By John F. Di Leo -
The Republicans have nominated – for the Presidency! – a rich man, a successful businessman at the top of his profession. Mitt Romney has made millions through his business acumen, invested it wisely, and contributed a great deal to his church and other charities.
Mitt Romney’s vision and advice have spurred many a company toward greatness; through his career as a venture capitalist and consultant, he can honestly claim to have done more to “save or create” many thousands of jobs than most politicians of either party could ever dream.
The Democratic Party detests that record. Many of today’s Democratic Party leaders – no, hopefully, not all the rank and file members, but the bosses – are consumed with hatred for everything Mitt Romney stands for.
They detest the complexity of capitalism, the fact that you can’t just make a car in your basement and sell it without a host of middlemen. They don’t understand why there have to be banks and entrepreneurs, vendors and distributors, truckers and warehouses, thousands of different suppliers and channels to create the environment that allows those cars to be manufactured and sold. They don’t see why startups need talented advisors and investors to steer companies in the right direction, or why those advisors and investors don’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts, why they expect to get a percentage of the profits. The modern Democrat has never read Leonard Read’s “I, Pencil” – and probably wouldn’t understand it if he did.
The Democratic Party has spent much of a century telling the blue collar world that the white collar world is robbing it, that the white collar world should be cut out of the equation, should be ridden out of town on a rail, or driven off cliffs like so many mindless buffalo. Today’s Democrats maintain that the blue collar world would be better off without the white collar world, that they could enjoy more profits without the investor class and the world of management taking a cut.
Never mind that without the investor class, these companies wouldn’t exist, so the jobs wouldn’t be there at all. Never mind that if the Democrats are ever successful in cutting out that “host of middlemen,” the Democrats will ensure that their cut goes into government coffers rather than into the blue collar realm anyway. They don’t admit any of this; they may not even realize it of themselves.
What matters is that a century of class envy has culminated in the ultimate match-up: a contest between a capitalist giant personally responsible for immense benefits to the world of the blue collar (through jobs and the success of the 401Ks in which even the blue collar is now invested), and a community organizer who has never accomplished anything at all, whose only success in life has been to cause discord and destruction in both our political discourse and our economy.
The Democratic Party naturally can’t allow the election to be about their nominee’s record, so they are doing everything they can to make it about the Republican nominee’s status as a member of a different class. After a hundred years of class warfare, the Democrats are running a campaign based on sheer bigotry, not on the color of one’s skin but on the color of one’s collar. The Democrats have taken their long war on the producers into the open, thinking that Mitt Romney and his tax returns are their perfect target.
Publishing a Price List
Mention of a price list, in political discourse, is always dangerous because it brings back memories of bribery scandals of the past. Lyndon Johnson’s famous price list for voting for, or even sponsoring, proposed bills was well known during his Senate days; underground prices for city licenses and permits have tarnished the reputations of corrupt city governments from Tammany Hall of the 19th century to the Chicago Machine in the 20th.
But price lists also have a logical commercial use, and as long as the products being offered are legal, a price list is something that any American voter can appreciate. We’ve all purchased from catalogs, or from the menu on the wall at a fast food place, or from the sign at the counter of a barber shop.
So as long as the Democrats so desperately want Mitt Romney’s tax returns, so they’re apparently thought to be of immense value to the left, Mitt Romney should stop thinking like a politician and start thinking like a businessman again. If these tax returns are so valuable, why on earth should he give them away for free? Name your price, Governor Romney!
There are plenty of things that the Right has wanted from the Obama campaign ever since Barack Obama emerged from the Chicago Machine to seek federal office. Before Mitt Romney just gives away a decade’s worth of targets for free, why not offer a price list?
A Proposed Price List for the Romney Campaign, 1st Draft
(for review by the campaign… there are probably even better ones than these…)
For Mitt Romney’s full 2009 Tax Return:
A full set of Barack Obama’s report cards, admission application, tuition and financial aid package from law school… in particular to determine once and for all how on earth this unexceptional student was qualified to be editor of that school’s once-esteemed Law Review.
