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Romney releases 2011 tax returns but questions remain

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has used sharp accounting practices to protect his fortune from the US tax authorities.

In Romney terms, he works to the best of his abilities to get to the 47%.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In Romney terms, he works to the best of his abilities to get to the 47%.

@ Superlib: Before you get on that trip, pay close attention to the return from 2011. He had $13 million in income, and paid $1 million in taxes.

•The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.

That piece of info was not listed in the JT article, but listed in other articles posted on the web as well as on the copies of his return on the web. So in order for him to get to the "47%" as you say, he gave away $4 million.

The Romneys claimed a tax deduction for only $2.25m on the $4m he donated. If Mr Romney had claimed the full deduction, his tax rate would have been under 10 per cent. The candidate had previously said he paid about 13 per cent of his income in tax over the past 10 years.

In efect, he paid more than he actually had to based on the current US tax laws, that Romney did not write. So him giving $5 million out of $13 million in a combination of taxes and charity will not be enough for some. How much do you think he should give, and more importantly, who are you to say why he should give that much if he has met his tax obligations as stipulated by law?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The 47% I was talking about was the percent of the people that Romney has given up on since they are just going after the government handouts. I thought it was a bit ironic that everyone in that room does everything they can to get their taxes to zero, which means they do everything they can to become a lazy non-producer as per Romney's definition.

But what do I know? I'm part of the entitlement group. I didn't pay taxes to the US government last year so I'm 100% positive that Romney was talking to me when he made his little speech.

Good on him for donating so much. But I do have to once again bring up an ironic twist. I'm sure his donations helped some people in the form of a handout, at which point he is just enabling those he despises. Odd.

4 ( +7 / -2 )

This only leads to further questions, one being: How stupid does Romney think we are?

The Romney campaign also released new info on how much he paid from the years 1990-2009, claiming: “Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.”

Sargent over at the WaPo points out:

First, the campaign could simply have averaged the rates against each other — treating the rates themselves as a collection of individual numbers — to calculate the overall average rate. The second way to calculate it would be to add up all the income Romney earned over the 20 years, add up the total amount he paid in taxes during that period, and calculate the overall average rate paid that way. The Romney campaign confirmed to me just now that the 20 percent figure was calculated the former way — it represents an average of the rates themselves.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/expert-romney-may-have-paid-less-in-taxes-over-20-years-than-it-appears/2012/09/21/41b27e00-041e-11e2-91e7-2962c74e7738_blog.html?hpid=z3

In other words, that 20.20% rate is absolutely meaningless as it averages apples and oranges. For example, there were likely years when his income was low but earned, so his tax rate was high (say, 27% on $200,000), and other years when his income was high but unearned, so his tax rate was low (say, 13% on $2,000,000). Those two figures average to 20% in a very, very misleading way.

There are many more questions, of course. I look forward to their discussion.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

See? This is what I am talking about, point proven. No matter what Mitt does, how many tax returns he releases, it'll never be good enough for the Dems, NEVER. They will always try and find something to use against him and it will never be enough. So why bother. I wouldn't give the Dems one iota of information after this, let them think whatever they want.

-9 ( +3 / -13 )

I called it months ago. Releasing his tax returns is pointless. Those that wanted them released would never be satisfied and now every political hack job will be combing through the entire thing creating conspiracies and jumping at shadows that could easily been explained by a cursory look at the US tax code.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm with Mitt on this.

Those people, the 47% he thinks don't matter, what right do they have to see Mitt's financial data?

Really, WHO do they think they are?

The ordinary folks, those voter folks, they are incredibly arrogant to be asking to see Mitt's tax returns.

Mitt isn't asking to see their tax returns.

Those voter folks need to stop causing trouble and believe Mitt when he says he will only release 2 years worth of tax returns.

That is ENOUGH.

Ordinary voter folks need to realize this.

Enough questions/criticisms please.

-3 ( +5 / -7 )

Romney releases 2011 tax returns but questions remain

And I have 2:

Are the various multi-millionaires that both fund and hold fundraisers for Obama's campaign, held up to the same tax scrutiny?

Is this "War on Prosperity" on all wealthy persons, or just the Conservative presidential candidate?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I read that all the overseas tax shelters were set up years ago and THAT'S why he won't release them. Those past returns would fully reveal the extent of his financial trickery.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Obama, Baiden disclosed 12 years tax returns. Ryan submitted 10 years tax return to Romney. We need to demand at least 10 years Romney's tax returns. I would like to see if he is one of the 47% .

Romney is running out of campaign money as SuperPAC is not releasing all to him. SuperPAC is now spending more in Ohio Senate race. Many republican candidates do not want to be seen with Romney. Our grassroots campaign for Obama is working for the Middle Class Americans.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Pamelot on rich Democrat donors "tax scrutiny." There's not as much public scrutiny if they're not running for office, but the IRS is nonpartisan in how it scrutinizes American tax filings.

"War on [insert issue here]" This is what the other article about kooks was referring to. Why the tendency of Republicans to declare "war" on everything from poverty to drugs. How are those wars working out 1-2 generations later?

"the Conservative presidential candidate"--Are you weighing in from merry old England?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to see if he is one of the 47% .

@ globalwatcher: You do realize that in terms of political donations, the Supreme Court ruled that they are "citizens" and have the right to donate to political campaigns. So if that is the case, I guess companies like GE, who paid no corporate taxes last year would be part of the 47%. So all the hype from GE owned entities like NBC/MSNBC is fair and balanced in their reporting the facts and don't have any political agenda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We need to demand at least 10 years Romney's tax returns. I would like to see if he is one of the 47% .

You're all starting to sound like the birthers. The repeated cries for a pointless document, the inability to be satisfied once the document is presented, and the wild accusations sound terribly familiar.

Our grassroots campaign for Obama is working for the Middle Class Americans.

Oh please. Rag on Romney as much as you like but please don't put his opponent on any kind of pedestal. Obama is little more than a continuation of Bush in virtually every aspect. Even the atrocious healthcare law was modeled after a Republican one introduced in the 1990's.

The only difference is this ridiculous mantra that if we only tax the rich things would be better. It wouldn't, you could level a 99% tax on everybody making over a million dollars a year and we'd still be hundreds of billions of dollars in the red. Everything about this election is base pandering nonsense. Without real, tangible cuts to social programs AND defense we're just kicking the can down the road. And by 'cuts' I don't mean reducing future increases, I mean real-time budgetary cuts. But neither party is even suggesting it.

So don't try to ram this 'working for the middle class' line through my internet line because if BS was considered currency Obama would be a rich as Romney.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Obama, Baiden disclosed 12 years tax returns. Ryan submitted 10 years tax return to Romney. We need to >demand at least 10 years Romney's tax returns. I would like to see if he is one of the 47% .

He doesn't need to. I wouldn't either, so people like you and other liberals can micro analyze every detail to find something to hang him with, why would I give my opponent that I am fighting against any advantage. It would be ludicrous to think otherwise and vice versa.

Romney is running out of campaign money as SuperPAC is not releasing all to him. SuperPAC is now spending >more in Ohio Senate race. Many republican candidates do not want to be seen with Romney. Our grassroots >campaign for Obama is working for the Middle Class Americans.

Where do you read this junk? Amazing.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

AlphaapeSep. 22, 2012 - 10:08AM JST

@ globalwatcher: You do realize that in terms of political donations, the Supreme Court ruled that they are "citizens" and have the right to donate to political campaigns. So if that is the case, I guess companies like GE, who paid no corporate taxes last year would be part of the 47%. So all the hype from GE owned entities like NBC/MSNBC is fair and balanced in their reporting the facts and don't have any political agenda.

@Alphaape, You are correct. However many states are now technically rewriting election laws on PAC money (no BS).

In response to your post, how much money Romney has given to the government has nothing to do, but the % of tax matters.

Income tax systems are only considered progressive when members of the upper end of the socioeconomic spectrum pay the highest percentage of their earnings to income tax. Progressive taxes, theoretically, place the heaviest tax burden on the richer members of society

The theory behind the the progressive tax states that this distribution of the tax burden keeps revenues at a reasonable level even during an economic recession.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NBC/MSNBC is fair and balanced in their reporting the facts and don't have any political agenda.

ROFL

That is why they are dead last in the cable new ratings.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/09/21/cable-news-ratings-for-thursday-september-20-2012/149616/

Hey global, name me one Conservative or traditionalist on Msnbc?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hey global, name me one Conservative or traditionalist on Msnbc?

