The policy implications of Mitt Romney’s 13 percent

Tax accountant Mitt Romney, having given investor Mitt Romney’s tax returns a thorough and independent review, reported Thursday that presidential candidate Mitt Romney had paid a minimum of 13 percent of his income in federal taxes every year for the past decade.

So that settles that, I guess.

Actually, I’m willing to take Romney’s word on this specific point. He should still release additional tax returns, and it’s quite clear that there’s something in those returns that in Romney’s mind would not pass muster with the voters. There is no other plausible explanation for why he has refused to follow the precedent set by every other major candidate in the modern era.

However, on the matter of whether Romney paid taxes, and how much he paid, I’m willing to trust his word. For one thing, the backlash should it prove to have been a lie would devastate his campaign. (And yes, accepting Romney’s word means that Harry Reid has either been badly misled by his secret informer or that the Senate majority leader is himself lying.)

In revealing the minimum level of taxes that he has paid, Romney also questioned why so much attention continues to be focused on the matter:

“I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty — the fascination with taxes I’ve paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face.”

On that point, Romney’s answer is much too coy.

Romney is very wealthy. Tax rates on the wealthy is one of the more heated policy questions in this campaign season. So voters are naturally curious about what effect current tax policy has had on his financial situation, and what effect proposed changes would have.

As we know, the Republican position has long been that taxes on the wealthy and on corporations are punitively high, and that reducing them would help create jobs and new investment. President Bush, for example, used that argument in successfully pushing major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, yet finished his eight-year presidency with fewer private non-farm payroll jobs than when he began.

Despite that history, both Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, continue to push the story line that America’s wealthy are being used and abused by the ungrateful masses, and continue to present tax plans that would further favor wealthier Americans. For example, the budget proposed by Ryan in 2010 and passed with overwhelming GOP support in the House would have cut Romney’s effective tax rate to 0.82 percent in 2010, the only year for which Romney has released his returns.

Even without that change, however, Romney’s effective tax rate of roughly 13 percent for at least two in the last 10 years suggests that the picture of an overtaxed upper class is simply wrong. Millions and millions of less-affluent Americans pay Uncle Sam a lot bigger share of their income than did Romney, and they have every reason to wonder why that might be.

– Jay Bookman

498 comments Add your comment

mm

August 17th, 2012
12:42 pm

This makes him unelectable to the voters with common sense.

getalife

August 17th, 2012
12:43 pm

I will take Reid’s word for it using the karma rule.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
12:43 pm

Jay — “He should still release additional tax returns, and it’s quite clear that there’s something in those returns that in Romney’s mind would not pass muster with the voters. There is no other plausible explanation for why he has refused to follow the precedent set by every other major candidate in the modern era.”

This is exactly it, Jay. Thank you for distilling the point.

Mick

August 17th, 2012
12:45 pm

Romney acts as if he is seeking to be president of student government not president of the united states, who needs that kind of candidate around anyhow?

the cat

August 17th, 2012
12:46 pm

When he loses in November, scholars will point to the tax evasion issue as the root cause of his defeat.

Robert

August 17th, 2012
12:47 pm

Jay, apparently you either don’t know the difference between income or capital-gains tax, or you’re intentionally being dishonest to push a particular agenda. Color me shocked if its the latter.

Robert Lee

August 17th, 2012
12:48 pm

Its hard to believe that the GOP powers would have pushed mittens to the front if they knew of something in his tax records…….but then again they put Palin up as VP so who knows?

getalife

August 17th, 2012
12:48 pm

This was the fatal error in his campaign but to be fair our President does not have to prove anything to the American too.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
12:49 pm

T. Cat — “When he loses in November, scholars will point to the tax evasion issue as the root cause of his defeat.”

If he can’t be honest about his own taxes, then how could he think himself trustworthy on matters like ‘well, we have to go to war with Iran’ or ‘we need to cap medical malpractice damages at $100K?’

If you can’t be honest about smaller things, Mr. Romney, then you damn sure can’t be honest about bigger ones.

Jackie

August 17th, 2012
12:49 pm

Mitt Romney will garner many, many votes and maintains a small chance of defeating President Obama in the November election despite his refusal to allow the public to view his tax returns.

