Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Romney Pays 15%, I Don't (Like the 48 Percenters)

Just last night Mitt Romney (not my favorite candidate) revealed that he pays about 15% taxes on dividends he earns.

“The last ten years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income or rather than earned income,” Romney said. “I got a little bit of income from my book but I gave all of that way. And then I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much.” (Source: CNN)

It didn’t take the White House long to get their mitts on this (non) story.

At the White House, [Jay] Carney told reporters that President Barack Obama believes that wealthy Americans “should not pay a lower effective tax rate than middle-class Americans.”

“Everybody who’s working hard ought to pay their fair share, and that includes millionaires who might be paying an effective tax rate of 15% when folks making $50,000 or $75,000 or $100,000 a year are paying much more,” Carney said, adding that Obama “thinks we ought to fix that.” (Source: CNN)

Over the past several years, even while earning close to $75,000 a year, our effective tax rate on earned income (my salary plus my wife’s) was close to nothing. After filing our tax return, we would get nearly all of it back. Of course we have two children, plus a mortgage interest deduction that went along ways to decreasing our tax burden. We all know the statistics about how much the top 5% of earners pay vs. the lower 48% (a lot vs. nearly nothing) so I won’t rehash here, but when Obama and his acolytes say we need to get millionaires to pay their fair share, it sounds like Romney is already doing just that. He is paying 15% and I was paying a lot less than that.

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