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By BERNARD GOLDBERG
If you've been paying attention to Barack Obama's campaign for re-election you may have noticed a recurring theme. While he hits the campaign trail, flashing his million-dollar smile and waving to the adoring crowds, his political hit men are engaged in one of the dirtiest campaigns in recent American history - a campaign where decency is no virtue and moral atrocities are no vice. Not if they help Barack Obama win re-election.

First it was Harry Reid's indecent act on the floor of the U.S. Senate about Mitt Romney not paying taxes in 10 years - an allegation made without so much as a scintilla of evidence to back it up.

It's one thing if a drunk in a bar makes some crazy, unsubstantiated accusation. But this was the leader of the U.S. Senate telling the American people "The word's out he (Mitt Romney) hasn't paid any taxes in 10 years. Let him prove he has paid taxes. Because he hasn't."

When asked how he knows this, Reid said he got the tip from a confidential source who had worked at Bain Capital. When asked who it was, Reid wouldn't say. And if a reporter asked Reid, how a confidential source - assuming one even existed - could possibly know anything about Mitt Romney's personal income-tax returns, I missed it.

Decent people protested Reid's low blow. But the president of the United States wasn't among the decent people. He could have denounced Reid's slimy tactic. But he didn't say a word. And that makes him complicit.

And when the president's friends were asked what they thought, they simply changed the subject to Romney's taxes. The president's press spokesman, Jay Carney, said this was a matter between Harry Reid and Mitt Romney.

Except that no one believes that Harry Reid was freelancing, that he woke up one day and said I think I'll go on the floor of the Senate and say that Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. "The word's out" that the president's re-election team was pulling the strings of their willing puppet.

At the time I thought this was as low as it would get during this campaign. But then came The Ad, produced and paid for by Priorities USA, a super-Pac supporting Barack Obama - and run by a former spokesman for the president.

The ad - casually and incredibly - linked Mitt Romney to the death of a woman who had cancer.

In the video, 62-year-old Joe Soptic looks right into the camera and says that Bain Capital shut down the Missouri steel mill where he had been working. He lost his job, his insurance . . . and his wife died.

The implication is clear: If Romney hadn't shut down the plant his wife might still be alive today. This is not simply nonsense. It's despicable.

First, Mr. Soptic had been offered a buyout; he wasn't simply told one day that he was fired. That's not in the ad.

Second, his wife was working and had insurance with her job when her husband lost his. That's not in the ad, either.

Third, Mitt Romney left Bain in 1999, the plant closed in 2001, the woman was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 - when Romney was in his fourth year as governor of Massachusetts. None of that is in the ad.

So how is Mitt Romney even vaguely responsible for this woman's death?

It is the dirtiest political commercial I have seen in a very long time. But again the president remained silent.

And again, his silence makes him complicit in this moral outrage.

It's important to remember that Barack Obama rode into Washington four years ago on a magic carpet made up of hopes and dreams and promises to make the national conversation less partisan and more civil.

It's tempting to believe that Mr. Obama has thrown his principles out the window in order to win. But it's becoming more and more clear that he never had the principles he sold us on. It's becoming more and more clear that Barack Obama is just one more crummy Chicago politician who will do whatever he has to in order to win. Somebody needs to tell the president that the White House isn't City Hall.

Mr. Obama's tactics, of course, may work. But if he wins re-election, he will be the president of a nation more divided than when he walked into the Oval Office four years ago. With his class warfare strategy, he has managed to turn Americans against each other. With his ally's dirty campaign ad, he has managed to make us more cynical than we were before he promised to make things better.

If he wins, Barack Obama and the American people will have paid a high price for victory. It's a price he's obviously willing to pay.

• Goldberg is a former reporter for CBS News and author of five books on the media. His website is http://www.bernardgoldberg.com.



 

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^^^^Yeah that^^^^ I would like to know how much Obama paid in taxes before he was pres. I bet you it was 14% or so but know one seem to ask that. And who is going to pay more taxes then they have too. Plus he pays an accountant to do his taxes. With that the accountants job is to save his client the most money he can. But no one talks about that.


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1. Nobody likes a whiner... especially one that ran similar ads against his opponents in the Primary.


2. This is politics. Put your big boy pants on and quit complaining like some kind of girlie-man.


4. Did Sarah Palin really claim that she knew of NO prominent Republiicans that used such language?


BTW... when the children are done playing with the Republican Party, the adults would like it back, please.
 

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And who is going to pay more taxes then they have too. Plus he pays an accountant to do his taxes. With that the accountants job is to save his client the most money he can. But no one talks about that.
I'll bet that you haven't heard about this little tidbit...

When you file income tax returns you are required by law to declare all assets foreign and domestic. That includes Swiss bank accounts and whatever interest they earned. However, most rich folks ignored the law and relied on the fact that Swiss bank account records are secret from the IRS. What the IRS doesn't know saves money for the account owner.

It got so bad and so hard to prove that the IRS basically gave up trying to catch all the white collar felons who hid their Swiss accounts. Then a Swiss bank got into big legal trouble and offered to release thousands and thousands of account records as part of a plea deal.

That's when politicians convinced the IRS to grant an amnesty to those who committed the felony and just accept a stiff fine and penalties instead of sending rich folks and their accountants to jail.

This all happened in 2009 and earlier which is why Romney doesn't want to release his taxes. His "deal" with the IRS would be found out and as Ann Romney puts it... "It will just give them more ammunition against us."
 

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^^^^Yeah that^^^^ I would like to know how much Obama paid in taxes before he was pres. I bet you it was 14% or so but know one seem to ask that.
Here's the information for 2000-2006 on Obama's taxes...

2000...he paid $63,732 on income of $240,505 (26%)
2001...he paid $86,072 on income of $272,759 (31%)
2002...he paid $68,958 on income of $259,394 (26%)
2003...he paid $51,856 on income of $238,327 (21%)
2004...he paid $40,426 on income of $207,647 (19%)
2005...he paid $545,614 on income of $1,655,106 (32%)
2006...he paid $277,481 on income of $983,826 (28%)

You can find more information here:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/03/obama-releases.html
 
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