His tax return for year 2011 has not been completed and is still has not been released.

What happens if he is elected President?; does he refuse to release his tax returns even though it is required?

Brosephus™ - 2012 Winner of the Firm Grasp of the Obvious Award©

August 17th, 2012
12:49 pm

You Taxist!!!! As much as I’d like to discuss this, I’ve nothing more to add unless Romney chooses to dispose of all rumors once and for all.

Y’all enjoy this one…

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
12:50 pm

R. Lee — “Its hard to believe that the GOP powers would have pushed mittens to the front if they knew of something in his tax records…….but then again they put Palin up as VP so who knows?”

Palin wasn’t vetted properly. And I kind of doubt that Presidential candidates get vetted by their party at all.

They BOTH suck

August 17th, 2012
12:51 pm

Jay

We have to blame Congress on both sides of the aisle for their part in getting us to this place.

Romney is taking advantage of what the law allows him to take advantage of imo.

I don’t think that there should be a way that he only pays 13%, but unless he has done something wrong, I say we must look at Congress.

Jay

August 17th, 2012
12:53 pm

Well Robert, perhaps you would like to lecture us on what I got wrong. The floor is yours, sir.

Mick

August 17th, 2012
12:53 pm

As this campaign develops, mitt romney comes off less presidential each week. Moaning and groaning about rough and tumble presidential politics is an eye opener. If he can’t handle the verbal jabs of a campaign or be forthright and honest about his taxes, what does that say about his views on the middle class and poor? He most definitely is the wrong man at the wrong time! The ryan pick confirms it…

mm

August 17th, 2012
12:55 pm

“apparently you either don’t know the difference between income or capital-gains tax,”

And this is what the cons can’t comprehend. The tax rate should be the same for both income and capital gains. Both taxes apply to money you have earned.

getalife

August 17th, 2012
12:55 pm

Both,

Fair point but keep in mind they pay good money to keep those loopholes and the only way to stop it is election reform.

Pelosi states she is willing to take on this issue but needs to flip the house.

Jay

August 17th, 2012
12:56 pm

TBS, I agree fully. I would not imply nor infer that Romney did something wrong based on his effective tax rate. It’s a question of policy not criminality.

booger

August 17th, 2012
12:56 pm

mm…….Are you accusing him of breaking the law, or are you saying he should have donated extra money to the feds. Otherwise why sould he be unelectable.

barking frog

August 17th, 2012
12:56 pm

Just like Obama’s Birth
records if there is nothing
to hide it is foolish to not
release the tax records and
continue the controversy.
However i think the law is
2 years and that is what
Mccain released.

mm

August 17th, 2012
12:57 pm

I saw somewhere this morning that a major corporation paid their CEO more than they paid in taxes (they actually got 9 figure refund). The fix is in folks. It’s time to change the tax code.

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
12:57 pm

“However, on the matter of whether Romney paid taxes, and how much he paid, I’m willing to trust his word. For one thing, the backlash should it prove to have been a lie would devastate his campaign. (And yes, accepting Romney’s word means that Harry Reid has either been badly misled by his secret informer or that the Senate majority leader is himself lying.)”

Thanks for your reasonable concession, Jay. Trying to get some of the liberal posters on this forum to acknowledge as much is like pulling teeth.

“Even without that change, however, Romney’s effective tax rate of roughly 13 percent for at least two in the last 10 years suggests that the picture of an overtaxed upper class is simply wrong. Millions and millions of less-affluent Americans pay Uncle Sam a lot bigger share of their income than did Romney, and they have every reason to wonder why that might be.”

I guess the same can be said of Buffet (who I’ve read paid around an 11% effective tax rate in 2010), despite arguing that he should pay more taxes (although he could have voluntarily done so, which take the force out of his argument) on behalf of the Obama campaign. Ryan has said recently in a CBS interview that part of reforming taxes will be closing the loopholes for wealthy Americans. In my opinion, wealthy people who demonstrably invest in actually creating jobs should perhaps be given a tax break (to incentivize such behavior) while those who do not should pay more in taxes.

