Archive for Friday, September 21, 2012

Romneys paid $1.94 million in fed taxes for 2011

September 21, 2012


— Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, paid $1.94 million in federal taxes on last year's income of $13.7 million, for an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, his campaign said Friday.

That's slightly above the 13.9 percent rate the couple paid in 2010. Most of the 2011 income was from investments.

Campaign officials said the couple filed the return Friday with the Internal Revenue Service, after receiving an extension. They were to publicly release their full 2011 returns late Friday.

Romney's taxes have emerged as a key issue during the 2012 presidential race with President Barack Obama. Romney released his 2010 tax returns and a 2011 estimate in January, but he has declined to disclose his returns from earlier years.

His vast fortune and his long association with Bain Capital, the private equity firm he cofounded, have been much discussed this year.

His campaign earlier estimated that Romney would pay about $3.2 million in taxes for the year, an estimate well above the $1.9 million actually paid. He paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010 — an effective rate of 13.9 percent.

Critics, including Obama, have urged Romney to release more than just the two years of returns and follow his father's model. When George Romney ran for president, he released 12 years of tax returns.

Mitt Romney's campaign did put out a summary Friday by Brad Malt, the trustee of the couple's blind trust, saying that over the 20-year 1990-2009 period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes and paid federal taxes at an effective annual rate of 20.2 percent

Obama's own tax return for last year showed that he and his wife, Michelle, paid $162,074 in federal taxes on $789,674 in adjusted gross income, an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent. Their income plunged from $1.7 million in 2010, with declining sales of the president's books. In 2009, the Obamas reported income of $5.5 million, fueled by the best-selling books.

The Romneys' exact totals for 2011 were federal taxes of $1,935,708 and on income of $13,696.951.

Most of Romney's income is from investments held in a blind trust, and campaign aides have stressed that he makes no decisions on how his money is invested.

During the 20-year period, the Romneys paid an effective federal income tax rate of between 13.45 percent and 13.66 percent each year, trustee Malt wrote.

For last year, the Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of their $4.021 million in charitable contributions, Malt said. In the previous year, a large percentage of those contributions went to the Mormon Church.

They could have claimed a higher charitable deduction, Malt said, but the couple "limited their deductions of charitable contributions to conform to the governor's statement (n August, based on the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13 percent in income taxes in each of the last 10 years."

Romney told reporters in August that he's never paid less than 13 percent of his income in taxes during the past decade. He said that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's claim to have heard that he paid no taxes in some years was "totally false."

The former Massachusetts governor, who would be among the richest presidents ever elected, is aggressively competing with Obama for the support of middle class voters. Romney has estimated wealth of as much as $250 million.

His tax rate of 14.1 percent is below that of many Americans because most of it flows from capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent whereas the top marginal income tax rate now is 35 percent.

On average, middle-income families, those making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year, pay 12.8 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.

Several tax law experts said Friday that Romney's newly released tax returns would not be much help in uncovering the most persistent mysteries of the candidate's sprawling finances — whether he used aggressive tax-deferral strategies, what are the specifics and tax advantages of his numerous offshore investments, what is the source of his massive retirement account and what are the details behind his now-closed $3 million Swiss bank account.

The analysts said those details could emerge only if Romney provided far more of his tax returns — including files dating back to his years at Bain Capital, the private firm he left in 2001. Romney, who initially refused to disclose any tax returns, has drawn the line at providing only his 2010 and 2011 returns.

"The issue has never been Romney's 2011 tax return — in fact, it is a distraction to the real issues," said Edward D. Kleinbard, a law professor at the University of Southern California and former chief of staff of Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. "All the important compliance and policy questions relating to Romney's personal tax matters relate to the past."

Only multiple returns would provide details about Romney's $100 million retirement account and how it grew, Kleinbard said. He also earlier returns would be crucial in knowing how often he paid gift tax on family trusts.

Joseph Bankman, a Stanford University law school professor and expert on tax law, said Friday, "It's the Bain years we'd really need to know to have a full assessment of his tax strategies." Bankman said that the 2010 and 2011 returns "only raised these questions, but they can't provide real answers."


chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I think it's crazy that he intentionally overpaid after ranting about how proud he was to not pay a dime more than he owed.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

By his earlier definition, it disqualifies him.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, that was an interesting statement.

