Mitt Romney, Obama for America, Paul Ryan — August 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Paul Ryan has a memory problem, Obama campaign makes Romney an offer (refused!)


How can you forget millions in income???

Mitt Romney’s pick for Vice President, Paul Ryan, appears to have himself quite a memory problem. First, he had to amend two years of tax returns before he was confirmed as the VP pick. Why?

Because he neglected to report income of between $1 million and $5 million.

While being vetted by Mitt Romney’s campaign, GOP vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan amended two years of his financial disclosure statements to add an income-producing trust worth between $1 million and $5 million that he had previously neglected to report.

The trust, an inheritance of Ryan’s wife, former Washington lobbyist Janna Little Ryan, represents one of the couple’s largest assets. Letters and amendments Ryan filed June 6 with the Clerk of the House show the trust produced income of between $15,001 and $50,000 in 2010, and between $100,001 and $1 million last year.

Financial disclosure rules require members of Congress to report assets and income in ranges, without specifying exact amounts. The reports are filed each year in May and are made public by the House.

As Texas governor Rick Perry would say: Oops.

But that’s not all. He also forgot, twice in public, that he had asked for federal Stimulus money for his state. That was at the same time he was ranting and raving about how evil and ineffective the Stimulus project was.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Thursday reversed course and acknowledged lobbying the government for millions of dollars in economic stimulus money after twice denying he had done so.

The Wisconsin congressman said he had forgotten that his office sent letters — with his signature — to the Energy and Labor departments asking for money from the stimulus program on behalf of two companies in his home state.

“They should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that,” Ryan said in a written statement released only after he again denied requesting stimulus funds Thursday in an Ohio television interview.

Think Progress has copies of the letters HERE (pdf).

Oops again. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the lies and hypocrisy/GOPcrisy, I suppose.

In other Ryan/Romney campaign news, the Obama campaign made this offer to Mitt Romney:

August 17, 2012
Matt Rhoades
585 Commercial Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02109

Dear Matt:

I am writing to ask again that the Governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures. Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more–neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.

This request for the release of five years, covering the complete returns for 2007-2012, is surely not unreasonable. Other Presidential candidates have released more, including the Governor’s father who provided 12 years of returns. In the Governor’s case, a five year release would appropriately span all the years that he has been a candidate for President. It would also help answer outstanding questions raised by the one return he has released to date, such as the range in the effective rates paid, the foreign accounts maintained, the foreign investments made, and the types of tax shelters used.

To provide these five years, the Governor would have to release only three more sets of returns in addition to the 2010 return he has released and the 2011 return he has pledged to provide. And, I repeat, the Governor and his campaign can expect in return that we will refrain from questioning whether he has released enough or pressing for more.

I look forward to your reply.

Jim Messina
Obama for America Campaign Manager

Romney, of course, has refused this offer, saying:

It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending.

If Governor Romney’s tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for President Obama to discuss them over the next 81 days. In the meantime, Governor Romney will continue to lay out his plans for a stronger middle class, to save Medicare, to put work back into welfare, and help the 23 million Americans struggling to find work in the Obama economy.

See you in Denver.

Romney’s weasling on this has become a big problem for him. Even Republicans are now saying he’s making a big mistake. Yesterday he claimed that he’s had a look at his tax returns for the past ten years and he paid “at least 13%” each year. Does that put the matter to rest? Hell no! As Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith said: “Prove it”:

Mitt Romney today said that he did indeed ‘go back and look’ at his tax returns and that he never paid less than 13% in taxes in any year over the past decade. Since there is substantial reason to doubt his claims, we have a simple message for him: prove it. Even though he’s invested millions in foreign tax havens, offshore shell corporations, and a Swiss bank account, he’s still asking the American people to trust him. However, given Mitt Romney’s secrecy about his returns, coupled with the revelations in just the one return we have seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and his other financial disclosures, he has forfeited the right to have us take him just at his word.

Amen, sistah. Amen.

This morning on CNN, Obama traveling Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki asked Romney to “put his money where his mouth is”:

Let’s not forget that Mitt Romney’s father released 12 years of returns. We know the American people want to know what a candidate stands for, where they’re coming from. What did they invest in? What decisions were they involved in? There were some discrepancies on Mitt Romney’s financial disclosure. We still don’t know a lot about why he had an IRA in the Cayman Islands, why he had a Swiss bank account. There are a lot of unanswered questions. The American people want to know answers to. And we made a pretty fair offer this morning, which as you mentioned, they rejected it flat out. {…}

We’re offering them an opportunity to prove it. And the only way for us to know and for the American people to know what’s in Mitt Romney’s tax returns is for him to release additional years of tax returns. That’s the only way to settle this. So, you know, put your money where your mouth is. Let’s prove what’s in the tax returns and put all these questions to rest.

Also, it’s important to note that the average federal tax paid by people with income over $1 million per year is 25%. In other words, not only is Romney really, really good at avoiding paying taxes, he’s better at it than most millionaires. What a great American he is.


[CC image by James B. Currie]