The real question isn't whether Mitt Romney paid his taxes but whether we want to make an unfair tax code worse
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney last week promised ABC News he would “go back and check” whether he had ever paid a tax rate lower than 2010′s 13.9 percent. He hasn’t, and the questions keep piling up. This week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repeated a rumor, attributed to a former Bain partner, that Romney had paid no taxes for 10 years. And in the New York Times on Tuesday, Michael Graetz, a former official in the first President Bush’s Treasury, speculated about what might be in the returns. It’s possible we’ll find something in Romney’s taxes that’s disqualifying or suggests that he broke the law, but I doubt it. We’re unlikely to learn anything about Romney from his tax returns that we don’t already know – that he’s a very rich man with a taste for cutting-edge financial engineering. It’s what we’ll learn about taxes that might shock us. The Romney tax returns are a rare opportunity to see how the tax code really works for the very wealthy and whether we want to change it in the direction that Romney has proposed or take it in the direction of real fairness and efficiency.
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