I wonder how he'll try to spin it now that he's been caught doing exactly what he said would disqualify him for the presidency.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

How much would be enough, in your view?

Remember, we're only talking about federal income taxes.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

There is no number that would be enough to satisfy some our most partisan posters. However, should someone offer such a number, whatever it is, I'll support it wholeheartedly, IF, they also say that we all pay that same percentage. Whether you're at the very top or the very bottom, that number applies for everyone.

Just to get the ball rolling, I'll throw out the number 30%. That would slightly more than double Romney's taxes. It would increase my taxes, though not double. If you think that's too high, then propose some cuts in spending. If you don't think 30% is enough to cover the costs of what we want, the what number would you propose.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Nice strawman to start out your argument. No amount would be enough to satisfy partisan posters? And exactly which party would it be that's arguing for an infinity tax?

I'd like everyone to pay the same taxes, too. As in removing the special rate for capital gains taxes and treating it as regular income. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income in each bracket. I'm not in favor of removing the brackets and turning it into a libertarian flat tax. That would tax $3000 out of the person earning $9000 who needs that money for food and shelter while taxing much less out of the Romneys and Obamas who need that money for caviar and dancing horses.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Grrr - edits. Sorry, not taxing less. Burdening less. As in I don't have a problem paying more than $3000 in taxes (which I do) because that money isn't my shelter and food money. The Obamas and Romneys could pay more than what I earn in a year and not be burdened by it, because it's not their shelter and food money, either. It's not even their "gee I wish I could take another cruise this year" money.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Think of what you could do with all that extra money. Hell, tax people at 40% and have the government take even more. Then use that money to provide services to the poor, if that's what we choose to do. Provide benefits that equal $5,000 or $8,000. I'd be OK with that, if that's what the people choose. Because let me tell you what I think. Start taxing everyone at 30% or 40 % and they will get hopping mad. Mad enough to get off their butts and vote. Maybe even mad enough to learn who the candidates are and what they stand for. Mad enough to learn how our government works. And they will then tell our representatives what to spend their money on and what not to spend their money on. Right now, the groups that tend to vote in the smallest numbers are the groups you keep advocating for here. It's nice that you're giving your voice to them. I'm proposing giving their voice to them. The question is, do you trust them? I do. That 80% reduction in defense spending that Bozo is so fond of. That might be one of the outcomes. Think of it, no more wars of choice. Sounds good to me. You? And when that happens, assuming that's what the people want, then they might decide to lower their tax burden to 25% or 20%, keeping that savings for themselves. Or they might decide to set up on colony on Mars. I don't know. But this class warfare that everyone seems so fond of, you've lost.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

P.S. Or you could simply answer Jafs' question. How much should he have paid.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I did elsewhere, but why not here. On the top bracket of his income, 76%.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I find your argument silly and simplistic, but libertarianism often strikes me that way. The groups voting in the smallest numbers have internalized that the system is rigged, and that their vote is an illusion. Your grand plans would not unrig the system or engage them, and the proposal is completely unworkable. I think you know that.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

I know my proposals are not likely to be implemented. I do know that if you keep trying to get from point A to point B and you keep hitting an invisible wall, then you need to change course, even if it's point B that you're striving for.

And this "the system is rigged", I've been hearing the same stuff for half a century. With all the same rehashed solutions. I don't care what you try, but try something else. As I said, if it's class warfare, you've lost. But I've been hearing this same old stuff since the '60's. Say something new. If you want to get from here to there, try some new route. Because you've been spinning your wheels for too, too long.

Care to answer the question? What percentage for Romney? And while we're at it, what percentage for you?

