Gene Robinson, howlingly wrong!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

Happy returns of the script: You’ll rarely see a journalist who is so flatly wrong.

Usually, scribes are more skillful. Why say something that is wrong when you can say something misleading?

In today’s column, Gene Robinson urges Candidate Romney to come clean with his tax returns. In the process, Robinson recites a howling, erroneous script:
ROBINSON (8/7/12): Who is this alleged source? Reid won’t say. It’s reasonable to question whether the source even exists, much less whether he or she would be in a position to know what’s in those tax forms Romney is so reluctant to reveal. It’s understandable that the GOP candidate and his surrogates would accuse Reid of an unfair attack.

But they can’t prove it’s an untrue attack unless Romney does what conservative commentators and Republican insiders have been urging: Release the tax returns, as Americans have expected of every presidential candidate since, well, since Romney’s father set the standard in 1968.

[...]

Romney did release his 2010 tax return, and he promises to release the full 2011 return when it is completed. No recent presidential candidate has tried to get away with such meager disclosure.
Wow. That is just flatly wrong, although it's the tale we Dems like.

Duh. In 2008, Candidate McCain released only two years of his tax returns. Even that release was of limited value, since the McCain family’s extensive wealth was accounted for in his wife’s tax returns. (The McCains file separate returns.)

Robinson’s paper, the Washington Post, insisted that Cindy McCain release her tax returns. In September 2008, John Broder (no relation) of the New York Times explained where matters stood:
BRODER (9/13/08): In April, Mr. McCain, of Arizona, released tax forms for the last two years, but the bulk of the McCain wealth remains in the hands of his wife, Cindy, whose returns are filed separately and have not been released. (She released only a summary of her 2006 income tax return this year.) As the heiress to a large Anheuser-Bush beer distributorship, Mrs. McCain is worth perhaps as much as $100 million. The McCain campaign has said that she will not release her full returns to protect her family and her children.
In mid-October, Cindy McCain released a two-page summary of her tax return for 2007. The final tally:
Candidate John McCain’s tax returns:
John McCain released tax returns for only two years—2006 and 2007.
Cindy McCain released two-page summaries of her tax returns for those same two years.
When Romney releases his tax return for 2011, he will have produced fuller disclosure of his wealth that Candidate McCain did—or the same amount of disclosure, if you don't want to count McCain’s wife.

Romney has cited this fact on the trail. Robinson types something different today—something that's flatly wrong.

Observers may think two years isn’t enough—but Robinson’s statement is flatly inaccurate. The culture of the pseudo-conservative world continues to spread through our tribe.

The returns of Candidate Kerry: In 2004, Candidate Kerry released a boatload of tax returns. But in that case, the family's truly gigantic wealth was in his wife's tax returns.

(The Kerrys are generally reported to be far wealthier than the Romneys.)

Here too, Robinson's paper insisted that Teresa Heinz Kerry release her returns; like Cindy McCain, she refused. In the end, she released short summaries for two years of returns, as Cindy McCain later did.

You can score Kerry's disclosure however you like. But at best, McCain released two years of returns. Robinson's statement is tribally scripted but wrong.

13 comments:

  1. And prior to election, Jimmy Carter released one year of tax returns, showing he paid a 12.8% rate.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/07/16/carter.pdf


    When Carter released his 1976 returns in 1977 after he had become president, it was revealed that Carter owed no tax for 1976. He offered to pay $6,000, juts cause he was nice.



    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1876&dat=19770625&id=sXYsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=v8sEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6372,4813282

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  2. The Anonymous IdiotAugust 7, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Presenting these facts means you are in the tank for Romney.

    [/idiocy]

    ReplyDelete
  3. Give Robinson part credit for acknowledging that Romnew has released some tax returns. I see many who carelessly (or intentionally) portray Romney as not having released any tax returns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Some", as in one, singular.

      Delete
  4. We don't know anything about Romney except that he wants to cut taxes for rich people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh! I guess "we" haven't been paying attention, not even to the Howler.

      But that doesn't stop "us" from crowing our ignorance.

      Delete
  5. I think we've seen this" scenario via Donald Trump's most recent bit of demagoguery.

    Entertaining that nonsense rightfully made you an extreme partisan opportunist and/or fool, in the larger media.

    Now "prove yourself not guilty" has a bit of a ring to it with these guys. So it goes.

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  6. Ed Schultz said tonight that McCain routinely released tax returns as a senator. I don't know if he's right about that, but if he is, it casts McCain's disclosure in a bit different light.

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  7. DH, did you read Maureen Dowd today?!!! Meeeeow! Obama doesn't send thank you notes! Wah-wah, boo-hoo!

    Unbelievable. What a nihilistic Harpy she is. And what a slough of national-discourse-destroying dross the Times has become!

    ReplyDelete
  8. McCain, like Romney, is an outlier, as was Reagan who released one year and Nixon who didn't release any tax returns. McCain released two years of returns (did he release any returns as a senator?) but Bob Dole released 29 years of returns, W. released six years, Bill Clinton released 12 years, Dukakis released 6 years, and FDR released 25 years and Gore released eight years.

    Sources:
    http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/web/presidentialtaxreturns

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/01/bill-clinton/its-typical-presidential-candidates-release-10-or-/

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/how-many-years-of-tax-returns-have-presidential-candidates-released-in-the-past-pictures-20120719

    ReplyDelete
  9. McCain, like Romney, is an outlier, as was Reagan who released one year and Nixon who didn't release any tax returns. McCain released two years of returns (did he release any returns as a senator?) but Bob Dole released 29 years of returns, W. released six years, Bill Clinton released 12 years, Dukakis released 6 years, and FDR released 25 years and Gore released eight years.

    Sources:
    http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/web/presidentialtaxreturns

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/01/bill-clinton/its-typical-presidential-candidates-release-10-or-/

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/how-many-years-of-tax-returns-have-presidential-candidates-released-in-the-past-pictures-20120719

    ReplyDelete
  10. i am just more and more amazed at how stupid the political discourse in this country has become. the country is essentially going to hell in a handbasket, and we are going to worry about which presidents released how many tax returns. I am sure all of the people running for president have more money than i do...and are likely paying a lower tax rate than i am...can we discuss something important now...

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  11. Since McCain released two years records and Romney has only released one, lets define howlingly...

    ReplyDelete