Opinion: Show me the money, Romney!

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen is a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

On Jan. 24, the former Massachusetts Governor released his tax returns to the public eye with many people saying, “Well, it’s about damn time!” There have been questions as to whether Romney has something to hide because he didn’t want to show his tax returns until April. The candidates bothered him and the media got in his face about it too.

At least he’s been consistent, because on Jan. 21, 2011 he told reporters from MSNBC that he didn’t intend on releasing any tax returns. Jump to December of 2011, Romney’s still giving the same runaround he gave MSNBC nearly a year ago.

“Time will tell,” Romney said. “That’s not something I’m planning today, but never say never.”

Anytime I hear that, I can’t help but think of Justin Bieber movie “Never Say Never,” but that’s neither here nor there. Point being, Romney still refused to show the media his tax returns.

He even refused during one of the Republican debates on Jan. 16, 2012 when he told the public he’d show his returns by April, when everyone is required to pay taxes. It took a lot of shaking around and verbal torture to finally convince him to release them, which he did finally on Jan. 24. So, what does he have to show?

According to Republican Candidate tax returns presented by The Wall Street Journal, he’s spent nearly $6 million in taxes within the last two years. For some, that’s a lot of money. For most, that’s like a close family friend having his arm ripped off and saying, “And that’s why you always pay your taxes!” If any of you remember J. Walter Weatherman from “Arrested Development,” you know what I’m talking about. It’s more money than most people can comprehend.

To give the rundown on his returns, MSNBC showed his full 2010 tax return and estimated his 2011 tax return. He showed us the $6 million, and his charitable contributions came to $7 million, which basically spells karma. His effective tax rate comes to 14 percent with a combined income of $43 million. In other words, his overall effective rate comes to about 13.9 percent and that means he spends about $56,986 a day.

Yep. Nearly $57,000. These are the straight facts on Romney’s financial records. He’s a very wealthy man, without a doubt, but what would that mean if he ends up being our next President?

On Dec. 10, 2011, Romney placed a bet with Rick Perry during the debate in Iowa. A $10,000 bet on Romney’s position on the individual mandate in the nation’s new health insurance law. The bet itself made him seem greedy, and Perry’s decline was the smart move. It just implies that Romney’s not going to hesitate to throw money around like it’s confetti.

It’s 2012. With the remaining four candidates running for office, we can’t just rely on a Democratic leader or a Republican leader. We just need a leader, and if that means one of them is willing to “make it rain,” then my vote is fairly skeptical. I’m not going to vote for someone who’s throwing money around in this economy — and no one should. Let’s hope in the upcoming primaries, no betting will occur.