Romney returns released

posted at 9:15 am on January 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Mitt Romney has released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011 (estimated) today, fulfilling a promise made this week after fumbling the issue last week in two debates.  He gave the Washington Post an advance look at the returns yesterday, allowing the media to report the topline numbers before the debate and taking the steam out of the issue by the time Brian Williams first cleared his throat in Florida. The toplines contain no surprises at all:

Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year — virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments.

None came from wages, the primary source of income for most Americans. Instead,Romney and his wife, Ann, collected millions in capital gains from a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments. …

For 2011, Romney estimates that he will pay about $3.2 million, for an effective rate of 15.4 percent. That’s in line with his earlier estimates, but sharply lower than the rates paid by President Obama and Romney’s closest Republican rival, Newt Gingrich.

But as the Post reports, it still left plenty of time for some class-warfare attacks from across the aisle:

“The president believes that it is not fair — inherently not fair — that those who are millionaires and billionaires pay at a lower rate than average Americans who are struggling to get by,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday. “This theme about economic insecurity for the middle class . . . is what got this president into politics. So this is a foundational belief for him, and he’s happy to have that debate.”

Not only is this cheap class-warfare nonsense, it’s also flat-out false — unless Obama has proposed at some point treating capital gains differently than income.  He has talked at times of raising the cap-gains rate from 15% to 20%, but that will still put cap-gains at “a lower rate than average Americans who are struggling to get by.”  Obama’s so-called “millionaire’s tax” surcharge wouldn’t have applied to Romney either, because that was a surcharge on income, not capital gains.  If Obama wanted to have that debate with Romney, he’d shortly be exposed as either a hypocrite or an idiot.

Romney paid the exact same rate as anyone else on capital gains.  Had an average household made money on capital gains — and some might on smaller investments in portfolios — they would pay the exact same rate on cap-gains as Romney did.  We treat capital gains differently because (a) that money got taxed elsewhere at an income rate in most cases, and (b) we want to provide an incentive for risk.  Capital investment is a significant risk, much more so than income derived from sitting on capital and deriving interest.  We want people to put their capital to work instead of sitting on it.  That’s what Romney did, and he’s paying the tax rate on the reward for taking risk.

That’s really the only thing of interest in Romney’s tax returns, and it’s entirely unsurprising that this White House went out of its way to get it wrong.

Update: Allahpundit e-mails me this tidbit that will get some attention:

Mitt Romney had a Swiss bank account. You’re welcome, Democratic National Committee.

The Republican presidential contender, who released his tax forms Tuesday morning under pressure from his fellow candidates and the media, avoided some of the embarrassing pitfalls that can come with opening one’s financial portfolio for public inspection. But in doing so, Romney handed Democratic opposition researchers a trove of new data that will surely show up in attack ads this fall, if he’s lucky enough to be the GOP nominee.

He had accounts in the Caymans and Bermuda, too, but there’s one problem with the attack in this case — or actually, more than one:

And the way Romney keeps his money will help paint that picture. Romney’s tax forms show he had a bank account in Switzerland, which he closed in 2010, and accounts in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. All three have reputations as offshore havens where the extremely wealthy keep their cash, sometimes to avoid paying taxes (Romney actually did pay taxes on those accounts, but that minor detail may be left out of any attack ads).

Still, it could have been worse. Romney donated nearly $3 million to charitable causes in 2010 and more than $4 million in 2011, including at least $4.1 million to the Mormon Church. That’s better than some politicians, whose tax forms show they didn’t bother to give money to those less fortunate than themselves (Think Vice President Joe Biden, who gave an average of just $369 a year to charity, according to ten years of tax returns the Obama campaign made public in September 2008).

Yeah, Romney didn’t shelter the money at all; he paid the taxes due.  And if the White House wants to get into attacks over stingy rich men, they’re going to find themselves outgunned.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Thank you for following through on your promise to release the returns, and congratulations on your success Governor.

