Mitt Romney’s “bad” 2009

by pdxblake

BusinessWeek blogger Joshua Green comes up with a very plausible reason why Mitt Romney refuses to release his tax returns:

As a member of the ultra-rich, Romney probably wasn’t spared major losses [in 2008]. And it’s possible that he suffered a large enough capital loss that, carried forward and coupled with his various offshore tax havens, he wound up paying no U.S. federal taxes at all in 2009. If true, this would be politically deadly for him.

If he indeed paid nothing in 2009, that would look bad, even if for perfectly legitimate reasons.  It would reinforce the fact that those who live off investment income get preferential treatment under the tax code (15% dividend tax rate, 15% long-term capital gains tax rate).  If the theory of his zero tax year were true, then at least releasing his 2009 tax return would distract from his outsourcing, and the 15% tax rate he pays on much of his income from Bain, not to mention the questions about who was CEO at Bain from 1999 – 2002.