TiredOfIt

August 17th, 2012
12:58 pm

Reading other blogs; it seems that Romney’s supporters are getting a little nervous about the tax issue, judging by their talking point responses. This guy is hiding more than his taxes, I am trying to remember anything that he says that isn’t 30,000 foot level babel.

mm

August 17th, 2012
12:59 pm

booger,

He’s paying 13% on millions of dollars. Most Americans pay well over 20%. Why should a rich man pay less taxes than someone in the middle class struggling to survive?

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
1:00 pm

“If he can’t be honest about his own taxes, then how could he think himself trustworthy on matters like ‘well, we have to go to war with Iran’ or ‘we need to cap medical malpractice damages at $100K?’

Would you apply the same logic to acts of martial infidelity (after having taken a vow), JHM?

BlahBlahBlah

August 17th, 2012
1:02 pm

Even at 13% he paid more in real dollars than every poster here combined.

Jay

August 17th, 2012
1:02 pm

I saw somewhere this morning that a major corporation paid their CEO more than they paid in taxes (they actually got 9 figure refund). The fix is in folks. It’s time to change the tax code.

That’s because the CEO performed more services for the company than did the federal government, which merely paves the roads on which they ship their goods, enforces the law that protects their intellectual and physical property, helps to educate the workers on whom they rely, etc.

mm

August 17th, 2012
1:03 pm

“In my opinion, wealthy people who demonstrably invest in actually creating jobs should perhaps be given a tax break (to incentivize such behavior) while those who do not should pay more in taxes.”

And that is why the GOP is going to get destroyed. History proves otherwise. When taxes were higher, the wealthy had an incentive to reinvest in their companies to avoid taxes as opposed to hoarding their cash.

Paul

August 17th, 2012
1:03 pm

Again: even if Romney is found to have calculated his taxes correctly and paid exactly what’s owed, that would not be the issue. The issue will be ‘look at those shady deductions and schemes he used to get his taxes low. YOU can’t use those because you’re not rich! HE’S rich and he’s skating at your expense.”

It’s a win-win for Democrats.

Susan Page Washington bureau chief for USA Today on The Diane Rehm Show today said that 13% doesn’t sound like very much to most of us because most of us pay a lot more than 13%.

I wonder who’s out of touch here? Who’s crowd is giving a skewed impression? According to The Center on Budget and Priorities (using CBO data) “A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 5.6 percent of its 2011 income in federal income taxes, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. [3] Average income tax rates for these typical families have been lower during the Bush and Obama Administrations than at any time since the 1950s, as Figure 1 shows. ”

So “most of us pay more and Romney’s getting by with less?” I do not think so.

Having said that, the real issue is those with millions in income pay at a substantially lower marginal rate than middle income families because of tax advantages that disproportionately accrue to that income bracket.

And Ryan and Romney and Republicans would increase that disparity even further.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3151

mm

August 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

“Even at 13% he paid more in real dollars than every poster here combined”

Like I said, “voters with common sense”.

weetamoe

August 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

He should just release information about the amount he has paid. If there are any irregularities in his actual returns the IRS would have already caught them. The Obama administration has sent the IRS after most of Romney’s wealthy donors and instigated investigations by the labor relations board against a couple of them. The insinuation that he must have something to hide sounds like smears from the old HUAC or the Bush administration defending the warrantless tapping into phone conversations (but of course the Obama administration has continued and expanded that practice). The Obama administration letter to Romney demanding release of 5 years of returns in exchange for an end to the harassment suggests that the Chicago protection racket is infecting the nation’s capitol.

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:05 pm

Towncrier — “Would you apply the same logic to acts of martial infidelity (after having taken a vow), JHM?”

Yes. And I apply that equally to both parties; I quickly called for Anthony Weiner to step down when his cellphone hijinks were exposed (so to speak).

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:06 pm

Blah — “Even at 13% he paid more in real dollars than every poster here combined.”

So what?

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 17th, 2012
1:06 pm

he paid more in real dollars than every poster here combined

jeez, THAT didn’t take long…

Paul

August 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

Robert

Jay, apparently you either don’t know the difference between income or capital-gains tax,”

Maybe this will help your answer? Last I looked at my tax return, capital gains income information was an attachment on my 1040 income tax return.

