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Romney's Taxes – Is It Any Of Our Business?

First, we have to pretend that it’s any of our business, that a candidate’s personal tax records have any bearing on what sort of president he will be. Then, let the spinning begin. Depending upon who you want to believe, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is either a crook or a hero. Challenged by fellow Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, Romney released his 2010 federal income tax return on Monday, January 23, 2012. Romney and his wife Ann paid an effective tax rate of 13.9% in 2010. That’s great or despicable, depending on your perspective (I’m assuming that the “I don’t care” crowd is very small to non-existent). So the question is HOW did he pay that rate?

Romney earned the majority of his income from investment profits, dividends and interest. He made income from “carried interest,” a form of earnings that is available to private equity partners, and taxed at the 15% investment income tax rate, not the higher wage income rate of 35%. Because the US tax code favors investment income over wage income, the rate he paid was below the 35% rate paid by most Americans. Romney had capital gains income of $12.5 million for 2010, and was taxed at the rate of 15%. “Governor Romney’s investments are reported and taxed in full compliance with US tax laws,” said Romney campaign counsel Ben Ginsberg. Romney campaign officials said his tax rate is based mostly on blind trust investment income, and he makes no decisions on how money is invested. Brad Malt, who oversees the Romney blind trusts, said that Romney’s wife’s trust had a $3 million bank account at UBS AG, the Swiss banking giant. Malt said that “taxes were all fully paid” on the account.

About 46% of Americans will pay no federal individual income taxes in 2011. According to The Tax Foundation, when all Americans are considered, the average tax rate is 11%. So, in Romney’s case, he paid a higher effective tax rate than 60% of all Americans.

BTW, just so you know, Barack Hussein Obama, IMHO the worst president this country has ever had, paid, in 2006, a rate of 27.9%. Does what tax rate paid determine how effective a president he will be? Your decision.

But that’s just my opinion.

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