No matter what happens tomorrow—and I urge you to step away from the bullshit "think-pieces" alleging that the race is super-close because national polls are tight, because they don't help anything—there will be one verifiably true fact: Mitt Romney will somehow have managed to get through six or seven years of running for president without releasing his tax records. The records he did release all fell well after the time when Romney was running for president, so they've presumably been scrubbed clean. This is an exceptional achievement.
That means that stories like this one are as close as we'll ever get to understanding Mitt Romney's taxes. Turns out, he was funneling millions of dollars into the Netherlands, and getting millions back, tax-free:
According to an investigation by the website Follow the Money and the Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant, Romney has made millions of tax-free dollars through the private-equity company he established in 1994—during his pre-political days—Bain Capital.
Although Romney stepped down from Bain in 1999, he and his wife were reportedly still allowed to invest in the company until at least 2009, and were still reaping the benefits in 2010 and 2011.
And as part of his so-called “golden handshake,” the investigation says Romney got a severance deal that paid him in capital gains rather than salary, meaning the taxes he had to pay were significantly lower.
Combine that with the Bloomberg story I told you about last week—the one that said Romney was basically renting the Mormon church's tax-exempt umbrella for his own fortune—and you have a man who has successfully avoided paying the United States millions upon millions of dollars in taxes. This is the same man who says we can't afford things like FEMA and health care. Maybe if public-sector Mitt promised to hold tax cheats like private-sector Mitt to their patriotic duty, we wouldn't have so much debt right now.