The press and editorialists are continuing to pummel Mitt Romney. Commenting on issues related to Romney’s federal taxes, Nobel-Prize-winning, liberal economist Paul Krugman writes:
. . . Although disclosure of tax returns is standard practice for political candidates, Romney has never done so, and, at first, he tried to stonewall the issue even in a presidential race. Then he said that he probably pays about 15 percent of his income in taxes and he hinted that he might release his 2011 return.
Even then, however, he will face pressure to release previous returns, too–like his father, who released 12 years of returns back when he made his presidential run. (The elder Romney, by the way, paid 37 percent of his income in taxes.)
While Krugman’s principal complaint is against American tax policy which gives large tax breaks to the super rich, it is Romney who is going to continue to receive the verbal abuse.
Another column written by Lee Siegel in the NYTimes complains about Romney’s whiteness:
. . . there has yet to be any discussion over the one quality that has subtly fueled his candidacy thus far and that is his race. The simple impolitely stated fact is that Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent years. Of course, I’m not talking about a strict count of melanin density. I’m referring to the countless subtle and not-so-subtle ways he telegraphs to a certain type of voter that he is the cultural alternative to America’s first black president.
While this attack on the surface seems like a low blow, there is just enough truth in it to make one ponder.
But perhaps the harshest attack of all comes from fellow Mormon (and Jeopardy superstar) Ken Jennings:
. . . it may comfort Romney’s skeptics to know that there will be little Mormon trimphalism in their man’s nomination or even election. In my experience, Romney isn’t an icon of hope to his community the way John F. Kennedy was for Catholics or Obama for African-Americans.
But for me the comparison of Mitt to Jack is not nearly as painful as the comparison of Mitt to his father George. According to Krugman, George paid 37 percent of his income to federal taxes, Mitt apparently has used every loop hole available to reduce his to 15 percent. George was active in the civil rights movement, can Mitt say anything similar? In fact, there is strong evidence that George was willing to stand up to LDS Church leaders on issues related to civil rights. George helped rebuild an ailing American Motors, Mitt was a private equity executive at Bain Capital. George, although a bit of an egotist, had charisma, Mitt has little. I admired Romney the elder, but I have trouble admiring Romney the younger.