Then again, maybe it won’t help your answer…

Jay

FYI –

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/08/16/4184754/study-companies-paid-more-to-ceos.html#storylink=misearch

Twenty-six big U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study released Thursday by a liberal-leaning think tank.

The study, by the Institute for Policy Studies, said the companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year while paying little or no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings.”

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

There is a reason the gop wants to address our tax code and lower taxes for their donors is part of it.

I think tax code prosecutors should write the bill not lobbyists.

Verbal Kint

August 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

Do we have a revenue or spending problem in government?

Jay

August 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

Crier, I think the only two words that matter on your post are “if true.”

Because it clearly is not, so why post it?

Moderate Lin

August 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

There is no other plausible explanation for why he has refused to follow the precedent set by every other major candidate in the modern era.
++++
This statement was ruled false by poltifact.com
http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2012/aug/14/debbie-wasserman-schultz/major-candidates-modern-times-have-release-12-year/

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:08 pm

Towncrier — ” In my opinion, wealthy people who demonstrably invest in actually creating jobs should perhaps be given a tax break (to incentivize such behavior) while those who do not should pay more in taxes.”

Don’t recall if we’ve discussed it or not, but I’ve said almost precisely the same thing. :)

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
1:08 pm

“And that is why the GOP is going to get destroyed. History proves otherwise. When taxes were higher, the wealthy had an incentive to reinvest in their companies to avoid taxes as opposed to hoarding their cash.”

Would you mind elaborating upon and substantiating this point?

Paul

August 17th, 2012
1:08 pm

my last post was for mm not Jay, but ya’ll are welcome to it.

Recon 0311 2533

August 17th, 2012
1:08 pm

The Democrats are whining like spoiled brats crying because they only get one scoop of ice cream instead of two. The voters are far more concerned with high unemployment, the weak economy, our growing deficit and deteriorating living standards along with other issues far more important than putting Romney’s tax returns under the microscope. Anyone with half a brain knows that the Obama campaign wants to avoid issues voters are most concerned with because team Obama hasn’t been doing a particularly good job. The Romney campaign knows that all the Democrats want is material they can nit pick to divert attention from having to defend this administrations failures.

mm

August 17th, 2012
1:08 pm

Anyone who gives Romney a pass on his offshore accounts is not a coomon sense voter.

Rex

August 17th, 2012
1:09 pm

He should still release additional medical & school records as well as college transcripts, passports, harvard law papers & thesis, and it’s quite clear that there’s something in those records & transcripts that in Obama’s mind would not pass muster with the voters. There is no other plausible explanation for why he has refused to follow the precedent set by every other major candidate in the modern era.

Agree %100 !!!

godless heathen

August 17th, 2012
1:09 pm

There is no other plausible explanation for why he has refused to follow the precedent set by every other major candidate in the modern era.

Maybe it ain’t none of your bidness.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:09 pm

V. Kint — “Do we have a revenue or spending problem in government?”

Both. Anyone who tries to make just *one* side the problem is harboring an agenda.

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:09 pm

crier,

Try to focus on the issue and not a silly distraction.

Thanks.

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
1:09 pm

“Don’t recall if we’ve discussed it or not, but I’ve said almost precisely the same thing.”

Is that evidence that great minds really do think alike? Or that even a broken clock is right twice a day?

Welcome to the Occupation

August 17th, 2012
1:09 pm

And yes, accepting Romney’s word means that Harry Reid has either been badly misled by his secret informer or that the Senate majority leader is himself lying

But why is Harry Reid under any obligation to take Mitt Romney at his word?

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:10 pm

G. Heathen — “Maybe it ain’t none of your bidness.”

It is if he wants to be President.

Paul

August 17th, 2012
1:10 pm

“Because it clearly is not, so why post it?”

Because not everyone here reads Drudge?

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:11 pm

rex,

Thanks for that mindless con knee jerk reaction but lets focus on the issue.

Thanks.

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:11 pm

The top 1% pay an effective federal tax rate rate of 19%, vs 14.4% for those in the top quintile, 6.2% for those in the second quintile, 3.3% for those in the middle quintile, and zero (or less) for those in the bottom two quintiles.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=456

Facts are stubborn things.

