opinionatin'

Fred Thompson Explains How Tax Returns Work: Let’s Say There’s a Guy Watching Pornography…

PoopyDadgum bumblebee-belchin’ hoopdy bumbler mcdoo Fred Thompson, the former Senator who was convinced to “run for president” in 2008 because he drove a pick-up truck, has finally weighed in on the issue of Mitt Romney’s undisclosed tax returns. Writing at National Review, which is trying to reestablish its cred after publishing that editorial a few weeks ago telling Romney to release his returns, the ol’ derper says, shucks, well I says, I says don’t release those taxy money-papers to the presscritters — just ignore those dumblydoodlies; they don’t deserve nothin’ so much in the way of informinatin’ and such like. The whole media sitchee-ation’s a lot like pornography, what with the watchin’, and the frownin’, and the no-goodin’. (Fred Thompson has written a poor column.)

Starting with the second paragraph:

These tax-return demands are just one of the ways politics gives us an excuse for doing what we could not otherwise get away with.

An adult watching movies every day during daylight hours would be frowned upon (unless he were a movie critic). A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized (unless he were a judge hearing a case about that subject matter). But a political race allows us, as “concerned citizens,” to consume information about what a candidate did with his lunch money in junior high, as well as whom his wife dated when she was a teenager.

As far as perennial guilty political pleasures go, none has achieved a greater and more predictable status than reviewing the tax return.

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Thank god he put in those parenthetical caveats, otherwise Fred Thompson might have been in danger of writing stupid analogies! (This deserves further consideration: “A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized”? Fred, writing columns in a major political media outlet hardly counts as ostracism. Another reason that this doesn’t stand up is that there are more than zero middle-aged men in the world who have not been ostracized.)

Oooh, now he’s going to teach us about retirement contributions:

Oftentimes, the more successful a person has been, the longer and more complicated his or her tax return will be. It is, therefore, that much more target-rich for the opposition. The thought of the selective and misleading use of a “rich guy’s” tax return makes the political ad man’s mouth water.

A small example: There is a provision in the tax law that allows a business owner, large or small, to set up a retirement account and not pay taxes on income that goes into that account until the money is drawn out, possibly years later. You must include and set aside money for your employees, too, although you can have as few as one employee. This deferral of taxes on the retirement contribution, of course, makes your taxable income less. This in turn lowers the current percentage of taxes paid on gross income.

In everyday life, such retirement accounts are considered sound and responsible. In the political world, such retirement planning is tailor-made for the 30-second unscrupulous ad.

Indeed. In everyday life, it is considered sound and responsible to put away $6,000 each year towards one’s retirement. That’s why most retirees have 100 million dollars now.

[NRO]

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About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell

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137 comments

      1. Mumbletypeg

        Without irony I hope you'll pardon me, OT: Patriot Jesus[?] had an image yesterday that was the focus of a parody on this "honey boo-boo" trending whatevercakes, I am unclear on the subject of his whimsy; I only know that the little girl featured looks a *lot* like the yellow-clad one in your old avatar. Is the image I'm referencing possibly a photoshop item cross-purposed for many uses? Since I could never see your avatar that clearly it just struck me the similar 'Girl Fleeing Scary Thing', her body language as one in pursuit…

        1. freakishlywrong

          It was a giant cat chasing a terrified girl, it's been around awhile. "Honey Boo Boo" is an unfortunate offshoot of the equally terrifying Toddlers in Tiaras. She's some odd ball baby pageant Southern child, who, I'm guessing has "personality" and thus has earned a half an hour on the cables.

  1. ManchuCandidate

    Good for Fred to take time out from napping between his wife's fake boobs to write something someone else told him to on his word machine to send out to the intertubes.

  2. Baconzgood

    "A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized"

    Or he can be like Baconz and find NEW friends on Wonkette.

  3. 1stNewtontheMoon

    in fairness, Thompson's wife was in high school only two years before he ran for president, so the fact that she was schtupping a meth dealer as a junior was at least of some consequence.

    we now return you to regularly scheduled pR0n viewing.

  4. bfddad

    Well, wait, what's $100 million minus $6,000? It's not that much right? I'm not so good at the math thing.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      It's quite simple. Mitt put $6,000.00 per year into an IRA at 999999999.99% compound interest.

      You won't believe what a difference compound interest makes.

  5. actor212

    A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized (unless he were a judge hearing a case about that subject matter).

    Today, we are all judges.

      1. thatsitfortheother1

        Why does that not give me a good feeling that somebody out there who does not know me is interested in the things I "read."

