The Instigator
jj43zz
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KuriouserNKuriouser
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Do you think Mitt Romney should release more tax returns?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
KuriouserNKuriouser
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,012 times Debate No: 25268
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

jj43zz

Pro

1 round to win.

Yes he should, as all presidential candidates have for years. Releasing only one return from 2010 just leaves open the door to too many questions. Even the national review and other republicans want him to.
By refusing to release them, he's only making things worse. We all know he's rich. We all know he doesn't pay a high percentage in taxes since he has so much wealth he makes all his money from interest and investments. What's the problem?
Obama and Biden released 12.
John Kerry released 4.
McCain released only 2 and we know how that campaign did.
George W Bush released 8, and so did Clinton.
Reagan released 7.
While it does feel like an invasion of privacy, he is running for president and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that this request came up.
(I used businessweek as my source for the above data)
KuriouserNKuriouser

Con

Hello, and thank you for the opportunity to debate with you, Pro. I have to rebut Pro's arguments in order to win the debate.


1)Mitt Romney should release more of his tax returns because "all presidential candidates have for years."


Besides making the above statement, Pro has offered no reason as to why a candidate should do something just because other candidates before him have done so. Most candidates have lied or made misrepresentations in their campaigns as well, but we would not conclude that Mitt Romney should misrepresent the truth because "all presidential candidates have for years." Perhaps there are reasons for having candidates release a certain number of their tax returns, but the argument presented by Pro here is not one of them and can not support the claim.

Pro presents data that shows how many returns several candidates have submitted in the past. All he says is that his source is Businessweek. Unfortunately, he fails to give any way of verifying that this information is true or reliable. Since it is not referenced in any meaningful way we have no reason to accept the information as anything more than hearsay and so it should not be counted as evidence.


2)"Releasing only one return from 2010 just leaves open the door to too many questions."


First, it must be clarified that U.S. presidential candidates are not required by law to release their tax returns. It is not obligatory. Doing so is completely optional and going beyond what is required of a candidate. Mitt Romney has fulfilled all his obligations of disclosure and has already surpassed them by submitting returns for 2010.

Pro's statement is also misrepresenting in its failure to accurately present the personal financial information submitted by Mitt Romney. Romney has also submitted estimates of his 2011 returns and has promised to release them in October. As his campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom stated:

"Mitt Romney has said he'll put out two years of tax returns, he put out his 2010 return, hundreds of pages of tax return information that’s on the website. He’ll put out his 2011 returns once it's complete and filed." [2]

Additionally, Romney has financial disclosure information going back until 2002 as required by state law when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Eric Fehrnstrom again: "He's had financial disclosures going back to 2002 when he was governor of Massachusetts, those too can be found on Mitt Romney's website." [2]

Pro's statement above mentions that there are "too many questions." I would love to address these questions, but unfortunately he has failed to state what any of them are. What information would be provided to answer his questions that would not otherwise be provided by the financial disclosures that go back an entire decade? Since he doesn't explain I have no real argument to address.

3)Mitt Romney should release more of his tax returns because "even the national review and other Republicans want him to."


Pro again makes a claim without giving any rationale to support it. Why should a candidate do something simply because members of his party want him to? Ironically, the same politicians who have called on Romney to release his returns have refused to do so themselves, even though they have held national positions of great power (i.e. Nancy Pelosi- House Minority Leader, and Senator Harry Reid-Senate Majority Leader). In fact, very few members of Congress actually release their returns [3]

Perhaps there are reasons to think that Pro's statement is true, but Pro has failed to give any. Romney has given some answers, though, that should give an answer to Pro's question…

4)"What's the problem?"

One problem is that:

"Mitt Romney told National Review Online that Democrats are simply trying to get more details about his finances that opposition researchers can 'pick through, distort and lie about.'" [4]

Furthermore, he does not want to make his charitable contributions public. From his 2010 returns we find his contributions to the Church of Latter Day Saints alone come to over $4 million or 10% of his income [5]:

"Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given. This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church." [5]

This may not seem like any reason at all if one does not understand the special emphasis given to privacy regarding charitable giving and deeds in some religions. In order to ensure that practitioners of faith conduct charitable giving from selfless motives, rather than from motives for self-glory, some religions emphasize the importance of not giving or doing good works in public for everyone to see. For example, in Matthew 6:1-4 Jesus says:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly." [6]

Conclusion

I have demonstrated that even though he is under no obligation to do so Mitt Romney has released more information to the public than Pro seems to have been aware of. Instead of the single year of tax returns he is submitting returns for two years and has also submitted a full decade of financial disclosures to the public. I argued that the attempt by Pro to establish through hearsay the notion that candidates have historically submitted a longer history of their tax returns should not be counted as evidence in this debate.

Pro has made claims saying that Romney should release more statements without giving any substantial support for his statements. I have rebutted all of what might be considered Pro's argument and shown that there is no substantial reason given by Pro why Mitt Romney should release his returns. I have also stated the reasons Romney has given for not taking this step. They may or may not be convincing enough reasons to persuade the reader when forming their opinion regarding this subject, but I have demonstrated in this debate that Pro has given no reason at all why Romney should disclose more personal financial information than he has already volunteered to do.

I thank the reader and my competitor for listening to my arguments and am confident that I have provided a sufficient case for you to vote Con.

[1] http://www.taxhistory.org...

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

[3] http://www.mcclatchydc.com...

[4] http://www.usatoday.com...

[5] http://www.businessinsider.com...

[6] http://www.biblegateway.com...

Debate Round No. 1
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by jj43zz 4 years ago
jj43zz
Thanks KuriouserNKuriouser!!
Posted by KuriouserNKuriouser 4 years ago
KuriouserNKuriouser
I shouldn't have to say this, but when voting please give a relevant reason for your awarding of points. Simply stating that you agree with my position is not a reason! I don't even agree that Romney should not release his tax returns. This is not an opinion poll on whether you think Romney should or shouldn't release his returns. You vote on the quality of the arguments in the debate, not the conclusion you agree with!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by NextGenerationElephant 4 years ago
NextGenerationElephant
jj43zzKuriouserNKuriouserTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Nobody has the right to tell you that you HAVE to release the forms. If I were in Mitt's position I would tell them to go pound sand, those documents are private and you have no right to see them.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
jj43zzKuriouserNKuriouserTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con responded to all of Pro's claims, and built a strong, sourced case for his side.
Vote Placed by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
jj43zzKuriouserNKuriouserTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Successfully crushed every one of the instigators' arguments and changed my mind. I think that qualifies for a 7.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
jj43zzKuriouserNKuriouserTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: 1 round easy win for con. Con refuted all of pro's contentions and showed why Romney released enough returns.