Does the public have the right to look at a candidate's tax returns?
July 16th, 2012
02:50 PM ET

Does the public have the right to look at a candidate's tax returns?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some Republicans and Democrats have finally found a topic they can agree on: Mitt Romney's tax returns.

Romney is coming under fire from both sides of the aisle for releasing only two years of his tax returns.

President Obama and the Democrats are trying to turn it into a major campaign issue, suggesting there's something in those returns that Romney - who's worth more than $200 million - doesn't want Americans to see.

And it's not just Democrats. Alabama's Republican Governor Robert Bentley, conservative columnist Bill Bristol and former George W. Bush aide Matthew Dowd all say Romney should release additional returns.

Some Republicans think the sooner Romney makes this stuff public, the sooner the issue will go away.

President Obama has released 12 years worth of tax returns - they're all posted on his campaign website. And Mitt romney's father - George Romney - also released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.

For his part Romney is standing his ground. He told the F-word network today that his rivals want to "make a mountain" out of the issue. Romney said he will release only two years of tax returns which is what John McCain did in 2008.

If the IRS is OK with Mitt Romney's tax returns and no laws have been broken, one could make the argument that it's nobody's business.

Romney says all of this is a distraction from the real issues of the campaign.

And that's the whole problem for Romney. The more the focus stays on tax returns, Romney's wealth, his offshore investments, etc. the less people are focused on the economy.

And the economy is an issue where President Obama is vulnerable.

Here’s my question to you: Does the public have the right to look at a candidate's tax returns?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Tax Returns
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Paul Austin Texas

    Yes if someone running for office does not want anyone to see them then they have something maybe a great deal to hide. In the long run if they do not make them public it will hurt them.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  2. JD in NH

    Absolutely we should see the tax returns. Especially from Mr. Romney given his reluctance to share them. It's like a big neon sign that says "Something Is Fishy."

    July 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

    Let me see. How many ways can I say yes? I think every public figures annual income should be published.
    That includes radio, tv movies athlets. so we know how we spend our money

    July 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  4. JM from DFW

    Yes! – Public Office, transparency is the right thing to do.

    Romney has something to hide, or in the process of trying to fix.

    He should do what his Father did, come clean!

    July 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  5. David, Tampa

    Yes. We need to catch the crooks before they get into office, and become insulated and protected by the system that is supposed to be protecting us and doesn't.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  6. Dave - Phx

    Yes, if you are going to run for president, then you should be vetted by the public. If you want to keep them private, no one is forcing you to run.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  7. jk in MN

    Yes they do – especially since Congress has stacked the tax code in the favor of the 1% over the years.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  8. donna bernard

    Yes. A candidate for public office must be totally open as to where his money came from and whether or not he "owes" alleginace to a particular source of funds. It goes without saying that all politicians "owe" somebody, a lobby or a corporation. And I believe a corporation IS NOT A PERSON.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  9. Duke from the Crowbar Saloon, Oregon

    Hello Jack and you-all! Well, now, it is very important that candidates release their tax returns to prove they are not in the employ of, say, Toxics, Inc., or weapons manufaturers, or Big Pharm, Shell Oil, etc. The Supreme Court sabotaged democracy by de-regulating campaign finance, so it is important we citizens demand candidates disclose all pertinent details of their finances. And most all candidates do release said details, those who do not deserve to lose. Romney's balking at such disclosure is very suspicious, given what we already know; could it be Romney has something, that's very damaging, to hide?

    July 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  10. Indie Pete in Florida

    For the most important and powerful public office in the world? Nah, of course not, why would we need to know about candidates' financial dealings. Question: why does a person hide their financial records? Answer: because he has things to hide; things that at best are embarrassing, and at worst, illegal. OF COURSE we have a right to see their returns!!!

    July 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  11. Mel - Houston

    I personally do not wish to see Willard's tax returns, but; the public should know the where, why and how he places his billions. If he is hiding his billions to avoid taxes that is not an attribute that a candidate for president should have. After all as President he will be representing the government of the United States and will be telling the American citizen to pay his taxes or the IRS will be placing liens on your property for those taxes. All the while he has his money strategically placed in foreign bank to avoid those same taxes. That's hipocrisy at the highest level.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Eric - Houston

    No, the public has no "right" to see a candidates tax returns or medical exams or most of the personal information candidates are asked for. Voters however can vote for or against a candidate for "any" reason they choose and so can decide not to vote for any candidate that chooses not to provide any answer or information the voter feels they need. This is a natural tension. I for one might be impressed if a candidate says this far and no further. It might be good to know they can.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  13. s in fl

    Thats a question for legal experts, Jack. It's certainly a tradition to release them. The real point is that the public has every right to ask anything they want from a man who asks to be their president. At this point it almost doesn't matter if he releases them. Romney's defining himself as being less than empathetic, secretive, argumentative, a little arrogant and apparently totally unconcerned with the opinion of about half the population of the nation he wants to lead. Its fairly astounding.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  14. Russ in PA

    No. Why should I or anyone show my tax returns to another? Of course, the best answer here is that the IRS should be abolished, and end the income tax altogether...

    July 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Sean St. Louis, Mo

    Who the hell really cares about a person's tax return. Everyone in this country knows that these candidates make a hell of a lot more than the average 'Joe'. This is not even a news story anymore...Let us worry more about real issues, aka the economy, jobs, etc!

    July 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally, I don't care about a candidate's tax returns until, that is, they make such an issue about keeping them hidden. Then I have to wonder if they're investing in terrorism, or simply companies that benefit from off-shoring American jobs. The imagination has no limits as to where it could take you. One has to wonder how Mitt ever got this far politically, personally. His behavior for personal gain has been sort of anti-American. But what do I know?

    July 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Gary in San Jose, California

    All government employees should be required to make their tax returns public. Our financial disclosure laws are a joke and aid government corruption. It's almost like they were designed this way intentionally. Go figure.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  18. David in Northern Virginia

    Is it written in campaign law? If not, then no, not a right. But there certainly exists the expectation that the candidates will shed a little light on their financial situation.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  19. jimmy

    Absolutely. And to know about his extramarital relations. And his college transcript. And birth certificate. And anything else that might discredit the candidate. No holds barred.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  20. RickFromDetroit

    Yes! If our candidates were honest individuals and we could believe everything they say, I would then say no, but our candidates for public office will tell the American Public anything they want to hear so they can get elected, and then they do the complete opposite once they are elected. Therefore, we need to pry into their private lives so we know where they stand on the issues and what to expect if they are elected.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  21. Karl from Flint, MI

    When you are running for president of the United States, your entire life is open for scrutiny. Considering what the GOP put our current president through with birth certificates, church pastors and affiliations while on an education committee for the Annenberg Foundation plus the fact that the current GOP candidate's father put out 12 years of returns when he ran and his son refuses to release more then two or even discuss the issue leaves too many questions that only his tax history can answer.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  22. Beth

    Yes the public has the right to look at candiates' tax returns. They all like to talk about transparency, so let them put their money where their mouth is. I think people are particularly interested in seeing Romney's returns because, while he is running on his business record, there is reason to believe that the business practices that made him very wealthy may not benefit Americans as a whole. I feel strongly that his unwillingness to release more than 2 years of tax returns indicates there are some things he is very determined not to have known to the public. This mumbo jumbo about still being the CEO at Bain (not to mention getting paid $100,000 annual salary in in 2001 and 2002) but not having any part in decision making is laughable. Does he think the American people are stupid? Using his logic, if my child falls down the stairs, I am not responsible because I was outside picking flowers at the time.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  23. Michael

    I'd say it's fair to ask to see tax records of Mitt Romney at the same time I think it's not fair how many in the media have ignored how President Obama since 2008 still refuses to release his college records in full and it makes me wonder now is there something there he doesn't want the world to know about?