  6. FNMA

    Yes, pouring over tax returns is just like watching porn. I mean, look at all of that sweet, sweet money….oh, baby…I'm…

    Sorry about that.

  7. PubOption

    Unfortunately, I have not found a way to buy assets for my retirement plan that have their value controlled by me or my associates. If I could do such a thing, I'm sure my 401(k) would be worth millions by now.

  8. Baconzgood

    Dear Jim,

    Please refrain from having the word pornography and a photograph of Fred Thompson in the same post.

    Thanks,

    B.

  9. x111e7thst

    Taxes should only be discussed in quiet rooms by well fed white men. Anything else would be insanity.

  10. Fukui-sanYesOta

    Fred is right.

    We only need to look to England for examples. The pubilc find out that MPs are spending their money on $3000 floating duck houses or cleaning their moats and they get unreasonably angry about the whole thing.

    You can imagine the outcry when, alongside a $77000 deduction for a fey prancing horse, they find out Mittens has paid no tax because he's deducted unrealized investment depreciation. "Underwater" Mike Prius would be angry! He just doesn't understand that it's a rich guy thing.

  11. GunToting[Redacted]

    "Indeed. In everyday life, it is considered sound and responsible to put away $6,000 each year towards one’s retirement. That’s why most retirees have 100 million dollars now."

    Thank god! I've been diligently socking away my $6k each year, but have been terrified that when it finally came time to put down the pickaxe, I wouldn't have enough to live on. I feel better now, thanks!

    1. Angry_Marmot

      Trying to guess who he's referring to is going to descend into one of those Three Stooges finger pointing exercises. Or the most uncomfortable episode of Family Circus ever.

  12. SorosBot

    Couldn't you have run the Fred Thompson article last night, while I was suffering from bad insomnia?

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Dude, is something going around? I could NOT fucking sleep, and now I have an insomnia hangover.

      1. SorosBot

        You too? I'm just loading up on the caffeine today after taking hours to get to sleep last night.

        1. anniegetyerfun

          I'm only allowed one cup these days, but I made it extra strong and am seriously dreading the rest of the day.

      2. MissTaken

        That was me yesterday. And my waxer said all her clients and everyone at the salon hadn't slept well, either. Was there a solar flare? Or maybe the laser on the Mars rover is shooting at us?

        1. anniegetyerfun

          I'd love to blame some sort of extra terrestrial cause for this. It would make it feel more legit. A little tinfoil-hatty, but legit enough.

  13. Biff

    Oftentimes, the more successful a person has been, the longer and more complicated his or her tax return will be.

    The only fucking thing preventing me from being eligible to use the 1040-EZ form is the fact that I receive Social Security. More goddamned gummint interference. Keep the gummint outta my social security!

  14. Goonemeritus

    Well Nixon called Fred Thompson a moron so I tried to like him but in Fred’s case Nixon was a thoughtful judge of character.

  15. SorosBot

    Fred, there is one person in this race of whom people have in fact demanded to know "what a candidate did with his lunch money in junior high, as well as whom his wife dated when she was a teenage", and he's not the white guy.

    1. Chet Kincaid_

      Yes, where was Fred's outrage at the Obama Girlfriend Diaries? Or was he too busy fapping to them? (The thought of Barry in a sarong discussing philosophy gets his jowls all aquiver?)

  16. IncenseDebate

    Snarking on Fred Thompson is all well and good, but there's a target rich column by Dame Peggy Noonington just asking for it in the WSJ. Let's get at it Wonkette!

  17. JustPixelz

    "An adult watching movies every day during daylight hours would be frowned upon."

    Watching "Die Hard II" at any time would cause frowning upon.
    And don't get me frowning upon about "Aces: Iron Eagle II". (Did you ever notice that a colon in a movie title guarantees it's a piece of crap?)

    1. Baconzgood

      I call the Lifetime movies my mom watches "Colon" films. Because they always have colons and suck.

  18. James Michael Curley

    It eludes my mind and I would have to call up a friend who manages an IRS regional office, but several years ago the IRS approved and Congress passed and Bush signed a tax regulation that gave 16 people (not corporations) a combined tax credit of around $50,000,000. It was, "Surprise! All that money you paid us during the first part of this decade; we are giving it back."

  19. lochnessmonster

    And don't forget to get your reverse mortgage from AAG…Thompson will be so happy for you.

  20. Texan_Bulldog

    Why's Fred popping his ugly mug up now? I guess he's trying to remain relevant or he just got killed off in Law & Order (or whatever show he is on). I can't imagine anyone on earth caring about his opinion on, well…anything.

  21. smashedinhat

    because, politicians aren't regular ppl, unless it's convenient that they be such, or something.