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Arguing that you don't care what we try is a little absurd. There are things people could try that would clearly not work, like instituting silly hat day to cure cancer or thinking corporations will just donate enough to charity to create a mass utopia out of the goodness of their Galt little hearts. Or arguing that severely regressive taxes are counter-hegemonic.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. An old joke, I know. But really, when I hear people on this forum speaking exactly the same words I said in the '60's, arguing so earnestly, some more eloquently, but essentially saying the same thing. Yes, your arguments sound good, they've "internalized that the system is rigged, and their vote is an illusion". Boy that sounds good. "counter-hegemonic", another one. And in fifty years, you too can put it bluntly when you say we've been down that road before, many times. Let's try something else. And then some 20-something will tell you, "they've internalized this and that" and that "your ideas are absurd". Fine. But just in case you didn't like may insanity joke, let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill, "If you're young and a conservative, you have no heart. If you're old and a liberal, you have no brain". His words ring very true to me.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Paul Addison of Edinburgh University makes this comment: "Surely Churchill can't have used the words attributed to him. He'd been a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35! And would he have talked so disrespectfully of Clemmie, who is generally thought to have been a lifelong Liberal?"

Instead of vomiting cliches and misattributed quotes, it probably would have saved time to admit you just didn't understand what I was talking about. I'm saying that you're proposing radical accelerations of failed ideas. You know, your definition of insanity on steroids.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Fine. You go with your ideas. Tell me how it works out in fifty years. The system will still be rigged and you'll be complaining about the rich and blah, blah, blah.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I suspect both of us will have to have conversations with our ghosts at that age, but it's awfully nice of you to wish me such a long life.

The system is always rigged to some degree. That's now societies work. Those in power want to stay in power, and they only give what they feel is necessary to keep the masses from rioting. I'm not naive enough to believe in utopia. That doesn't mean that there's not room for improvement. We're now imbalanced, and things are going to change. Your suggestions would further imbalance things, and well, I like my streets without rioting.

DinoHackett 5 years, 9 months ago

Don't try to confuse folks with the use of common sense!!

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

We could go back to the tax rates of the 1950s and 1960s when the nation experienced its greatest prosperity and growth. I believe the top rate was 90% back then.

That's assuming we have any interest in actually perpetuating a growth model that is destroying the habitability of the planet for humans and other creatures, though.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Assuming he doesn't win the election, a 90% top tax rate would provide Romney and everyone in his tax bracket a huge incentive to move 100% of their money out of the country. I may not be very good at math, but I do know that 14% of 13.4 million is better than 90% of zero.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Not if you taxed the money that got moved.

One of the reasons Romney's effective tax rate is so low is because he was already incentivized to move that money into the Cayman Islands and Swiss bank accounts. Take away the loopholes that let you deduct money you're moving overseas, and that practice will stop.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

So force them to keep their money here where we can, coupled with deec's suggestion, tax it at 90%.

Actually, I'd support that. As long as we tax you at 90% as well. Tax everyone at 90%. You up for that?

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I didn't propose we return to the 90% bracket, but sure. I'm game. Tax all of my top tax bracket income at the top tax bracket rate. I'm not above the law.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

No, not tax your top bracket income at 90%. You probably don't have any income in that bracket so it's a disingenuous gesture. Tax all of your income at 90%. All of their income at 90%. All of my income at 90%. Everyone.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I know exactly what you meant, and I chose to ignore your tiresome attempt to move the goalposts. Romney isn't subject to a flat tax, nor was deec suggesting he should be. You're the one repeatedly trying to inject proposals for regressive taxes into the discussion.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

You keep throwing in that term regressive as if it's a terrible thing, that it's unfair. Fair, or unfair cannot be defined and agreed upon. So I'm trying hard to come up with a system that leaves that concept out. You just don't want to do that. That's our primary disagreement. Not flat tax this or top bracket that. You don't want to let go of that undefinable, concept that no two people will ever agree even what it is, "fair". That you don't want to let go is fine, your right. But then you'll always have someone to argue with. I'd rather not argue. I'd rather find places where we can agree. But if you don't want that, or don't see that, fine.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Fair is the basis of society. A synonym of fair is just. Are you arguing for a taxation system that by definition is unjust?

fair/fe(ə)r/ Adjective:
In accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate. Adverb: Without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage: "he played fair".

adjective. just - equitable - honest - fine - beautiful - clear adverb. square - fairly - straight - honestly

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm not arguing for a system that is unjust. I'm saying that fair or just varies from person to person. There is no consensus and it is highly unlikely that we will ever achieve consensus. So as best as we can, let's not try. Just put in a number that we all pay. Whatever number that is will be neither fair nor unfair. It's just a number. (For all I care, we could use a roulette wheel to decide what the number should be. But then we live within those means).