Hey, bass, you are shooting this question to a wrong person. Apparently, you do not read all blogs.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No, I read them rich, but apparently, I was asking you a question to that quote, so it was a perfectly legitimate question that for some reason you cannot seem to answer. Ouch!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

bass4funkSep. 22, 2012 - 10:23AM

Obama, Baiden disclosed 12 years tax returns. Ryan submitted 10 years tax return to Romney. We need to >demand at least 10 years Romney's tax returns. I would like to see if he is one of the 47% .

He doesn't need to. I wouldn't either, so people like you and other liberals can micro analyze every detail to find something to hang him with, why would I give my opponent that I am fighting against any advantage. It would be ludicrous to think otherwise and vice versa.

He needs to if he is running for a presidency. Tax returns usually tell whole lot more about a character of individual.

Romney is running out of campaign money as SuperPAC is not releasing all to him. SuperPAC is now spending >more in Ohio Senate race. Many republican candidates do not want to be seen with Romney. Our grassroots >campaign for Obama is working for the Middle Class Americans.

Where do you read this junk? Amazing.

This is official. No BS. You do not know how PAC works.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok, so that means, you can't answer my question. Fair enough.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

bass4funkSep. 22, 2012 - 11:17AM JST

Ok, so that means, you can't answer my question. Fair enough.

I may disappoint you, bass. If you ask I DO NOT WATCH ANY OF THESE. I am doing other writing works to do in my library overlooking the West. Did I answer to your question?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, fair enough.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tax returns usually tell whole lot more about a character of individual.

Because I can tell whether or not my boss is a good person by looking at his 1040. The only thing you can tell from a tax return is how useful your accountant is. You're about as likely to gain insight from looking at what cereal I eat as you are looking at my tax returns.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is a strong relationship between risk vs tax returns. It is common practice in underwriting here in USA.

If you are a banker, mortgage loan officer, insurance underwriter, investment planner, credit card and corporate HR that's a first step every Americans have to go through in application process.There are professional websites to check their backgrounds. So all Americans have to keep our noses clean.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is no need for "sharp accounting practices" to get the actual tax rate low. My wife and I file jointly with two kids listed as dependents. We take the standard deduction (no itemization), our 401K contributions and health insurance premiums are taken pre-tax and we end up owing about 9% in Federal taxes. And our income makes us solidly middle class. The folks who think that the secretaries of corporate titans are paying a 25% rate clearly have no experience filing U.S. tax forms.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Obama, Baiden disclosed 12 years tax returns. Ryan submitted 10 years tax return to Romney. We need to >demand at least 10 years Romney's tax returns. I would like to see if he is one of the 47% .

He doesn't need to. I wouldn't either, so people like you and other liberals can micro analyze every detail to find something to hang him with, why would I give my opponent that I am fighting against any advantage.

You almost sound as if you think they might actually find something to hang him with.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass4funk: See? This is what I am talking about, point proven. No matter what Mitt does, how many tax returns he releases, it'll never be good enough for the Dems, NEVER

Romney obviously isn't releasing past taxes because he feels it will be a liability for him, and right now he feels that the heat he is taking for not releasing his taxes is preferable to the heat he would take if he does release past taxes. Agreed?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okay all you jealous lib posters, tell me exactly and specifically why Romney needs to release his tax returns. Sure he paid about 14% a year in taxes over the last 20 years and don't you think if he cheated on his taxes (like a number of people in the Obama Administration) the IRS and the lamestream media would be all over him. So lets stop talking about this and talk about what a great job Obama is doing with our economy and how how he has garnered the respect for the US throughout the Muslim world -- I think I'm going to puke....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

14%!!??

I just spat my cheerios all over the screen. My net income was around 200k last financial year. I pay 45% tax on that.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

Romney obviously isn't releasing past taxes because he feels it will be a liability for him, and right now he feels that the heat he is taking for not releasing his taxes is preferable to the heat he would take if he does release past taxes. Agreed?

I cannot definitively say that, no one knows and I am not him, so I won't make any guesses.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bass -- lHe doesn't need to. I wouldn't either, so people like you and other liberals can micro analyze every detail to find something to hang him with, why would I give my opponent that I am fighting against any advantage. It would be ludicrous to think otherwise and vice versa."

Hysteria, panic, pull up the drawbridges, small size the strategy.

Heh, a clear parallel with Mitt's campaign before the coming implosion. :-)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Okay all you jealous lib posters, tell me exactly and specifically why Romney needs to release his tax returns.

Because if there's absolutely nothing to hide, the Democrats and "jealous lib posters" will be forced to admit that and shut up about it, and Romney will actually be able to focus on what Obama's been doing? Your man's having to spend a lot of time on the defensive, and I don't see how anyone can argue that's a good position to be in.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bass, by parroting the faux fears of Romney's campaign, you're reinforcing the widely held perception that he's a snobby elitist.

By doing that, you're giving the Dems adverts on that point even more credibility and subsequently helping your president win reelection by an even bigger landslide.

Closet Obama supporter, are you?  :-)

0 ( +2 / -1 )

Bass, sorry, did I mention you're helping president Obama win?

Thanks! :-)

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

Bass "-I cannot definitively say that, no one knows."

EXACTLY!! No one knows because Mitt continually FAILS to release his tax returns.

And you defending him is only helping Obama and the Dems.

Thanks! :-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OK, now it is proven. Romney paid his fair share in taxes for the past 20 plus years.

As well, he is extremely charitable and generous. Far more in fact than his opponent, both in percentage and raw dollars.

Anything after this is just malicious and petty. I wonder when Harry Reid will deliver his apology and resignation for his viscious slander of Romney?

1 ( +2 / -2 )

"As well, he is extremely charitable and generous"

Plus tithing and tax write-offs lest we forget.....

In light of the current state of the US treasury, he'd be better off being generous with them.

The fair share on those earning would be 35% income tax were he not a member of the tiny elite that are allowed to hoard their massive wealth better than the other 99%.

I'm sure this is one of the tax loopholes Mr Ryan's secret plan will be shutting down cough-cough

-1 ( +1 / -1 )

It's the meltdown years I would like to see as they are in the twelve year period that every other candidate releases. Dude must have reamed the financial meltdown with insider knowledge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

multi-millionaire private equity baron

I like that spin the article uses for him. Gives him that touch as some sort of royality that can't be bothered with the mere peasants.

1 ( +1 / -1 )

My feeling is if the US's wealthy to mega wealthy are getting away with paying this little a tax bill, it really is screwed. You gotta pay for all that borrowing somehow, people.

-1 ( +2 / -1 )

"I like that spin the article uses for him. Gives him that touch as some sort of royality that can't be bothered with the mere peasants."

What would be closer to the truth?

Multi-millionaire asset stripper that made millions intently bankrupting countries and ship ping jobs overseas?

Private Equity Baron seems dashing compared to the reality. I still fail to see what political qualifications can be derived from a highly successful, highly ruthless businessman with no scruples or morals.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"You gotta pay for all that borrowing somehow, people."

We're back to arithmetic and the problems it presents....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What this hit piece errr article left out.

The campaign also released a summary showing that Romney and his wife Ann paid taxes for each year between 1990 and 2009 at an average effective rate of 20.2%, and that the lowest rate for any given year was 13.6%.

The summary was in the form of a notarized letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that Mitt and Ann Romney owed both state and federal income taxes for a 20-year period, starting with 1990 and going through 2009.

Notarized as in PricewaterhouseCoopers could be fined and could face jail time if the information they released was false.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/09/21/mitt-romney-tax-returns-2011/70000874/1#.UFyZHVHcC3c

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah, so why didn't he just come clean with the American electorate and release the lot like every other normal candidate does?

On the contrary, this paltry summary begs the question even more - what is this man hiding at all costs in those returns?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sail and Bass, seems like you both support stone-walling.

Really, there's no other way to spin it.

Mitt's still not dealing.

The only way to read that is he's hiding something.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Madverts,

What would be closer to the truth?

Multi-millionaire asset stripper that made millions intently bankrupting countries and ship ping jobs overseas?

I like your spin much better than the article's. They went with:

Romney’s refusal to reveal any of his tax returns from before 2010 has led to allegations that the multi-millionaire private equity baron has used sharp accounting practices to protect his fortune from the U.S. tax authorities.