Obambarrassment

August 17th, 2012
1:11 pm

So candidate Obama analyzed President Obama’s Vice President, made an excuse for his most recent outrageous “chains” comments and the incurious media said, “well, that settles that, I guess.”

I like this discussion about Mitt Romney’s taxes. I do. We need a new -er word to describe it–a word like “birther” or “truther”.

“Taxer” won’t work, but that certainly describes Obama. The taxer-in-chief would presumably allow taxes to rise in January were he elected–increases that everyone knows would harm the economic, ah, “recovery” we are experiencing now.

But Obama’s position is on record that taxes should go up despite the fact that reducing capital gains taxes has repeatedly resulted in increased revenue to the government, as well as higher significant reductions have helped grow the economy (the Reagan era), because of critical issue of “fairness,” the issue that Bookman all but plainly states in his column.

I wonder which the American people would appreciate more, having a growing economy, increased revenue to the government to support already high spending or the smug satisfaction of liberal columnists that a rich guy like Mitt Romney is paying a much larger share of his income in taxes?

That’s the choice Americans have this year.

It’s no wonder the incredulity we have that so many Obama supporters call themselves “progressives”.

godless heathen

August 17th, 2012
1:12 pm

It is if he wants to be President.

Why? I don’t see “release tax returns” in the qualifications section of the Constitution.

Jay

August 17th, 2012
1:12 pm

Moderate, Schulz-Wasserman alleged they had all released 12 years of returns, which is what was ruled false.

McCain released just two years, but he had been releasing financial info as a U.S. senator for many years prior to that.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:12 pm

Towncrier — “Is that evidence that great minds really do think alike? Or that even a broken clock is right twice a day?”

I prefer to think the former, but be careful — some will tar you with the latter label if you let on that it’s me you’re agreeing with. :D

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:12 pm

Or, stated another way, the assertion that Romney pays a lower effective tax rate than average Americans is a flat out lie.

Verbal Kint

August 17th, 2012
1:13 pm

JHM – Correct. But is increasing tax on 2% of the citizens a long term answer to more revenue or is creating more jobs, thus broadening the tax base, a better way?

Oscar

August 17th, 2012
1:13 pm

I saw an interview with Ann Romney last night on the news. She said her”s and Mitt’s financies and taxes had been handled in a blind trust for the missing ten years and they didn’t even know how much taxes they had paid.

That doesn’t square with Mitt’s story that he reviewed his tax returns.

If his wife is right, he couldn’t have. If she is wrong, that means he has been lying to her about what he has been doing.

Either way, looks bad. They should get their stories straight and give out the same answers.

Which story is right?

Get me Rex Kramer

August 17th, 2012
1:13 pm

13% of millions is a great deal more than 15 or 20% of let’s say $80K. Enough with the fair share retoric that you on the left constantly spew. If you think that jacking up the rates on capital gains will only effect the very wealthy, then you don’t have a clue on how the econmony actually works.

Jay

August 17th, 2012
1:14 pm

But Obama’s position is on record that taxes should go up despite the fact that reducing capital gains taxes has repeatedly resulted in increased revenue to the government, as well as higher significant reductions have helped grow the economy (the Reagan era).

Absolute BS, proved to be so repeatedly.

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
1:14 pm

“Because it clearly is not, so why post it?”

Because I am not aware that it is clearly not true (I just read about it). The source is Klein, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Please refute if you feel that way.

Welcome to the Occupation

August 17th, 2012
1:14 pm

A man who has reaped untold benefits from the tax policies of recent decades pursuing activities (Private Equity) that only became possible in the recent era under conditions of this new hyper-financialized capitalism who is the first candidate in modern times not to release more information on his income – and yet it’s unreasonable to look askance on that?

THAT is truly beyond the pale. And in no way whatsoever is it in the same league as Obama and the ridiculous birth certificate circus. Not that this stopped CNN’s Alex Castellanos from trying to demagogue the issue this week.

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:15 pm


The United States federal government uses a progressive tax system, which means that the tax rate increases as you earn more money. However, the higher tax rates are only applied to income above a certain level.