    July 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  24. calaurore9

    Maybe not the right. But seeing tax returns is a glimpse into the financial life of the next president. It's a key part of his personal integrity and modus operandi. Perception is everything.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    July 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  25. Ruth in Indianapolis

    Yes. They are part of the information needed for people to decide whether to "employ" someone as president. The president will have control over funds and policies. We need to know whether he(she) is likely to use them intelligently and for the greater good of the country.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  26. Ed from California

    Yes we do!! Employers run credit checks on us all the time and that includes looking to see if you pay your taxes. We all would be Willard's boss, so yes, we have a right to see if he's a crook or not.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  27. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Of course not. It's private information. We do however have the right to ask to see them. We also have a right to vote for whoever we want. So if your presidency hinges on showing tax forms, you better do it.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  28. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think the public has a right to gather as much information as they can when hiring a president. This never seemed to be an issue before. Romney's father revealed 12 of his tax returns. I think what Romney is afraid of the public finding out that with all his offshore accounts he pay no taxes for quite a few years. I mean here we have a man that has been flip-flopping all around on just about every issue. You cannot trust a person like that, at least I can't.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  29. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Darn tootin’! I want to know if my president is a crook or not. Since we’ve been down that road before, we obviously know that we can’t simply take their words for it. Besides, I have to show my returns for several previous years if I want to do something considerably less important, like live in a house way more modest than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And I'm a private individual, who has no desire to run (or ruin) the country.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  30. Lydalyn

    No, tax returns are personal and not anyone's business .IRS would investigate anything that looks suspicious anyways. A politician or politician to be, should not have to disclose tax returns. Otherwise , everyone's return should be public domain!

    July 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  31. Lee in Wyoming

    American citizens most definitely have a right to see a presidential, or vice-presidential, nominee's tax returns. Trust and transparency are big issues
    when deciding who to vote for.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  32. itsmeagain

    The POTUS needs to present an open, honest face to the voters, the citizens of this
    country. If he can't do that.........don't even bother to run

    July 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  33. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Absolutely NOT! We are becoming a society that wants to "expose everyone" and that is unacceptable. What happened to personal privacy!

    July 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  34. James - Alexandria, VA

    Yes and they should make it mandatory for anyone running for President.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  35. Richard Texas

    Ill say. They are running for public office and that means they have to bare their souls tax returns and all.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  36. Beth

    In the name of transparency, yes the American people have a right to see candidates' tax returns.I think everyone is particularly anxious to see more of Romney's returns because of the Bain situation but also because he is running on his business record. His refusal to disclose more than two years worth of returns makes me believe he has something to hide. Call me cynical, but I don't think someone can become richer than God without dealing with the devil.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  37. Brad, Portland, OR


    Mitt's father, George Romney, started the practice back in the 1960s when he released 12 years of his own tax returns, saying that releasing only one year could be a fluke.

    Every Presidential candidate since has released a number of years of their tax returns, believing that it's important to understand a candidate's integrity, and to see whether the candidate is corrupt.

    Romney himself gave John McCain 23 years of his tax returns when he was vetted for the Vice Presidential slot in the last election.

    Of course, McCain took a look at Romney's 23 years of tax returns and promptly selected Sarah Palin as a running mate, so maybe there IS some reason Romney won't release his returns.

    Romney is acting like a guilty man with something to hide. Why not release the returns whether he thinks he has to or not? He already has 23 years' worth that he had to put together to give McCain.

    We already know Romney's a rich guy with a Swiss bank account and shell corporations in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

    What new information is he afraid to have the American people learn that we don't already know?

    July 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  38. lou

    Normally I wouldn't care, but Romney is running on his success in business record. If he were running on his experience in the military we would want to see his service records. If he were touting expertise in foreign affairs we would expect him to hand over his passport to see where he's been. He needs to put up or shut up.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  39. Joe from MO

    You bet we do. If Mitt Romney didn't have something to hide, he would have released at least ten years worth of long-form tax returns long ago.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  40. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Certainly Jack, they probably can't get anything on his sex life so why not his tax life?

    July 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  41. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Absolutely, they want over 300 million peoples trust. I want to see if they are all they say they are. Show me the money! If they don't want to do that the obvious question is, "What are the hiding and how much and why?"

    July 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  42. Doug Ericson

    This is not a quick yes, I had to think about it for a few seconds, but yes. If the expression, servant of the people, is to mean anything, then Politicians should have to expose their tax returns. If you are lucky enought to be rich like Romney, you can have a team of accountants prepare them for you. Or,if you are relatively poor like the Clintons were, then you just have to let your dirty laundry hang outside to dry. Also, Romney mentioned yesterday, that he was going to release another year of taxes after his accountants were through preparing them. Imagine that. A team of accountants to prepare taxes for you before the are filed,and after they are filed. I have to stop reading Romney press releases, my hair is falling out from scratching my head so much. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  43. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    We don't have the right but we have the obligation as responsible citizens. Anyone who gives half a damn about this country isn't going to vote for a pig in a poke.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  44. Mysterious

    Sounds to me like Mitt Romney is trying to have it both ways. He won't disclose the negative things that happened while at Bain, but only their successes. That being said, if the only way to found out how he ran his business is to view the tax record, then yes, we have the right to know. All other candidates have done it. He's not special. After all, America is only getting to "know the real Mitt."

    July 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  45. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes, as it holds the keys to just how honest a person is and in the case of Mr. Romney, Mormon or not it doesn't appear to me that he is being up front with us. If he has nothing to hide, he should be an open book in all areas, taxes included.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  46. Richard Hill/Colebrook,NH

    Jack, of course they do and especially regarding a Presidential Election. Jack if a candidate has such things as Swiss Bank accounts, off shore holdings which may have tax implications, the public should be made aware of it.
    The last time I checked there were only two main reasons for either Swiss Bank Account or Off shore Holdings-one as a "hedge against the US dollar and the other for tax reasons". Consequently, I would like to have enough "financial information" as possible because I would not want to be voting for someone who as President would be making both domestic and foreign policy decisions SECONDARY TO THEIR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS-holdings which would be UNDER THE IRS'S RADAR!

    July 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  47. thom richer

    If we don't, there is something very wrong. This world's economies, governments and politics are based on money. To not make a presidential candidate, member of Congress or any other position of high office, would only reinforce the already widespread corruption of government in the United States and strengthen its (government) strangle hold on the people. I am sure mine or other private citizen's returns could be opened to the public with great ease. Why not everyone's? A candidate for the president of this country, the highest office in the land, should be a prerequisite for filing one's candidacy. Until made available to the public, candidacy would be not be granted. It is too important to the welfare and security of the country and its people.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    July 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  48. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Yes sir! all candidates should show his or her tax returns. I know it like opening your privet closet all kinds things are there you do not want any one to see. Romney got himself into this, he told the American people that through himself and Bain they produce thousands jobs and most important he retired from Bain 1999. Now they found that he was owner and chief CEO all of 1999, 2000, 2001 he lie. The SEC commission and IRS are not going to lie for him, now he has to step up to the plate and prove to president Obama and most important the American people he did not lie!

    July 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  49. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Mitt Romney's extravagant wealth and secretive actions about his taxes is suspicious at best. Do we really want Obama out of the White House so much that we are willing to elect someone of less than accurately vetted character? Obama showed his birth certificate Romney should reveal his full tax returns. Whatever happened to our leaders pledging their fortunes and sacred honor for America?

