Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid either has early stages of dementia or has succumbed to a common political disease that causes one to think they can say whatever they want without any consequences.
I have lived in Nevada longer than Reid’s 25-year tenure in the Senate. He has gone from independent thinker to mouthpiece for the liberal wing of the Democratic National Committee. Before becoming majority leader, Reid would visit most of the northern Nevada communities yearly. He held local “meet and greets” where citizens could give their opinions on current issues. I spoke with him several times myself. But we have not seen him here in a long time. His office rarely sends responses to any letters or e-mails I send. Apparently sticking to the party line to keep his position of power is more important than learning the thoughts and concerns of those he is supposed to represent.
Fifteen years ago, I agreed with some of Reid’s positions. Since he became majority leader, I have opposed almost every viewpoint he has expressed. But this week I am embarrassed to even say I am from the same state as Senator Reid. Why? Because of Reid’s slanderous statements concerning Mitt Romney’s past tax returns.
Reid has accused Romney of not paying taxes for 10 years, but has not presented any evidence to back up his claim. Bringing up a purely political matter during his time on the Senate floor is unprofessional behavior. This time should be reserved for discussing legislation. But I am sure that was a deliberate choice; Reid knows he cannot be prosecuted for any lies told on the Senate floor. (US Constitution, Article I, Section 6, Clause 1)
Reid said that the Romney returns that have been released show money hidden in an overseas bank account. If that fact was disclosed on a tax return, it was not hidden! And it is not illegal to keep money in foreign banks. Reid seems to think average citizens cannot think for themselves, that if he uses enough inflammatory language we will not realize that statements like the one about overseas accounts are not logical. But we are smarter than Reid gives us credit for and just a bit of critical thinking reveals him as a rambling, desperate politician.
It should be fairly easy to find out if Mitt Romney has filed his tax return for any given year. Reid’s staff has the resources to get this information, although it is not ethical to use taxpayer-funded employees and resources for political reasons. Then again, it is not ethical to make unsubstantiated accusations on the Senate floor in an attempt to sway an election.
This is obviously an attempt by Senator Reid to take the campaign focus off the economy and lack of jobs. He says Romney should just release the tax returns to prove him wrong. (Isn’t that actually admitting the accusations are false?) Governor Romney is not legally required to release any tax returns (only a financial disclosure form – same as Congress) and I do not blame him for resisting now. It is partly a matter of principle and partly an effort to keep the presidential campaign focused on matters important to most Americans.