  22. neiltheblaze

    Papa Fred is an accomplished man. He's the first Presidential candidate to conduct his entire campaign in a coma.

  23. elviouslyqueer

    These tax-return demands are just one of the ways politics gives us an excuse for doing what we could not otherwise get away with.

    Unlike, say, demanding that a certain Kenyan n***** usurper community organizer slash failed Columbia student and fake Harvard Law Review editor President release his real, authentic, certified, actual, legitimate birth certificate, educational records and grades dating back to preschool, tax returns, immigration and naturalization status, golf scores, proof of up-to-date immunization and sterilization records for his dog, and documents showing that he has regular bowel movements. Those are all perfectly legit requests, right Fred?

    STFU, you dumbass hick.

  24. GhostBuggy

    Thompson stood in his kitchen, feeling some minor heartburn after his scrambled eggs and gravy breakfast. He looked out the window at the neighbor kids. God, how he hated the sound of their laughter.

    Just then, he heard what he had been waiting for. Behind him, Mrs. Thompson shuffled into the room and began preparing her own breakfast.

    Thompson didn't take his eyes off the view out of his window.

    "Mornin'" he mumbled, quietly.

    His wife gave a disinterested "Mmm" in response. Did she, Thompson wondered, notice the latest issue of National Review on the table? The magazine he had placed there, specifically for her to notice?

    "Did you see the magazine? I have a story in it." His gaze never left the window and the bastard sunshine outside.

    "That's nice, dear," she said, absentmindedly flipping through it. Then, she saw it.

    "'Ostracized'? For God's sake, Fred, you have a problem! We had the intervention because we love you!"

    Thompson finally tore his eyes away from the outside. He glared at his wife.

    "I'll be in the basement."

  25. arihaya

    "And it came to pass that the LORD spake to Moroni saying: "Thou shall not fap". And Moroni did so, for it was what the LORD hath commanded."

    The Book of Mormon 1:69

  26. ttommyunger

    Fred makes me feel bad, not so much because he is a big, dumb cunt, which he is; but because he prolly fucked Lorrie Morgan before she lost her looks. I know, she's a twisted twat, but I always suspected she was a totally crazy lay.

    1. CapnFatback

      And Ahnold will always be remembered for Conan the Barbarian when he should totally be remembered for his great acting chops in Twins!

  27. James Michael Curley

    No Fred! This is the way tax returns work for those of us who don't make shitloads of money like you and Mitt. We get the money sucked out of our paycheck every week. We get more taken out then we know we are going to have to pay because we can't afford the onerous penalty if we exceed that $200 tax liability threshold. The we have to wait as much as a month before our employer sends us a W-2 and realize that they now have another 45 days to file a corrected W-2. Same for any bank or investment holdings we have but their deadline is the same day we have to file or be late. Then we have to carefully examine whether there is a change in the tax laws in the middle of the year like in 2011 where calculating investment earnings now have to be calculated based on the cost basis.

    Then, because any meager deductions we can take requires one to file a 1040 we have to wade through 86 lines of figures to get to the bottom and, one again, hope we didn't breach that $200 threshold. If we don't want to ar can't wait through all that we can hire a oily tax accountant who will promise us a big refund which ends up being only $8 more than what we owe him for finding the refund.

    No Fred! This is the way tax returns work for the people who actually work.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      My wife has foreign earned income. It now takes me from 1040EZ territory to long form and a bunch off schedules that I'm afraid of dorking up (bring in the oily tax accountant who will get it right for the low low price of $200.00).

      Thanks Chas Grassley (R, IA).

    1. Gleem McShineys

      Jesus, I heard that the Mormons were porn-addicts, but to actually send it to the IRS? That takes it to the next level.

  28. chicken_thief

    What Fred's writers fail to note is that ALL POTUS candidates are rich. They all have really smart people minimizing their liability.

    But in that world of the rich candidates, only Mittens is refusing to turn over prior years and even the complete 2010 return.

  29. James Michael Curley

    Lets put one of those calendar counting things up where the number of days since ??? is displayed.

    Mitt said he would release his 2011 returns as soon as they were finished. Oh, by the way, "I filled for an extension."

    That was 90 days and that extension was up 26 days ago.

    Also, since you have to file a good faith estimate of the amount of taxes you may owe, Mitt how much did you file with your request for an extension?

  30. HateMachine

    I like that his opening thing, with the caveats, nearly made the exact opposite case. Exemptions from judgement are granted to people whose job it is to pass judgement on the material, after all.

    If i had been shown those two sentences in isolation, without knowing that Foghorn Leghorn wrote them, I would've expected that next sentence to go "anyone asking to see a man's tax returns should be considered nosy and rude, unless that man is asking for you to make them the President."