    July 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  50. jen seattle wa

    If your referring to Obama's Bland Tax Return that doesnt inform us about his almost half a milllion dollar income from offshore that didnt exist until he became a millionare after he went into govt, I would say " No , we dont have a right". If you cant decipher HOw obama makes extra money offshore or whether d he use u.s. economic policy to help his foreign investments? the tax return doesnt help inform it only allows a one sided blame game of who is richer should be perceivably more corrupt.Its a joke like the u.s. laws that never protect us from immoral trade policies..

    July 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  51. Riley ODay

    YES, and with the GOP canidate its even more important. Hes not being honest about who and what he is. A rich man paying a low amount of taxes claiming to know its tough out there.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  52. Joe Davenport

    Of course w. How you made your money, and what you do with it sort of indicate your approach to goverrning. the fact that vetting teams review them spekas volumes. Mny might not know that if you file for a US House or Senate seat as amjor party candidate taht is one of teh things the party will want to see before they drop money into your race.

    When he sought the VP spot on the McCain ticket he provided at least a decades returns. Seattle Wa

    July 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  53. Kevin in CA

    For POTUS, the candidates tax returns and financial records should be released for at least 7 years. The position is too powerful and important not to have a clear understanding of that person's financial interests.
    If they don't want to provide the information, then don't run – right Mitt?

    July 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  54. John from Alabama

    Jack: Yes, because if they were crooks before running what is to say they want be crooks while in office. Mitt Romney needs to show at least 7 years of tax returns. Most candidates do not have Swiss Bank accounts, and accounts from offshore in the Cayams. People do not trust people in the financial sector, today. We have not forgotten the banks, such as, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, AIG, and Country Wide who ran the mortgage business into the ditch. What is he hiding, why is he hiding his financial background. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley(R) wants to know why he's not showing his tax returns.

    July 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  55. Sylvia from California

    NO..... It is none of our business. The law does not require it so why should the public..... This is the Obama administrations tactic of diverting attention from the real issues.....WHERE ARE ALL THE JOBS THAT HE PROMISED???

    July 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  56. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I surmise that the public has enough information already to fully evaluate the man's goals and perspective on issue of money. I think it is a bigger issue that people get back the volume control on their TV, remember that issue?

    July 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  57. lee cann

    Speak to integrity Jack. We need to know if the Romney does what he says. Does he “walk the talk”? I don’t care if he says he retired, stepped down, was on hiatus. If he was CEO, on SEC and TAX records he’s accountable for what that company does. If he (BAIN) is “betting” against or investing US dollars outside the country, I sure do what to know, it affects my vote. Remember we don’t think that much of Romney to begin with; he’s just the anti Obama guy; that’s the appeal.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  58. Richard Miller

    Romney should, at least, release his returns from 1999, 2000, and 2001. We would know what he listed under "Occupation". This would put to rest any speculation about whether he was still working at Bain Capital or not.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  59. Gordon from Virginia

    Yes! The public certainly does have the right to look at a candidates tax returns. I for one am interesting in seeing if Mitt Romney was paid $100,000 dollars in year 2000, and 2001 two years after he said he left Bain Capital. At least that is what I heard. It sounds to me like he still may have been receiving wages i.e., a salary from Bain Capital even though he was no longer in charge or working at Bain Capital after 1999 as he says. Of course we know about those documents that were filed saying otherwise don't we. How about letting everyone see those tax returns so we can clear up all this confusion!

    July 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  60. Phil, georgia

    Hell Yeah!! Just imagine if the country had took heed of Bush, Cheney and seen the Haliburton, and Oil ties to their personal success, they shouldn't have been elected and America would not have been in Iraq fighting an Oil War. Taxes also reveal character and just how far you will go to connive the system and level of patriotism to contribute to America. Romney is CLEARLY HIDING something, how are you running for the Highest Office of the World and won't release more than 2 years. I would release my life of taxes for the highest office!!

    July 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  61. David of Alexandria VA

    A few one-word answers, jack: A right to look? No. Is it in a candidates interest to let them look a little? Yes. Would a complex tax return like Romney's actually disclose any real details that the average person could understand? No. Would that stop the press and the other party from exploiting all the shadowed nooks and cranies and wasting our time with consjecture? Unfortunately, No.

    On the otherhand, we could have saved a lot of trees and internet bandwidth if Obama had simply released his own crtified copy of his birth certificate in 2007 - I guess obstinacy is a quality for presidential candidates.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  62. David - Augusta, Georgia

    Sure we do! Really would you want to vote for one candiate who makes millions of dollars a year and only pays a few percent or a candiate who makes a fair amount of money and pays the same as all other normal Americans do.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  63. Kimmy, Salisbury NC

    No that is the business of the person and his/her family and the IRS.. What we need to know is about their record and behavior.
    Are they honest Romney: Yes Obama No (Lied about HC and now about Romney)
    Do they head off disaster: Romney YES (finding an employees daughter in NYC)
    Obama: NO BP Oil Spill Day 58 and he was 'going to set up a panel'
    I could go on forever.......

    July 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  64. Carla

    Absolutely. By allowing themselves to be considered for public office, they give up all right to privacy. We deserve to know that an individual who plans to "lead" us has nothing to hide. While that doesn't ensure we're not still electing a crook, at least it gives us a shot at making a wise decision.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  65. Pete in Georgia

    Well, considering only about 5% would understand the complexity of the endless deductions and camouflage, I doubt it would benefit anyone.
    Personally, I couldn't care less what a candidate earned or how much tax they dodged.
    Only interested in someone who believes with all their heart in our free enterprise system, from top to bottom.
    The current impostor in the White House hates business, profits, and wealth; maily because he hasn't a clue how they're obtained.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  66. Loren, Chicago

    Only unless the candidate himself has raised it as an issue. Merely because someone is running for public office doesn't mean that their lives become public property. The whole issue of tax returns is simply gotcha politics, because once he reveals them, then they become additional fodder for irrelevant attacks. Yes, Mitt Romney has made lots of money for himself and others over the years,. So long as it was not done illegally, he should be admired for it. Even though I've never had the hope of making that kind of money, I don't begrudge him it. What I don't like is the apparent holier-than-thou attitude of the Democrats toward him when their ticket heads, Obama and Biden, have lived off the public teat for most of their lives and done nothing to help the American economy. Are the electorate really this stupid to fall for such a sucker play?

    July 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  67. calvin

    people in goverment can look at your tax return. so looking at someone tax turn is fair. the problem today is after theylook they can make a statement about it no one checks the fact before it is printed by the news look at CNN MSNBC NBC ABC CBS they are running the bain statement every day even when it was prove wrong by one of cnn reporter. still it a waqy to knock down Romney word and may change some people vote on false information. this was done about buh srevice record cain sex story ect. if it a GOP person it news.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  68. KB and JB central Florida

    This thing about "right to know" has been carried to the extremes – in the case of the current administration, it doesn't seem to "have to" provide any info about anything – unless it's what they want to do for whatever reason they chose to do or not do it. From everything I've read, legally, Romney doesn't "have to" provide additional tax returns, which to me means the "public DOES NOT have the automatic "right" to look at them. If he chooses to release them, fine – if he doesn't, fine.

    It's just another diversion tactic by the current administration – plant rumours, seeds of distrust, downright lies – whatever it takes to keep the focus off the main issues – how badly the current administration has done in it's "first term" (hopefully it's only term – before things get much worse!)

