Think Progress: Mitt Romney told CBS’s 60 Minutes that it’s “fair” for him to pay a tax rate of just 14.1 percent on his investment income of $20 million, a lower rate than someone earning $50,000 a year in wage income:
|Scott Pelley:||Now you made, on your investments, personally, about $20 million last year. And you paid 14 percent in federal taxes. That’s the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did?|
|Romney:||It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as 35 percent.|
|Pelley:||So you think it is fair?|
|Romney:||Yeah, I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth, to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.|
Romney’s argument that capital gains are taxed once at the corporate level (as high as 35%!!) might be a valid argument, if it actually happened with any kind of regularity. There are way too many corporations and billionaires who don’t pay any federal / state tax at all today.
If you have any doubt that Romney thinks it would be even more fair to lower tax rates further for the capital gains crowd by increasing taxes paid by the earned income crowd, let me refer you back to the conversation above — and to a certain hidden camera video that made the rounds last week.
Romney thinks those who sign the front of a paycheck drive the economy all alone, while those who sign the back of a paycheck should just be grateful for whatever trickles on them from above.