Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has enlivened the dog days of August by charging that multimillionaire GOP candidate Mitt Romney paid no taxes, presumably income taxes, for 10 years.
The source for this is said to be someone with some association with Bain Capital, Mr. Romney's old firm, but Sen. Reid won't identify the source or offer any proof that the charge is true. Nonetheless, he repeated the accusation on the Senate floor.
Mr. Romney and advisers must have seen something like this coming when he decided not to release his tax returns. He did for one year, 2010, and they show he paid a very attractive rate of 13.9 percent on an income of $21.6 million.
His reason for not releasing more tax information is that Democrats will root around in the returns and use the information against him. That immediately raises the question: What's in there that Mr. Romney doesn't want us to know about? We're tough. We can take it.
On the friendly confines of Fox, Mr. Romney said, "It's untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. So I'm looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we'll probably find out it's the White House."
So far, this has been a remarkably fact-free discussion. If Sen. Reid offered no proof of his assertion, neither did Mr. Romney. If Sen. Reid is making charges of borderline dishonesty, we voters would like proof.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus elevated the political dialogue by calling Sen. Reid "a dirty liar."
Maybe so, but there's only one way to prove it. Release the tax returns. Either Sen. Reid or Mr. Priebus will come out of this looking really bad. As for Mr. Romney, it will only prove what we already know: He's a very rich guy with great tax lawyers.