    July 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  69. Gail, Plano TX.

    Romney is playing dodge ball again with the American public. it is his favorite game. In other environments, it's called a shell game. Or scam. Don't look behind the curtain, says the Wizard. This time the name is Willard!

    July 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  70. Paul in NC

    The public has a right to look if the candidate chooses to release the returns. But it is Romney who has made a mountain of the issue by refusing to do so. Any person running for public office, especially our highest office, should be willing to release as much personal information as possible. Doing so gives the voting public valuable insight into their character and tends to humanize the candidate. Romney has done exactly the opposite. He keeps the media at arm's length and takes great pains to hide his financial dealings. One has to wonder why?

    July 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  71. susan in Ohio

    There's only one reason for not showing it; as in "Houston, we have a problem."

    July 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  72. Paul from New Jersey

    Not necessarily Jack, but it levels the playing field, and would be a nice gesture given the fact that Obama has released 12 years. The more he pushes back on releasing his returns, combined with the latest rumors that his name was still connected to Bain well after 1999, it is becoming more obvious to me by the day that Mr. Romney does not want us to see his tax returns because there are probably things on there that would make our collective stomachs turn, and significantly hamper his chances for the big seat in November.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  73. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No what purpose does it serve other than a talking point for the media.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  74. I'm a Rose

    Sure do, especially when it comes to a lying Republican running for President. Would you be asking the same question if President Obama hadn't showed his returns? Of course not.
    Romney released many returns to McCain when McCain was vetting him for VP in 2008. Maybe that is why McCain didn't pick Romney because he saw something in the returns that wasn't right.
    Romney is a guy that doesn't trust our Country with his money, somethhing is fishy about him. He should get his Money Manager to run for Prez., as he is the one making Romney a millionair, not Romney. Obama/Biden 2012

    July 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  75. Sarah/Dumfries,VA

    I think you are dishonest as Romney is to say its nobody's business?running for such a high office is everybody's business,what is he hidding?putting Romey in the white house is like giving a house key to a proffessional thief

    July 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  76. Jim in Denver, CO

    Yes, we have a right to see a candadites tax returns. We need to know if this person is on the up and up regarding their finances. They want us to 'buy' in to their campain, and just like buying stock in a public company you want to look at the books to make sure things are right. Same thing with the politicians. Transparency.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  77. robert

    Mcaine got 12yrs why can`t the American People get 12, something to hide.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  78. Ed in Sacramento

    It is kind of like taking the fifth, no not that fifth Jack. Apparently Romney thinks there is something in his returns that would fuel the Obama campaign's claim the he has many off shore investments. Personally, that wouldn't bother me because it just means Mitt knows how to work WITHIN the system. That is a quality which seems to elude Obama...jmo!

    July 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  79. Sarah/Dumfries,VA

    You are dishonest as Romney is,if Romney is running for a higher office then is everybody's business,what is he hidding?putting Romney in the white house is like giving a house key to a thief

    July 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  80. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    the public is hiring an executive to run the country and has the right to know EVERYTHING about them just like any other employer does about prospective employees.

    the fact that one of the candidates refuses to answer about his financies DISQUALIFIES him for the job.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  81. Mark in Houston

    You bet we have a right to look at his tax returns.

    The guy is running for the highest office in the land, is asking us to trust him with our vote, but doesn't think we the voter have a right to know his financial history via tax returns. What's the matter, something there he doesn't want us to see?

    July 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  82. Mark in BC NV

    It's Pravda's main-stream-media's (nbc, msnbc, abc, cbs, npr,etc) attempt to get the sheeple to think about this instead of the economy and the continuing recession. If 2 years is all by law that Romney has to show, then what's the issue here? Absolutely nothing. Apparently the IRS is content with Romney's tax returns and this should be good enough. Now back to the real issues facing this country.....

    July 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  83. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Of course we do. After all, whoever wants to be, arguably, the most powerful man in the world better not keep secrets. Especially when it comes to how much money they have and why lots of it is in tax free off shore accounts.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  84. David Gerstenfeld

    Jack, It's not his tax returns per se, it's a trust issue. I want a candidate that not only talks about transparentcy in government but also anything outside of his bedroom. Right now, I don't trust him. I'm sure his "people' are working hard & long to be able to release Romney's tax information in some form. Even then, I'll be suspicious. To much time.
    David, Las Vegas

    July 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  85. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Only to know that they are within the law. You can be assured if they were not, the IRS would know about it. This is just another "class warfare" tactic. There is nothing wrong with having money as long as it was obtained legally.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  86. BrainTurnedOff

    Just two years back? Why do I get the feeling Mr. Romney is not so eager to reveal how much he did NOT loose during the 2008 financial break down.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  87. Larry in Houston

    Does the public have the right to look at a candidate's tax returns?
    Answer : unequivocally / and without Reservation : YES !! (they do) this may be romney's downfall. His own base is clamoring for him to release them.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  88. Carol Shepherd, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    The President is a public servant and public service bestows great power, and in return demands transparency and accountability. The American people have a right to know, and judge for themselves, what Mitt Romney's incentives to act as President might be, based on how he has structured his own financial affairs. More to the point, being a servant means literally being a servant - the willingness to put other people's interests before your own. Romney's personality and career demonstrate none of that. He's not interested in being a public servant. if anything, he's interested in privatizing the presidency.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  89. Stephen Charchuk

    Every right since he's going to be spending their tax dollars they want to know what his "share" of it would be.....

    Yarmouth, NS Canada

    July 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  90. Mark in Topeka

    Being a candidate is tough, with your life reviewed by unfriendly eyes and by those looking for a headline. I think it is a distraction from the more important issues of the campaign.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  91. Allan Hanson Placerville, ca

    YES, I can understand why he doesn't want to release any more. Probably he has plenty to hide, considering how much he has stashed overseas. He may not even know where it all is.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  92. david doherty

    Yes!!!!!!!!! I can't even believe theres any question about it. Just the fact that a candidate is unwilling to disclose them should send his favorable rating plummeting to where it should be in the first place. I thought tax returns were public record, if your running for president they absolutely should be, just like a criminal record, unless you have something to hide it should all out in the open.
    Dave from NH.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  93. Overby

    It's a boring tax return, most Americans wouldn't understand what they're looking at. And it's Romney's tax return, it's none of our business what is or isn't on it. The Dem's can't keep dodging the important topics like jobs and the economy forever, but they sure keep trying....

    July 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  94. Linda in Arizona

    We have every right in the world to see the returns of a presidential candidate. The arrogant plutocrat says, "No, common folk, you have no business perusing the private records of your betters". If it were obama, everyone would be screaming that he's hiding something. Well, let me start the chorus. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING, GUVNA??

    July 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  95. Randy

    Not only do they have a right to look at a candidates tax returns, it should be a law that they should disclose all tax records before they're even considered for PUBLIC office. What is it about the words PUBLIC OFFICE do these privileged people not get? I guess if you're a person that's so privileged that you can admit to defrauding the government of tax money by using "tax shelters" and not be arrested like Wesley snipes or lauren hill you don't have to answer to anybody. Not even the people you claim you want to represent.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  96. stephen mccullough

    Yes public figures have been disclosing their returns for years and "mr can't tell the truth" should also

    July 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  97. chris

    i think it would be more important to know where our tax dollars are wasted on rather a candidates tax returns

    July 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  98. Gigi Oregon

    You bet they do. I'm also curious to know which timber mills, hardware warehouse/dealerships and electronic companies closed, down sized or outsourced under his term as CEO. We have every right to know what we are going to "do or die" for in this or any election.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  99. Nancy Coleman

    I don't care how much money Mitt Romney has made in the past. I do want to know that he's been above board in reporting that income and has paid his fair share of taxes. If I want a mortgage I need to supply more than one year (which is all that he has released) of tax returns in order to even be considered for a loan. That's to ensure the bank or lending institution that I have a past history of responsible earnings and reporting AND that I most likely will continue to do so. He's running for the President of the United States and I think all Americans have a right to know how reliable and transparent his reporting has been. It's a sign of his character. If he has nothing to hide he shouldn't have a problem with this.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  100. John J. Grimes Watertown, Ma.

