Sunday, March 7, 2021
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Romney: Another Rich Guy Paying Low Taxes

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I'm getting ready soon to figure out and file our income tax return for 2011. I just found out that we will be paying a higher percentage of our retirement income in taxes than Willard "Mitt" Romney, who is also "retired."

In Greenville SC Willard was asked pointedly what his effective tax rate is. Since he was beaten up pretty badly in the latest of the GOP primary debates for refusing to release his tax returns, Romney finally 'fessed up. ""It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything. For the past 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income or earned annual income...Then, I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much."

Not very much from speakers fees? USA Today reported that in one recent year, Willard earned more than $362,000 from speakers fees. Only a guy worth $250 million could think that wasn't "very much."

Romney is able to pay the same tax rate as someone earning between $8,700 and $35,350 because he takes advantage of a tax loophole that taxes long-term capital gains at 15%, regardless of how high those gains are. Plus, if any of the investments made to produce those capital gains end up as losses, the investors can count the losses against any money earned. This is the loophole that allows hedge fund managers and private capital investors to avoid taxes by being paid with "capital gains" rather then having a salary.

We sure know now why Romney didn't want his tax returns released. After all, he's the guy who joked with unemployed people last summer in Florida, saying, "I'm also unemployed." He sure has mighty good unemployment benefits.

The Grinch Stole the GOP Christmas

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It looks like Virginia Republican primary voters, at most, will be choosing from a list of four pretty lousy contenders: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich. Since the state GOP has decided that candidates who submit at least 15,000 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions with at least 600 signatures from each of the 11 districts will be asumed to have qualified, only Romney is assured at this point to have met the qualifications, while Paul probably has. Perry and Gingrich turned in fewer than 12,000 signatures and still may not qualify for the ballot.

Even if all four appear on the March ballot, GOP voters have a pretty sorry lot to choose from. Each one of the four has disgusting baggage weighing down any run for the White House, but perhaps the most bizarre is Ron Paul.

Paul has finally been unmasked as the con man and conspiracy nut he is, not the kindly old libertarian he pretends to be. A 1993 newsletter released under his signature contains unbelievable vitriol and hate. In it he rails against the "new money" the government printed to thwart counterfeiters, calling it part of a plot to create one world government. He brags that he had earlier "laid bare the coming race war in our big cities," the "federal-homosexual coverup on AIDS," and "the Israeli lobby which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica." Then, Paul promises he can save people from the coming disasters if they will simply send him $99.

Then there's Mitt Romney. In recent days he has stated that he will not follow the usual practice of presidential contenders and release his tax returns. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. The guy benefits from tax breaks for the uber-wealthy and doesn't want the rest of us to know that.