Type to search

The Romney Stall: My $10,000 Bet

Memo Pad Politics

The Romney Stall: My $10,000 Bet


Here’s a $10,000 bet: Mitt Romney will stall and stall before opening his tax returns. His strategy is to open the returns after he is officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in August.

Earlier in my career, I negotiated large, complex contracts. The first rule of every negotiator is to have a strategy. One effective strategy is to put off addressing the most difficult issues until the end of all other discussions. Then, after all of the deal participants have spent untold hours on other details, are tired, and can envision a successful outcome, it’s far easier to tackle the hardest issues. At this point, everyone wants to be done so badly that inevitably some compromise is reached.

Mitt Romney is now pursuing precisely this type of negotiating strategy with the Republican Party. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is either unable or unwilling to recognize what’s happening.

There seems to be little doubt that Romney is hiding something. Indeed, even a critical piece of his 2010 returns has still not been opened to public view. The only question is what Romney is hiding. Speculation has ranged from questionable practices related to his “magical IRA” with the seemingly impossible value between $21 million and $102 million, to the creation of a “blocker corporation” which would have lawfully enabled tax avoidance (effectively invalidating Romney’s claim that his foreign holding had no impact on his U.S. taxes), to the possibility that he paid no federal taxes in 2009 because of large capital losses (a legal but politically deadly possibility).

In effect, there are now two potential realities. The first is that Romney’s off-shore activities don’t reveal any outright illegality but show a host of questionable or politically unpalatable practices. My money’s on this one.

In this case, Romney’s strategy is to force Republicans, willingly or not, to line up and uniformly defend whatever his tax returns ultimately demonstrate. Indeed, once Romney is the nominee, the Republican Party potentially will face a Hobbesian choice: Either vigorously defend practices which would otherwise be indefensible (and characterize them as good and virtuous) or somehow remove Romney from the ticket, which would almost certainly hand the election to Obama. Once Romney is the official nominee, it would be a disaster for the Republicans if he were forced off the ticket. Romney is calculating that Republicans will join ranks and vigorously defend whatever indefensible behavior he is now hiding.

Bruce Judson

Bruce Judson is a bestselling and award winning author, a successful entrepreneur and one of the nation’s leading experts on the implications of rising inequality in America. Most recently, he has been developing, and writing about, a practical theory of sustainable capitalism in America, and how this often differs from current federal and state policies. He writes a regular column titled “Restoring Capitalism” for the Next New Deal Blog, a project of the Roosevelt Institute, and recently served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. Judson’s most recent book, published in 2009, It Could Happen Here: America on The Brink , forecast the rising levels of economic inequality in America, if unchecked, would lead to extreme political polarization, absolute political paralysis, anger and mistrust throughout the society, the collapse of the middle class, followed by protests and reform or political instability.

  • 1


  1. Elisabeth Gordon July 20, 2012

    If this guy is elected, all of those who voted for him deserve what they get….the rest of us, however, don’t.

  2. highpckts July 20, 2012

    He is one devious guy with his jeans and plaid shirts and whatever else he needs to “fit in”! I don’t trust any politician to tell the truth but he truly is a piece of work!!

  3. Melvin Chatman July 20, 2012

    The Mrs. has spoken and it’s official:
    “That’s all YOU People get”
    Can’t be MAD at her when it’s her “BIRD NEST’ on the Ground that’s being threatened, so $10,000.00 is a good bet – you can collect NOW!!

  4. howa4x July 20, 2012

    Romney dosen’t see this as a real issue because he is part of the 1% that is accorded benefits that the other 99% don’t have, like the ability to set up corporation in Bermuda, and have accounts in the Caymans and Switzerland. This is normal business investor practice and I’m sure he can’t see why we even question him on this. Off shoring jobs was a central part of NAFTA and other treaties, and the investor class made millions/billions on this practice. Bain is part of that, no question about it. He dosen’t want to release them because of the big lie they contain, the one where he was still active and reciving compensation from Bain after 1999 to 2003.
    As for the republican defense, Obama needs to show the american people how the republican led house and the 60% rule in the senate stymied everything he tried to get the economy moving, from the jobs bill to the constant votes to repeal of the ACA, this is a do nothing congress. I’m sure Boehner and Mc Connell don’t want the spot light turned brightly on them, especially if they are defending tax isues that created the largest gap between the 1% and the rest in history. American corporations have stashed billions away and don’t want to employ anyone because that desperatly want Obama to loose, and people like Romney is part of that. The central question being, how many jobs did you create with your 250 million Mitt?

  5. Rvn_sgt6768 July 20, 2012

    What I fail to grasp is how every word out of mitteys mouth is a boldfaced LIE and how in God’s name can anyone stand to listen to him? Much less defend his constant lies. I have met only a few pathological liars in my life but this one is the king of them all. America does not deserve to be dragged down to his level on anything. I don’t care how he came from money and made even more, but for the wealthy to write the rules allowing this to happen and then when confronted about it tell the rest of us to “eat cake” rubbing our shitty little noses in it makes me realize we have very little time left before America will be even more corrupt than what England was prior to the Magna Carta. History does indeed repeat itself. Perhaps the overthrow will be also even bigger this time. Hard to watch the Middle East going through the Arab Spring and we continue to decline at the pace we are and all because of the laziness of the elites we have here.

  6. Landsende July 20, 2012

    If he has nothing to hide he should have no problem releasing his tax returns back to when he supposedly quit or as he likes to say retroactively resigned. If your going to run for president you need to be transparent about everything in your life because sooner or later there’s going to be a Donald Trump type out there demanding answers.

