(Newser) – Scores of prominent Republicans are ratcheting up pressure on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, notes ThinkProgress, but the candidate tells the National Review that he’s not thrilled about giving the Obama camp “more pages to pick through, distort and lie about.” (The editors at the conservative site sympathize, but called on him to release them anyway.) At Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, Joshua Green floats a theory that might explain Romney’s reticence: Maybe he paid no federal taxes in 2009.
How so? Like other uber-rich investors, Romney probably lost a lot of money in the 2008 market collapse. “It’s possible he suffered a large enough capital loss that, carried forward and coupled with his various offshore tax havens,” he ended up paying nothing to Uncle Sam in ’09. “If true, this would be politically deadly for him,” writes Green. At Business Insider, Joe Weisenthal thinks the theory has much merit, though he disagrees that Romney would be “politically dead” if true. Another possibility: Romney made a nice profit in 2008-09, maybe through a fund that bet on the bailouts. That’s “100% speculation,” admits Weisenthal. But unless Romney releases the actual returns, he can surely expect more of it.