How To Pay For A Convention

Political conventions are expensive. Very expensive. The Democratic National Convention is expected to cost $37 million, and this excludes the $50 million the government pays each party for security at its convention. Republicans raise most of their convention costs from a small number of big donors who then get the V.I.P treatment on expensive yachts where they can meet party bigwigs. The Democrats used to do the same thing, but this year are trying an experiment by limiting donations to a paltry $100,000 each. The consequence is that the Democratic convention has a big money problem that the Republican convention did not have.

Pictured on the right are photos courtesy of ABC News’ Investigative Unit of Gov. Mitt Romney’s 150-foot yacht “Cracker Bay” docked at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina where Romney held a party during the Republican National Convention for supporters who raised over $1,000,000 for Romney’s campaign.

As the boat’s flag indicates, the “Cracker Bay” is registered in the Cayman Islands, a practice sometimes employed to avoid American taxes and regulations.

Mitt Direction: Even Kerry Can’t Save Romney Now

On CNBC, Mitt Romney claimed a precedent for only revealing two years of tax returns  

Larry Kudlow: Why not release your tax returns? Why not go back 10 years?

Gov. Mitt Romney: Well, we’ve had people run for president before, and they’ve released two years. John Kerry released two years of taxes…  I’ve released one already, put the estimate out for the next year. We’ll have two years of taxes.

Actually, Kerry is no precedent. When Sen. John Kerry began his Presidential Campaign early in 2003, he followed the example of Romney’s father and made public 20 years of tax returns. Now, here are with the Republican primary all but over, and Romney is still hoping to appease his critics with two years of tax returns. As Mitt’s father Gov. George Romney said: “one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

Why is he going to such great lengths to conceal his tax records? We already know he pays an effective Federal tax rate of 14.8% (compared to around 25% for most Americans) and just 0.1% for Social Security and Medicare (compared to 7.65% for most Americans). We already know Romney has accounts in Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands which are notorious tax havens.

What else does Mitt have to hide?