Romney set to release his tax returns this Neverday.
Polling suggests that 63% of American people would like Romney to release his tax returns, but does that mean it's really an important issue or is it time to move on? I say move on. Why? There's a big difference between the information Americans get and what actually motivates people to take action.
It's worth considering that despite all the damning evidence, 46 million Americans still smoke; the majority of us are heading towards obesity but only 30% of us look in the mirror and think we aren't fatties; 1/3 of Americans believe UFOs regularly visit the planet and yet only nut jobs and in M. Night Shymalan films do people put on tin foil hats; on top of that, we're an aging population, but 75% of Americans nearing retirement age have less than 30k in their retirement account. It's also worth noting that 80% of us believe in the afterlife, but that may be explained by the fact that we've got so much debt, the only way we are going to pay it off is get employment in the afterlife.
The most important reason the tax return issue is big who-cares-athon is our romance with the rich. We respect people who know how to make money, we even like people who just look like they're rich, which is why The Donald, whose bank accounts have often resembled his comb-over, a whole of fluff covering up a whole lot of nothing, has a "the" in front of his household name.
Every time someone brings up his tax returns, it's just another opportunity for Mitt to remind us exactly how rich he actually is, which is very. No, very isn't a strong enough, word, supersized is more like it, and we believe we will get to be rich like him. Half of Americans between 19-29 believe they will get rich, 8% who are over 65 think they have a shot of still at getting rich, but less than 10% of Americans actually move beyond the class they were born in. It's almost as bad as the Indian caste system, which may explain why gold prospecting is up where I live in California. We simply refuse to believe we won't be building our own 55k car elevator.
On top of that, if you look deeper into the stats, 45% percent of people don't believe that releasing tax returns will affect the elections. Why is that? Maybe it's because, let's be honest, no one in America understands their tax returns.
Except Mitt and his crack teams of people-I-wish-I-had-enough-money-to-have-do-my-taxes and that's why he's going to release them this Neverday.
Let's stick with things that we know really motivate people... like the "hair parting theory." If there's any data that explains why the race is polling so tightly right now, that's the one I'm sticking with.
It turns out that only 6.79% of presidents elected have right parts, the majority are left-parters. McCain and Pailn? Both right-parters. Mitt has a left part and both Biden and Obama are no-parters, hence the public's confusion. Both Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are left-parters, which is why, as a Democrat, I'm hoping Mitt chooses Paul Ryan, a right-parter -- far right, in fact, and that's noted with no irony at all. That may be the ultimate deciding factor. Far fetched, maybe? But any more far fetched than the fact that Americans spend upwards of $50 billion on lottery every year.
I'd love to be around on that neverday when Mitt tells us, but for today, I'm just watching the hair.
Follow Annabelle Gurwitch on Twitter: www.twitter.com/annabelgurwitch