Morning Post birthday edition

Today is the 51st birthday of Barack Obama. Funny how this tax thing has made it much more difficult for anyone to bring up the birther thing. That’s a nice change this birthday, but it’s not the best gift. The best gift is that Mitt Romney’s tax returns are now becoming a cultural cliché.

What’s really in Mitt Romney’s tax returns is turning into a set piece for any would be political humorist. Here’s an example via alternet. 10 Theories About What Mitt Romney’s Really Hiding in Those Tax Returns

That’s the kind of stuff that pushes out into the layers of voters who don’t pay attention to the chattering classes.
My guess is there’s nothing out of the ordinary in the returns if you list your occupation as vulture capitalist and tend to shift a lot of your holdings overseas to reduce your tax burden. I’m sure that if we all could discuss this in a ‘quiet room’ there would be no disagreement that as Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom recently said, the candidate “has never zeroed out his tax liability” and has always paid “100 percent of what was owed.” So leave the man alone. What is it with you people?

Except Romney knows that an election is not a board meeting and what’s in the returns will be discussed in very loud places like say, what we now call Carolina Panthers Stadium. You might want to recall that Romney’s 2011 tax return has yet to drop.

The calculation seems to be that he can ride to victory without more transparency. If he were a charismatic type who could deliver a barn burner he could probably get away with it. But he’s said it’s his business experience that makes him more qualified than the current occupant of the White House. If we can’t see the for the record the complete picture of the fruits of his labor in the business world, then his major claim to the presidency falls apart.