Suppose you earn $9,000/yr. and pay taxes equalling $3,000. We could, if we choose, then provide services such as housing, food, medical, etc. with a value of $5,000. I have no problem with that. If we want to raise it to $10,000. Fine. More or less is fine with me as well. If we did that, I'm not sure the word regressive is applicable.

Suppose you earn 9 million and pay 3 million in taxes. Same percentage. If we choose, we could reduce services typically used by them. Something like costs of airports and air traffic controllers. Pass that on to consumers, typically higher income people. Or we could choose not to do that. I really don't care one way or the other. But I am saying that once everyone is taxed at the same percentage, we will all have equal incentive to have our voice heard. I think voting patterns will even out, as will our voice in how the money will be spent.

Unless you think you can get consensus on "fair and just". I don't think you can. But if you do, good luck to you.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

If we followed your example, the tax is still regressive.

It's just being offset by some other social programs.

But, as I think I've said before, folks who argue for flat taxes also generally argue against social programs, so it's very unlikely the two of those would be combined in the way you suggest.

So, a flat tax would probably be combined with a lessening of social programs in reality.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

I'll tell you what I think would happen. We would look at that 47% that don't pay Federal Income Tax and see older folks who have paid taxes their whole lives and not allow that regressiveness that you're afraid of. We would willingly provide services that would more than offset the increase in taxes. We would then look at deadbeats who just try to scam the system and allow the regressiveness, making that option less attractive. We would see the disabled and treat them as they would treat the elderly. We would see people who have made a career of making poor life choices, such as drug abuse, and allow the regressiveness of the new tax system, again making that choice less attractive.

The reason I think this is that I honestly believe that once we all pay taxes in the exact same percentage, voting patterns will change. The old saying of "one man, one vote" will become closer to reality.

BTW - I tried to address the concerns you mentioned about social programs. Additionally, I think you will see a substantial reduction in the military industrial complex, an end to wars of choice, large increases in spending on schools and infrastructure. I wouldn't anticipate a substantial increase or decrease in spending. But how's it's spent will change, with greater input from those that are currently not involved.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

PS - there's good argument that the effective tax rate could be raised to 76% on the top bracket without hurting productivity:

Not that those low rates contributed to economic growth, anyway.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Not enough to make the effective rate 9% on billionaires.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

Wouldn't tax code changes need to originate in Congress?

justoneperson 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Also, at the time, Republicans would not sign off on the extension of unemployment benefits (for an estimated 2 million that would've been cut off) unless the Bush tax cuts were extended.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

You know it's a bad day when Romney is trying to get us to talk more about his taxes. Oops.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

thumbs up just for the Laurie Anderson post.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Somehow, I don't see those who have castles as being all that needy:

irvan moore 5 years, 9 months ago

in fairness to mitt he did pay more than i did

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

As Suzi Orman says: I'm glad to pay lots of taxes---it means I'm making lots of money.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

In 2011? No, there was never a doubt. In 2008? In 2001? Doubts.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 9 months ago

So, he caves under pressure? Good to know.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd define it as less caving, more weaseling. He'd already promised to release this particular return. He can still amend it later, and saying that he paid an "average" rate is meaningless without the context of his actual returns.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 9 months ago

Business along Bane model? No thanks, we have enough enemies in the world.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 9 months ago

In all actuality, zombie, "business men" have historically been the worst presidents this country has ever had (Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover among them.) Business men are not trained in the arts of diplomacy, compromise or government. They're trained in the "bottom line", which is something that in reality is NOT good for government. It's well known that after the stock market tanked on Black Friday in 1929 and the Depression settled in, Hoover cut taxes and cut taxes and cut taxes trying to jump start the economy. It didn't work then and it won't work now. Now here is something that will make your head spin; I wouldn't mind having Romney as President. (To be honest, he'd be just as much of a "do nothing" as Eisenhower.) If and ONLY if we had a Democratic super majority in Congress. But since that ain't happening I guess I have to settle for Obama and four more years of gridlock.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

Uh...Liberty. You might want to look up Herbert Hoover and the Revenue Act of 1929 before calling cait silly. Hoover did, indeed, cut taxes in response to the stock market crash. And it didn't work.

