Maryann Tobin

Confidential documents obtained by Gawker show why Mitt Romney doesn't want American voters to see his tax returns.

Romney tax records published by Gawker on Thursday, show he is a master at manipulating the US tax code. He has enormous amounts of money hidden in foreign bank accounts, which he pays no taxes on. That's right – zero taxes.

Internal financial documents show that Mr. Romney has 20 secret hedge funds and other cash stashed in foreign banks. The partnerships and limited liability corporation account for a minimum of, "$10,069,000 of Romney's assets in 2011 and yielded $913,300 in income, according to his 2012 financial disclosure," Gawker reports.

Romney paid taxes on none of it.

On the campaign trail, Romney admits that his tax rate was only about 13% - much lower than millions of American who earn far less. However, the master tax-dodger wants more.

Among the main platforms of the Romney-Ryan campaign is a scheme to eliminate all taxes on income from investments.

In order to tame the massive addition to the federal deficit from eliminating capital gains and other taxes for investment income, the Romney-Ryan plan forces seniors, the poor, and middle class workers to pay for it, through budget cuts and tax increases on them. If implemented, both Romney and Ryan would have their tax bills reduced to less than 1%.

No presidential candidate in U.S. history has ever proposed a tax reform scheme that so obviously benefited the wealthy.

Newt Gingrich was right. Romney's plan is nothing but "right-wing social engineering," because there is nothing to suggest that its hand-outs to the rich are mere coincidence.

The Romney-Ryan tax plan makes no effort to hide the fact that it's a bold social engineering scheme to give the rich a free ride on taxes. And it makes one wonder if Romney is only running for president so he can eliminate his own taxes.

Combine the Romney-Ryan tax reform plan with Romney's recently released energy plan, and it looks like a free-for-all for corporations and big oil to rape the American landscape and leave a trail of deadly pollution in their wake.

Of course the only way to sell such a radical plan to American voters is to promise them the crumbs that may trickle-down to them in the form of jobs.

But American's have heard those promises before. Just two years ago, Tea Party Republicans were swept into control of congress with the promise of job creation. They quickly broke that promise by not only failing to produce a single piece of job creation legislation, they also brought paralysis to the U.S. government with their rigid views and lack of commitment to work for the good of the nation in difficult economic times.

So far, Romney has released one year of tax returns, 2011, which is a partial return, and has promised to release another year at some vague point in the future. Details are not a Romney strong-point. And now we know why.

Mitt Romney will not release his tax returns because they will prove that lowing taxes on the rich does not make them "job creators," it only makes them – and only them – more wealthy than they already are. It also blows a giant hole in his campaign promises to do what's best for the country.

Who would vote for a man whose apparent agenda is to benefit himself personally by reducing his own tax bill to nothing, and making everyone else pay for it?

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Video: Gingrich: GOP budget plan is "Right-wing social engineering."

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