I have some breaking news:  The “word is out” that for the past 10 years Harry Reid has been beating his wife.   

Now, do I know that that’s true?  Well, I’m not certain.  But I don't think the burden should be on me.  The burden should be on him.  He’s the one I’ve alleged has been beating his wife.  Let him prove that he doesn’t beat his wife, because he does. 

An outrageous charge? You bet. But those are the exact phrases Harry Reid used to make the scurrilous accusation that Mitt Romney has paid zero taxes for 10 years. Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Reid declared:

So the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Reid admitted he had no proof to back his accusations, which he attributed to an unnamed Bain “investor”:

"Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain.... I don’t think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?"

Jon Stewart had it right the other night when, in his scathing take-down of Reid, he said: “Here’s a rule of thumb, when you have to follow your accusation with the words ‘I don’t know that’s true,’ then shut up.”

This is not the first time the Democrats have tried this tactic on Romney. Just a few weeks ago a senior Obama campaign official alleged that Romney may have committed a “felony” by lying to the SEC about his tenure at Bain.  A felony.  So let’s be fair to Harry Reid. He’s just following the standards of political ethics set by the president of the United States: Say anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a shred of evidence. Just make it up and throw it out there. 

Now, Reid’s defenders say this could all be cleared up if Romney would just release all his tax returns.  I’m on record saying he should have done so a long time ago.  But Romney has agreed to release two years of his tax returns — which is more than some prominent Washington politicians have released. A few weeks ago, McClatchy News asked all 535 members of Congress to release just one year of returns. Only 17 members complied with the request.  CBS news reports that:

Among those who refused to turn over their returns [was .... wait for it ...] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

So what exactly is Harry Reid hiding in those returns?  I have no idea.  But what the heck, let’s do like Harry and speculate.  Has Harry Reid been taking money under the table from shady casino operators?  Is he on the take from the Las Vegas mob? The “word is out” that Harry Reid is corrupt.  Do I know that’s true?  No.  I admit I have absolutely no proof.  But the burden should not be on me.  The burden should be on him.  He's the one I've accused of being on the take. Let Harry Reid prove he’s not corrupt.

Release your returns, Harry.