    I truly believe that anyone who wants the Presidency that bad should be totally willing to be scrutinized by the very people he or she wants to govern. With regards to Mitt Romney, I just want an explanation as to how he claimed the $100,000 per year from Bain when he was allegedly "retroactively retired". I just tried that routine at my former job and they hung up the phone.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  101. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    It couldn't be simpler, Jack. When you run for public office, you've willingly given up any claims to privacy. Besides, aren't we all anxious to see how much over $100,000 Governor Romney took in salary from Bain Capital after his retroactive retirement ?

    July 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  102. Kim in Charlotte

    Everything is open for discussion in a presidential election.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  103. Norris from Alabama

    Yes. Just like other financial disclosure rules, this allows the American people to see where an elected official's (financial) interests lie. That way, we and the press can decipher if he's acting in our best interest or his own financial interests. Mitt Romney gave John McCain's vp selection committee 23 yrs of tax returns. As vp or president, Romney would be representing, working for and paid by the American people. We deserve to know that he's putting the nation's best interest above his own.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  104. Tony Frederick

    We as a nation, have the right to investigate and know. Who we are voting for! We could be voting for a "Charles Manson" and never know it! I want to know, the last time he stubbed his toe! Mitt Romeny is part of whats wrong with America now! Too much greed and not enough need!

    July 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  105. Tim TX

    of course the public has the right to look at any candidates tax returns if your running for any high level spot in goverment

    July 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  106. Terri Curry

    Yes, we do. If you want my vote i need to known if you are fighting for us are your friends with corporations. Nebraska,Omaha

    July 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  107. Mike from Houston, TX

    If the Republican can demand the President was born in America, then the people can certainly demand Romney show his tax returns and prove he was not associated with Bain after 1999

    July 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  108. Ed Crocheron, Venice, FL

    Absolutely. The precedent has been set, by none other than George Romney, Willard's father. If you want to be president, you must be willing to expose your entire life to the American people, tax returns and all. We do not want nor deserve any surprises.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  109. Allen

    We should know everything possible about any national candidate. We need to know because WE the People are the deciders. Would you decide this nation’s future and security based on false or incomplete information? I want to know!

    July 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  110. Sandstone

    "If Mitt Romney owe's the Inland Revenue, surely they must know? All this is about Obama's piggy-bank, and it's crack in the mould. All I really want is for Obama to lose this Election, and then disapear into oblivion. I can't stand that guy, he's too rridiculous for words. "

    July 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  111. WR Jones

    We all know the tax returns are simply a vehicle to continue the attacks on Romney, the more he releases the longer he'll have to defend from negative and outlandish accusations. I'm wondering how long Obama's team can keep creating these distractions, how long can they continue to create a "story" for the American people to define Romney., it all smacks of a "swift-boat" type approach, the very approach democrats have heaped scorn upon when used on John Kerry, but I guess it's okay now when it benefits a floundering re-election campaign.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  112. Karen, Idaho

    Yes–It separates the honest people from the cheaters. We don't need a cheater in the White House.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  113. Richard Texas

    Sure they do Jack. I mean come on, half of Obama's cabinet had the IRS after them for failure to pay taxes. It took them running for office to be discovered and made to pay. That is about the only way to get taxes from a politician.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  114. marybeth, massachusetts

    Absolutely yes. He's running for king of the U.S., and we the people should be able to see his tax returns to help us decide whether we trust him enough for the job. Romney is touting his experience as a businessman, whipping up his experience at Bain Capital as the reason he should be king. He's noticeably silent on his experience as governor of Massachusetts (which is closer to the experience required of the person who occupies the White House than being a businessman), running as fast as he can away from RomneyCare, has changed positions on everything from gays in the military to abortion, birth control, prayer in schools, social safety nets for the poor and elderly. If you look at his record of what he says, you'd never know if he's more progressive than the late Teddy Kennedy or "severely conservative". He lies about everything, and is clueless how the average American lives and struggles.

    Methinks Romney doth protest too much re his tax returns. We already know that he lied and continues to lie about when he left Bain. He's slimy because he wants to take all of the credit for Bain's success post 1999 but doesn't want to accept any of the liablity. We already know that he made $23 million plus last year and only paid 13.something% taxes, far, far, less than someone making $35,000 per year. We know that he has shovelled tons of his money into off-shore accounts (off-shore accounts, off-shoring jobs, yup, sounds like Mitt–gets his greedy paws on as much as possible and if he can step on or hurt others, so much the better) in the Cayman Islands and in Switzerland. If Mitt were clean, he wouldn't be dragging his feet over releasing his tax returns. It looks to me like his money is dirty, that he has something to hide, or that he's in cahoots with interests against this country and he doesn't want the public to know about it.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  115. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    We are hiring a person to guide and influence our lives and we need to know what kind of a person we are getting. It is general knowledge that Romney is a very rich man and that, in itself, is not a problem. However, we want to know how he managed to make this much money and the water-cooler buzz for him is not good. Bain Capital's purchasing companies, running up their debt, voiding pension plans and shipping anything left of the company's function overseas thus eliminating American jobs while Bain executives make millions on the project. Then there is the story that he was and was not President and CEO of Bain further complicates his story. And, for a prospective president to have money, not invested in this country, but in Swiss bank accounts and in Island cash-hide-a-ways is truly a problem. Perhaps his failure to provide his tax forms could explain all his money-abroad accounts. Not good.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  116. lynnej in nc

    Yes. We need to know about the money dealings. That is what we're hiring them for, to handle our money and make good sound policy pertaining to our money.

    If he/she can't open their books, it tells me that they don't need to handle the country's purse strings. They are playing fast and loose with our money as it is already.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Stephanie in Seattle

    I suppose we have that right but it doesn't really matter to me what he does with his money or what percentage he pays in taxes. A smart guy would make a lot and pay few taxes. Most likely a guy I'd like to have in charge.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Tyler Darcy (R.I)

    Absolutely. If Romney has nothing to hide then he should release them and change the story. He's either hiding something or standing on principle. Neither will help him win the White House.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  119. lauriannem

    Of course we have the right to see their tax returns, especially when they want to hide it. Can you imagine if President Obama wouldn't disclose his returns? It's just more proof that Romney is so arrogant that he doesn't need to do what "others" do.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  120. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    The tax return disclosure is a rite of passage for presidential candidates especially and we have a right to be witness to this process. There isn't anything wrong about being forthright and disclosing how and how much money was earned and the amount of taxes that were paid. In order to prop up and extoll a candidate's honesty its one test that needs to be passed with flying colors. If a politician wants to damn public scrutiny on their tax returns and refuse to disclose this information they'll get as far as Romney has gotten now. Given the shady wheeling and dealing Willard is capable of a candidate may even get further.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  121. Kathy