  7. jarheadgene July 20, 2012

    Mr. BOEHNER and Mr. McCONNELL MUST GO…..Vote those two DO NOTHING…Corrupt pieces of crap out of office. THEY have not cared about America since Obama took office…..one solid purpose in mind…get Obama out. TIME to turn the tables. They should have been focusing on the messes in our Country…..They let ALL of us 99% down…..that means NO VOTE for them.
    This is where we have the chance to FLEX our MUSCLE…ONE PERSON 1 VOTE.

  8. Michael Ross July 20, 2012

    My money is that Romney will release only one more year in October, if ever at all. He knows there’s an absolute nightmare waiting for him in those returns and has determined that the frustration of him not releasing them is preferable. So what he’ll do is what he’s done once before already; Produce the bare-bones minimum as late as possible, then stomp his feet and cry when anybody asks where’s the rest of it.

  9. Bigspender July 20, 2012

    Romney’s message to republicans:

    “I am what I am and you’re stuck with me whether you like it or not. Just be glad I’m not another George Bush.”

    As always the republicans are stuck with the candidate they hate the least.

  10. joyscarbo July 20, 2012

    What the hell is Boehner talking about? He says Obama has done nothing with the economy but the republican congress won’t let anything happen at all!!! Then he says that Obama can’t run on his own record, but Obama does frequently cite his own record. I think it’s Boehner who is trying to deflect attention away from Mitt’s unwillingness to disclose his tax returns. It’s almost certain that whatever is in those documents will be found to be illegal or unethical.

    1. Lynda July 20, 2012

      They speak as if they are actually trying to improve the plight of average Americans, when as you point out they’ve stood in the way of all progress since the very day Obama was scorn in. Unfortunately, such nonsense works on the majority of our ill informed and non-engaged public. The old badger game with a little deception, divide and conquer tossed in for flavor… works too well.

  11. Hillbilly July 20, 2012

    Romney is not man his father George was. When George Romney was running as a candidate for the right to be the Republican candidate for President he released 10 years of his tax returns on his own no one had asked for them. But his son is just releasing two tax returns and saying he won’t release anymore because they would give ammo to use against him during the campaign instead of talking about the economy, jobs, and so on. Why does Romney and the Republicans want to talk about the economy or jobs now? Republicans are the reason that the economy has not recovered any faster than it has and the reason there have not been as many jobs opened as is needed to put all back to work. Everything President Obama has tried to do to help this country recover Republicans has thrown a money wrench into it by their filibustering and the stupid rule that there has to be 60 votes in the Senate for a bill to pass when a majority vote is suppose to be 51. The Democrat that came up with that rule needs to be kicked to the moon, it has hurt the country as much as the Republicans have.
    Don’t bet on Romney releasing any more tax returns than he already has. He won’t release any more returns because he doesn’t want the American voters see how he has used the very big tax loopholes that benefit the rich to keep from paying taxes and where his money is really invested.

  12. Calvin Hill July 20, 2012

    An higher respect now has to be paid to Sen. John McCain. Who would have thought that the GOP would nominate a presidential candidate that would give Sarah palin gravitas.

  13. quasm July 20, 2012

    Mr. Judson;

    Why aren’t you badgering Pres. Obama to release the documentation on the ‘Fast and Furious’ debacle? After all, people died as a result of that Obama administration program.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

    1. Lynda July 21, 2012

      What a strange comment indeed. I can’t help but wonder if you are in any way interested in truth. The program was not run by the Obama administration as anyone paying attention clearly understands.

      After 18 months of investigation by Issa crowd, and even he admits, there is no evidence showing Holder, his top lieutenants, or any White House officials or staff authorized the discredited methods used in Fast & Furious by the ATF agents in Pheonix, AZ. Or for that matter that they deliverately concealed informaiton on those tactics from Congress. This is just a wagging of the dog.

      The investigation has run it course and all of the political points that can be gathered are already in it will go no futher. The contempt voting was Issa’s out of a deadend investigation. He knows full well that the legal issues will go way beyond the election cycle. After that is of no concern to him or Congress.

      The thousands of pages of documents already provided by the DOJ, and countless committee meeting has shown ovewhelmingly that the tactics ued were conceived by field agents of ATF in Pheonix, with very limited involvement from DOJ.

      Perhaps most telling was the testimoney given behind closed doors by the former head of the ATF who told Issa and his committee that the White House had nothing to do with the methods and operations.

      If you really want to get the fact straight in your head I strongely suggest that you read the Fortune article ‘The Truth about Fast & Furious’ written by Katherin Eba. Google it and get informed.

      BTW, the docs being denied the Congress are internal and after the date the program was terminated by AG Holder. The witch hunt is just a time and money waster after 18 months. Enough is enough.

      1. joyscarbo July 21, 2012

        Thank you, Lynda…
        Fast & Furious is just another way that republicans spend taxpayer money to whoop and hollar with no evidence of wrong-doing after all the fuss.

        Now get up off the IRS tax returns, Mittens!!!

  14. DurdyDawg July 21, 2012

    I told you why.. To give his CPA minions time to doctor them up. That’s why members of the IRS needs to be present when he reluctantly reveals them, then the IRS can compare them to what he actually presented to them. The dirt bag ‘s a fraud.

  15. William Deutschlander July 21, 2012

    It follows and fits with Mitt’s pattern of EXTORTION, he did not earn millions he extorted millions from others! Be they stockholders, employees or the taxpayers he extorted from them producing nothing of VALUE TO SOCIETY OR THE ECONOMY!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next Up