Mitt’s tax returns and the politics of envy (we’re all envious about his effective tax rate)

Pages and pages are devoted to foreign entities in which Romney is invested. Many are located in places like Luxembourg, Ireland and the Cayman Islands, all famous tax havens. None shows much income. “These entities are not evading one dime of taxes.” — Brad Malt, Romney’s trustee

“I will not apologize for success.” The Huffington Post

Bowing to increasing political pressure to provide more detail about his vast wealth, the former private equity executive released tax returns indicating he and his wife, Ann, paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010. They expect to pay a 15.4 percent rate when they file their returns for 2011.

Wow, his taxes will GO UP from 13.9 percent to 15.4 percent? No wonder Mitt wants even more tax cuts for the wealthy / himself. If he paid 13.9 percent in 2010, I wonder what effective tax rate he paid in prior years…

Romney’s tax rate is below that of most wage-earning Americans because most of his income, as outlined in more than 500 pages of tax documents, flows from capital gains on investments.

Under the U.S. tax code, capital gains are taxed at 15 percent, compared with a top tax rate of 35 percent for wage earners.

Wage earners are disposable plebeians. That’s why we pay a higher effective tax rate on our incomes.

[...] Romney’s campaign officials stressed that his tax rate is based mostly on income from investments that are held in a blind trust. Romney’s holdings include an undisclosed amount in funds based in the Grand Cayman Islands and other overseas entities.

Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans – along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney – were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.

Sure. Of course that has to be SAID. We’ll never know, one way or the other. Can you imagine how many “Romneybot, Inc.” accountants, campaign managers, and public relations personnel worked 24/7 to give us the return that was released today?

They also stressed that Romney, whose holdings are in three blind trusts, makes no decisions as to how his money is invested.

Hahaha, you see? Mitt doesn’t know how his $250 million is managed or in which foreign accounts in the Caymans and Switzerland it’s hidden! He just spends it! Trust him.

What’s a Blind trust? It’s a trust in which the fiduciaries, namely the trustees or those who have been given power of attorney, have full discretion over the assets, and the trust beneficiaries have no knowledge of the holdings of the trust and no right to intervene in their handling. Blind trusts are generally used when a settlor (sometimes called a trustor or donor) wishes to keep the beneficiary unaware of the specific assets in the trust, such as to avoid conflict of interest between the beneficiary and the investments. Politicians or others in sensitive positions often place their personal assets (including investment income) into blind trusts, to avoid public scrutiny and accusations of conflicts of interest when they direct government funds to the private sector. — Wikipedia

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who is calling for raising taxes on high-income Americans, said he blames Congress, not Romney, for the governor’s tax rate. “It’s the wrong policy to have,” Buffett told Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu in an interview yesterday. “He’s not going to pay more than the law requires, and I don’t fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me earning enormous sums to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that’s about half what the average person in my office pays.” —  Warren Buffett speaking about capital gains tax rates vs. earned income tax rates