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Collins to Voters: 25 Pages Is Too Much For You to Absorb

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.”

Boom.

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. 


  • tonyintonawanda

    Unless someone is accused of illegality, no one should have to release their tax returns, their college transcripts, their divorce proceedings, their birth certificate or anything else to run for office.  Here are my ideas, decide if I’m qualified and then vote for me or not.

    You want to know why no one good runs for office anymore?  Because if you have actually accomplished something in your life rather than just get on the public payroll as a kid and then stay there until your number is called by the machine to run for office (South Buffalo, I’m looking at you) then chances are you’ve done some thing that can be twisted by political consultants, media gurus or blog writes for either side into something nefarious.

    How dare you invest in China yet I’ll go to Wal-Mart and demand the lowest prices possible which requires building this cheap crap in China.  It play to the general idiocy of the American public.

    • Mike_Chmiel

      How I am supposed to decide if one is qualified unless there is some disclosure?  Just on their word?

      Sorry, these people are running for the most important jobs in the country. I want to know everything about them.

      • tonyintonawanda

         Look, there’s a line between some disclosure and trying to dig up dirt.  The tax return thing is so people can gasp at how much someone made.  Wealth, or lack of it, is a qualification?

      • http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/ Christopher Smith

        If you’re running for office on your credentials as a businessman, your tax returns and evidence as to how you run your businesses are fair game. If you’re company was publicly traded, the numbers would already be out there, right?

        If you’re unwilling to release returns, stop running on your business credentials.

      • tonyintonawanda

         So, if you’re like Obama and didn’t run on really any credentials, then you’re OK?  How about those Colombia transcripts that he won’t release? 

      • Mike_Chmiel

        If you seriously think that a person’s report card from 25 years ago is as relevant as last year’s income tax returns – especially from a guy who is claiming that his business acumen is why he is the better candidate – then you are being a blind partisan.

        Obama’s credentials and his income were fully disclosed.  Besides, isn’t the cover-up just a bad idea?  It’s not like anyone suspects that the man is broke.  And I doubt that most people will care what his effective tax rate was.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1682873234 David A. Steele

         HAHAHA you right wing guys are so funny.  Who has copies of their college records and what is that supposed to show us?  That he was not as smart as everyone says he is?  How is this in any way comparable to seeing the financial history of Romney?   “Oooo look Obama got a B- in calculus – ooo he should not be president.”  That would be so much worse than finding out Romney is dodging taxes in the Caymans or hanging out with South American death squad funders.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1682873234 David A. Steele

         It has nothing to do with how much money he has.  It has to do with how he gets the money.

  • Mike_Chmiel

    Two things confirmed (again):

    (1) That Chris Collins could not tell you the time of day without sounding like a condescending jerk; and

    (2) That the Buffalo News is and has always been completely in Collins’ pocket.

    • tonyintonawanda

       The Buffalo News turned on Chris Collins and probably cost him his re-election to County Executive.  They have kid gloves for Poloncarz.  Imagine if Collins appointed a shill to the comptroller’s office — the supposed independent watchdog — like Poloncarz did with Shenk.  They would have killed him.  But for Mark they remain silent.

      • Mike_Chmiel

        You need to read Bob McCarthy’s continued amazement that Collins lost his last election even though he “did not raise taxes” and “cut spending”, but of which are verifiable falsehoods.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wnyresident Tony Fracasso

       (1) who cares?  If a condescending jerk can  create an environment so that our community can be competitive against other communities what is the issue?

      (2) How so?  They endorse Mark Poloncarz for CE. 

      Hey how’s the Holding Center lately? I believe Collins was being blamed for issues like suicides etc…  What is Mark’s excuse?

      http://www.buffalonews.com/city/police-courts/police-blotter/article1002600.ece

      One of the comments from the above story

      I am absolutely shocked poloncarz name was only mentioned once, and
      apparently in jest. Collins name would have appeared multiple times by
      now.

      MIKE MURPHY, WEST SENECA, NY”

      • http://www.facebook.com/wnyresident Tony Fracasso

         I forgot about this one while Mark Poloncarz is CE

        Holding Center inmate who attempted suicide sent letter about lack of care

        http://www.buffalonews.com/city/police-courts/police-blotter/article946170.ece

      • http://www.buffalopundit.com/ Alan Bedenko
      • Mike_Chmiel

        Given that Collins utterly failed to “create an environment” that would make Erie County competitive, I think I have a right to wonder if his character has anything to do with that.

        I also must have completely imagined that fawning “comeback” front page article on Collins when he announced his candidacy for Congress.  Four years of sycophantic reporting on the part of the Buffalo News hardly makes up for an endorsement that likely influenced no one.

      • Robert Galbraith

        The tell on the holding center situation will be if Poloncarz decides to blow tens of thousands in taxpayer money fighting the feds over the conditions at ECHC.