Washington insiders suspect the main reason Romney refuses to release his tax returns is that he has a fortune in offshore (Cayman Islands) bank accounts. While perfectly legal provided he reports ownership/beneficial control of the accounts, the image of a super-rich Republican Presidential candidate stashing millions of dollars overseas during a period of crushing unemployment and income inequality … stinks.
Additionally, insiders say, Romney has probably given tons of money to his church. Nothing wrong with that--it's the American way. But considering his leadership role in the church--he's a Mormon Bishop--the amounts are likely to draw attention to negative aspects of his faith's heritage that the candidate would like to avoid discussing.
Is Romney's religion--rather, his clerical position--a legitimate issue? No, say Republican establishment types and politically correct liberals (although surveys show that liberal democrats are consistently least likely to vote for a Mormon because of religion). Yes, whisper many politically incorrect conservatives who want to beat Barack Obama in November. They assert that a Presidential candidate who belongs to the clerical elite of a church that not too many years ago regarded black people as divinely cursed, permitted and promoted and then conveniently ignored polygamy, and stood for political separatism and theodemocracy, is by definition not qualified to challenge a President who has made support for overlapping rightwing political and organized/fundamentalist/polygamous Islam and Islamocracy the foundation of an utterly failed foreign policy. The anti-Romney argument is that he will never be comfortable or effective discussing and debating the full extent of the Islamist threat, just as he will never be comfortable discussing and debating entrepreneurial versus private equity-style capitalism, profit versus plunder, privatizing versus piratizing, empowerment versus pauperization, etc.
It should also be said that a candidate who refuses to release his tax returns is not going to be able to credibly challenge Obama to release his still-inexplicably sealed academic records--from kindergarden through law school--a commitment to secrecy that fuels rumors of dual citizenship, foreign student status, and so on.
The Mystery of Box 908