Mitt Romney not showing his tax returns. People in other countries must be laughing at us.

More on this. I can’t imagine how a presidential candidate could think he’s going to be taken seriously by the middle, independent voter, while at the same time holding this secret, financial empire offshore.

I mean, didn’t the Romney camp think that the questions would be asked? And that, unlike with a CEO, just telling the “little people” that 2 years of tax returns is “all you’re getting!” is going to fly? It’s the thinking of someone who looks at the world as Lords and Serfs, not (equal) citizens of a republic.

Joan Walsh over at Salon points to an article by John Cassidy in the New York, where Cassidy seeks to identify the possible, hard reasons why Romney is sitting on the returns. (He gives four.) I like this kind of thing. If we aren’t going to be able to download PDFs of the returns, we should at least be able to guess what Lord Romney has in them.

My bet is that he’s done a lot of gray area tricks, and, in some years, paid either zero taxes or a single digit rate. And, you know, it may be that each year from 1990 whenever to the 2000′s has its own unique story. It may simply be that, with 16 weeks to go, there would be a tax news item for each week of the sixteen through to November. That would keep the issue alive much more than Romney’s own intransigence is doing.

As someone who’s been jerked around by a big corporation since I wasn’t paid in 2008 (and you know the whole regular employment vs. “contract” employment story), watching what’s going on with the excesses of both Bain and Romney is poignantly reassuring. This our contemporary screw-around corporate culture, with its international incursions. The main idea in that culture seems to be for the power people to see what they can get away with. No wonder so many of the citizenry are turned off not just by politics, but by institutions as a whole these days.

When Obama’s team says, “Mitt Romney is not the solution. He’s the problem,” they are spot on. Mitt Romney doesn’t represent capitalism. Mitt Romney represents trying to get over in any way possible. Mitt Romney represents “financial engineering”. “Tax leveraging”. “Value added restructurings.” “Making money off other people’s money.”

You know how this goes. Nothing really ever gets made in those sort of business environments. It’s more of a shell game, or a game of musical chairs.

People are going to be talking about Bain and these antics all summer. It’s going to be a long one.