If actions speak louder than words, then Mitt Romney agrees with Barack Obama that the federal tax code requires too little of rich people like himself.
I don’t know how else to interpret the fact that Romney artificially increased his own taxes in 2011 by taking fewer charitable deductions than he could have. By doing so, Romney’s effective tax rate in 2011 jumped to 14.1 percent, still lower than the rate paid by millions of his fellow Americans.
Absent that step, ABC News reports, “his effective tax rate could have been as low as 10.4 percent.”
And would Romney have taken that step if he wasn’t running for president? Highly unlikely. As the candidate himself told us back in July:
“I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.”
So to review:
Romney paid 14.1 percent of his income in taxes, a figure that could have and would have been as low as 10.4 percent if he wasn’t running for office. In contrast, the average effective tax rate paid by his wealthy father back in the ’60s was 37 percent.
Yet Romney continues to insist that wealthier Americans today can’t be asked to shoulder more of the financial burden, even as changes in the global economy continue to concentrate more and more wealth in their hands.
– Jay Bookman