Read more: How to Calculate Effective Income Tax Rates | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6763579_calculate-effective-income-tax-rates.html#ixzz23pBtTOVz

Paul

August 17th, 2012
1:15 pm

Ben Shockley

“Facts are stubborn things.”

They are also without context. What’s your point? Do you agree with the spread? Think it in need of correction? Do you think the top 1% should pay 1%? Is that it?

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:15 pm

ben pointing out lies is hilarious,

Thanks for the laugh ben.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:15 pm

G. Heathen — “Why? I don’t see “release tax returns” in the qualifications section of the Constitution.”

I didn’t speak to qualifications, and I think you know it.

He’s going to have a hard time persuading people to trust him enough to make him President if he doesn’t trust the American people enough to show them what all the hubbub is about.

Uh Oh

August 17th, 2012
1:16 pm

Sam is here

How bout Dave?

TaxPayer

August 17th, 2012
1:17 pm

If I hid money off shore and paid no federal income taxes on that unknown quantity but paid federal income taxes on some portion that I decided to report, what would my federal income tax be as a fraction of my total income:

Fed Tax on total income (%) = (federal tax paid / (reported income + unreported income)) x 100

Given that the percentage of tax paid on reported earnings was claimed to be 13%, if unreported earning were equal to reported earnings, the percentage of tax paid would be 6.5%; if unreported earnings were double reported earnings, the percentage of tax paid would be 4.3%; if unreported earnings were four times reported earnings, the percentage of tax paid would be 2.6%…

What are you Romneys hiding in those off-shore accounts?
What income did you use each year to determine your tithe?

Why would anyone other than a true peer (i.e., another with equally suspicious background with regard to blood money financing, off-shore accounts, unusual tax deductions, non-transparency in disclosures, etc.) trust Mitt Romney in the role of leader of the United State? You’d have to be Republican tool to answer that. Speak up, Republican tools.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 17th, 2012
1:17 pm

13% of millions is a great deal more than 15 or 20% of let’s say $80K.

We should be grateful for the tender mercies of our blessed Mittens.

And we should accept his “13%” number as truthful, even though, well…

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/10/13221172-chronicling-mitts-mendacity-vol-xxix?lite

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:17 pm

Paul, my point is that the assertion that Romney pays a lower effective tax rate than millions of average Americans is a flat out lie. And my assertion is irrrefutable.

I'm a liberal and believe everything I read and nothing the other side comes up with...cause we're smart and they are not

August 17th, 2012
1:17 pm

All this from a crowd that took three years to see a simple Birth Certificate……But Being opened minded, That might have insulting.

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:17 pm

Just release ten years of taxes.

It is not going away.

mm

August 17th, 2012
1:18 pm

“Would you mind elaborating upon and substantiating this point?”

No, but if you’ll put down your daily prep sheet and research it you might be enlightened.

The GOP passed a law under Bush that gave tax breaks to companies who offshore their jobs. The Dems have tried twice to turn this around and give tax breaks to companies that bring the jobs back to the US. The GOP killed it. Gotta have that cheap labor. Well guess what? Because many Americans are broke due to stagnant or lower wages, they can’t afford to buy products that keep the economy humming along.

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:18 pm

getalife, why don’t you point out ONE lie I’ve posted.

Good luck.

I'm a liberal and believe everything I read and nothing the other side comes up with...cause we're smart and they are not

August 17th, 2012
1:18 pm

It’s capital gains rate less deductions isn’t it?

Moderate Lin

August 17th, 2012
1:19 pm

He should still release additional tax returns, and it’s quite clear that there’s something in those returns that in Romney’s mind would not pass muster with the voters.
I don’t think it is clear at all. However, Romney has open himself up to speculation by not providing tax returns. Reid and Pelosi have not released their tax returns either in fact very people in congress have release their tax returns. Maybe it should be a legal requirement.

And yes, accepting Romney’s word means that Harry Reid has either been badly misled by his secret informer or that the Senate majority leader is himself lying.)
Reid was out of line especially since he had not release any of his tax returns even though I think Reid was out of line Romney allowed such speculation by not releasing tax returns.

On that point, Romney’s answer is much too coy.
I am not sure he is being coy. I think he is detached from reality.