They should have went with yours:

Romney’s refusal to reveal any of his tax returns from before 2010 has led to allegations that the Multi-millionaire asset stripper that made millions intently bankrupting countries and ship ping jobs overseas has used sharp accounting practices to protect his fortune from the U.S. tax authorities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even better, you could make an honest stab at what political qualifications you perceive can be derived not only from a highly successful, highly ruthless businessman with no scruples or morals.....

.....but one that refuses to come clean about his financial dealings.

What on earth is in those returns Sail?

Must be very damaging to his presidential ambitions I say.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even better, you could make an honest stab at what political qualifications you perceive can be derived not only from a highly successful, highly ruthless businessman with no scruples or morals

I'll give it shot:

Article states:

Brad Malt, trustee of the Romney blind trust, said the Romneys donated $4 million to charity in 2011, nearly 30% of their income.

Throw in your comment:

Brad Malt, trustee of the Romney blind trust, said the highly successful, highly ruthless businessman with no scruples or morals donated $4 million to charity in 2011, nearly 30% of their income.

And Voila!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Giving money to charity means you're qualified to be a politician?

I don't get it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Madverts,

Just for the record, you ever thought of a career in what passes for Journalism these days? :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Only if I ever come to terms with not competing ein Formula One. I'm the same age as Jenson Button, there's still hope!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Giving money to charity means you're qualified to be a politician?

Nah, but being elected the 70th Governor of Massachusetts does look pretty good for a politician to put on the resume though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Nah, but being elected the 70th Governor of Massachusetts does look pretty good for a politician to put on the resume though."

True, but probably best not to mention the days of $50 abortions, Romneycare and steeper gun control.....

It may confuse people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sailwind

Brad Malt, trustee of the Romney blind trust, said the Romneys donated $4 million to charity in 2011, nearly 30% of their income.

IMHO if 4 million dollars is a mere 30% of somebody's income then, if they were a decent human being with a modicum of concern for those less blessed, they'd be donating a damn sight more than 30%. More like 95%.

The idea that anyone can boast of giving away such a paltry amount, while they retain so much, is a huge argument for massively increased taxes on the wealthiest and the most privileged.

-1 ( +1 / -1 )

...but that he does not want his opponents to pick over the fine detail of a decade of family finances, despite fierce political pressure. [acknowledged - not a Romney quote]

== Public perception - The douche is hiding something.

With conservatives the consistent lowering of Romney in the polls is directly proportional to their face reddening and their veins popping out.

I can feel the slow burn starting that will culminate when the fat lady sings. I love it. I can't wait to hear "The main stream media...blah, blah, blah" and (this one I especially love) "Media bias, Media bias..." that I heard hear four years ago. I recall some were angry for months later and I still heard the bellyaching more than a year later. I am longing for the sound of the conservative whiners in the distance "waahh! waahh! waahh!."

The truth is that Romney cannot afford to release the important tax returns of the last decade because it exposes his accounts; that hard working Americans feel betrayed by. You know the ones: the Swiss bank accounts and the offshore accounts. Too bad Mitt. FAIL!!!

O M I T . . . . M I T T

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sailwind: What this hit piece errr article left out.

It also left out the fact that Mitt didn't claim the max deduction for his charitable contributions. Why would he do that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No matter what Mitt does, how many tax returns he releases, it'll never be good enough for the Dems, NEVER

Releasing his tax returns is pointless.

Mitt will have great sway over the tax code in the unlikely event he becomes president; his ability to utilize the carried interest and capital gains tax rate of 15 percent, rather than the top-bracket 35 percent tax rate, saved him $1.2 million in taxes in 2011 - almost 50%. Some support eliminating what is in effect a disincentive to work; perhaps this information is pointless to the virulently anti-Obama crowd, but many Americans want to know how much money he and his type will save via his policies.

Also, he forwent several possible deductions so that his return would meet that self-declared "sweet spot" of 20% over the past decade - but, as mentioned before, his claim of having paid 20% is unknowable given the misleading data he reported.

Perhaps he is not lying. Perhaps in the past he also forwent numerous possible deductions; perhaps his true rate was close to what he claims. If it were, though, he would likely have produced a real number - he's a businessman, after all, and smart enough to know that that 20% number was absolutely meaningless.

Perhaps it does not matter to some; it is clear that it does matter to others, so the claim that it is "pointless" is pointless in terms of his quest for the White House.

Another day, another few shovels from the hole he's digging for himself. Bye-bye, Mitt - we still so little know you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It also left out the fact that Mitt didn't claim the max deduction for his charitable contributions. Why would he do that?

Chump change to a man like Mitt. Why bother?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

''Mitt Romney has now released more than 1,200 pages of tax returns, giving voters an incredibly detailed look at his finances,'' said the last election's LOSER.

FAIL

The campaign said the Cayman investments are in a blind trust and are ''taxed in the very same way they would be if the shares were held in the U.S. rather than through a Cayman fund.''

FAIL

''There are no offshore accounts,'' it added. ''These are investments in funds that are organized outside the U.S.''

FAIL

0 ( +3 / -2 )

He needs to if he is running for a presidency. Tax returns usually tell whole lot more about a character of individual.

@globalwatcher: If that is the case, then the current Treasury Sec should be fired since he didn't file his taxes and mis represented them. He blames it on Turbo Tax. A guy that supposed to be a genious with money but can't handle a tax program is in charge of our mone.

What is more telling about an indifviduals character is what they have written in the past or college transcripts. Where are the Obama's college transcripts and any of his pbulished works from his time as editor of the Harvard Law Review? All we get that is supposed to keep us happy is his self autobiography. You wonder why that is not being pushed hard this election, since people have actually delved into it and seen where Obama's thought processes were developed, and he doesn't really want that out this time since he wasn't really vetted before. I imagine that if his college thesis and other writings were out, we would have a clear picture of what Obama's thought processes are.

But as far as tax returns go, remember that in addition to the millions he has paid let's not forget that he filed state taxes and they normally call MA "Taxachusetts" for a reason.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I love how the conservative "Economists" (who deny the negligible effects of the Bush tax cuts and the obvious effect that Obama's efforts had in sparing us from a depression - both of which the real economists overwhelmingly recognize) have now turned into conservative "Accountants" and "Auditors."

With the conservative's analysis of Romney's tax returns the voodoo economists have turned into voodoo accountants.

Yeah, people don't claim the full value of their charitable donations on tax returns all the time. Hilarious!

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Gentlemen, what possible interest could you have in the details of the Romney family's personal finances? The only thing I can imagine is that you want to nitpick and quibble with the details, while ignoring the simple facts. Being that Gov. Romney was in full compliance with the law, gave very generously to charity, and has nothing else to prove. The charge was that he didn't pay his share of taxes. He did.

Personally, I don't think the Democrats and their supporters should make too much noise about details and missing documents. AFAIK, the current President has been very secretive about HIS past, particularly his economic and academic history. How DID he get through law school and the Law Review without publishing anything? Nah, it's not a road the Democrats should try to travel.

Not to metion, that compared to the philanthropy of the Romneys, both the Obamas and Bidens look rather tight fisted. Then again, that is generally the case with liberals. Conservatives in general are FAR more generous.

0 ( +3 / -4 )

"Gentlemen, what possible interest could you have in the details of the Romney family's personal finances?"

That Mitt Romney creamed the financial meltdown that reamed America's back-door thanks to elite insider information?

I guess since Romney prefers to fuel the fire and break with a tradition of transparency set by his own father 50 years ago running for the same post, I'd say any speculation is fair game in a presidential election.

Doesn't 9/11 fall in the years Romney is refusing to release? Maybe I could pull a Harry Reid conspiracy and claim Romney was the one of the insider traders that betted against United Airline stock and made a killing as the WTC collapsed....?

I mean when a career politician refuses transparency, shouldn't he rightly be expected to be raked over the coals for it?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

According to the former IRS Commissioner:

"There is no indication or suggestion of any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities. In my judgment, they have fully satisfied their responsibilities as taxpayers."

Hooray lefties. You have now become the left wing equivalent of birthers. Either you believe the audit, or you don't. If you don't, or aren't satisfied with it, you are joining the tinfoil hat brigade.

Now perhaps we can get on with the real issues?

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

SuperLib: It also left out the fact that Mitt didn't claim the max deduction for his charitable contributions. Why would he do that?

lucabrasi: Chump change to a man like Mitt. Why bother?

