"It's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally," Sen. Lindsay Graham said recently, in real life.
Okay, then! Add that to the list of all things all-American. Here I've been small-minded and thinking about apple pie, the Fourth of July, Big Macs, high-fructose corn syrup and outrage. Tax dodging is patriotic too? Sure, I'm game. I mean, maybe I'm already doing my bit for America. Every year at tax time I collect my receipts (thank Al Gore for Internet banking!), dump them on my ace accountant and pray, "No whammies! No whammies! No whammies!" I try to get the highest return possible–little did I know just how American I am by doing this.
Now trust me, I love my accountant. He's worth every penny. But is he as patriotic as Mitt Romney? I'm not so sure. I think Mitt might be willing to do more than the average American. I'm talking about going beyond simple tax dodging and into the hazy, patriotic mist of offshore bank accounts and tax havens.
If avoiding paying taxes is American, offshore bank accounts and tax havens are basically George Washington on a bald eagle rocking out to a Springsteen power ballad with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. riding shotgun and reciting "I Have a Dream" on a megaphone over amber waves of grain. They're not illegal–any tycoon can take advantage of them, as long as he has an army of well-paid financiers working around the clock to protect his family jewels (and his family hedge fund returns). That sounds like good old American know-how to me. USA! USA!
Mitt Romney is a shining example of this type of patriotism at work. He has a Swiss bank account, as well as accounts in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Yes, keeping such accounts is a bet against the U.S. dollar, and no, it doesn't look good for someone who wants to be president to be betting against the very country he wants to run, but do you blame him? The country is being controlled by a business-hating Islamo-socialist, you guys. Rome is burning. And Mitt has the good sense to invest in accelerants.
Yet controversy about Romney's tax returns shows no signs of slowing. Here's my theory: People are just jealous. I know I am. I want that sweet offshore bank account setup Mitt has. I yearn to be as American as he is. Like, in 2010, he only paid $3 million in taxes on $21.7 million he received from his former employer Bain Capital. How in the name of Ronald Reagan did he accomplish that remarkable feat? We'll never know. Bain Capital is tighter than a monkey's fist about its earnings, and Mitt Romney is Mitt Romney, so the real answer will remain as elusive as Kim Kardashian's talent.
All I can say is, will you do my taxes, Willard? Please! I want to know what it's like to be a real American.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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Tags: Indecision Delegates, Mitt Romney, Money, Taxes