The Buffalo News really needs to have a chat with its headline writers. The headline accompanying Jerry Zremski’s August 16th piece concerning Chris Collins‘ taxes bore the headline, “Collins discloses three years’ tax returns”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Collins showed his form 1040s for three tax years to Zremski, and no one else in the world. While Hochul has posted three years’ worth of tax returns online for anyone to see – along with the schedules and worksheets to go with it, Collins has repeatedly refused to do the same. Zremski wrote,
Those returns did not include any schedules or attachments that would have detailed Collins’ business investments, but they do show the finances of a wealthy businessman-turned-politician and how Collins’ income compares to that of his opponent, Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Hamburg.
Did Collins show Zremski his 1040s to show off the fact that he’s wealthy? We know he’s wealthy – that’s hardly the issue. The best Collins can do is to claim that Hochul isn’t being transparent because she refuses to release the details of a blind trust her parents set up for her. A blind trust, the contents of which by definition she isn’t allowed to know.
The reasons why Collins won’t release his tax returns to the public have changed over time, from the notion it will reveal confidential material about other people to something really quite telling:
[Hochul spokesman Frank] Thomas said it’s important that Collins do the same so that voters can see in detail his business interests – including those of Ingenious Inc., a Collins company that has contracted with a Chinese manufacturer to make the Balance Buddy, a tool aimed at helping kids learn how to ride their bikes.
Collins says, though, that he can’t release those full tax details without revealing his business partners’ income and without jeopardizing the competitive position of his companies.
“My federal return is probably 25 pages long,” Collins added. “It’s too much for the public to absorb.”
Got that, dummy? By not being “Chris Collins” you’re clearly cursed with diminished cognitive abilities, such that it’s a miracle you have the brain power to put your pants and shirt on in the morning. You know how you stopped reading Harry Potter after the twenty-fourth page, just giving up because your brain couldn’t absorb anymore? You cretins would look at Collins’ tax returns and the ink with which it was printed would run from your drool getting all over it.
I don’t know whether calling the electorate a bunch of illiterate, innumerate morons is a winning strategy, but I’m willing to see it play out some more. Perhaps the inability or unwillingness to release tax returns should disqualify “run government like a business” types from running (see, Romney, Willard Mitt).
Collins is also attacking Hochul for her (mostly inherited) wealth. If I recall correctly, Collins bristles when people bring up his wealth, calling it “class warfare”.
This same Chris Collins – the one who doesn’t like it when people point out that he’s a rich, arrogant, person who is completely, fundamentally, and deliberately out of touch with the issues facing average middle class people – attacks his current opponent for her inherited wealth, calling her a “public sector millionaire”, and suggesting that she made her money in government, and attacked his primary opponent for his lack of wealth. So, in Collins’ deranged world, it’s “class warfare” to bring up his wealth, but everyone else’s is fair game.
What is going to be an issue in this race is the good job Kathy Hochul’s done over the past year, and the fact that Collins is a big supporter of the Republican plot to voucherize Medicare, but he’ll try to deflect by using the lie that Obamacare cuts $716 billion from Medicare. Obama strengthens and streamlines Medicare, while the Republicans plan to privatize it, harming seniors and, just as significantly, future seniors.
Mitt Romney said Obama “robbed Medicare” of $716 billion to pay for “Obamacare.” We found that exaggerated what Obama had done in the health care law.
While the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn’t actually cut Medicare. Savings come from reducing money that goes to private insurers who provide Medicare Advantage programs, among other things. The money wasn’t “robbed.” We rated the statement Mostly False.
Responding to the Romney attack, Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Ryan’s budget relies on the same $700 billion in savings from Medicare that Mitt Romney and other Republicans have been attacking Democrats about.
Ryan has confirmed that, and we rated it True.
But don’t forget – Collins thinks you’re an idiot who can’t absorb 25 pages of a tax return. What a disgusting thing to say.