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Texas Tax: Bill White releases tax returns; Rick Perry still not impressed

For months, Rick Perry's  campaign has been badgering opponent Bill White to release his tax returns. The governor's camp said they wouldn't even bother discussing debates until the former Houston mayor unleashed the elusive returns. At last, White has relented. His web site now includes quite the repository of tax returns and personal financial statements. Just for fun, White's campaign also created a web page that compares White's financial information with Perry's.

From White's 43-page 2009 return, we learn that he's not short on cash -- which is not breaking news -- and he has a variety of business interests and assets. No doubt interested journalists and political operatives are still poring over this document dump, and some hidden gem may yet emerge. But so far, the tax returns have mostly yielded a ho-hum reaction, raising the question: Why was that so hard? Was it really worth enduring the months-long beating to keep these returns under wraps?

Of course, while everyone is drowning in this new wave of documents, Perry's campaign says it's not enough. The governor's spokesman has called for White to release tax returns dating back to the 1990s, when the Democrat served as Deputy Secretary of Energy. Only then might Perry give consideration to sharing a stage with White. At this rate, perhaps White should dig out his third-grade report card while he's at it.

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