Cal Thomas: Harry Reid displays flawed character

To call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "mad dog," as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did, is an affront to the canine community and those suffering from legitimate mental illness. Reid was completely sane when he spread hearsay about an anonymous Bain Capital investor who allegedly told him Mitt Romney paid no taxes for 10 years.

Doesn't Reid, a Mormon like Romney, subscribe to the prohibition in the Ninth Commandment: "Thou shall not bear false witness"? He appears to pay no political price because he's a Democrat and unlike Joe McCarthy, to whom some are comparing him, no prominent fellow Democrat or top media figure has asked Reid the question put to the commie-hunting McCarthy by attorney Joseph Welch in 1953: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Reid is a sideshow, a clown in a political circus that seeks to draw the public's attention away from President Obama's record. Romney's tax returns won't create a single job or revive the economy. Romney must change the subject by shifting the focus to where it belongs: to President Obama, his failed promises and his disastrous economic mismanagement.

If he wants to belabor the point, Romney can challenge Obama to release his college records and other information mentioned in his book "Dreams from My Father." He can offer to release more years of his tax returns in return for the transparency Obama promised.

Or Romney can reiterate that he has fully complied with the law, including the payment of all taxes owed. Would his critics prefer he pay more than his legal obligation? In addition, Romney has certainly made sizable charitable contributions, while Biden and his wife, according to USA Today, averaged just $369 in annual charitable contributions over a 10-year period.

What about the president? Here's what Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler wrote: "When then-presidential candidate Obama released his tax returns during the 2008 campaign, it was revealed that he began making significant gifts to charity after he started making serious money from his books — and after he decided to run for president.

Here's what the numbers look like: 2005: $77,315 to charity out of income of $1.66 million (4.6 percent); 2004: "$2,500 out of $207,647 (1.2 percent); 2003: $3,400 out of $238,327 (1.4 percent); 2002: $1,050 out of $259,394 (0.4 percent)." In 2010, the number increased to 13.6 percent.

We can go tit for tat on contributions or income taxes forever. The tax returns issue is a smoke screen for the Obama administration's failures. The Romney campaign now appears to be doing what it should to reclaim and redirect the narrative. Romney can prevail if the issue becomes government spending.

People know that waste is a moral failure. Romney could go after Pentagon waste. Washington Post columnist Walter Pincus recently wrote: "How can the Pentagon keep $2.5 billion left over from a canceled program sloshing around for 'reinvestment by the Army' when Capitol Hill and the White House are worried about Pentagon budget cuts and national security?"

Romney has begun to press the president on his "reform" of welfare reform. The Department of Health and Human Services announced last month it will consider waivers to the work requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Requiring welfare recipients to work was a hard-won provision of the landmark welfare reform law passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. And it worked. Those receiving welfare benefits, instead of relying on government assistance, were compelled to transition themselves toward work or educational opportunities as a way of creating a better life for themselves and for their families.

Senator Reid is a stink bomb at the garden party. Let "Dirty Harry," as some have dubbed him, continue to demonstrate his flawed character. Romney should not descend to the gutter with him. He should ignore Reid and focus on what most Americans care most about: rebuilding our shattered economy.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist and author.

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Steve  Dosh's picture

Quantcast Cal Thomas: Harry Reid displays flawed character

Calvin ? 16:40 Thursday
Harry Reid : " Cal Thomas displays flawed character ." ?
Cal isust predjudice against Mormons as both Harry and Mitsie are of the Church of the Latter Day Saints . They are
Someone seriously needs to ask Cal ( an avowed evangalist for hire ) if he thinks they are even Christian . i do .
Rev. Taylor ? Feel up to the task ? Ar Harry and the forme Gov. Romney Christians ?
It's a legitimate qesiton that only Cal can answer for himself . ..
In my book Cal Thomas always displays flawed character . He's a hack and not a journalist with statements like , : To call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "mad dog," as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did, is an affront to the canine community ."
The L S J ® can surely find better columnists than him . Even Rich Lowry and that guy from Fori-duh is better
In fact , some of L S J 's ® own are better journalists than Cal and that Dallas guy . .
Utah is one weird state though --> http://occupybangor.org/ <-- read that . Nevada, also . /s , Dr. Dosh , HI :D

Andrew Jones's picture

Cal Thomas is a flawed

Cal Thomas is a flawed character.

John Goddard's picture

"Thou shall not bear false witness"

"Thou shall not bear false witness" Must be why Romneys political ads are full of bs, twisted words, and edited and clearly manipulated video clips.

""The tax returns issue is a smoke screen for the Obama administration's failures"". Another LIE. Obama has not failed, The GOP has blocked everything and anything since day one. Hoping to use it against him. Fact.. The GOP has failed us all, in order to gain majority power in DC..

Funny how the GOP can plan something like that, stick together to help themselves, but can not come up with anything substantial to help us, the American people.

If Harry Reed was informed with false facts, that does not mean he lied. Means his source lied. Which is doubtful. Romney is the one to "put up" He needs to prove to all of us that he indeed pay taxes for the 10 years in question. So big deal if he paid %13.9, for last year. Point is, did he pay any tax at all in those past ten years.

While being vetted for Vice Pres. for Mcann, Romney released 23 years of tax returns to Mcanns staff. But for President, Romney is willing to show us just 2 years. Wonder why Mcann picked Palin. He obviously saw some damming information in them.

Cal Thomas writes

""Romney has begun to press the president on his "reform" of welfare reform. The Department of Health and Human Services announced last month it will consider waivers to the work requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Requiring welfare recipients to work was a hard-won provision of the landmark welfare reform law passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. And it worked. Those receiving welfare benefits, instead of relying on government assistance, were compelled to transition themselves toward work or educational opportunities as a way of creating a better life for themselves and for their families""

What Cal Thomas doesn't want us to know,

1. The agency said it would grant waivers only to states committed to “testing approaches that build on existing evidence on successful strategies for improving employment outcomes.

2, Requests for such waivers have come primarily from Republican governors.

3. The president recently gave states more tools they need to help move people from welfare to work as quickly as possible, President Obama’s actions have strengthened, not weakened, the welfare system’s ability to move people from assistance to employment.

4. The Obama administration created the waiver option in response to governors’ contentions that they could produce better results unbound by inflexible federal welfare rules.

5. The letter Romney signed SEVEN YEARS AGO - with 28 other members of the Republican Governors Association, made a SIMILAR argument.

6. Romney is falsely criticizing a policy HE once supported ---- that empowers states to implement welfare reform.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2012/08/07/romney-accuses-obama...

MITT WAS FOR IT BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT ....

AND MITT IS TELLING YOU A BOLD-FACED LIE !

I think this dude has Rush Limbaug, Glenn Beck, and Fox news on speed dial..

Steve  Dosh's picture

John , i dunno' about Mitsie

John ,
i dunno' about Mitsie or his use and misuse of selective memory , but i saw Former National Security Advisor ( at the time ) Condi Rice testify - under oath - before the U S Senate Foreign Relations Committee right after 9.11 that the GAO report entitled , ' Osama bin Laden Will Attack the United States ,' did not say just that
Now - t h a t ' s - a bold faced lie ?
i quit the government shortly thereafter
i can't work for liars and cheats either
Colin Powell was okay . .
/s . Dr. Steve Dosh FSO ( ret.)

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