Or perhaps it's because if he claimed the deductions it would lower his amount below 14%, and perhaps under his stated lowest amount of 13.6%? And don't forget those deductions can be taken in the future, so he really hasn't passed on anything....yet.

Normally, I can't say I really care about taxes. I expect candidates to do what others have done in the past and I'm happy with that. But this is a guy who has fought tooth and nail against raising taxes on the rich, calling them job creators and selling a position saying the rich already pay more than their fair share. How do you think that will look if he presents tax returns showing he pays less than the average middle class American?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Either you believe the audit, or you don't. "

I'm not going to believe without doubt the "summary" released by the people Romney pays huge amounts of money to, in order to obfuscate his money trail to the best of their ability.

But you bring a good point about the Birther nutcases.....

Obama silenced them by RELEASING his birth certificate.

Romney should follow suit, don't you think VRWC?

Doing otherwise only further confirms suspicions that Romney is hiding something damaging to the cause......

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Superlib. Do you doubt the impartiality of Price Waterhouse in this? Or did they do a good job preparing this document? If you believe the former, then you join the conspiracy theorists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Do you doubt the impartiality of Price Waterhouse in this?"

They make a living, well, from fiddling figures.

Why chose a twenty two year period to find a mysterious "average" and summary instead of doing the norm since the sixties and releasing 12 years prior like everybody else.

Defending Romney's refusal for transparency isn't conspiracy - it's myopic partisan delusion.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Democrats are fully justified in claiming that by releasing more and more of his tax information it reveals that his tax rate is very low. He wants to give more tax breaks to the very rich so it is a valid campaign issue. Oh and we know conservatives like to give to charity. Look at how they enable the largest corporations to pay ZERO income taxes When Romney mentions the "47%" he can never quite bring himself to mention the corporate squatters that have paid no income tax in at least 1 of the past 4 years and many of them have paid zero in all of the past 4 years. They are: Pepco Holdings, General Electric, PG&E Corp., Wisconsin Energy, NiSource, Paccar, Integrys Energy Group, CenterPoint Energy, Atmos Energy, Tenet Healthcare, American Electric Power, Boeing, Ryder System, Con-way, Verizon Communications, Interpublic Group, Duke Energy, NextEra Energy, CMS Energy, Navistar International, Consolidated Edison, Mattel, El Paso, Baxter International, Corning, DTE Energy, Honeywell, International, Wells Fargo and DuPont.

Oh and yes it is actually charity. 26 of the 30 companies listed continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years!

No, the vast Americans that comprise the "47%" are hard working individuals who can't make a living wage in America. So why don't you conservative posters on JT tell us how those workers are slackers. Or maybe you would propose the argument that they have chosen their lot.

Come on conservatives tell us how those corporations and Romney deserve those tax breaks. Tell us that those corporations that pay ZERO tax on their earnings worked so much harder than the average American worker did, and thus deserves those tax breaks so much more.

That is why we want to see the tax returns of Mitt Romney. He advocates for tax breaks for corporations and the rich. We want to see if his proposals will benefit him personally.

Too bad for the conservatives on JT - the American people agree. Release all the tax returns.

Why conservatives have to distort the truth and misrepresent our intentions should be obvious. They want to find excuses to present to America. They want to say, "He paid his share of taxes." But we do not claim he did not meet his legal obligation; rather that he DOES NOT pay his FAIR SHARE.

Just remember Mitt Romney said, "Corporations are people." Justice Scalia affirmed that corporations are people in Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission.

You see it is plainly, clear; it's ok for the world's largest corporations, located in the U.S., not to pay taxes but that family of 4 where the father and mother both work and still can't make ends meet better pay more than Romney pays.

You know because Romney creates jobs and hard working Americans don't.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If voters wanted transparency, then Senator Obama would still be getting Bill Clinton's coffee

And shining his shoes, and picking his cotton?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Besides banana republics, US is the best ever country for the elites! No need for corruption, the system is good enough for them.

Donations = Marketing Investments. 14% income tax when 13 millions (officially declared) income is ridiculous! And much more millions for stock not taxable.

How can he understand the life of 99% of US citizen?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The Republican challenger insists his arrangements are entirely above board, but that he does not want his opponents to pick over the fine detail of a decade of family finances, despite fierce political pressure."

We believe you Mitt! After all, you've never hidden anything before, never flip-flopped, never pandered to the rich and bitched about the poor, etc.

Fact is, the man's still hiding things by not releasing his records, and there's good reason -- he would be crucified for his practices while preaching against them. This guy is toast, and his releasing yesterday's taxes while denying the release of the day before only makes him look more suspicious.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As the thread goes on my birther comparison becomes more and more vindicated. It will never be enough.

It also left out the fact that Mitt didn't claim the max deduction for his charitable contributions. Why would he do that?

A lot of people don't claim the max deduction in order to pad future years. Charitable donation deductions have a 5 year carryforward that can be used if you have a particularly good year and want to tamp it down. For example lets say Romney averages 8 million a year but one year he gets 14 due to some unforeseen boom in one of his holdings, he can use the carryforward to take some of the bite out of the unexpected tax consequences. I've done it myself, its just another one of those common tax practices that most people don't understand.

That Mitt Romney creamed the financial meltdown that reamed America's back-door thanks to elite insider information?

If he has a heavily diversified portfolio, which seems to be the case, it's likely that he took some loses that were countered by other accounts that performed better.

Why a "summary"' of 22 years? What the hell is he hiding?

Probably because the details of high income tax returns are spread among several tax preparers over a multi-year period. Reassembling tax returns is like putting a puzzle back together after giving the pieces to half a dozen people and then having to go house to house to get them back. Frankly I'm surprised he's still got his 2011 return.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

TheQuestion: you just confirm my statement: US system is made for riches, not for the 99% of the hard workers citizens. Mitt did nothing legally wrong! That's the issue!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TheQuestion: "If he has a heavily diversified portfolio, which seems to be the case, it's likely that he took some loses that were countered by other accounts that performed better."

So why not prove it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

US system is made for riches, not for the 99% of the hard workers citizens.

If you are paying an income tax and make under 30,000 dollars a year than you're doing something wrong. It's not that the system favors the rich it's that most people never take the time to learn the tax code. I don't think I've ever paid more than 20% of my net income in taxes because I understand how to achieve a substantially lower taxable income and I'm barely upper-middle class.

Anybody can do this. I did it when I was working though college as a janitor, most people are just more comfortable sending their taxes to H&R block where they do the bare minimum. You are not the repressed teaming masses, you all just think taxes are to boring to learn about.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@openminded.

The Obama's are ALSO part of the "one percent"- do you also question THEIR ability to understand the lives of the other 99?

@smith. The current president has never offered evidence how he could afford the brutally expensive colleges he attended, or how he qualified for any scholarships, or any academic research, or and record at all of his academics.

Why not prove it?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Vast... : the difference is that Obama care the 99%! TheQuestion: fiscal tricks are for high educate people and/or the ones who can afford fiscal advisors. Working poors or low middle class (47% according to Mitt) are out of this scheme! You just confirm again and again the US system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Was reading more on this and oh my is Mitt screwed! Not only has he verbally written off 47% of Americans while asking for their votes, now he shows that he pays less than they do in taxes while making off with their money! AND on top of that refuses to release previous records!

This is seriously too funny. Only in the Republican party could such a circus be considered prospect! Even Australia knows it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So why not prove it?

Why? So he can get crucified for every stock he's bought in the last 20 years? I used to own shares in a company that I later found out was using slave labor to collect coco beans. I just bought it because it performed well, I do my research but I'm not going to fly out to tour their operations every time I by $200 of shares. Multiply that by a few hundred different stocks and companies that Romney probably has holdings in and thrown in a few million Democrats frothing at the mouth and you're bound to find something, even if it doesn't actually mean anything.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Mittstake is playing catch up now with his taxes. He wants to run the country but at the same time is doing everything he can to cheat on his taxes. And he will not, as his Dad did, simply release them all. He Dad was a better man.

Lets face it, the Mittstake hates America. He hates half of the American people for not making enough money to pay taxes but loves the 1% of American that makes so much money they do not pay taxes either.

When Romney loses he will amend his 2011 tax return for sure and and his effective rate will near zero. What he released now is just for show for the fox news loser crowd. But that will not be reported on Fox. Liberals who live the the real will find out about it when it happens.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

@the ill-named Open Minded:

What evidence do you have that Obama cares for the 99% he is not part of? Mitt Romney has a decades long history of philanthropy, charitable giving, and personal good will.

If you have trouble with the tax code, blame the Democrats. They have controlled Congress for most of the past 50 years. Whatever laws are passed are on THEM.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

TheQuestion: to put into perspective. You state you are upper middle class. That is to say you make between 200,000 to 500,000 USD/year. Mitt makes 13,000,000/year. You say you are smart because you pay a bit less than 20% taxes, while Mitt pays 14% ...!!???

Anything wrong?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Two down. Ten more to go.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

TheQuestion: " I used to own shares in a company that I later found out was using slave labor to collect coco beans."

So did you sell them after you found out, or invest more? :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Vast... : Obama is part of the 1%. On this point you are right. Again you confirm the US system: if you are not part of the 1%: no chance. Look at last top US figures: Clinton husband and wife, Bush senior and junior, Kennedy senior, cousin, nephew, ... Schwarzeneger, ... in a country of more than 300,000,000 inhabitants, only a few families are running the country. Is that a democracy?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Question:

I used to own shares in a company that I later found out was using slave labor to collect coco beans. I just bought it because it performed well, I do my research but I'm not going to fly out to tour their operations every time I by $200 of shares

Voiceless! You are definitely a true American Republican: no care of what is behind the profit!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fact:

Romney paid 1.9 million dollars in taxes in 2011.

That averages out to 5205 dollars....per day he pays in taxes to the Federal Govt.

Anybody want to argue about that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sailwind

Romney paid 1.9 million dollars in taxes in 2011.

That averages out to 5205 dollars....per day he pays in taxes to the Federal Govt.

You say that like it's something to be proud of. He ought to be paying a hundred times that, with his money. And if he did, he wouldn't even notice. Obscene wealth is exactly that... obscene.

-3 ( +0 / -2 )

Sure do.

It should have been twice that.

Anyways, none of that is the issue.

We still havn't seen his tax return for 2000-2009.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's a much larger question than Romney's taxes. OM. But I'll take a stab. I agree that it makes no sense. My solutoin would be two-fold.

a/ Pay House members and senators $1 million a year

b/ Eliminate constant re-election by imposing term limits of one term on senators and the president, and two terms on the House.

Eliminate the dinosaurs that stay in Washington for decades, and you break the grip of special interests and lobbyists. Pay them well, and the lure of bribes goes away.

As for Romney's tax rate, it is a complicated question due ot the type of income etc. Most of Romney's income is from investments, which are taxed at a lower rate than regular employment income. The reason being that capital gains are made from money that has ALREADY been taxed at the regular rate. To invest money, you must have earned it first, and paid tax on it, then invested what was left. Most countries have lower rates for capital gains than for regular income, it's not unique to the US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You say that like it's something to be proud of. He ought to be paying a hundred times that,

Why?

1 ( +1 / -1 )

@sailwind

Why?

1) Because a society in which one individual owns tens or hundreds or billions of dollars, while there are families who can't afford to feed themselves properly is an abomination.

2) Because of the Sermon on the Mount. Whether you're a Christian or not (I mean a real Christian, not a good ol' southern boy KKK gay-beating, go-to-church hungover on Sunday because everyone else goes Christian), if you don't recognise the reality described therein, you're living a life of spiritual misery and selfishness.

3) For his own damn sake. Anybody that wealthy, that privileged, is living in a fragile bubble of denial and triviality. For God's sake man, do something useful with your money (all of it, not 30%) and set up a charity, a foundation, anything but pay for your wife to keep a horse to enter in Olympic dressage events half-way round the world.

In short, man up. He should recognise how privileged he is and use that privilege to further the cause of progress in the world.

But rich folk so rarely do.

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

Luca, you sound so...........hateful. I thought that you wanted "hate speech" banned?

As for the Romneys, compare their record of charity to the Obamas and then tell me who should be criticized. As well, you are exaggerating the Romney's wealth. They aren't billionaires, not even close.

He can do whatever the h e double toothpicks he wants with his money. It's HIS. He earned it. If you are advocating that the government confiscate the wealth of the rich, what will you do when you run out of rich people to steal from? In the big picture, their assets amount to only a small portion of the government's current debt anyway.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

In short, man up. He should recognise how privileged he is and use that privilege to further the cause of progress in the world.

He did.

As Romney told a C-SPAN interviewer in 2006:

"I did get a check from my dad when he passed away. I shouldn’t say a check, but I did inherit some funds from my dad. But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor. ... And that’s where his inheritance ended up."

Why did he give the money away?

"I figured we had enough of our own," he said.

But rich folk so rarely do.

Any questions?

3 ( +2 / -0 )

@luca

You say that like it's something to be proud of. He ought to be paying a hundred times that, with his money. And if he did, he wouldn't even notice. Obscene wealth is exactly that... obscene.

the top 1% pay 60% of all taxes anyway. How much more do you want them to pay? How much is enough? Who are you to dictate what he should pay, he earned it, he made it, that's his business and more power to him, he should make as much as possible, but you liberals believe in Robbing Paul to give to Peter thinking that it will for some reason stimulate the economy or that you just hate rich people just for being rich. As long as he pays his fair share or any rich person, I pay my fair share. it's none of your business.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"I figured we had enough of our own," he said.

But rich folk so rarely do.

Any questions?

Loads of questions. Let's go with just one for now, though.

Why doesn't Mitt tell the richest Americans, (say the top 10%), right now, "Maybe you have enough of your own."?

I think it's because he'd be attacked by the grasping, selfish right-wing for being "socialist", and instantly lose their votes. But maybe I'm just cynical.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

@bass

I'm not American and claim no special knowledge.

But I do know that in England last year, bank directors were being awarded bonuses (not salaries) worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, while at the same time, for the first time in living memory, there were "food banks" in the centre of several cities, established to ensure that poor families got enough to eat.

Now, Tories in Britain and Republicans in America love to go on about how the current economic situation is "unsustainable": that we need to tighten our belts or there'll be an eventual economic collapse.

But you rarely hear the other side. A society in which a small minority (Romneys, Clintons, Camerons, Millibands) make huge amounts of money while old people die from hypothermia because they can't afford to heat their houses, is equally "unsustainable".

It will end in revolt, in America and in Britain, and the consequences of that could well be horrible for all of us, particularly the rich.

For the record, I don't hate rich folk. I pity their insecurities and their narrow-mindedness.

Again, the Sermon on the Mount is where it's at.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

At an effective rate of 14.1%, Mitt Romney paid a significantly higher rate than the majority of Americans who actually owed taxes. Almost half of Americans either owe no Federal income taxes after their standard deductions (available to ALL taxpayers) or they actually received more back than they paid through the earned income tax credit and other benefit programs. It is amazing how ignorant people are on what the actual tax rates are. There is one poster above who claims he paid a rate 10 percent higher than the maximum rate. Another says he paid at least 20% on a middle class income when it is impossible to do so unless Inspector Clouseau filed your taxes. The reason why most people don't know their tax rate is because they either had all of the tax withholdings refunded or owed so very little. The people who know their actual tax rate are the ones who really had to pay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is to say you make between 200,000 to 500,000 USD/year

Um, no. Upper class is considered to be 200,000 and above. Middle class is between 50 and 90k depending on where you live. So I make somewhere between 90 and 200k a year.

You say you are smart because you pay a bit less than 20% taxes, while Mitt pays 14% ...!!??? Anything wrong?

No. Most of my money comes from earned income which is taxed at a bracketed rate. Most of Romney's money comes from investments which is taxed at a capital gains rate of 15% which is reduced by his deductions. So no, it actually makes perfect sense if you have even a basic understanding of how the US tax code works.

Voiceless! You are definitely a true American Republican: no care of what is behind the profit!

Technically I'm registered as a member of the libertarian party and if my voting record over the past decade is any indication I'm anything but a Republican. Next problem with that statement is that the stock I was talking about was Hershey chocolate. They have since then changed their purchasing policies to avoid the whole, slave labor thing.

Smith,

So did you sell them after you found out, or invest more?

If I ever met you I'm not sure if I'd hug you or knock you out. And I'll have you know...I buy Hershey stock a few months before the holiday season and sell it off at peak in February. I'm not evil, I'm just pragmatic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sailwindSep. 22, 2012 - 06:19PM JST

Giving money to charity means you're qualified to be a politician?

Nah, but being elected the 70th Governor of Massachusetts does look pretty good for a politician to put on the resume though.

@sailwind

Please check changes in his ideology between Romney today vs Romney then. He is conflicting his own stance in many issues.

sailwindSep. 22, 2012 - 11:25PM JST

Fact:

Romney paid 1.9 million dollars in taxes in 2011.

That averages out to 5205 dollars....per day he pays in taxes to the Federal Govt.

Anybody want to argue about that?

@sailwind

We are not talking about how much money has been given to the government here. We are talking about Progressive US tax system and American tax code contains a lot of loopholes for investment income over labor income..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

TheQuestion

A lot of people don't claim the max deduction in order to pad future years. Charitable donation deductions have a 5 year carryforward that can be used if you have a particularly good year and want to tamp it down. For example lets say Romney averages 8 million a year but one year he gets 14 due to some unforeseen boom in one of his holdings, he can use the carryforward to take some of the bite out of the unexpected tax consequences.

That is not what the tax code says. I reference www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf. It states:

You can carry over your contributions that you are not able to deduct in the current year because they exceed your adjusted-gross-income limits. You can deduct the excess in each of the next 5 years until it is used up, but not beyond that time.

If you read the entire section of code that pertains to carry overs in each category you will find that you can only carry over that which exceeds the allowable limit in that year. So tamping down is NOT an option. Claim it unless it exceeds the limit or lose it. Any statement to the contrary is being disingenuous to put it nicely. If you claim to be doing this yourself, a claim which I immediately found dubious, then you need to fess up to the IRS because you have been cheating.

I've done it myself, its just another one of those common tax practices that most people don't understand.

Apparently the IRS doesn't understand either because you are not allowed to do it. You can only carry over if you exceed the year's limit NOT because you CHOOSE to do it to lessen your tax burden.

I love it when the conservatives try to slide one past everyone because they believe Democrats are to stupid to be high up the corporate ladder and understand vast areas of business including (but not limited to): statistics, accounting and finance.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Superlib: It also left out the fact that Mitt didn't claim the max deduction for his charitable contributions. Why would he do that?

TheQuestion: A lot of people don't claim the max deduction in order to pad future years. Charitable donation deductions have a 5 year carryforward that can be used if you have a particularly good year and want to tamp it down.

I know, I was being coy. Romney is talking about a 14.1% rate but in reality he has unused deductions in the bank that, if taken this year, would have made the number lower. I can't help but wonder if his motivation was to keep his tax percentage higher because of the election.

I can understand why you would believe Romney is opening up Pandora's Box by releasing his taxes, but the fact is that he's made taxation and "job creators" a pillar of his campaign, so now that kind of information carries extra weight. He's championing his credentials overall as a business leader, but he wants us to just look at the final number in his bank account and ignore the details and that's not going to happen. You are right when you say that people like him an afford to hire tax professionals to reduce their liability and there's nothing wrong with that, but when that person gets on a stage and says that the rich are already taxed too much after showing us how he exposed every loophole to pay less than the average person the argument falls apart. And I'd bet my house that that's the situation he knows he's in right now which is the reason why he does not want to disclose more.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you read the entire section of code that pertains to carry overs in each category you will find that you can only carry over that which exceeds the allowable limit in that year.

Just file an amended return to claim the full deduction at a later date claiming the full deduction. Once you file the amended return you can carry forward the excess as usual.

If you claim to be doing this yourself, a claim which I immediately found dubious, then you need to fess up to the IRS because you have been cheating.

Are you asking if I've filed an amended return? Little personal but yes, I have filed amended returns. Sometimes have a flash of inspiration a few months down the road or remember a deduction and I refile. If you find this dubious it's probably because you've never filed an amended return or because you're reading the US tax code like it's a straightforward document, it's not. Any question regarding taxation should only be answered with the phrase, "It depends".

Apparently the IRS doesn't understand either because you are not allowed to do it. You can only carry over if you exceed the year's limit NOT because you CHOOSE to do it to lessen your tax burden.

Once again, it depends. Because Romney gets a lot of his money from a blind trust he has a lot of options. The max charitable deduction is a percentage of gross income, with a blind trust and some other liquid methods of income generation its possible for Romney to alter his taxible gross income and change the allowable deduction via that amended return.

love it when the conservatives try to slide one past everyone because they believe Democrats are to stupid to be high up the corporate ladder and understand vast areas of business including (but not limited to): statistics, accounting and finance.

A cursory review of my posts will reveal that I'm hardly a conservative. I hold most politicians in equal contempt. And I'm not trying to slide anything past anyone but when I have to give a lengthy explanation about amended returns and modifying trust disbursements and adjusting gross income it gets to that magical point where nobody knows what I'm talking about. Which reinforces my primary point. Releasing his tax returns is stupid because most people don't understand taxes anyway.

Superlib,

I know, I was being coy. Romney is talking about a 14.1% rate but in reality he has unused deductions in the bank that, if taken this year, would have made the number lower. I can't help but wonder if his motivation was to keep his tax percentage higher because of the election.

In retrospect I can see the question was rhetorical. I'm kinda riding a tax high on this thread but I can sort of understand the argument for more releases even if I don't necessarily agree with it.

I'm always up for a debate on future restructuring of the US tax code and bracket system. I'm not sure anybody on this site would like my suggestions but it's not as if I've ever been a popular idea generator here anyway.

As for his reason for not electing to take the full deduction. While I can think of a number of reasons not to I'm pretty certain that Romney did it for political purposes, he's an opportunist and this release has stalled some of the other criticisms against him. Gives him some breathing room to reshuffle his deck of tricks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

News: Romney Lawyer Admits They Manipulated Taxes to Conform to 13% Claim

Brad Malt acknowledged, the couple “limited their deductions of charitable contributions to conform to the governor’s statement in 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.”

What an incompetent.

Then the LORD said to the American People, "Go to the Rmoney and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let your tax returns go, so that they may know you."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

TheQuestion:

As the thread goes on my birther comparison becomes more and more vindicated. It will never be enough.

This is why I rarely read/post here. The majority of posters are Leftists who are never happy with anything, unless someone they hate is having a bad day. Just thought I would drop in while I'm in Japan.

The title of today's article:

Romney releases 2011 tax returns but questions remain

Yes, questions do remain. Here are mine: The Romneys gave more to charity - in total sum and in percentages - over the last 20 years than every Democrat president and vice-president we've had during the same period, combined. And yet, Leftists are still convinced that the Romneys don't care about the "99%" and their candidates do. Why is that? Who is really out of touch here? How does spending money you take from people you loathe make you more caring than someone who spends their own money? Especially when it comes to your own money, you hang onto it or avoid paying taxes (this is where I bring up how many members of the Obama administration are tax cheats, and some of them write the tax code).

Please, show me your self-justification for bashing Romney and Republicans and defending Obama and other Democrats. It's very entertaining, in a morbid sense. I'm going out to help stimulate the Japanese economy with some shopping and will check in (and post reminders about the Kennedy family's offshore tax shelters and Warren Buffet's back taxes, etc.) later.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

AlphaapeSep. 22, 2012 - 06:59PM JST

@globalwatcher: If that is the case, then the current Treasury Sec should be fired since he didn't file his taxes and mis represented them. He blames it on Turbo Tax. A guy that supposed to be a genious with money but can't handle a tax program is in charge of our mone.

@Alphaape, agreed. Only difference between Geithner and Romney is that Geithner had to go through congressional process to clear his name before appointed while Romney does not have to go through that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OldHawk, I always enjoy reading your posts. As you accurately noted about the rabid leftist posts here in JT(you know who you are:go ahead and click your "bad" buttons wildly now), they live to denigrate any who don't dutifully tow the lefty line.

Romney released some 1200 tax documents, and the IRS statement confirms the validity.

It boils down to this; there are those here who view other people's property as fair game for confiscation to be redistributed among whomever, and there are those(the minority ) who believe people's property is theirs to keep or do with as they choose and oppose confiscation and redistribution on moral grounds.

Just sayin' yo.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I know, I was being coy. Romney is talking about a 14.1% rate but in reality he has unused deductions in the bank that, if taken this year, would have made the number lower. I can't help but wonder if his motivation was to keep his >tax percentage higher because of the election.

His motivation was to be a man of his word. He choose his own higher tax rate and he stayed with it though he could have legally chosen less.

In August Mitt asserted that he paid at least a 13% rate of income tax over the past 10 years. Had he taken the full charitable deduction last year, it would have pushed his tax liability below 13 percent.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/22/1135217/-Romney-skipped-taking-deductions-to-boost-his-2011-Tax-Rate

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TheQuestion, Thanks for your balanced post. My opinion on the tax code isn't popular here, either. Too many are misguided thinking that having one's income stolen via taxes is "patriotic " and accusing those who oppose confiscatory actions as "unpatriotic". That's idiotic. I also think releasing tax records is just a distraction.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"In August Mitt asserted that he paid at least a 13% rate of income tax over the past 10 years."

A man of his word wouldn't cower from proving it.

No amount of aggressive chemotherapy will halt this cancer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To give us non-Americans a perspective on this, can someone tell us what rate of tax the middle-class typically pays? And what would be a typical middle-class income? What is the cut-off below which no income tax is paid?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A man of his word wouldn't cower from proving it.

The proof letter from Pricewaterhousecoopers the accounting firm he has used since 1990 for his taxes is also notarized.

http://www.mittromney.com/disclosure/letter-from-pwc

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

cleo, referring to the astute comment by TheQuestion previously, the only correct answer is: it depends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To give us non-Americans a perspective on this, can someone tell us what rate of tax the middle-class typically pays? And what would be a typical middle-class income? What is the cut-off below which no income tax is paid?

Middle class is more of a socio-economic position and the actual income needed to maintain that lifestyle varies from state to state but generally it's between 40 and 80k per year for individuals. If they make roughly 60,000 they then use various scales to generate their gross income and then their taxable income. If you only take the personal exemption (3,800) and standard deduction (5,950) you're shaving at least 9,750 off but most people itemize so the deduction is typically a lot more. For arguments sake we can reasonably say that through various deductions and credits a person making 60,000 can probably end up with taxable income of around 40,000. Using the tax brackets the first 8,700 is taxed at 10% (870), the next 8,700 – 35,350 is taxed at 15% (roughly 4,000), and the last 4650 is taxed at 25% (1162). So in this admittedly cruddy example this single middle class person pays roughly 6,032 in income tax or 15% of taxable income or 10% of unadjusted earned income.

There isn't actually a cutoff but there is a point at which your deductions either meet or exceed your income, generally speaking if you make 20,000 a year or less you don't generally pay taxes and if you claim the right credits it's more likely than not that the government ends up paying you instead of the other way around.

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Just a quick clarification. I've always separated middle class into three parts but most people don't. The middle class is technically the middle three income quintiles of salaries so technically the middle class is anyone between $19,178 to $91,705.

I think my 40-80 is a better general reflection though but that's just me.

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Thank you, TheQuestion. I understand that everyone has different deductions etc., depending on their personal circumstances, but it's helpful to have a general idea of the numbers. So is Romney claiming that 47% of Americans earn less than $20,000?

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So is Romney claiming that 47% of Americans earn less than $20,000?

That I can only speculate on. I've made some pretty harsh claims before but I at least try to justify my positions with some kind of number to back it up. I think my problem is that I don't really know what he was talking about. It's true that a large portion of the American population pays no income tax. My 20,000 number was a ballpark number but if you have kids or own a very small business I can easily see someone making more than $40,000 a year and paying no income tax.

About 46 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax in 2011

That is according to the Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C. However, most of them do pay SS and FICA taxes. Now I'm more than happy to debate the merits of Social Security and the programs supported by FICA but theres a calm, non inflammatory way of doing it.

I call what Romney said a stupid statement loosely rooted in reality. It's not false but it was not a terribly bright thing to say.

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If he has an income of over $13 million and the rate on anything over $35,350 is 25%, a total of 14.1% doesn't sound right.

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I would like to see us have a tax system based on something other than envy and jealousy, but it will never happen.

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@cleo. Again, it depends on the source of the income. If it is usual salary, then it hasn't been previously taxed and the tax rate is higher. If, in Romney's case, the source of income is investments, then it has already been taxed BEFORE it was invested. That's why such income (capital gains income) is taxed at a lower rate than usual income. It's the second time the money has been taxed. Virtually all countries tax cap. gains in such a way. Otherwise, there would be little incentive for people to invest their savings and create jobs.

What this all tells us is that the Romneys are an incredibly generous couple. In the past 2 decades, they have given somewhere north of 50 million dollars to charity. There is not even a hint of irregularity or illegality in their income statements. Time to go on to the real issues of the election, IF the Democrats are willing.

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If, in Romney's case, the source of income is investments, then it has already been taxed BEFORE it was invested.

If he did a day's work, got paid for it, and invested that, then yes; but if he invested the profits from investments and then invested the profit from those investments, there surely comes a point where the more you have, the more you keep. I'm no economist, but it seems like if you work hard for your money, you get taxed; if it rolls in hand over fist while you sit back playing with your silver spoon, you pay nothing.

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Cleo;

If the money is invested, and reinvested, and reinvested, it gets taxed each time. Like I said, most countries have different tax rates on invested money, because it has already been taxed before it was invested. In the case of the Romneys, they have paid their fair share every year, plus given generously to charity. Mitt paid nearly 2 million dollars in federal tax alone last year. That's enough to pay the salaries of an entire school of teachers!

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If the money is invested, and reinvested, and reinvested, it gets taxed each time.

But only a little bit, and surely only the profit, which has not been taxed before since it didn't exist. If I earn my month's income and pay income tax on it (as I do), I can't then go shopping with what's left and refuse to pay the consumption tax on the grounds that my money has already been taxed. If I put my money in the bank and it gains a bit of interest, the interest will be taxed at a much higher rate than basic income tax. How is that any different from the rich man's investment? How come he gets a lower rate?

In the case of the Romneys, they have paid their fair share every year, plus given generously to charity.

They've paid their legal share under the current system; if the tax system isn't fair to start with, they (and all the other well-padded, wouldn't-know-a-fair-day's-work-if-it-bit-them types) haven't paid their fair share. What he chooses to give to charity is his own business and has nothing to do with what the rich ought or ought not to be paying in taxes.

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You are right, the profits (if any) are taxed at a lower rate than usual income. The same with bank interest (at least in most countries), not sure about Japan though. Both are classified as investment income.

If you don't think 2 million dollars in tax is fair, then how much is? How much of a man's earnings and property should the government have the right to confiscate?

And the crack about Romney being one of the lazy rich couldn't be further from the truth. He has a history of hard work and success, from his mission days in France to his studies to his efforts to build his own company. He didn't inherit his wealth- in fact he donated his father's entire estate to an educational endowment. You may not like the man's politics, but please don't question his work ethic or personal generosity.

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Cleo, so , what's your definition of "fair share"?

Does it sound like," From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."?

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the profits (if any) are taxed at a lower rate than usual income. The same with bank interest (at least in most countries), not sure about Japan though. Both are classified as investment income.

In Japan the tax rate on bank interest is a flat 20%; the lowest rate of income tax (on taxable income of 1.95 million yen or less) is 5%. The income tax rate rises to 20% on taxable income over 3.3 million yen, and rises again from about 7 million.

In the UK the tax rate on bank interest starts at 20% (same as income tax) and rises as the amount of interest rises; people on low incomes can claim back the tax they paid on bank interest. Tax on investment dividends is 7.5% lower than on savings.

If you don't think 2 million dollars in tax is fair, then how much is? How much of a man's earnings and property should the government have the right to confiscate?

An amount proportionate to his income; absolute numbers are meaningless. Romney's nearly 2 million dollars is only 14% of his income. If we use TheQuestion's numbers for middle-class taxes, the tax on 13 million should come to somewhere in the region of 3.2 million, or roughly 25%.

Romney may be a hard worker, but if his tax rate is lower because most of his income is from investments, then that is not money he earned by the sweat of his brow, doing a fair day's work. He may not have inherited his father's wealth, but he had the benefit of it when he was growing and getting an education, and the benefit of all his father's connections.

so , what's your definition of "fair share"?

Does it sound like," From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."?

Not to me it doesn't. Why do some people have so much trouble understanding 'Fair do's for all'? Do you think it's right that the middle classes pay a higher tax rate than the filthy rich?

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Cleo, my answer to that is "no" because income taxation is thievery.

But your response proves that no number or figure would be satisfactory in your opinion. That's actually my point.

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" From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

WHat a repugnant philosophy. The world needs LESS Karl Marx, not more. It's never worked, even before Marx, and won't ever work in the future.

The simple fact is, people are greedy. They want to see the rewards of their labor, not see them confiscated and redistributed. Thr original Pilgrims who settled the USA nearly 5 centuries ago nearly all starved to death using that philosophy, they only prospered when they allowed people to keep what they earned or created.

It seems you have a romantic view of the "noble laborer", earning with his sweat and muscles. Well, that's no way to support a family in the 21st century. People like Romney work smarter than that, and we all benefit as a result.

If your quibble is with the tax system, fair enough. It's nothing to do with the Romneys, though. Perhaps you should blame the current President, after all HE'S the one in charge and the one who could have tried to change the tax code.

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income taxation is thievery

That's a whole different topic. Assuming for the sake of argument that income tax is a necessary evil that we all have to pay, the rich should pay less proportionately than Mr. Average?

It seems you have a romantic view of the "noble laborer", earning with his sweat and muscles. Well, that's no way to support a family in the 21st century.

I know there is nothing romantic about hard work. But it's 'no way to support a family in the 21st century'? Virtually everyone you meet in your day to day life, the people who supply your home with utilities, the people who put food in the shops and restaurants for you to buy, the people who put the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet, the people who made your TV set and the people who make the programmes to keep you entertained, the people who designed and assembled the car you get around in - they must all be anachronisms. I didn't know.

Try living in a world populated only by tycoons living off their investments. The whole thing would grind to a halt in hours, not days.

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VRWC, yes, that Marx quote is utterly repugnant. But that's essentially what the Obama bleaters bleat in dressed up language.

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Cleo, no, the assumption that income tax is a necessary evil is unacceptable. It isn't necessary, nor moral.

What's your point about hard work? No one proposed eliminating labor.

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If he has an income of over $13 million and the rate on anything over $35,350 is 25%, a total of 14.1% doesn't sound right.

I doubt that Romney has any actual earned income so it's all likely taxed at 15% qualified capital gains rate. That same rate is available to anybody that makes investments. The reason we have tax credits and deductions is to encourage certain behaviors. Investment income is taxed at a lower rate because the government wants people to invest.

Romney would have paid 15% but his charitable donations and other deductions probably reduced his tax burden. If he claimed the full charitable deduction his effective tax rate would be around 13% in all likelyhood.

Also I think VRWC was trying to explain the concept of corporate double taxation. Romney owns stock in corporations and gets a share of their after tax income. So before a shareholder gets their money the corporations income is taxed at around 35% then when the shareholder gets it the amount is taxed again at 15%. So if a corporation makes 100k in profits it is taxed at 35% (there's actually a separate set of brackets for corporations but for simplicity sake I'll just keep it at 35) so the corporation has 65k left to distribute to Mittens. Mittens then pays 15% on the distribution so he ends up with roughly 55k so by the time the money goes from the customer to Mitt it's been taxed at roughly 45%, considerably higher than your average income earner.

Try living in a world populated only by tycoons living off their investments. The whole thing would grind to a halt in hours, not days.

Very true. I recognize the necessity of all forms of labor, management, and investment. Personally I do think that the US tax code has been unfairly stacked and is in dire need of restructuring, but not for the same reasons that other people have.

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I see that my comment about having a tax system not based on envy and jealousy has a sum total of two "bad" votes. That means at least two people on here actually like having a tax system based on envy and jealousy.

Sad.

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Virtually everyone you meet in your day to day life, the people who supply your home with utilities, the people who put food in the shops and restaurants for you to buy, the people who put the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet, the people who made your TV set and the people who make the programmes to keep you entertained, the people who designed and assembled the car you get around in.

And this would not be accomplish without someone putting their investment money into the utility factory, that then produces the electricity that powers the farmers house, who then sells food to the shops and restaurants whos investors help start them up to provide nourishment for the clothes and shoe workers at the factories who then can relax at home in front of the T.V that was built by investments in the T.V factory for producing the latest plasma screen model that allows a medium to exist where entertianers can express their talent to a large audience and then drive to work the next morning in the car that was produced by attracting investors to finance the automobile plant where the newest model was made.

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No one proposed eliminating labor.

Actually VRWC claimed that it's 'no way to support a family in the 21st century'. What else does that mean other than that we should all ditch our jobs and support our families by being tycoons and investors? Though if we all did that, who or what we would invest in is a mystery.

sail - I'm not saying investors don't have a role to play, I'm trying to point out the absurdity of Conspirator's notion that no one should actually be doing any of the work in the 21st century.

That means at least two people on here actually like having a tax system based on envy and jealousy.

No, it likely means that at least two people do not agree with your premise that the tax system is based on envy and jealousy.

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Nah, Cleo I was ribbing you for all your "sweat of his brow" rhetoric that was implying that Gov. Romney somehow didn't REALLY earn his money. And I stand by what I said, standard blue collar "sweat of your brow" jobs are going the way of the dinosaur. The future is in technology and skills, not manual labor.

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14% huh, ... hm, if or when i make a million the US starts to look pretty interesting then. No matter if for or against. If all he did was to have the numbers crunched there's nothing to say about it. That's how this paper law of theirs works, or it doesn't work at all. Jealousy is not enough to convict someone of having more than you. Fair is fair, don't have to like it to be just about it. IF all he did was crunch the numbers

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Cleo, "What else does that mean? Really? It means, to better support yourself(and family ) work smarter, not necessarily harder.

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Cleo, just curious but have you not read "Animal Farm"? It was required reading in my secondary literature class., On the idea of "the sweat of,your,brow", the horse was by far the hardest working on the farm...until he keeled over and the pigs sold him off to the glue factory.

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Herve - You're the one wanting to give the pigs special privileges.....

Conspirator -

I stand by what I said, standard blue collar "sweat of your brow" jobs are going the way of the dinosaur

You think 'work' means only blue collar? It's perfectly possible to earn money 'by the sweat of your brow' sitting at a desk bashing a keyboard, designing a particle collider or teaching little children to read and write. It's all 'work' and it' all has worth - as opposed to sitting back and letting the cash roll in from 'investments'.

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mrmalice:

14% huh, ... hm, if or when i make a million the US starts to look pretty interesting then.

The way this administration is printing money, we'll all be millionaires soon... Zimbabwe style.

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It's all 'work' and it' all has worth - as opposed to sitting back and letting the cash roll in from 'investments'.

Cleo,

The cash doesn't roll in from "investments". The cash only rolls in when the investments are "successful" as in investing in companies that are making a profit and employing their workers to do it. Romney's wealth is not sitting underneath a mattress in his house and doing nothing for nobody. His money is directly in the market and doing what money is suppose to do in the private market, which is to be the seed money that creates jobs, improves productivity in companies and returns a profit to those that risk their money by investing in them.

I do not believe that you have considered that he also risks losing everything if his investments decisions go bad. To put another way if he was using his own money to invest in Solyndra that went bankrupt as Obama did with his investment of the public purse instead into that failure.

.

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I see that my comment about having a tax system not based on envy and jealousy has a sum total of two "bad" votes.

Or, could just be that 2 people don't accept your premise that our tax system is based on envy and jealousy.

That means at least two people on here actually like having a tax system based on envy and jealousy.

No, it doesn't.

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

Cleo, you've obviously misinterpreted my stance. I propose returning the farm to the farmer, the humans. The pigs are the statists, those running the two-ring circus.

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I propose returning the farm to the farmer, the humans.

Poor Boxer still ends up in the knacker's yard, then?

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Wa ha ha Ha Ha HA HA HA-----------------

Ann Romney: If elected, "mental well-being" Mitt's biggest challenge

And, no. It is not a misquote.

Here is the whole thing:

"I think my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being," she said. "I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy. ... So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57522815/ann-romney-if-elected-mental-well-being-mitts-biggest-challenge/

Ha ha ha ha ha.

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Solyndra. He he.

CHEVY VOLT!!

DAMN YOU KIDS, GET OFF MY LAWN!

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"Ha ha. We're in the stretch aren't we? Look at those clouds. It's beautiful. Look at those things."

Willard Mitt Romney while on campaign

Dude's tripping on the campaign trail! Hell, if he was tripping, I'd have more respect for him. At least that would be the sign of an open mind.

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