(Hoover didn't raise taxes until the Revenue Act of 1932, but that's the one most people remember.)

Here's an interesting and brief read:

oldvet 5 years, 9 months ago

You forgot the two real losers... the peanut farmer and the community organizer

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

He paid 14% in a year when he absolutely knew he was going to be running and had a very good chance of needing to show his return.

He needs to show at least the previous 5 years, although it should be more.

I guarantee you one thing -- Mitt Romney sure is doing better now than he was four years ago.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

fish -- always a good choice when multitudes need feeding.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

If he had nothing to hide, he should have had no problem releasing his returns.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

Why do so many people think "the IRS would have gone after him". The IRS doesn't audit everyone...not even every rich person...and, without an audit, how on earth are they supposed to know anything might be wrong? Psychic ability???

And do you seriously think gas would still be $1.60 had McCain won? Don't you know how the price of gas is determined, either? Everything would not have been hunk-dory had McCain won, and wishful thinking won't make it so.

skull 5 years, 9 months ago

Old enough to ask questions about a candidate who seems to have a lot of hidden money, ask questions about whether said candidate could even possibly try to understand how the average American spends his or her life, remember how deregulation and large tax breaks pushed the federal budget into this mess...

To do all that one would need to be a rather coherent twelve year old, or an average twenty five year old who listens to the "liberal" media.

twaldaisy 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh come on! Everyone else does. I was close I was thinking Reagan deregulated that as the start of their trickle down economics that doesn't work.

skull 5 years, 9 months ago

Sorry you're right. I should have said a lack of regulation, a lacking Romney plans on trying to return to the financial markets.

skull 5 years, 9 months ago

Your partisan's showing...the lack of regulations on adjustable rate loans and the lack of controls that allowed people to buy over-valued houses they couldn't affording the first place. I'm not young and dumb enough to think bush caused the housing bubble, I understand that both parties were/are involved in creating the problem. But romney's "plan" to return to what started the mess sure won't help anything.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

How many people posting here make a point of telling as many people as they can including complete strangers how much money they make? Anyone comfortable with that idea?

I understand why it's important Presidential condidates release tax returns, but the same principal applies: It is no one's business how much money somebody else makes. I'm glad he is successful. Good for him.

$1.94 million huh? So the Romney's funded the federal government for about 55 seconds.

I don't think he caved to pressure, I think he wanted to show the liberal base what an income tax return looks like.


beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

How many people posting here are running for president?

Nice to see you fall into line with the far right in stating liberals don't know what an income tax return looks like. ... although I must admit, I've never seen one with a tax deduction of more than $70,000 for a fancy dancing horse before.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm curious about the "charitable donation" to a family trust, one that provides his family, I believe, with their income.

How does that work exactly?

Can I give myself a bunch of money and then not pay taxes on it?

Also, almost all of his income came from investments.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

It could be a family charitable trust. I don't think you can donate money to any other kind and get a deduction for it.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

What Romney's release of 2011 returns shows is that he manipulated his returns so as to ensure he didn't pay less than he had claimed, by not taking all charitable donations allowed.

Strangely, this means that according to his own statements, he's not qualified to be president. He said if he paid more than he had to, it would disqualify him.

If you're really interested in reasonable discussion of why a black man in America who grew up in the 60's and 70's might be attracted to BLT, or other alternative philosophies, let me know. It's not really that hard to understand, if you try.

uncleandyt 5 years, 9 months ago

Why won't Rush and Fox find the answers to these and other questions? When, when, when will the conservative journalists investigate? Let's see those report cards and transcripts. What books has he read?

meggers 5 years, 9 months ago

He can always file an amended return and claim all of his charitable deductions after he loses in November.

And sorry, but the Mormon church provides little real charity. They invest in land and real estate. The few people they do help have to make their case and have it approved by the church's hierarchy. Usually, they are asked to perform church services in exchange for receiving help.

