published Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Attack on Mitt Romney for his tax payments is misguided

  • photo
    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands in front of a foreclosed home in Lehigh Acres, Fla., Tuesday, the day he released his taxes.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The news media breathlessly awaited the release of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's 2010 tax returns. But now that the returns have been made public, they paint a different picture from the "greedy fat cat" portrayal of Romney.

It is certainly true that former Massachusetts Gov. Romney has been a successful businessman, and his investments earned him more than $21 million in 2010. No one should begrudge him that income, however, because there is no indication that he earned it illegally or unethically. So long as income is earned honestly, it is contrary to America's free-enterprise values to dictate just how much is "too much."

Romney paid about $3 million in federal income taxes -- or around 14 percent. But it is noteworthy that he also made charitable contributions totaling $3 million. Are those the actions of a "greedy fat cat"?

Some are criticizing Romney for paying "too low" a tax rate. But we would point out that, with Romney never having served in Congress, he obviously did not write the tax code that set the rate he pays. His tax rate is an argument not for bashing him, but for replacing the ridiculously complex tax code with a simple, low, fair flat tax.

You may or may not want Romney to be president, but if his tax returns reveal anything, it is that he is a charitably minded, successful businessman and investor. Whatever reasons there may be to oppose Romney, his tax returns aren't one of them.

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JustOneWoman said...

Romney is a pirate. That is what he does for a living. Gingrich can't control himself, much less any part of government. Romney is in it for the golden thread and Gingrich is in it for the money and fame.

So much for the clown car!

January 26, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.
HighFastHard said...

MITT ROMNEY (1/23/2012): I pay all the taxes that are legally required, and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for President who pays more taxes than he owes.

No... but you might want one who thinks that's wrong.'Cause here's the little game Romney gets to play. Yes, his tax burden is absurdly low. But he's just following the provisions in the tax code, there's nothing he can do about it, he's just a law-abiding citizen. But here's what you don't know about the rules of that little game.

In 2007, there was a bipartisan bill to make private equity investors like Romney pay the ordinary income tax rate of 35% on their carried interest earnings, instead of the 15% they've been paying since 1987. Well, funny story.

7/11/2007: REPORTER: Do you suspect that the tax treatment for carried interest will be changed?

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY: Listen, if I could tell you about the number of lobbyists that have been hired in the last two months to work this issue, you would know that it'd be very risky for me to predict what would happen on this.

Ooh! May I make a prediction, because I'm in the future? Um, yeah, they killed it. Now by the way, who were those lobbyists who had so much influence over our government, that Charlie Grassley, the Republican Senate Finance Committee's ranking guy, he co-sponsored the bill to adjust the tax rate.... Who were the lobbyists that were so powerful, this guy sh*ts his bricks like he's talking about Voldemort when he brings them up?

Well, it was the Private Equity Council, a lobbying group formed that very year by the country's biggest private equity firms, including Mitt Romney's Bain Capital.

Now to be fair, Bain is not Romney, Romney is not necessarily Bain. This whole issue could be an issue they part ways on. Roll tape from 2007.

8/28/2007: LARRY KUDLOW: Have you come out on the proposals coming out of the Democratic Congress to raise taxes on hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, and so forth?

ROMNEY: Yeah, I don't think it's a good idea to raise taxes.


Not to say Mitt Romney doesn't believe the tax system need not be reformed. There are certain taxes he feels should be raised.

ROMNEY (10/10/2011): 47% of Americans paying no income tax, that's a heck of a big number.

Yes... the tax code is so unfair to you. So to clarify, the millions of dollars that Mitt Romney saves because of the aggressively lobbied 15% tax rate is legal and fair, and he's entitled to that from the government, no strings attached. But where does Romney stand on other such government largesse?

ROMNEY (1/5/2012): I also like the idea that people who are receiving assistance, welfare assistance, have a responsibility of working.

ROMNEY (1/16/2012): I think he wants us to become an entitlement society, where the people in this country feel they're all entitled to something from government.

January 26, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
EaTn said...

Does anyone really think Romney or Gingrich gives a big rat about the middle class or national debt? Hint: their income and tax statements should provide a clue.

January 26, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.
mymy said...

Some people don't pay their (fair share) taxes:

Feds, military owe $3.4B in unpaid taxes. There is no comparable data to compare the compliance rates of taxpayers in the private sector, but in past years when the IRS did track compliance rates of private and public sector workers, the delinquency rates were about the same.

Many of those federal employees who owe Uncle Sam enter into payment plans with the IRS. Currently, only IRS employees can be fired for failing to pay their taxes, however, legislation has been introduced that would require federal agencies to fire employees who are seriously delinquent in their taxes.

36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes.

So, before you pick on the rich who pay their taxes per the laws.....wise up!

Romney's taxes are paid on a rich man's retirement investments. He paid a higher rate when he had earned income. His current rate is not on "earned" income, but capital gains income. Now if you are just an average retired person with a few investment to use for retirement, I guess you think they don't deserve what they worked, saved and invested for in their retirement either. Start taxing at 30% on this type of investments and you can bet you sweet A$$ the stock market will tank and the effect on every day average Jack and Jill's 401's, etc. will be horrible.

Most people do not understand the tax code and cannot tell when the Big O or anybody is lying or misleading to them.

The tax code needs a redo, but not just to attack the rich cause the class warfare Prez says so.

Why shouldn’t people receiving assistants from the taxpayers work doing something that cuts down on taxpayers expenses on the local level? I sure would like to see my property taxes go down!

And yes The O wants us to become an entitlement society, where the people in this country feel they're all entitled to something from government. His policies prove it. 3 years and the economy is not getting better regardless of what the Liar in Chief says. Didn’t the jobless number go up again today?

January 26, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.
EaTn said...

I'm not sure we need a president who couldn't remember that he had income from an off-shore Swiss bank account as disclosed today. He is brilliant though in being able to squeeze his income tax of millions of dollars income down to less than 15%. Ironically, that percent is almost equal to the current percent federal taxes of gdp which is the lowest in over fifty years, thanks in part to Bush's wealthy tax breaks that are still pushing up the national debt.

January 26, 2012 at 5:46 p.m.
brokentoe said...

@"Romney paid about $3 million in federal income taxes -- or around 14 percent. But it is noteworthy that he also made charitable contributions totaling $3 million

What the writer doesn't mention is most, might all, of that 3 million in donations went to Romney's church. Which was likely recycled back to him in some way.

January 26, 2012 at 8:54 p.m.

Or spent on Proposition 8, you know, funding the conduct of the government of California.

January 26, 2012 at 10:23 p.m.
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