Now, can we PLEASE get back to what’s really important?

Taking Obama down!

Flora Duh on January 24, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Amen!

GrannySunni on January 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM

If Mittens was smart he would have released this info 9 months ago when nobody was paying attention. Instead what does he do? Release it the day of SOTU when Obama will spend 45 minutes talking about the eeeeevil rich.

For the smartest guy out there, Willard sure is dumb.

angryed on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Mitt Romney’s finances are a winner for him. Its what people of all economic groups aspire to someday be able to achieve. You can try to use class warfare, it will fail, once you see how his money has been used. Even a jealous, heart filled with envy , small minded person has to admit, Mitts yearly contributions to the Country are admirable. Sure he makes a lot of $, wouldn’t you like to do the same, you could increase your contributions to everything. Give more to charity, pay more to the government, spend more in the economy thereby employing people. Heck if you had an interest to you could even start some businesses and employ some folks. Sure you could, then you would be a lot like Mitt, who knows you might then even be able to inspire someone to follow suit. Then they could become wealthier and achieve their dreams, etc………

Bmore on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

LOL but Obama can feel the pain of the middle class!!!!! He’s a millionnaire who right now is enjoying FREE EVERYTHING.

CoffeeLover on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Who did you vote for in 2004?

Del Dolemonte on January 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I voted for John Kerry and John Edwards knowing very well they would lose because that ticket alone was worth almost a billion dollars.

American people hate rich people who pretend they can feel their pain which applies to both republican and democrats.

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

He is too rich…too out of touch

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Who did you vote for in 2004?

Del Dolemonte on January 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

He wasn’t old enough to vote.

Washington Nearsider on January 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

For those of you replying to trolls, you do realize they’re sitting in their mom’s basements laughing at you, right?

angryed on January 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In his last State of the Union speech before the 2012 election, President Barack Obama

canopfor on January 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Hey, what do they mean last SOTU before the election? It’s his last, period, ever, no más. I mean, he’s getting evicted from the WH in 362 days.

Romney released his taxes today and–whoa, the sun rose, the trash got picked up and no nukes exploded, at least not here. Looks like he gives more to charity than El Extravagante in the WH and his crabby ol’ lady. So now tell me again–why so much ado about nothing? to release information just for the left to get all giddy about?

stukinIL4now on January 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Is Hotair going to cover Gingrich’s false statement as to whether he supportered Goldwater in 1964?

Is Hotair going to cover Gingrich’s false claim about having 4 consecutive balanced budgets?

Come on, stop being so in the tank for the Gingbots. At least, report the problems with Gingrich. If he is to be my nominee, then he needs to get better, more honest and battle tested.

If every second of every day people are hanging on Romney’s words, we need to do the same to Santorum, Gingrich and Paul.

Do you really think Gingrich can win Colorado or Nevada?

Whatever, I feel like I am taking crazy pills on Gingrich. Onward to destruction.

ConservativeLaw on January 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

What is Allahpundit’s Ed’s problem with having a Swiss bank account that is transparent, declared and known to the IRS?

rogaineguy on January 24, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Doesn’t that negate the point of having a Swiss bank accout? Er, so I’m told.

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I voted for John Kerry and John Edwards knowing very well they would lose because that ticket alone was worth almost a billion dollars.

American people hate rich people who pretend they can feel their pain which applies to both republican and democrats.

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Ah, you could vote. Mea Culpa.

You’re premise is still wrong though. Americans don’t hate rich people who pretend to feel their pain. In many MANY cases, those rich HAVE felt their pain. How many rich people do you know who didn’t lose millions in the recession? My parents (who make a combined $190,000) lost over a million dollars. How much do you think those with more skin in the game lost?

Americans hate ANYONE of ANY tax bracket who seeks to take the fruits of their labor and hand it to those who won’t labor.

