How to Predict When Mitt Romney Will Release His Tax Returns

"If people think there's something wrong with being successful in America, then they'd better vote for the other guy. Because I've been extraordinarily successful, and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people."
- Mitt Romney

"I stand ready to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success."
- Mitt Romney

"If we become one of those societies that attacks success, one outcome is certain -- there will be a lot less success."
-- Mitt Romney

"I'm not ashamed to say I was successful"
-- Mitt Romney

"I don't intend to release the tax returns. I don't."
-- Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney won't be filing his taxes tomorrow. Mitt Romney feels about his tax returns the way the bad guy in The Spy Who Loved Me feels about the plans for his submarine tracking device: Anyone who even comes into contact with them must die. So he's filed for an extension. And that's his prerogative, I suppose, but it kind of fights against the main argument for his candidacy, that he's a proud, success-drenched, successful successmaker, effulgent with, well, success.

"He knows the meaning of success."
-- Thunderball

You'd think Mitt Romney would want us to see his tax returns. So we could look upon his gross and tremble. The way if John Glenn were running, he might want us to see a list of the times he went into space. Maybe it wouldn't be germane to the job of president at all, but you have to admit, if John Glenn were running, and he refused to talk about space with the sustained obstinance that Mitt Romney refuses to talk about money, you'd start thinking something was up.

To get on board with Mitt Romney, you have to hold two ideas in your head. 1) You should vote for him, because he's made a lot of money and 2) You must never, ever ask about his money.

For reasons unknowable, for months now, Mitt Romney has been fighting against releasing his past tax returns. So it's not really surprising -- just pretty ballsy -- that he's filled for an extension on his 2011 taxes, and we may not see them before mid-October.

1) He's a financial super-genius. 2) He can't find the shoebox where he keeps his taxi receipts.

It sounds like a flimsy lie, but I suppose we have to take him at his word. He is a very successful man in the highly competitive field of success.

Mitt gets to choose when he'll pretend to finish doing his taxes. I'm not saying he's a devious sleazo, gaming our tax deadlines for political advantage -- that would be uncivil -- but I wouldn't be too surprised if his taxes didn't just happen to come out on a day when they'll get the least possible news coverage. A news cycle when, just by happy chance, there's some other big story. And the lower -- and more embarrassing -- Mitt's tax rate is, the bigger the news story it hides behind will have to be:


20% to 25% - Israel Bombs Iran

17% to 19.9% - Israel Nukes Iran

15% to 16.9% - Israel Nukes Iran; Radiation Gives Iranians Superpowers

13% to 14.9% - New iPhone

11% to 12.9% - Rise of Planet of the Apes

9% to 10.9% - World Series Goes Seven Games / Seven Earthquakes

7% to 8.9% - Earthquakes Cause Nipple Slip Facebook Hunger Games

5% to 6.9% - Kate Middleton and Prince William are Pregnant

3% to 4.9% - Pippa Middleton and Prince William are Pregnant

0% to 2.9% - Prince William is Pregnant