Monday, August 6, 2012

Why Politics Sucks ... The Example of Dirty Harry Reid ... Senate Majority Leader

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is at it again. A week or so ago he castigated the Olympic team for buying its uniforms from the Chinese.  Now he's crediting an "extremely credible source" as saying that Mitt Romney pays no taxes.

And some people wonder why I say politics sucks.

If Dirty Harry has the goods on Mitt, let's see them. If not, then let's get on with some serious issues other than uniforms and taxes. I have five simple questions to ask. You may have more. That said, I don't expect any answers. Nor should you.

First question; Is Dirty Harry saying Mitt Romney cheated on his taxes?

Second question; Or is he saying that Mitt Romney didn't owe taxes and therefore didn't pay any?

Third question; Is Dirty Harry saying that Mitt Romney is lying about paying millions of dollars in taxes?

Fourth question; Is Dirty Harry unable or unwilling to present to We the People a budget recommendation from the Senate for the next ten years; the next five years, the next year or even the next six months?

Fifth question; Does Dirty Harry think the budget and fiscal affairs of the U.S. are in any way related to his duties as Senate Majority Leader?

Consider what Stay Classy, Harry has to say:

"Maybe Nevada Republican Sharron Angle and her supporters were smarter than they looked. Maybe running one of the worst Senate campaigns in memory against Harry Reid in 2010 was an intentional effort to keep Harry as Majority Leader so he could continue to embarrass himself and his party.

Mr. Reid certainly has spent the last two years doing the latter, turning the Senate into the gang that can't pass a budget and keeps spending as if the deficit isn't $1.3 trillion. In his latest claim to statesmanship, he is accusing Mitt Romney of not having paid taxes for 10 years based on a conversation Mr. Reid claims to have had with a person who had invested with Bain Capital.

Who is this Deep Throat? Mr. Reid won't say, and it isn't clear how someone who merely invested with Bain would know anything about Mr. Romney's personal taxes. But Mr. Reid and his spokesman want everyone to know that he or she or it is an "extremely credible source." You have to love that "extremely" touch.

Mr. Romney has responded by denying the charge and saying it's time for Mr. Reid "to put up or shut up." Other Republicans are calling Mr. Reid a "liar," which Mr. Reid will consider a professional compliment.

Mr. Romney's problem is that he can only disprove the charge by releasing his tax returns, which he says he will not do for years other than 2010 and 2011. Mr. Reid knows this, which is why he has thrown out the unproven accusation from an unknown source. If someone calls him a liar, no one can prove that either.

Meanwhile, his claim will hang in the air as the media report the political back and forth. Like the Obama campaign, Mr. Reid wants to change the conversation from the lousy economy and unpopular Democratic policies while destroying Mr. Romney personally. Note that the Obama campaign is not disavowing Mr. Reid's charges. (As an "extremely credible source" told us, Mr. Reid coordinated his accusations with the Obama . . . . We made that up, but you get the idea.)

These columns argued in January, when other Republican Presidential candidates raised the tax issue, that Mr. Romney should have released his tax returns long ago to put the matter to rest. This is one of the ways in which the GOP candidate has made his challenge harder than it should be.

But without any proof, Mr. Reid's accusations are a smear from the fever swamps that say more about Mr. Reid's ethics than they do about Mr. Romney's taxes."

Meanwhile, GOP Assails Harry Reid On Romney Tax Charge says this:

"The argument over Mitt Romney's personal tax returns heated up Sunday, with Republicans calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a liar for suggesting the GOP presidential candidate hadn't paid taxes for a decade.

Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, revived the debate last week when he said "an extremely credible source" had told him Mr. Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years. "It's clear Romney is hiding something," Mr. Reid said. On Sunday, the GOP launched a countercharge. "I am not going to respond to a dirty liar," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said on ABC's "This Week."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," said Mr. Reid is "lying" and "making things up" about the candidate's taxes.

Mr. Reid hasn't provided evidence to back up his claim and hasn't disclosed his source. Instead, he said it is up to Mr. Romney to prove him wrong. "Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't," Mr. Reid said on the Senate floor.

Other top Democrats didn't endorse Mr. Reid's contention in comments Sunday, but also didn't shy away from using the moment to press Mr. Romney about disclosing his tax returns. Mr. Romney has released his federal tax returns for 2010 and an estimate for 2011. He has faced pressure from Democrats and some Republicans to release more information. The 2010 return shows he paid federal income taxes at a 13.9% rate on $21.6 million in income. Mr. Romney has said he will release his full 2011 return. For that year, he has released the headline numbers, which show him paying $3.23 million in federal tax on $20.9 million of total income.


Mr. Reid hasn't given evidence to back up his claim about Mr. Romney.

The Republican challenger last week in Nevada said he has paid taxes "every year—and a lot of taxes." He didn't provide details, and reiterated he wouldn't release more than two years' worth of returns. "Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up," Mr. Romney told reporters last week after a campaign event in North Las Vegas. "So, Harry, who are your sources?""

Summing Up

Aren't presidential campaigns illuminating?

Isn't it great to hear such a clear headed discussion about what we're going to do about the trillion dollar deficits, unaffordable entitlement spending programs, our public education system, national tax policy, national energy policy, national deficits and debt, unemployment rates and generally getting back to strong and sustainable economic growth in 2013 and beyond?

Or do you feel as I do? THAT POLITICS SUCKS!!!

It really does.

Thanks. Bob.

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