07/10/2012 03:36 pm ET Updated Jul 10, 2012

Mitt Romney Assures Everyone There's Nothing Special About The Tax Returns He's Not Releasing

Thanks to a Vanity Fair article by Nicholas Shaxson detailing the "the murky world of offshore finance" and Mitt Romney's "pretty strange" offshore holdings, the unsettled issue of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's tax returns is back in the news.

Remember how it briefly became a thing during the primary season? Oh, what a time it was. At one of the 4593 debates hosted by CNN, Mitt Romney promised that "as has been done in the past, if I'm the nominee, I'll put [my tax returns] out at one time, so that we have one discussion of all of this." He offered assurances that he has "paid full taxes" and was "honest in his dealing with people." It fell to Newt Gingrich to make the obvious admonishment of Romney: "If there's anything in there that's going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination, and if there's nothing in there, why not release it?"

As Shaxson reported, it was this "intense goading" that finally led to Romney releasing his 2010 return and a 2011 estimate. But this disclosure didn't exactly mirror the standard set by Romney's father, who famously released twelve years of tax returns with the explanation: “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

Of course, in fairness to Romney, it was what he did release that spurred further interest in his familiarity with exotic tax havens. Per Shaxson: "A $3 million Swiss bank account appeared in the 2010 returns, then winked out of existence in 2011 after the trustee closed it, as if to remind us of George Romney’s warning that one or two tax returns can provide a misleading picture."

So, it looks like the "one discussion of all of this" is going to happen now. But as Justin Sink reports for the Hill, Romney gave an interview on Radio Iowa in which he assured everyone that there wasn't anything to see here:

"I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," Romney said. "That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there."

I think the whole point though, is that he's hiding the tax returns which totally have nothing hidden in them?

(By the way, the folks over at the Tax History Project have the tax returns for various 2012ers on file for your perusal. President Barack Obama's go back to the year 2000. Vice President Joe Biden's go back even further. Ironically, for all the hassle Newt Gingrich gave Romney, Romney's actually disclosed more tax information than the former speaker, who maybe has a tax haven on the moon, who knows?)

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