For Mitt Romney’s full 2008 Tax Return:
A full set of Barack Obama’s report cards, admission application, tuition and financial aid package from Columbia… in particular to determine once and for all if he attended college as a foreign student as has long been assumed, and how on earth he afforded it.
For Mitt Romney’s full 2007 Tax Return:
A full set of Barack Obama’s report cards, admission application, tuition and financial aid package from Occidental… in particular to determine once and for all if he was in fact a student there, if he completed his coursework, and if he was improperly engaged in illegal extracurricular activities there, as has long been alleged.
For Mitt Romney’s full 2006 Tax Return:
A full set of proofs from Barack Obama’s publisher, with editor’s notes and sworn testimonials, to determine whether or not he actually wrote the memoirs that made him a household name, and if not, who the ghost writer really was.
For Mitt Romney’s full 2005 Tax Return:
A full set of Barack Obama’s personal passport history, properly certified and authorized, to determine once and for all whether foreign (dual?) citizenship was used to enter countries to which US travel was banned at the time, such as the famous visit to Pakistan and less famous but suspected illegal trips to other countries during the Cold War.
For Mitt Romney’s full 2004 Tax Return:
The full personnel file and work history of Mrs. Obama’s career at the University of Chicago Hospitals, with a full explanation for why her salary tripled shortly after her husband’s election to the U.S. Senate and his successful earmarking of a huge federal grant for the hospital… and a similarly complete explanation from the hospital as to why a role important enough to command such a salary was not important enough to fill with a replacement when Mrs. Obama resigned to move to the White House.
For Mitt Romney’s full 2003 Tax Return:
The full certified University of Chicago personnel file on Barack Obama from his years as a lecturer there, including all student evaluations. The President won his seat in the U.S. Senate and then the White House, at least partially by trumpeting his academic acumen as a Constitutional law scholar, but there have long been rumors that his students were less than enthused with either his brilliance or his appreciation for the Constitution. Publicizing these evaluations might go a long way toward telling us what kind of person Barack Obama is when he’s on his own, doing a normal job, without a staff of speechwriters and advisors to make him look prepared and professional.
Mind you, none of this is to say that the American people really need any of this to evaluate either candidate.
A presidential election should be about which candidate can be trusted to honor his oath of office, which candidate can be expected to appoint the best people to lead the executive branch, and which candidate is right on the issues, leading him or her to sign or veto the right bills, to issue the right executive orders, and to promulgate the best policies, both domestically and internationally.
The painful experience of the past four years has proven that Barack Obama is the wrong person for the job. From his appointments to his policies, from his abuse of the bully pulpit to his incredibly unconstitutional use of the executive order tool, Barack Obama has disqualified himself from consideration in this or any election.
The Romney-Ryan campaign wants to talk about these issues… they want to engage the public in discussion of the right solutions to our economic flat-lining and the systemic time bombs that a century of welfare state expansion have placed in our way.
The tax return issue is irrelevant to this discussion, and appears to give the left a win-win. If Romney capitulates, they can hammer him with the politics of envy; if he steadfastly refuses, they can hammer him with accusations of secrecy and the cover-up of alleged tax fraud.
The Price List approach solves that problem. They don’t have to use the examples above; the Romney campaign can certainly offer other personal issues from Barack Obama’s past as the currency to obtain each desired tax return.
The important thing is getting this idiocy off the front page and switching to the real issues in the campaign. Once we demonstrate an insistence on equal treatment of these personal issues, we can concentrate on fixing our tax code, on reducing our suicidal spending, on shrinking the regulatory burden that drives manufacturers offshore every single day by a terrifying rate.
“Mr. Romney, when will you release your 2005 tax return?”
“As soon as Barack Obama shows us whether he ever really showed up in class at Columbia, and who the heck paid for his Ivy League education. Now, let’s return to what really matters to the American voter: curing the unemployment epidemic, defusing the entitlement bomb, and turning American government back into an accelerator for free market growth instead of the free market’s fatal brake!”
Copyright 2012 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance lecturer. A former county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has now been a recovering politician for over fifteen years.
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