Mitt Romney’s tax exploits are just as American as apple pie, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham worked hard to get the point across that “it’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally.” No, really, it really is:
“As long as it was legal, I’m OK with it,” Graham said. “I don’t blame anybody for using the tax code to their advantage. I blame us for having it so complicated and confused. Pick a rate and make people pay it.”
In the meantime, anything within the rules goes, he argued.
“It’s a game we play,” Graham said. “Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game.”
There’s just one thing. We haven’t seen enough years of Mitt Romney’s tax returns to know that everything Romney did to avoid taxes was legal. Everything he did in 2010, the year for which we have returns, was legal. But what about 2009? 2005? 1999? 1997? For all we know, Romney was illegally avoiding taxes in each and every one of those years and all the years in between, because he hasn’t given us the information to know otherwise. We already do know he’s not telling the truth about things that are on the public record.
Okay, there’s one other thing. Lindsey Graham doesn’t think that someone who wants to be president should live up to a higher standard than “playing the game,” “using the tax code to their advantage”? The presidency, the American people, don’t deserve better than someone who walks as close as he can to the edge of illegality to enrich himself? That’s a pretty damn low standard for the leader of the country.