    No, the public does not have the right to see tax returns beyond what is required by law. Romney should stand his ground – as long as he is adhering to what the law says, then it does not matter what others have volunteered to release – that is their choice including Romney's dad. Move on to economy and jobs, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  122. Matt, Lancaster, NY

    I wouldn't say the public has a "right" to see any more than is required by law, but when a candidate's only qualification for office seems to be his private sector success and he violates tradition established by his own father to protect records of his private sector success, it's unreasonable to expect people won't be suspicious.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  123. Cal in CA

    If he has nothing to hide then he should do like most other candidates and release his returns. And I am still waiting to see his birth certificate.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  124. Josh

    Yes, I think every candidate running for the presidency of the united states should have all there tax records available for the public. What does he have to hide?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  125. Carol

    Yes we do, Mitt is running for a public officem this means he's no longer a private citizen, he'll work for the people who are his employers!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  126. C. Roy - California

    As citizens, we are reuired to be within the law. As a public ifficial, particularly those running fo4 the highest public office of the land, they should go above and beyong the law so as to earn the trust of the people. That is a moral obligation that he needs to fulfill.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  127. Aaron

    I think it's childish and juvenile. Romney has released his current tax returns and that shoud be plenty. Romneys wealth should be a sign that the man knows how to generate revenue. His success will not effect his ability to govern. Obama should stop avoiding the current events and focus on the true problems of the times!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  128. Mr. D

    We all know too much about everything in general. Most of what we know we can't do anything about, and a lot of things we don't know we would be better off not knowing. It's all a crap-shoot, politics in particular. Fact or fiction, meaningful or not-your choice.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  129. Bertin evina-Ze

    Yes, his dad did.. My feeling is that he is hiding something. How difficult is it to show the tax returns?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  130. Vic Gregor

    Governor Romney should release additional years of tax returns only if President Obama will release his high school, college. and law school academic records to the American citizens. Why does President Obama get a pass on releasing the records any applicant for for a federal government job would have to provide?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  131. Tom K. From Beverly Hills

    We should be focused on the economy!!!! Obama has made "class warfare" the central theme in his campaign and Romney's fortunes are his target. Throughout his presidency, he's attacked the rich and demonized them. Whether or not he's super rich or not, Romney has done eveything legally and that's good enough for me. Why won't Romney attack Obama on his GPA at Occidental College or his attendance at Columbia. Obama is the real mystery to me and Romney should seize on that. Outside of that Obama is using this as a distraction from his failed record on the economy.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  132. Nancy - Pella, Iowa

    No, Jack – the public does not have the right to view the candidates tax returns. However, we DO have the right to refuse to vote for someone who appears to have something to hide. We not only cannot get direct answers from Romney on issues, we also appear to be witnessing a cover up to protect himself from scrutiny. Obama gets my vote.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  133. Moderate1981

    Of course he should. We as a nation are feed up with the lies. If he will not release the returns (just like the Holder documentation) what should we think? I think the nation will build all the coupe de pa junk that falls from the National Enquirer, but if he did release it he 'might' be able to contain it. Any which way I hope he sweats on his prior engagements.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  134. Daniel, from Waterbury CT

    Yes! The voters have that right. Hiding them only makes us all demand them to be made public, to finally see what was the big deal about them...

    July 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  135. Steve D

    You are darn right we have a right to see his tax returns. Anyone that wants to use their extreme wealth to buy the highest office in the land had better come prepared to remove all of their clothes and show all of their blemishes. I don't think the tax returns are the biggest part of this issue. I want to know the full details of his shady offshore company and the contents of his swiss bank account. He says he has nothing to hide. I say of course not it is quite clear he has already hidden it. As to the F word network, they showed that shameful swiss boat ad every 15 minutes round the clock for weeks on end. Mr. Romney can holler unfair all he wants but the precedent has been set.

    Steve D
    New Windsor Maryland

    July 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  136. jlad007

    Yes. Obama posted 12 years, Romey's father posted 12 years but Mitt only 1 1/2 years.

    Here what I think is Mitt's problem...by posting 12 years of tax returns he exposes himself with the Bain issue and the offshore investments. Again, creating doubt in swing voters.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  137. JustPicky

    Romney should show 12 years of his taxes . If You Don't Have Anything To Hide , Then show your taxes .
    It's Everyones Business If you're Running for Office . I heard Romney and at that time and moment , I felt he's lying to the nation .........

    July 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  138. John Keida

    McCain realeased two years and look what happened to his campaign. The answer is yes for the simple reason that he should have been smart enough to clean up his act long ago. I am sure he wanted to run for president when he was in the 5th grade. If his planning was so inept, do we really want him to run the country? I think not.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  139. mooncatadams

    Romney – Release the returns, or we will release the hounds! Right now, it looks like you KNOW that releasing the returns will do you more harm than NOT releasing them. Something smells rotten.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  140. PiedType

    Of course we do! He gave up his right to privacy when he became a candidate for public office. He can keep all those documents private if he wants to, but he must accept the resulting skepticism and suspicion - which is entirely justified unless and until he proves otherwise. Did he learn nothing from the Obama birth certificate debacle?

    Susan R

    July 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  141. Ray Victory

    Vero Beach, FL
    Not only does the Public have the right, but we have the Responsibility to scrutinize and analyze all facets of a candidate's finances. The Presidency is far too important a job NOT to be fully conversant with all aspects of a candidate's history. If a candidate does not wish to divulge such inflormation I am sure others will be happy to fill the void his departure will create.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  142. Justin

    If Mitt wishes to control our income, we have the right to know how he earned his.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  143. B in Dallas, TX

    ABSOLUTELY we have the right. If a mortgage loan officer has the right to ask for all these documents to loan a stranger some money, then certainly 'we the people' have the right to look over a candidate's documents to ensure they are presidential worthy.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  144. Linda Nelson

    Yes, we do have the right. As much noise as they made about the President being born in America. What goes around comes around.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  145. george from Binghamton

    Duh! It is such a no brainer that it begs the question, is Romney really this stupid? If so, obviously he doesn't have the brains to be POTUS

    July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  146. Sharon

    If Romney wants us to trust his ability to make fair decisions regarding taxes, we should be able to see how he has benefitted, or not, from current and past tax law. So yes, we should see his returns.
    Dunedin, FL

    July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  147. mia

    Yes, we do have the right to see tax returns. A presidential candidate is asking for our trust, and in exchange for our trust, he or she gets our vote. There must obviously be something in those tax returns that Romney feels could be more damaging to his candidacy than just showing them to the public. To any candidate, Republican or Democrat, I say – open the Kimono or lose the election.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  148. Xavier Johnson

    Jack, the public has the right to know if a candidates character is above reproach. Tax returns have been used by many to cheat on paying their fair share to the US Treasury. Romney showed more than 10 years of tax returns to the McCain campaign; I think American citizens deserve as much now he is seeking to be our leader. What I don't think we ought to be demanding from candidates is their birth certificate.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  149. Tony H - Elk Grove, IL

    I think it is valid to find out if he is a cheater will be running our economy. If he is, then the next valid question is, "are you a hypocrite"? If no, then sounds like a lot of cheating will be going on!!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  150. Old Pessimist, Nashville

    I do not have the legal right to see Romney's tax returns, but I do have the right not to vote for anyone who hides things from me.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  151. Michael M.

