Oh Harry and Nancy – Romney Releases Tax Returns

Senator Harry Reid went the despicable route and accused Mitt Romney of paying no taxes for ten years on the senate floor.  The reason he did so was because while talking on the senate floor he can’t be held accountable for his slanderous remarks as he is constitutionally protected (and people say the constitution is no longer relevant) from being criminally or civilly charged.  Romney today released tax returns and a notarized letter from PriceWaterhouseCoopers testifying to their truthfulness.

  • In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.
  • The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
  • The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.
  • The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.
  • The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor’s statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.

Nanny Pelosi had joined in with her statement attesting to the statements by Reid that “someone” gave him this information.

“Harry Reid made a statement that is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact,” Pelosi told The Huffington Post in a Sunday interview. “Whether he did or not can easily be disposed of: Mitt Romney can release his tax returns and show whether he paid taxes.”

Well, I guess it can still be “fact” that someone told him that, but they were wrong.  I am sure the next line of defense will be that middle-income America is paying a higher rate than the Romney’s are.  Ok, lets talk about it.

Income taxes:  A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 5.6 percent of its 2011 income in federal income taxes, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. [3]  Average income tax rates for these typical families have been lower during the Bush and Obama Administrations than at any time since the 1950s, as Figure 1 shows.  (As discussed below, 2009 and 2010 were particularly low because of the temporary Making Work Pay Tax Credit.) From the left leaning Brookings 

The Romney’s are in the top 80% of tax payers.  He is not paying a lower rate of taxes then the average American.  President Bush lowered the taxes for middle and lower-income Americans.

Federal income taxes on middle-income families have declined significantly in recent decades.  In 2000, the yearbefore the 2001 tax cut enacted by President Bush and Congress, the median-income family of four paid 8.0 percent of its income in individual income taxes, according to Tax Policy Center estimates — a smaller share than in any year since 1967 (except for 1998 and 1999).[4]

The Bush tax cuts further reduced middle-income tax obligations.  This year (i.e., when people pay income tax on 2011 income) the Tax Policy Center estimates that the median-income family of four will pay 5.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes.

It is a fallacy that the rich don’t pay their “fair share”.  They pay a much higher rate of taxes than the majority of Americans.

I will be expecting an apology from Harry and Nanny in 3..2..1  (or maybe never)

This is an important discussion to have, most people have no idea what their tax rates are and who is paying what.  This just begs for a more flatter system that doesn’t allow for all these deductions that allows the politicians to manipulate us with the lies that they tell us of who is paying what.  This flatter tax system is part of the Ryan budget.  It lowers the rates, gets rid of the many of the loopholes that many large corporations, such as GE, use to get out of paying any taxes at all.  The “rich” already pay their fair share, what we need to do is reduce spending and learn to live on what we take in.  We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.