  31. JustPixelz

    Jack McCoy: Everyone who's interviewed him has gotten a different story. And now he refuses to answer any more questions.

    DA Arthur Branch: He sounds as slippery as an eel in a barrel of oil. But his money can't lie.

    McCoy: He refuses to hand over his tax records.

    Branch: He sounds as stubborn as a mule in a barrel of cement. See if you can get our friends in the press to give him a nudge.

  32. DahBoner

    Sure, Mitt wants to collect a paycheck from American Taxpayers, but it's none of our business what our employees do–if they are Rich Republicans.

  33. Redhead

    "A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized for not using youporn instead"

    fixed that for Thompson, who is apparently NOT aware of all internet traditions…

  34. anniegetyerfun

    Hey, I never wanted to see anyone's tax returns. Ever. Or birth certificate. I'd be happy if we could have stuck to the issues. But THEY STARTED IT.

  35. Naked_Bunny

    But a political race allows us, as “concerned citizens,” to consume information about what a candidate did with his lunch money in junior high, as well as whom his wife dated when she was a teenager.

    Curious how Thompson uses the actual Republican strategy against Obama to strawman the Democratic strategy against Romney.

  36. Chet Kincaid_

    I would like Fred Thompson to release a Shatner-esque Spoken Word Album of Doobie Brothers lyrics. Can't you just hear him massaging the bucolicism of "Black Water" with his soothing, vacuous tone? "Well, I built me a raft and she's ready for floatin'. Ol' Mississippi, she's callin' my name…"

  37. Katydid

    But a political race allows us, as “concerned citizens,” to consume information about what a candidate did with his lunch money in junior high, as well as whom his wife dated when she was a teenager.

    Or, you know, the tax returns could just, I don't know, contain information about taxes. I for one don't put anything about junior high in my 1040, and I don't even have a wife.

  38. Limeylizzie

    What about large-breasted, middle-aged, English women watching and reading porn? Sexist and anti-immigrant Fred Thompson.

  39. mavenmaven

    "A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized (unless he were a judge hearing a case about that subject matter)… "

    "…but its OK for us old republicans to spend our day that way…"

  40. GeorgiaBurning

    Fred coming to the Mitt-bot's defense? Things must be desperate, this is like cleaning up the rusty cannon by the courthouse to defend the town from cruise missiles.

    1. Gleem McShineys

      Not only that, the town is also finding out that the rust was caused by something really really disturbing.

      FRED THOMPSON, YOU GET OUT OF THIS TOWN RIGHT NOW!

  41. elburritodeluxe

    Leave Romney's personal life alone and focus on the real issues! Like Barack Obama's fake Birth Certificate and his grades from college and his SAT scores.

  42. MonkeyMotion

    "A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized (unless he were a judge hearing a case about that subject matter)."

    Didn't realize there are so many budding judges in Red State America!

  43. Callyson

    As far as perennial guilty political pleasures go, none has achieved a greater and more predictable status than reviewing the tax return

    Obviously, Fred has never taken any tax accounting classes.

    Either that, or I need to be a *lot* more sympathetic to Mrs Thompson…

    1. tessiee

      Yes, but taxes come but once a year, whereas fred and the mrs.

      um…
      You know what, you're right about the sympathy.

  44. tessiee

    Homer Simpson: All of you politicians get out of my house! And that includes you, Fred Thompson! I see you trying to hide behind that plant!
    Fred Thompson [pleadingly]: But I was in "Die Hard".
    Homer [scornfully]: "Die Hard TWO"!

  45. tessiee

    "But a political race allows us, as “concerned citizens,” to consume information about what a candidate did with his lunch money in junior high, as well as whom his wife dated when she was a teenager."

    Condescending Wonka: Oh, then you must not care about a birth certificate.

  46. outragedcitizen

    So Thompson is saying that squirreling away millions of dollars in offshore accounts is the same as my putting money in an IRA or 401k? Damn, now don't I feel stupid.

  47. larrykat

    Sounds like Fred better start looking into one of those reverse mortgages that he flaks for on the teevee before someone has to start emptying his drool bucket and he can't take care of himself anymore.

  48. Gleem McShineys

    So in the Karl Rove/Atwater school of political chicanery, where you accuse your opponents of your own shortcomings…Fred Thompson is saying Mitt Romney has a porn problem? Or maybe he invested his junior high lunch money in death squads? Or his wife, as a teenager, was a male Pakistani spy?

    Perhaps I may have all the details fucked up, but in my defense, FRED THOMPSON WAS ALLOWED TO WRITE AN EDITORIAL.

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