Those policies have set the economy on a path toward sustained growth. But the Republicans have been hell-bent on stalling growth with the expressed purpose of defeating Obama this fall. They have sabotaged the economy by preventing even a vote on the Americans Jobs Act that most economists believe would create another 1.7 million jobs and would have prevented massive layoffs in state and local governments.
Mitt Romney is like an arsonist who complains that the fire department isn't putting out his fire fast enough, then tries to convince America to allow him to take over the effort armed with buckets of gasoline -- the same failed policies that caused the fire in the first place.
But the Republicans are right about one thing. It's hard to get re-elected in a tough economic environment -- even one that is improving. That is the main reason this election is close. If unemployment were at six percent, Obama would be re-elected by the same kind of electoral vote margins the Bill Clinton piled up in 1996.
2). The election is close because Wall Street -- and super-wealthy right-wing oil tycoons like the Koch Brothers -- have spent huge amounts of money to defeat Obama. This week alone, Romney and his outside group allies have booked $57 million in TV time.
Their financial advantage has been neutralized by the spectacular Obama fundraising operation -- particularly the incredible small donor program that has raised funds from over 10 million individual contributions.
And its effect has also been ameliorated by the fact that TV spots can be bought by both campaigns at the lowest possible rate, and super PACs or outside groups must spend much more per television viewer.
But the fact remains that all of those negative attack ads about Obama have kept the race close.
3). The American electorate is closely divided. In 2008 the economy had collapsed under Republican rule. The GOP candidate was not very popular. And the Republican incumbent President was downright radioactive. Regardless, the Republican candidate still got 47 percent of the popular vote.
Of course the race will be close.
But there are at least eight very good reasons why Obama will win. The first four have to do with extreme right wing policies Romney has advocated that have made it clear to key blocks of voters that he is simply not on their side.