Unfortunately, with the partisan divide both sides know they can head off any attack as partisan. He also knew he could use the ant-rich defense. Maybe he is being coy.

Towncrier

August 17th, 2012
1:19 pm

“Yes. And I apply that equally to both parties; I quickly called for Anthony Weiner to step down when his cellphone hijinks were exposed (so to speak).”

Well, then…we have found two points of agreement in not a year or month or week, but a single day. The world is out of joint.

Jay

August 17th, 2012
1:19 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:19 pm

V. Kint — “JHM – Correct. But is increasing tax on 2% of the citizens a long term answer to more revenue or is creating more jobs, thus broadening the tax base, a better way?”

If you want to increase revenue via the tax system, you have to apply taxation where the money is. Wages and income are flat — or nearly so — for the lowest three quintiles, and only moderately higher in the next-to-top quintile. The top quintile’s been where the lion’s share of income growth has been. So that’s where you apply taxation.

‘Broadening the tax base’ is a terrible idea at this time. Given that wages, income and buying power are stagnant in the lower quintiles, tax increases or imposition in those areas are a notably bad idea. You want to *stimulate* consumer spending, not force more Americans to tighten their belts and cut back.

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:19 pm

For those who don’t understand the tax code…

http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/taxes/whats-your-average-tax-rate-9548/

“So you’re annoyed that big bonus knocked you into the 33% tax bracket? Well, if it’s any consolation, you don’t have to pay the 33% tax rate on allyour income. That’s because you’re only taxed at the 33% rate on income beyond a certain threshold — $178,650 for a single filer in 2012. Those who are married, filing jointly don’t reach the 33% mark until $217,450. Income up to that point is taxed at the lower rates of 10%, 15%, 25% and 28%. So, your average tax rate is actually much lower than the highest rate you pay. Here’s how it works.

For example, say, you’re single and have taxable income of $185,000 in 2012. And let’s say your gross income was $210,000. Well, your income up to $8,700 is taxed at 10%. From $8,701 to $35,350 is taxed at 15%. From $35,351 up to $85,650, it’s taxed at 25%. From $85,651 to $178,650, the rate is 28%. And you’ll pay 33% on the remaining $6,350. (The top rate, 35%, kicks in at $379,150 for singles.) In this case, your average tax rate (the proportion of gross income you’ll pay in taxes) is “only” about 22%.

Plug your own numbers into our calculator to find your own average tax rate and see how it changes at different income levels.”

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 17th, 2012
1:20 pm

Actually, I’m willing to take Romney’s word on this specific point

Jay, you may be willing but given Mitt’s past lies about what is in his returns (re: his MASS residence claims that were only rectified by amendments filed after he made claims about what was in his returns), I think it’s entirely proper and necessary that he provide evidence to back his claim.

And the attempt by Mitt to add in his “charitable contributions” in an effort to assert an even “higher effective rate” is just nonsense and he should be held accountable for such absurdities. Charity does not equal taxes.

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:20 pm

ben,

All you cons do is lie.

No thanks, there are some here that will engage your lies but I gave up on having an intellectual honest debate with you cons years ago.

.

Uh Oh

August 17th, 2012
1:20 pm

Obambarrassment

I pretty sure ole Dave would agree with you.
Great post.

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:21 pm

Also, the higher your income, the more you get caught in the “alternative minimum tax” trap, i.e. you don’t get to claim all those deductions the libs whine about.

I'm a liberal and believe everything I read and nothing the other side comes up with...cause we're smart and they are not

August 17th, 2012
1:22 pm

Ben, That info doesn’t fit the argument. It’s to honest and straight forward.

Ahem

August 17th, 2012
1:22 pm

The tax return topic is stale and boring on a nationwide basis. Only the desperate democrats keep it alive in hopes it will catch fire. It is a dud. Now you just have to love the irony in the following:

Bain Capital, the investment firm that Mitt Romney made famous, made a leveraged buyout that saved the site of Barack and Michelle Obamas’ first kiss.

In 2005, Bain and two other private equity firms purchased Dunkin’ Brands Incorporated for $2.425 billion, according to a 2006 company press release.