Topple 5 years, 9 months ago

You mean the church has some sort of process to ensure people aren't squandering the charity they are receiving? You mean the people receiving charity are actually doing something to earn it?

What's this world coming to, where people have to work for what they receive???

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Jealous? Try liberals recognize that the system is rigged so rich people pay a lower percentage of income tax than middle class and many working class familes pay.

If you really want a president who knows how to completely work the system to his personal gain, then good for you. Then I recommend you vote Romney this year.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I'll exceed the amount of money he paid in taxes last year in my lifetime, even if I never get a raise again. But that's irrelevant to the discussion of whether or not it's fair for him to pay a lower effective tax rate than I do on that income.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

I'll exceed the amount of money he paid in taxes last year in my lifetime, even if I never get a raise again.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I call BS on this.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Now who's jealous? You can call BS if you want, but it doesn't change the facts. Stay in school, kids. It pays.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Porkbarrel spending is also within the rules of government spending. Happy with it?

Again, if you enjoy a system that allows for the wealthy to pay much less in percentage than middle class Americans, then feel free to vote for Romney. He even wants to lower his taxes, which I am sure you will support.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

I think you don't understand what a President can and cannot do.

Jim Phillips 5 years, 9 months ago

How dare Mitt pay slightly more taxes than the law says he has to! He should be more like Tim Geitner or any of the other three dozen Obama administration personnel and lie /cheat on their tax returns.

At least he paid his taxes in accordance to the tax code. Big crime here! Notify the LJW! And no, I am not a fan of Romney, but I'll take him over the Narcissist in Chief any day.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Again, it is a year when he knew for certain he was running for President. What about the decade before? Show us those taxes, just like past candidates have done. Why won't he do this? What is he hiding?

Jim Phillips 5 years, 9 months ago

I find it funny as Hell that the Libs are whining about Romney's tax returns when the only question that came up about them was Harry Reid claiming he "heard" some guy say Romney didn't pay his taxes. It is also quite hypocritical to make these claims when their "Annointed One" refuses to release so many of his own records.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

I think most of Obama's income comes from the books he wrote.

Topple 5 years, 9 months ago

Of which no one would have been interested in if not for his political status.

juma 5 years, 9 months ago

It is the Mormon church (sic) that he is afraid of knowing his real income. He cheated on the tithing and this is very very serious. Romney is a big guy in the church and if it becomes known that he cheated the church then all hell comes. Reed (also a Mormon) knows this and that is why he is pushing for the info. It is the best way to stop the Mitt.

Jay Keffer 5 years, 9 months ago

He breaks no laws, pays in full the large amount of tax due under the current tax code, and donates a significant amount of money (several million) to charity.

If those less fortunate don't feel the rich as paying their fair share, elect candidates that support your views and change the tax laws. Such as Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc. Rally the base, get the Occupy movement better organized and hit the polls come November.

In the meantime, let the those just following current law alone.Convince enough of your neighbors to make the changes necessary. Obama has 47%, just a few more basis points and you have 4 more years to make your changes. Until then tidy up around here.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Virtually all of his income is from investments.

He manipulated this year's return by not claiming all of his deductions, so as to pay an amount not lower than the one he claimed he's been paying. That means he's paying more this year than he has to pay, which he claimed would disqualify him for the presidency.

His charitable contributions were to the Mormon church, and to a family trust, both of which may be questionable to many people, especially the family trust, which supplies him with income.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 9 months ago

"He manipulated this year's return by not claiming all of his deductions, so as to pay an amount not lower than the one he claimed he's been paying".

And we can predict that he will amend his return if he is not elected POTUS.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Almost certainly.

The real question is whether or not he'll make good on his statement that paying more than he had to would disqualify him as a presidential candidate.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

"Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

He clearly is not expressing contempt for the system. He is clearly expressing contempt for the 47% which, as I am sure you know, includes people who have paid Federal Income tax for most of their lives (i.e. senior citizens) and the rest who have taken advantage of all the exemptions, deductions & credits that they are legally entitled to just as Romney himself does.

