WASHINGTON, D.C. – Willard “Mitt” Romney’s tax returns have been a subject of discussion and speculation since the Republican presidential candidate decided to only release his returns for the past two years.
Now Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt is offering up to $1 million for details about Romney’s “unreleased tax returns, and/or details of his offshore accounts and business partnerships.”
Democrats have blasted the multi-millionaire politician for his refusal to expose more details of his own finances. Since 1980, all but one major party presidential candidate have released at least five years of returns. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden each released 12 years of returns.
This summer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed that a Bain Capital investor told him Romney paid no taxes for ten years.
But Democrats haven’t been the only ones critical of Romney’s refusal to release more information. Conservative political commentator George Will said, “Look, what Mitt Romney has said is he has released, and I quote, ‘all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.’ Now, the something is a pregnant word. And people are going to say there’s — the cost of not releasing the returns are clear. Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”
Businessweek Senior Correspondent Joshua Green speculates that Romney paid no taxes in 2009, as a result of carrying forward losses suffered from the 2008 stock market crash and utilizing various offshore tax havens.
The U.S. Secret Service is reportedly investigating claims that hackers have stolen Romney’s tax returns and plan to release them on Sept. 28 if they do not receive $1 million.