Dunkin’ Brands is the parent company of Baskin-Robbins, at whose Hyde Park, Chicago location the president and his future wife Michelle went on their first date — and shared their first lip lock.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/16/romneys-bain-saved-site-of-obamas-first-kiss/#ixzz23pCZUpxB

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:22 pm

dave is here?

What’s up dave?

Joe Hussein Mama

August 17th, 2012
1:22 pm

Ima Librul — “All this from a crowd that took three years to see a simple Birth Certificate……”

Wrong.

Obama’s BC was verified and validated by the State of Hawaii *before* the 2008 election. Republican Governor Linda Lingle said that there was nothing on his BC that would preclude Mr. Obama from becoming President, if he should be elected.

Please stop lying.

Paul

August 17th, 2012
1:22 pm

Ben

Jay did not say Romney paid at a lower effective rate than millions of //average// American. He said “Millions and millions of //less-affluent// Americans pay Uncle Sam a lot bigger share of their income than did Romney, ”

Two different things. Average does not equal less affluent than Romney.

joe

August 17th, 2012
1:22 pm

Nobody gives a rats patootie about Romneys taxes. Let’s keep the focus on the economy where it belongs. Obama has done zilch to improve our economy or unemployment. His policies are a total failure and his administration is beyond criminal. Just Bookmans daily attempt to deflect our sad state of affairs off BHO where the blame solely lies.

Kentavious

August 17th, 2012
1:23 pm

“Millions and millions of less-affluent Americans pay Uncle Sam a lot bigger share of their income than did Romney,…”

And millions and millions more pay no income taxes at all. Instead of seething with resentment that Republicans tend to be more successful in life, Democrats should be grateful that the Romneys/Ryans of the world pay the freight for the welfare, food stamps and other freebie handouts their constituents enjoy.

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:23 pm

getalife

August 17th, 2012
1:20 pm

“ben,

All you cons do is lie.

No thanks, there are some here that will engage your lies but I gave up on having an intellectual honest debate with you cons years ago.”

TRANSLATION: “I can’t cite any lies, and I’m not bright enough to engage Ben in debate. Calling people names is pretty much the extent of my contributions to the blog.”

Obambarrassment

August 17th, 2012
1:23 pm

getalife,

The problem you, Bookman, Obama, NBC, CBS, NYTimes, Paul Krugman, CNN, ABC, ajc, et al., that you may all know but fail to recognize openly because of political reasons is that capital gains have already been taxed. Why?

Because in our country, businesses pay taxes and the monies that businesses spend are also taxed, (payroll, profits, excise, import, etc), businesses pay for fees, compliance issues, overhead, local, state and federal taxes. Even expenses, which are written-off against income are paid to other firms that themselves pay taxes on their income.

Look at your basic economics, profit is paid last. Before rich people get their capital gains, all these taxes have been paid, so many different government entities have their hand in the passing of this capital between the time it is invested and the time profit is harvested from it.

The pretension that somehow it isn’t fair for people to be rich and not be taxed out of their wealth is nothing but liberal politics playing to public vanity. In other words, it makes no sense at all, either practically or morally. It is an invitation to tyranny, vice, legalizing theft and bad irresponsible government that claims to own the public trust, but in reality cannot even pass its own budget (in other words, the Obama administration), a requirement that anyone who wants to run a business and earn a profit, must do.

Verbal Kint

August 17th, 2012
1:23 pm

By broadening the tax base, JHM, I meant by getting people jobs (and not the burger flipping kind either). Taxing the top 2% only does not solve the long term problem. Spending cuts have to be made but I haven’t heard anything from this administration that convinces me they are committed to doing it.

mm

August 17th, 2012
1:24 pm

Ben,

“And my assertion is irrrefutable.”

You are quite full of yourself. And full of something else as well.

Liberal,

“All this from a crowd that took three years to see a simple Birth Certificate”

And the birth certificate was important because of what?
How many other pols have had to show their BC on a website or TV?

Ben Shockley

August 17th, 2012
1:24 pm

“Jay did not say Romney paid at a lower effective rate than millions of //average// American. He said “Millions and millions of //less-affluent// Americans pay Uncle Sam a lot bigger share of their income than did Romney, ”

That’s a lie too, per the chart I posted a link to.