    Fairfax, VA

    I'm an Obama supporter and even I think this tax return business is frivolous. Romney has consistently explained he has released all that is needed. And that's all I need in regards to that. Now, lets get back to the issues.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  152. Tony H - Elk Grove, IL

    I think it is valid to find out if a cheater will be running our economy. If he is, then the next valid question is, "are you a hypocrite"? If no, then sounds like a lot of cheating will be going on!!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  153. Gene...Delaware

    i just say it in one word....His Dad did infact 12 years worth like George Romney said one year could be a fluke ...He is not his fathers son He,s hiding something like maybe a couple of years of not paying any thing ...makes you wonder

    July 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  154. Deb fom BC, Canada

    In the context of a court proceeding for child support both parents are required to produce a minimum of three years of their personal and corporate tax returns plus various other items to document their ability to pay child support. How is it possible that a man seeking to become POTUS feels its OK to release only one tax return? (he has a filing extention on 2011 return until October 2012 so its conceivable that the 2011 Return will not be released until immediately before or even after election)

    July 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  155. T Welch

    Candidates showing their tax records is traditional and the American people expect this kind of transparency. I have a lot of questions about Romney's business dealings, and if he wants my vote, he needs to show a lot more than two years. I think all the way back to his Bain Capital days is more appropriate. True, McCain only showed two years, but he didn't get elected either.
    Romney should take cue from Dole who presented 28 years of his tax returns! He may. It have won, but there was never a question about his business ethics.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Linda

    Absolutely! For two reasons: 1, Since he's citing his business experience as the reason he's the most qualified to run our country and create jobs, I want to know if he was a contributor to the decline of American jobs and the rise of our unemployment rate by firing or laying off workers to send their job and new jobs to other countries (frankly, as a candidate for POTUS, he shouldn't have investments in companies that outsource jobs); and 2. Any candidate w/ offshore accounts must prove to America that they have paid taxes on money that is required by law.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  157. Frances Deeds

    Indeed Mr. Romney must provide the people with his tax returns if he wants to be elected this year. Why is he reluctant to provide them when his father released 12 years of tax returns. Now why can't he be like his father? Why does he not want to? I think it is because he has broken the laws otherwise he would let us see them.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  158. Manny

    Absolutely, every official in public office should disclose not only his tax returns, but everything in his personal life. That's why they serve in a "public office." NOT IN A PRIVATE ENTERPRISE.

    Hollis, NYC

    July 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  159. David

    Yeah, we need to know how many necks, backs Romney has stepped to get where he is.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  160. Bryce

    I'd think it would be to his benefit to release them. He is running on the premise of being a profitable business man. Unless it may link him to bain capital...

    July 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  161. Randy on vacation in Canada

    Obama had to show his birth certificate and there were calls to show his college transcripts. Tax returns are a small intrusion compared to that level of mistrust.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  162. Steve -- Warwick, NY

    I didn't really think that disclosing multiple years of personal tax returns was much of a critical issue... until Romney so staunchly refused to do it. Now I want to know what the big deal is! Just what is he trying to hide? Both Obama and Romney's father released 12 years of tax returns, with his own father providing a very sound, logical explanation for doing it. Maybe he could claim Obama was playing politics, making a big deal out of nothing, but what about dear ol' dad?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  163. Bobby Chugani

    Jack, Of course the candidates should show their tax records especially when they are running for president..no hankie pankie here..they must be transparent all the way...Bobby from Austin Txas

    July 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  164. mooncatadams

    I think that the Romney campaign failed to vet a key person – Romney himself ! Too many skeletons in his closet.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  165. Christopher, Okmulgee OK

    I don't think the public has the RIGHT to see them, but we DO have the right to know our candidates before we elect or reject them. By NOT releasing his tax returns however, he leaves it all open to speculation which can be damning in the end. Personally, if I had a secret Swiss bank account, hidden tax haven accounts in the Cayman Islands and was the sole owner of a corporation in Bermuda(hmmmmm, wonder what that's about), I wouldn't waste my time running for president, who wants the headache. I WILL say this though.......if it means more to Romney to invest his money overseas than to invest here in America, that should tell you where his loyalties lie. Shouldn't the President of America at least BELIEVE in America? Then again, maybe America holds as deep a place in his heart as the family pet.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  166. kelly

    The next president will have to deal with restructuring US tax policy so yes it is warranted. Secondly, taxes and regulation are part of the overall economic responsibility of the Federal Government, again yes it is warranted.

    Lastly, if you are dissing POTUS for trying to hide the real issues of jobs you are wrong, listen to his speaches and town halls really liosten and you will see that this president is fighting an uphill internal battle with his congress and he needs the people to either stand with him or fire him. Regardless, this guy is fighting every day, it seams, to try and get government involved in the economy. Reason #548 to vote for POTUS and Down-Ticket Democrats

    July 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  167. Tammy in West Virginia

    yes I think he should show those tax returns to show that he is an honest candidate,but right now the most important question is,was the change this country got what we really needed or do we need another change. I don't really think it could get much worse.If the IRS doesn't have a problem with his tax returns then why should we worry?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  168. John Kine

    No, we do not have a right to see his returns beyond the requirements. But, we do have the right to withhold our vote until any concerns are resolved. It is not beyond the realm of reasonableness to suspect the something untoward may be lurking in the return of someone whose worth is beyond $200 million. Maybe he will try to balance his ticket with a VP nominee who approches a typical American. If so, I'm available. I'm unemployed, on a pretty fixed income, have a modest net worth and my tax return for 2011 was only 21 pages. I also do not mind attending funerals and love to travel. All he needs to do is call.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  169. Dre Cali


    if it was a right to see a candidates tax return it would be law, and it certainly is not. However, it certainly the expectation when one runs for public office. That has been proven by your own admission when you stated that even his father showed his returns in 1968 when he ran for office. Obama's has shown his returns just as he did his birth certificate!!

    My question is if Rom Rom wants the issue to go away – then SHOW US YOUR PAPERS!!!

    ps. Sound familiar??

    July 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  170. Baboucarr Sylva

    The public definitely deserve to know about his previous tax return since this can be a way of determining his loyalty to the American people. If his paid taxes were less than what he was supposed to pay then his loyalty to this country should be question. This is also a way building trust with the American people since his dad show many years of tax return when he was running for office .

    July 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  171. Ceemak. La.

    Yes Jack we do have a right to see the Tax returns of a presidential candidate....and his birth certificate, and his marriage license, and his college records.......and anything else that may concern us.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  172. Jerry in Maryland

    Finally, someone said it ... has Romney done what is required or not? If there is a law that requires someone running for office to release his past fininancial information, then make him do it. But, as Jack notes, if the IRS has no issue with Romney's returns then why should the voters. To our fellow Americans who think Romney's tax returns, and for that matter Obama too, why not post your returns on the Internet for the rest of us to enjoy. The sooner we get off this crap and start looking at what counts, the better off we'll all be ...

