Mitt Romney makes it so easy. The Obama for America campaign just rolled out a new and devastating ad against Mitt the secret tax returns Romney, asking how much he paid in taxes and then pointing out that we don’t know. But what we do know is that Romney approved over $70 million dollars in fictional losses to the IRS as part of the Son of Boss scandal.
That doesn’t sound good. But as bad as that sounds, Mitt Romney sounds even worse as he pulls a Palin on his tax returns, saying he’ll look up what percentage he paid and get back to us.
“Was there ever any year where you paid lower than the 13.9%?”
“I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look.”
“Did Romney pay 10% in taxes? 5%? Zero? We don’t know.”
“But we do know that Romney personally approved over $70 million in fictional losses to the IRS as part of the notorious Son of Boss tax scandal. One of the largest tax avoidance schemes in history.”
“Isn’t it time for Romney to come clean?”
What is the Son of Boss scandal? It has to do with Marriott International, with whom Romney and his family have had a long-standing personal and professional relationship (Mitt was named Willard after J. Willard Marriott, a close friend of Romney’s father). Romney was on the board of directors and he was the head of the auditing committee from 1993-1998. Criminal prosecutions resulted from the Son of Boss scheme, in addition to it being labeled abusive by the IRS, and subject to heavy penalties.
CNN reported today:
During that period, Marriott engaged in a series of complex and high-profile maneuvers, including “Son of Boss,” a notoriously abusive prepackaged tax shelter that investment banks and accounting firms marketed to corporations such as Marriott. In this respect, Marriott was in the vanguard of a then-emerging corporate tax shelter bubble that substantially undermined the entire corporate tax system.
Son of Boss and its related shelters represented perhaps the largest tax avoidance scheme in history, costing the U.S. many billions in lost corporate tax revenues. In response, the government initiated legal challenges that resulted in complete disallowance of the losses claimed by Marriott and other corporations….
In his key role as chairman of the Marriott board’s audit committee, Romney approved the firm’s reporting of fictional tax losses exceeding $70 million generated by its Son of Boss transaction. His endorsement of this stratagem provides insight into Romney’s professional ethics and attitude toward tax compliance obligations.
Mitt Romney still hasn’t responded to ABC’s requests for him to make good on his promise to let them know if there was a year when he paid less than the percentage he paid in 2010.
Meanwhile, yet another person confirms that Harry Reid’s source is not only credible, but a Republican Bain investor. The Huffington Post reported that Reid aide Jose Parra said, “This person is an investor in Bain Capital, a Republican also, and somebody who has been dealing with Romney’s company for a long, long time and he has direct knowledge of this.”