But yes, we get it. It is acceptable for the wealthy to reduce their tax liabilities (and some are down to 0% - see headdoctor's posts) but it is not acceptable for everyone else to do the same.

The Republicans and the Tea Party want to tell you how you are taxed enough already but when folks get to reduce their taxes legally down to -0-, somehow those people are leeches, moochers, etc & need to pay into the system.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

His statement conflated three distinct (for the most part) groups, and is factually incorrect.

Most likely Obama voters (one of the groups) are educated, and working folks who are doing well.

Those who pay no federal income taxes are the second group, and they are distinct from folks dependent on government assistance as well.

That group includes senior citizens and the working poor, for the most part, but also some very wealthy people.

Also, his attribution of an entitlement mentality was made without any evidence.

So, he's just wrong about lumping the groups together, and attributes a mentality to about half the country without any evidence.

Also, strangely, many people who are dependent on government, like rural white poor folks, tend to vote R. I wonder if his expressed contempt for them will change that at all.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

Some of the workers have been employed at this site for 33 years.

"Welcome to Bainport, a taste of the Romney economy." That’s the message on one of the banners that greets you at the tent city where we broadcast from in Freeport, Illinois.

"Bainport" is an encampment set up by workers who face losing their livelihoods when their workplace closes its doors in November and moves to China, taking 170 jobs with it.

The workers’ plant, Sensata Technologies, is owned by Bain Capital, the firm co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Democracy Now! first spoke to the Sensata workers when we met them at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, where they unsuccessfully tried to meet with Romney.

Now, they have returned to Freeport and set up a protest camp in a bid to save their jobs. We speak to "Bainport" workers Dot Turner and Cheryl Randecker.

Armstrong 5 years, 9 months ago

What a great way to start Saturday. This thread has it all. Conspiracy nuts " the tax system is rigged". The jealous lot " how dare he (Mittt) make such an obscene profit on the backs of the working class (even though it primarily came for investments ). The money managers " He still didn't pay enough". The greatest thing about this thread is now the 47%ers know what a tax form is for.

DinoHackett 5 years, 9 months ago

They know what tax forms are for! 40% have a negative tax rate, they actually receive more money back then they pay in.

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

So it's ok for Romney to work the tax system, so he can keep more of his insane amount of money, but it's not ok for the poor to work the system, so they can keep from being evicted? A little hypocrisy here. Pity the billionaire.

DinoHackett 5 years, 9 months ago

No, it's not OK. I think we are going to need a combination of Romney types paying more, the 40% not profiting from filing. Everyone paying some % and cutting spending. This might get us to a point of a yearly balanced budget. Hard to say what it will take to actually lower the 16 trillion we already owe!!

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

The Romney types paying more would actually go further toward paying down the deficit than forcing Grandma to pay taxes on her Social Security or ending the Earned Income Credit.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

First and foremost Armstrong. Yes the 47% know what a tax form is for and what it looks like because in order for them to be included in the 47% in studies put out by the Government and the various nonprofit groups they had to file a return with the IRS.

Number 2. Romney could have avoided a lot of this garbage if he would have followed along with what the other candidates and presidents of the last forty years have done.

Number 3. The tax system is rigged with various tax laws and loop holes eroding the tax bases. It is skewed in favor of the upper income filers. It is hardly fair when a single person making $18,000 per year gets busted 15% of their income after exemptions and deductions but a millionaire can utilize higher deductions, write offs and loopholes then end up paying a lower percentage.

DinoHackett 5 years, 9 months ago

You absolutely correct it is rigged when 4 out 10 people not only pay zero federal taxes but actually make money from filing their tax forms.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Demand grandma and the active duty veterans who make up a significant chunk of that 47% start paying right now!!1!11!

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

I believe the estimate now is over 18000 filers making over $500k are part of the 47% that paid zero income tax plus six of the richest in the US also paid Zero. I suspect there are several thousand more filers with incomes between $100 and $500k as well.

