March 05, 2008

Hillary's Tax Returns

First off, a little street cred. I'm not a Hillary Basher. Or in the cyber age, a HillaryBasher. Once, in a fey and whimsical mood, I betrayed my own egalitarian principles by pointing out that Hillary's substantial (massive, really) undercarriage could be used to good effect by comparing it favorably to Obama's (or, a fortiori, Kucinich's) lower body strength by mounting the debate stage a little more dramatically. To wit, Hillary would bound onto the platform, charge a blocking sled and drive, drive, drive that sucker all the way over to Tim Russert's podium, where it would up-end that blowhard and his clipboard of "gotcha!" questions. Those short, chunky legs pumping, muscles straining the seams of that burnt-orange pantsuit -- what a moment! A great visual, but, of course -- such a suggestion casts enormous discredit on me, and I'm deeply ashamed I ever thought of it, especially when it still doubles me over with helpless laughter.

Anyway, things between Barack & Hill are going to get wild enough as it is. You can feel it coming. The other night Hillary answered a question on "60 Minutes" about Barack's religion by saying he was not a Muslim "as far as I know." Oh man, this is gonna get ugly. It's good they're not debating anymore because I don't think they could stand the proximity to each other. But back to my street cred: there is no question that I would (a) vote for Hillary vs. McCain and (b) even send Hill some money to help her cause along. Whatever else happens, I don't want the Supreme Court nominations to be in the hands of the Republicans for another 4 to 8 years, because people like Stevens, Ginsburg and Kennedy are not going to last that long on the bench. So imagine Scalia, Thomas, Roberts & Alito augmented by another three legal Neanderthals for another twenty years. Bye-bye, Roe vs. Wade. Hey, Bill of Rights! Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way to the dump. Hillary will be okay. Stop whining, Obamaniacs. Anyway, pull your socks up and get to work. If you can't stand up to Hillary, how do you plan to face down the Chinese Colossus when you're in the Oval Office? America's taking a good hard look to find out.

What we can't take a good, hard look at to find out concerns Hillary's tax returns, on account she ain't showin'. This is a mess. As about so many things, I have a theory about this which may be just beneath the surface of what you've heard so far about the reasons for her reluctance. She has said she would release them "if she gets the nomination." The blow-dried, room-temp IQs on cable news (nota bene, there's a blog title: The IQs of Cable News) of course think this has to do with the practical necessity of disclosure (technically, it's never required, since they're privileged documents for her and everyone), but I suspect it has to do with timing. By waiting till then, she'll release her 2007 tax return, not 2006 or earlier. I further suspicion (as my Southern ancestors usta say) that earlier years may have been joint returns with Bill the Horndog, which must be enormously complicated 1040's, and which probably have a huge number representing adjusted gross income, since the story is that Bill routinely pulls down $100,000 + every time he addresses some group like the Allied Magneto Importers of America (the manufacturers having been disbanded for failure to achieve a quorum). But a 2007 return just might be a separate 1040 of Hillary alone, because she (and Slick Willie) have anticipated this moment for a long time. I think Bill does a ton of business with people you might associate with so-called Petro States (or PetroStates; see above) and other unsavory characters, and the inference drawn even by the emaciated intellect of the American Booboisie (op.cit., Mencken) might be unfavorable.

A separate return shields Bill from unwanted publicity and makes it more difficult for forensic accountants to figure out where, for example, Hillary got that $5 mil she loaned her campaign a few weeks ago. Reverse engineering of capital gains, dividend and interest income will suggest (but not definitively reveal) her holdings of stocks, bonds, real estate and foreign investments, but not necessarily spell out the principal amounts nor the identity of income sources. And with careful money management in 2007 (i.e., avoiding liquidations or income recognition), Hillary could conceal a lot more, confining things as far as possible to her Senate salary (which for her is lunch money).

Hey, that's okay. It passes for candor and good faith in this sullied age. The main, overarching thing that Hillary didn't want all those laid-off factory workers in Ohio to find out, like the guy who can't afford to pay for his wife's multiple scelerosis palliative treatment because his job went to China and he's uninsurable, is how frigging rich she is. Because then those tears coursing down those magnificent cheek bones (a little self rehab there) would seem, well, vaguely unconvincing. Bill & Hill, remember, like summering at Martha's Vineyard and starting the New Year off right at the Renaissance Weekend with all the other glitterati (op.cit., Herb Caen). They feel your pain, all right; they just don't want any part of it.

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