August 2012


But a contradiction, a hypocritical contradiction. 

Know of this family…multiple members are coal miners or former coal miners or retired coal miners, and their cars and trucks sport license plates declaring them to be “Friends of Coal.” [These plates are quite popular in coal states like West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, etc. and represent government sanctioned fund raising for coal industry “educational programs” — read public relations and lobbying activities.] Not only are these folks “friends of coal” but they don’t think too kindly of folks who are concerned about things like toxic run-off into streams, mercury pollution from coal burning electricity plants. They’re of the opinion that if you don’t like coal you ought to stop using electricity.

But, here’s the contradiction, these folks dislike the utility company and the prices they have to pay for electricity, and have been slowly shifting from using electricity for heat and cooking to using wood.  I’ve got nothing against people trying to save money, but seems to me if you’re going around declaring yourself a friend to coal and criticizing others for not supporting the coal industry, then you damn well better pay the price of supporting the coal industry yourself by using the electricity it generates.

Out here on my limb, I have a different take on the whole not-releasing-my-taxes thing by candidate Romney.

Think about this, as polarized as the electorate is, people who are already committed to voting for Romney don’t give a hoot how much he paid in taxes. Hell most of them would probably stand up and cheer if it turns out he didn’t pay any taxes for some of the past 10 years, because that’s what they want to do themselves – not pay taxes.  People who don’t want to pay taxes are probably MORE likely to vote for a candidate who has demonstrated the ability to get out of paying taxes. 

People who are already committed to voting for President Obama will get upset about Romney not paying taxes, but they weren’t ever going to vote for Romney anyway. And unlike previous elections the number of undecided, swing voters is miniscule. The Republicans already know this, that’s why they are putting so much of their efforts into preventing people likely to vote Democratic (poor people and young people and people of color) from voting, through restrictive registration rules, voter ID rules, and narrowing the time periods when voting can take place.

So why is Romney so adamant about not releasing his taxes?  My theory is that it has nothing to do with how much income he made, or how much taxes he paid, as neither of those would affect his base.  Instead, I suspect that 1) he has income from sources that would upset his base, and/or 2) he’s given money to organizations that would upset his base. 

Given Romney’s life history, I could imagine either Romney or his wife making donations to Planned Parenthood.  It’s a charity that many moderates used to like, because PP provides so much basic health care for poor women, it took some pressure off providing tax supported health care.

Or what if the Romney’s have made significant investments in the health care industry – it’s certainly been a very profitable industry in recent decades and the Romneys are savvy investors – and some of that health care money was made health care corporations that provide or pay for abortions?

I’m telling you, that whatever it is that Romney is hiding, it isn’t how much taxes he did or didn’t pay; it is almost certainly something else, something that WOULD upset his base supporters.