    July 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  173. Dru in Oklahoma

    Anyone running for public office is obligated to bare their soul to the public. If they want the trust of the American people, thay should prove that they are trustworthy. Refusing to make tax documents public only tells me that he has something to hide.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  174. Nelson Origa

    Yes. Romney produced six tax returns to McCain campaign in 2008. Then, he only wanted a vice president's seat and he gave six tax returns. Now, he needs the POTUS job and he releases one and a half tax returns! He should provide more tax returns. The public needs to know more about their potential president to avoid costly impeachment process just in case it has to get into that.
    President Obama has released 11 years of tax reuturns. Romney should match or exceed his competitor's number or else lose the customers to his competitor. What exactly is Romney hiding? Cayman Island accs, Swiss bank accts? Romney can help Romney by releasing Romney's tax returns.
    The saying 'like father like son' seems to have dodged the Romney campaign. Romney should exceed his father's expectation by releasing 13 years of tax returns. His dad released 12 years of returns. What's Romney hiding? We know he is rich, but at this time he can't afford to play wile and hideous. Thanks Jack.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  175. Susan in Texas

    Asking to see anyone's tax returns is not condusive of how one will be able to compromise with the house and senate and get this country back on a roll. The only thing we really need to see is his birth certificate; the majority of politicians, starting at the top and all the way down to each city's City Council, are making money on the side and receiving gifts under the table from people who won't stop until they get their way in running a city, county, state, the way they percieve it should be run. So many young politicians who start out as a newbie soon find out they will never accomplish anything unless they play by the "corporate" rule book.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  176. tom

    We ave as much right as a mortgafe company to see records and they just asked me for 3 years

    July 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  177. Jon in Odessa, Texas

    Romney, as McCain before him, is trying set a new standard on the number of tax returns released. That way he feels he can limit the amount of ammunition the President's campaign can collect. If you want to compete in politics, you have to be competitive. Obama has trumped him on this one.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  178. Rick From UT

    I don't! I think that when running for public office, you should have to provide all necessary documents, Birth certificate etc. It seems a lot of people worried about our current failure of a president will not be re-elected, are wanting to attack Mitt for being Wealthy. There is no denying, YES Mitt is VERY wealthy. Does this mean he will be a bad President? NO in fact, being rich and having the know how to deal with great deals of money is something we NEED. The fact that he has not published his tax returns is no suprise! He wants to help the middle class, and the left will argue that he doesnt know how being so wealthy. I'm not a Democrat nor a Republican, and even i can see that the current President is taking this country down a path that will be almost imposible to come back from!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  179. Jerry Finland MN

    Yes, if you love this country you want everyone to know that you are paying your fair share.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  180. Conor in Chicago

    The American public should be afforded the right to verify how a Presidential candidate has made their wealth. How someone acquires wealth says a lot about that person. If we are going to be considering a person for a position that involves making decisions on war and peace, setting economic policy, and representing us as Head of State, how you made your forutne is pivitol to my considering who you are and how you will govern.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  181. Ruth Gentry

    Romney is obviously horrible uneasy about complying with what everyone wants him to do. So one would deduce that he is lying and hiding something that would cause him much embarrassment &/or expose illegality on his part. The public doesn't buy his excuse that showing his returns isn't required. No, it may not be legally required, but you think someone running for the most prestigious office in the world would do everything in their power to help themselves out. The public isn't stupid enough to believe he is untouchable and will get his way in the game he is playing. Money can't buy you everything, Romney, especially good character traits!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  182. Agneta Adewumi, Charlotte, NC

    Income tax returns don’t tell much about financial assets and potential conflicts of interest that can’t be gleaned from their FEC-required disclosures, and so the lack of that data hardly matters. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone is shocked that Romney is wealthy, or that he gets most of his income from investments, any more than people were shocked that John Kerry and George W. Bush were wealthy. Nonetheless, if he expects to ever win, he ought to follow in his late father's footsteps. Fcatually, there are several prominent Presidential candidates over the past 44 years who have refused to release their tax returns. None of them have actually won their party’s nomination. Romney should learn from this.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  183. yaw boateng

    definatly yes, i hv been in this country for 2yrs doing my masters, i fellow politics and one thing i knw is americans put their full trust in their leaders . if you are standing for the office of the president of united state of america you hv to be clean .mr romney can kill this case and gain momentum by releasing at leas 10 yrs tax returns and proving beyond resonable doubt that he left bain the year he so call said he did. at this time of economy americans are looking for someone they could trust . there is a saying that the devil you knw is better than the angle you dont know . americans know obama for almost four years but the trust is not fully there , they will rather keep a guy they knw for 3 and half years than rather than playing lottery with a guy who cannot release his tax returns. MAY GOD BLESS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    July 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  184. Agneta Adewumi, Charlotte, NC

    Income tax returns don’t tell much about financial assets and potential conflicts of interest that can’t be gleaned from their FEC-required disclosures, and so the lack of that data hardly matters. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone is shocked that Romney is wealthy, or that he gets most of his income from investments, any more than people were shocked that John Kerry and George W. Bush were wealthy. Nonetheless, if he expects to ever win, he ought to follow in his late father's footsteps. Facts have it that, there are several prominent Presidential candidates over the past 44 years who have refused to release their tax returns. None of them have actually won their party’s nomination. Romney should learn from this.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  185. Ron Elliott

    We deserve to know as much as possiblle about the person we are electing to take responsibility for our nation for four years. If someone wants to keep their affairs private, then they should stay out of public life!! Romney brags about his leadership ability in business and managing an economy without lettiing us look under the hood. He'd make a great used car salesman!!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  186. Jerre Morganti

    They have he right to see two years returns . I don't recall this furor over John Kerry's tax returns. If he submits more,they will only nitpick over entries and embelish them with their lies as they just did with the big SEC faux pas.
    BTW, do you think we'll ever see President Obama's college transcripts? Or his passport history? Talk about transparency.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  187. Bill - Gilbert, AZ

    Whatever Romney releases then Obama must do the same.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  188. Tim In Dallas

    I think the public has as much right to a candidates tax returns, as it does to a candidates college transcripts. Obama did not provide his, so why is there such a call for Romney to provide something that the LAW does not require him to? The Obama campaign is just trying to change the subject yet AGAIN because this president has nothing else to run on. I would like to see what Obama is hiding in his college transcripts just about as much as I would like to see what Romney might possibly be hiding in his tax returns. People are hurting and they dont really care what happened 12 years ago. Move on to the economy and whats important.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  189. Dre Cali

    Hey Jack!!

    Lets show America how this game is suppose to work....

    How about you show me your birth certificate and i'll show you my tax returns?

    This is why people are so tired of politicians and nothing can get done on the hill.

    What are you hiding Rom Rom???

    July 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  190. Harry, Rockville MD

    The price to pay for the presidency is privacy. If Romney can't afford that we'll just vote for someone who can.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  191. wwj

    YES! He wants Obama to "run on his record", Let Romney run on his.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  192. John B

    If Mitt has nothing to hide...Then..he hides nothing

    July 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  193. Jerre Morganti

    Bottom line is the economy. To give President Obama a second chance when he had full control of the HouseSenaate and Executive branch and accomplished nothing but triple the deficit, pass the Affordable Health Care Act which will surely put us over the top and grow government to the nth degree. As a lame duck President, he will do whatever he choses , not the will of the people.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  194. Mario

    Yes we should see his tax returns, i believe any government employee running for office should also prove where all monies come from including donations from corporations, lets see whos really running our government, i could go on for hours,

    July 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  195. Tyler- California

    As far as I know, Gov Romney has no legal obligation to release his tax returns. Does he have a political obligation? YES. Even Republicans are asking him to make his returns public. When it comes to Tax Returns are we back to "Don't ask–don't tell"? The more you hide the man behind the curtain, the more curiousity rises to reveal exactly that which he hopes to keep hidden. The outcome of this election is going to be decided my the presently undecided once they decide. I don't believe secrets are going to help Romney. The People are a suspect of "Secrets" and rightfully so! Romney knows this is going to become an issue similar to Obama's birth certificate, and he has decided it would be a bigger political disadvantage to him to do the expected and the requested–make them public... hummmmn? Who is that guy behind the curtain?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  196. Emmanuel M. Zarzar

    Yes. The public have absolute right to know every thing about any one vying for a public office in the Country. If one is not faithful as a common citizen, why will you think they can serve faithfully as a leader?

    July 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm |