“At a time when poverty is increasing, when public parks and public libraries are being closed and when public schools are shrinking their offerings and their hours, when the nation’s debt is immense, and when the 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together — Romney’s 13 percent is shameful.” — Robert Reich
13% is a bad tip not a tax rate.
Matthew O’Brien of The Atlantic calculated last week that under Ryan’s proposals Romney would have paid not 13.9 percent but .82 percent, or just $177,000 or so on $21 million earned. In fairness, I should note that the Ryan proposal isn’t the same thing as the Romney proposal–the Ryan plan eliminates all taxes on capital gains (the main source of Romney’s income), while Romney’s position is to continue to tax rich peoples’ capital gains, albeit at a lower rate than presently. So Romney under Romney’s plan would pay more, but less than 13.9. — Michael Tomasky
Mitt Romney may have a lower effective tax rate than many middle-class Americans, but he’s still dreaming of ways to pay even less… At a town hall-style event in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday he said: “So many friends here in New Hampshire. I feel like I’m almost a New Hampshire resident. … It would save me some tax dollars, I think.”
“If you know you’re running for president anyway, I think it’s just part of the price of running. … Obama did so Romney probably should do it. Look, it’s an interesting debate about what tax rates people should pay, how progressive the tax code should be. I personally, if I were designing the tax code, would have a tax code in which Mitt Romney paid more than 13 percent, I would say, given what I know about the kind of investments he made money from. I’m just not a believer that he needed — that there would have been any economic determent to paying more, and I think it just seems kinda weird that he pays a lower rate than an awful lot of middle-class people.” — Bill Kristol
“And when it comes to releasing taxes, that’s a precedent that was set decades ago, including by Governor Romney’s father. And for us to say that it makes sense to release your tax returns, as I did, as John McCain did, as Bill Clinton did, as the two President Bushes did, I don’t think is in any way out of bounds. I think that is what the American people would rightly expect… People want to know that, you know, everybody’s been playing by the same rules including people who are seeking the highest office in the land.” — President Obama
Steve Benen: Mitt Romney has released his tax returns for 2010, and promised to disclose the returns for 2011. When might we see the most recent year? Ed Gillespie told Fox News we’ll probably get them by Oct. 15 — still two months away. (My note: and about 3 weeks before the election!)
Romney said that when he looked back over his tax returns from the last ten years, he found that he had never paid less than 13 percent of his earnings and that we’re just going to have to trust him on that. However, [Rachel] Maddow said, in 2002 when Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts, it was demanded of him that he release tax returns to demonstrate a residency in that state of at least seven years. Romney refused and insisted that the public take his word for it. Eventually it came out that Romney had lied. He was forced to pay Massachusetts taxes retroactively, because when he said that the public would have to take his word that he had paid taxes for seven years as a Massachusetts resident, it simply wasn’t true. Now he wants us to take his word that he has paid at least 13 percent of his massive income over the last 10 years in taxes. Why should we take him at face value? He has demonstrated a willingness to prevaricate on this very subject in his career as a public figure. “The precedent for trusting them on this,” Maddow said, “is not good.” — Maddow: Romney’s history shows he’s willing to lie about his taxes