I found the figures for an edit. The total for non payers and part of the 47% starting at $211,000 and up is 105,000 payers. I haven't found anything yet for 100k to 200k.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

It would appear that there are over 300,000 households between 100k and 200k which would bring the total up to around 500,000 of the 47% of non payers. The problem is some figures are by filer and some by household so one doesn't know for sure if the household filers are filing separate or joint.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Here is lighter reading Snap so it might be easier for you understand. These are a few sites to pull info off of or have links to follow. Some of these only have completed 2009 figures so many of the 2011 figures are estimates. If you want more info look it up yourself. Forbes, Huffington post, several of the money sites and sites as well as Washington Post and New York Times are a good place to start if you want heavy reading.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Crickets, I thought so. Those pesky facts keep getting in the road of a perfectly good rant.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

Citation, please? "I believe" doesn't cut much ice.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

It has been posted several times but since you are so dependent on others to do your research for you...

and if words are too hard for you, here are some pretty graphs that help explain it.

and then when you are done reviewing the info above, please read this...

Armstrong 5 years, 9 months ago

That's what Armstrong gets for posting before coffee

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

You conservatives can not make me feel sorry for the poor billionaires. I feel sorry for the workers in some of the companies in which Romney is invested that do not pay their workers enough for basic living expenses, much less, enough to buy their own home. I am sorry that you are so morally corrupt that you consider retired people and soldiers, who are included in that 47%, a burden on our society. Of course, you do support wars, which get rid of those dead beat soldiers, and make even more money for the billionaires. And you support those insurance companies who would love to cut off all those dead beat retired, old people, because they get sick too much. That would eliminate those 2 problems. Also, letting poor people starve would eliminate the other problem, but you'll want to keep some around. After all, you wouldn't want to have to clean your own toilets.

Armstrong 5 years, 9 months ago

I feel sorry for the fools who think it is a good thing to remain poor and stupid. The working class hero crap only goes so far.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Good slogan for Romney: The working class hero crap only goes so far.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't think you thought your comment all the way through Armstrong. Do you have a clue how many thousand Republicans and Conservative Independents you just slapped in the face with your remark? The Republicans will not get very far for very long if they keep feeding on their own and alienating everyone else. You might keep in mind that the Republicans are severely out numbered by the Democrats and independents.

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

So Armstrong, why do you hate the person who serves you in a restaurant, checks out your groceries, mow your yard? What an arrogant b%#s*@(d.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

Meh. So what if he released 2011's taxes.

It doesn't change the fact that Romney is a big fat hypocrite for going after the 47% who pay no Federal Income Tax because they utilize all legal exemptions, deductions and credits to reduce their tax liability just as he does on his own taxes.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps the fact that the Constitution imposes no such obligation on citizens?

And, that the simple truth is that even those who pay no federal income taxes pay a lot of other taxes, and contribute for the most part to our society?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago


Also many of the people who do not currently pay any Federal Income Taxes have paid them for most of their lives (i.e. senior citizens).

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

What is your reasoning for voting in politicians who vote for tax laws that allow them to do so?

Republicans go on and on about how people are taxed too much and then complain when the laws they passed allow people to pay no taxes.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

1.94 million. I wonder how it was redistributed.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, about a quarter went to defense spending, more than any other single expense, including education. It isn't all that big of a secret:

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

Why does it matter how much tax he paid or even how much tax he evaded?

His statements along with other republicans like Akin in Missouri give us a clear indication of his c haracter and agenda. He despises a good part of the population, and his disdain for many of us has been clearly stated. Akin has similar inclinations that are so typical of the republican party. Any one who does not see this (or chooses to ignore what they see) is deluding himself or herself.

But I think Romney is toast, it seems that a significant portion of the electorate is turning against him. Kansas will follow in lockstep to the Limbaugh/Romney/Akin/Ryan pablum and blh, blah, blah that they hear from the extreme right wing tea soaked "conservatives" imagining that this repressive and regressive approach will somehow make their lives better. It won't. It has been seen before and I think a significant number of people might just be waking up to the elephant in the room who wants to coddle the very rich and repress the rerest of us. (98% of the population)

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Greed and envy are sins. Money is fun and I doubt I'd whine if the my tax lug were large. Be having lots of fun on the rest of it. So what? Romney has money?

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Armstrong 5 years, 9 months ago

Ok, name the govt services Romney is using

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