By far my favorite comic book hero is Batman. A distant second is Spiderman. He used to be number one but he lost that spot as I got older. I think it was because of the original cartoon series more than anything else. Superman used to be a contender as the number one strongest superhero who could put together a complete sentence (No Hulks!!) until I realized how he would jeopardize the safety of the world for one woman, Lois Lane, who was a selfish bitch of a shrew who wouldn’t give somebody like Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent the time of day. Superman had a serious psychosis that he needs to get some psychiatric help with. The complex and emotionally tortured Batman would never allow himself to be manipulated by what amounts to little more than a silly school boy crush.
Realizing his life was bigger and much more important than running the multi billion dollar Wayne Industries, Bruce Wayne as portrayed by Christian Bale was a mostly absentee major shareholder. Fighting crime all night long and for a good part of the light hours of his days just didn’t give him a lot of time to run a company on the side. Mr. Wayne learned a long time ago that there was more to life than just earning more money, especially when you’re worth more than the average joe a million times over. Maybe it was something he realized after his hugely wealthy father was murdered in a back alley. Maybe it was something he understood after many years of contemplating the fate that caused him to become an orphan at such an early age in his life. But nevertheless, Bruce Wayne never had an interest in simply making more money.
In many big ways presidential contender Mitt Romney and the fictional Bruce Wayne are very similar. Both want to do what they can to make the world a better place. Both grew up surrounded by wealth. Both made choices for themselves at a rather early age that had a monumental impact on their future. And while it might be debatable on how well Mr. Romney’s fit, both wear costumes to hide who they really are while they go about doing what they do to influence the lives of others. And let’s not forget that Bruce Wayne is not real while Mitt Romney appears unreal.
But one place where they differ vastly is the fact that Bruce Wayne never got caught up in making as much money as he can while Mitt Romney never turned down an opportunity to make all the money he could. This is the man that tried to make ten thousand dollars during a primary presidential debate. It’s in his DNA. When it comes to money, Mitt Romney has more in common with Superman. While Superman would put the world in jeopardy for the love of his life the ridiculously two dimensional Lois Lane, there’s little doubt Mitt would put the world in jeopardy for the love of his life, bigger sums of money. Clark Kent would never live without Lois Lane. Mitt Romney would never live without making more money.
As early as 2004 there was talk during the Republican National Convention of Mr. Romney becoming a presidential candidate in 2008. Rumor has it that midway through his term as Massachusetts Governor he decided that he wanted to focus on a bid for the presidency. On December 14, 2005, he announced that he would not seek a second term as Governor and spent the majority of his time traveling the country in an attempt to build a national political network. On January 3, 2007, his second to last day as Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney registered a presidential campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission. And through all of this, he never stopped making the most money he could.
Now at a net worth of a quarter billion dollars Mr. Romney is considered a hugely successful businessman. He says his business record proves that he has what it takes to lead the country out of its economic doldrums. One way to measure how successful he has been and how he obtained his wealth is through the examination of his tax returns. To date Mr. Romney has only released one year of tax information and dismisses any call to release any others.
To hear the Romney campaign team spin it the only people who care about his taxes is the campaign team for his opponent President Barack Obama. No matter how many tax returns they’ll always want more, is what the Romney team says. The supposition is that one tax return is more than enough as legally required by law. But there is no law that says presidential candidates have to release tax returns. Releasing tax returns is a tradition started by Mitt Romney’s father George Romney who released twelve years of tax returns during his 1968 bid for the White House. According to daddy Romney, one year of tax returns could be an anomaly. Release twelve and you can get a much better picture of a candidate’s finances.
Without the actual information we can only speculate why Mr. Romney refuses to follow the tradition of financial transparency. My theory is that although there may not be anything necessarily illegal in his tax returns from the other years, Mr. Romney has years of paying a tax rate that was so low that it would be a turnoff to the majority of the swing voters who are vacillating between the candidates but are concerned about rich people not paying their fair share in taxes and Mitt Romney’s promise to reduce tax rates even further if he’s elected. Or maybe he’s got a ton of his money helping other companies make money outside the United States and people would be turned off by that fact.
Even though he knew back in 2004 that he could have a chance at being President, Mr. Romney couldn’t stop making the absolute most money he could by any means necessary. Just about anybody else in such a position would start making changes in their portfolio to erase anything that might look a little shady or repulsive. You and I might change our ways, but not money making Mitt. Making the most money possible is just too much for him to resist. He could’ve changed his ways eight years ago and have eight years of tax returns ready to go to put this issue to rest. Forethought might be a sign of a really good businessperson.
Like Bruce Wayne, Mitt Romney made choices that led him down his life’s path. Ultimately, Bruce Wayne made the choice to be the caped crusader, the great detective, the Batman. That’s what he wanted above all else, including the opportunity to have an average life. Ultimately Mitt Romney made the choice to become as rich as possible, build huge mansions on the coastline with car elevators, keeping his money in tax shelters around the world. That’s what he wanted above all else, including the opportunity to become President of the United States.