Readers react to the late-afternoon news dump from the Romney camp on Friday:

Why did Romney give us a tax letter from 1990? He’s only been asked for ten years. I bet he did it because the ’90-’98 taxes jack up his average. Also, note the spokesman’s comment that he did not claim all his possible deductions because “he made a promise to the American people that he would not pay less than 13.9%”. He did it for us. That is so nice Mitt, thanks. He really did it because he did not want to get caught in another lie. Shameless!

“An ex-notary” writes:

You mention a notarized letter as some sort of evidence of Romney’s returns. The notarization part of it only applies the the signature, ie. the notary certifies that that person signed that piece of paper in the notary’s presence. It has no bearing on the content of the letter. I expect that the campaign might be taking advantage of the fact that to many people ‘notarized’ means ‘verified’ or ‘true’, when it really does not.

Many readers are making this point:

If Romney wins the presidency, it will have cost him about $600,000 in extra taxes for 2011. If he loses, he can file an amended return and get his money back.

That’s exactly the same level of “risk” he took when he went to run Bain Capital. Another:

The standard wage earner has 15.3% of his wages go to pay roll tax (7.65% from the employee and, in a polite fiction, 7.65% from the employer – but that employer portion just eats into the compensation the empoyee could have gotten, so it’s coming out of her pay one way or another). Now Romney’s income is nearly all capital gains, so only a tiny fraction goes to pay roll taxes. So it’s entirely fair to say that Romney, at 14.1% federal taxes, pays less in taxes as a percentage on his income than the 47% moochers he described.

Which kinda closes the circle. Another:

Cooking your own tax returns in order to pay more taxes so your effective rate equals what you previously said it was is stupid. Cooking your tax returns so you pay more taxes than you owe, after you said anyone who does so should be excluded from running for president, is beyond stupid. But doing all this when you know you can simply amend your returns later and recoup all those extra taxes means you think the American people are stupid.

The man is getting credit for being intelligent because he has money and because he was willing to say anything in order to win his party’s nomination. He’s effectively been running for president non-stop for four years at least, and this is the best he can do?