I just wanted to point out that the Harry Reid story is staying alive, thanks to none other than Fred Hiatt at the Washington Post, in a both-sides-do-it editorial titled “Reid and Romney’s sleazy rhetoric on taxes”. Synopsis: We all can agree that Harry Reid is history’s biggest villain, but where are those tax returns, anyway, Mitt?
After hearing that Romney hauled out the corpse of a welfare mother driving her Cadillac home to cook her strapping young bucks a t-bone while they watch their flat screen TV, I was wondering if Romney’s obvious, easily disproved lie about welfare reform would gain any traction. As far as I can tell, the answer outside of the Fox News world is “no”. A quick check of the Times, Post and CNN shows their ears aren’t tuned to hear that dog whistle, and Memorandum was dominated by skeptical rebuttals of the claim, while they’re still talking about Mitt’s taxes.
And even the liberal Kevin Drum is admitting that there are a few years where Romney might not have paid any tax. I think Drum and the other people who consulted their own experience, or even “experts”, on taxes were talking to the wrong people. CPAs and tax lawyers–people who can tell your run-of-the-mill small business guy with the net worth of a few million how to save a few bucks in taxes–aren’t the droids you’re looking for when you’re trying to find out how the 1% roll. One of Josh Marshall’s readers who’s in the private equity business thinks its plausible Romney didn’t pay much tax for a few years (and that other partners knew), and it’s been done before (as recently as 2010) by others.
Reid’s awful sin is that he used an anonymous source to make a plausible accusation about a set of documents that have been routinely disclosed by Presidential candidates from both parties for years. Is that so different from what journalists do every day?