Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a richer man than Mitt Romney by all accounts, told reporters earlier today that everyone should file a tax return, if only symbolically.

But the mayor also said the press shouldn’t get caught up in the “sideshow” that is Romney’s remarks on the supporters of President Obama not paying any taxes and living off the welfare state.

“If you pay a dollar or at least file a return, I think it’s a good lesson that you’re part of society and you have a say and you have a responsibility and all the great privleges we have don’t come from nothing.”

But Bloomberg says he would like the media to get both Obama and Romney into substantive debates on issues like gun control and immigration — both causes of the mayor in his final term.

He added, “I think all this brouhaha over Romney’s comments take away from the fact that both these candidates should tell us what they’re going to do going forward” on guns, health care, immigration. “Maybe it’s incumbent on the fourth estate to say, that’s very nice, you shouldn’t be making the story for them … you should force the issue.”