Is Mitt’s tax problem a church problem?
From “Harry Reid Gives Mitt Hell,” Bill Buck, CBS Boston:
“But the source coming to Harry Reid for these revelations [about Mitt’s not paying taxes for a decade] adds a level of intrigue. Reid just happens to be the highest-ranking member of the Mormon Church in the history of this nation.
“It is likely that Senator Reid’s source shares the Mormon religion with Reid and Romney.
“That message will not be lost on Romney. If the Bain fortress is not a fortress; if people are talking, Romney knows that trouble lies ahead.
“And the motivation for this leak may not be political. It is likely personal and tied to the Mormon Church.
“Specifically, if Romney was hiding money from the IRS he may have hidden money from his church.
“It is expected that members of the Mormon Church tithe a minimum of ten percent of their incomes. But if Romney was not paying taxes and hiding money, then his disclosure – which itemizes deductions, including to the church – would tip off his actual income to the IRS.
“Even more telling, Senator Reid specifically says that Romney’s father, George, would be ashamed of his son.
“It is true that Mitt’s father, who set the precedent of releasing multiple years, would be ashamed of the son’s lack of disclosure.
“Another reason for such a strong statement from Reid is that Mitt’s father would be ashamed for religious reasons.”
I think the key element here is not that Reid is a Dem and Romney is a Republican, but that both are Mormon. I don’t think Reid would attack Mitt unless he was confident of his source because he would be sensitive about attacking a fellow Mormon, given that it is a minority religion that has been harshly persecuted in this country. It’s a strong tie that would make Reid, whom I see as a very cautious guy anyway, extra cautious.