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It’s Your Fault, Harry

Scary Harry is continuing to stand behind his accusation that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years. After this supposed “controversy” began with Reid’s comments on the Senate floor, it continued after he issued a statement later this week. Reid stated:

There is a controversy because the Republican presidential nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, refuses to release his tax returns. As I said before, I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years. People who make as much money as Mitt Romney have many tricks at their disposal to avoid paying taxes.

I have three comments I would like to make:

First, Reid neglects to mention that he is only referring to income taxes. It is doubtful that Romney found a way to avoid paying the myriad of other taxes that Americans must pay, such as sales taxes and property taxes. While the context implies that Reid is referring to income taxes, it is blatantly false to contend that Romney did not pay any taxes during any ten-year period. While some would argue that this is a matter of semantics, it is important to recognize that income tax is not the only tax we pay.

Second, Congress sets the federal tax code that Americans are expected to follow. If Harry Reid does not like how much Mitt Romney pays in taxes, he has the power to introduce legislation to change that amount. Less than two years ago, his party controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. If Harry really thought that Romney needed to pay more money, he had two years where he could have changed it.

Third, I do not care about the tax rate–and even the actual dollar amount of taxes–Mitt Romney paid. Every American looks for ways to avoid paying more taxes than necessary, and I do not expect either Romney or Reid to be an exception. Perhaps Romney felt that his money would be better off in the hands of a reputable charity than wasted by the federal government through a crony loan deal to Solyndra. I do not care what deductions and credits Romney took; I only care that he was legally allowed to take each one. If Romney accurately reported every penny of income, and if he was legally allowed to take every deduction, then paying reduced or even zero taxes does not make him a tax cheat; it makes him a smart American.

I challenge Scary Harry to demonstrate to us that he is not like Mitt Romney. Show us your tax returns, Harry, and show us how you overstated your actual income. Give us some examples of the deductions you were entitled to take, but that you decided not to report. Show us the tax credits you failed to deduct. If you cannot show us how you overpaid your taxes, then just remember that you help control the amount both you and Romney are required to pay.

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