Washington Nearsider on January 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Kevin DuJan wonders why Romney released all of his tax returns to the McCain campaign (1984-2007) in 2008 but has not released 2008& 2009 when asked now.

http://hillbuzz.org/the-mystery-of-willard-mitt-romneys-missing-2008-2009-tax-returns-did-he-make-money-off-the-obama-stimulus-41450

saspepper on January 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Troll

rich801 on January 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Why do the great ppl of hot air continue to give trolls a stage? PLEASE explain this to me, we all know who they are, yet daily I see other commenter’s arguing with these idiots!

angrymike on January 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Ah, you could vote. Mea Culpa.

You’re premise is still wrong though. Americans don’t hate rich people who pretend to feel their pain. In many MANY cases, those rich HAVE felt their pain. How many rich people do you know who didn’t lose millions in the recession? My parents (who make a combined $190,000) lost over a million dollars. How much do you think those with more skin in the game lost?

Americans hate ANYONE of ANY tax bracket who seeks to take the fruits of their labor and hand it to those who won’t labor.

Washington Nearsider on January 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Romneys father was a millionaire. Willard has been privileged his whole life

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

I don’t care for Romney as a candidate, but when 45% of wage earners pay no federal tax at all, the Romney’s paying $3.2 million in taxes seems quite adequate. That and more than $4 million to charity? Who isn’t doing their ‘fair share’ again?

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

For those of you replying to trolls, you do realize they’re sitting in their mom’s basements laughing at you, right?

angryed on January 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

At least we’re wearing pants. Now run along.

KeninCT on January 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

angryed on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Surprise, surprise. Nothing can make this irrational person happy.

Red Cloud on January 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

He is too rich..too out of touch. There is no way he will get the vote of anyone who makes less than 200K as evident in SC

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:28 AM

The most suspicious mind belongs to the person who routinely engages in the shi**iest behavior.

This why liberals always clamor about others paying their “fair share”- because they’re cheating their way out of doing so at every opportunity. “Nobody is going to vote for a wealthy man like Mitt Romney”- because they won’t vote for him because they’re so consumed by envy that it cripples their actions in every other aspect of their life. And so it is with their incessant cries of “racist”- they must deflect away from their own voracious paternalisms that have led to plethora of programs that have.permanently disenfranchised, and estranged from mainstream society, generations of minority Americans- all, seemingly, to feed the ego, to bolster the sense of superiority, of white liberals. Certainly none of these liberal ‘do-gooder’ programs have done any demonstrable good for minorities in the long run.

So no, “liberal4life”, nobody”s going to vote for the rich guy. Because we’re all shi*?y people like you… unless, of course, the candidate is the insanely oil-wealthy scion of racists, Al Gore.

M240H on January 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Yes, corporations have to pay corporate tax before paying out after-tax money as dividends, but nobody cares.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of that $600 million Romney fortune invested in tax-free municipal bonds.

As the late New York real estate heir Leona Helmsley once said: “Only the little people pay taxes!”

The bottom line is that Willard, Lord Romney makes $20 million a year for sitting on his butt.

That’s America to me?

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Romney releases his tax returns on the same day Obama gives his campaign kick-off, tax-the-rich State of the Union address. I question the timing.

de rigueur on January 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

O/T
=====

Wake Tech main campus in North Carolina on lockdown after gunman allegedly spotted nearby
*************************

1 min ago from abclocal.go.com

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on January 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Romney released all of his tax returns to the McCain campaign (1984-2007) in 2008 but has not released 2008 & 2009 when asked now.

Because 2008 and 2009 is where the bodies are buried.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

LOL but Obama can feel the pain of the middle class!!!!! He’s a millionnaire who right now is enjoying FREE EVERYTHING.

CoffeeLover on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

CoffeeLover:Yup,and all those America TaxPayer Funded Obama trips!

canopfor on January 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Romney doesn’t have the stomach to fight back with facts. He’ll roll over and play dead. That’s his problem.

SouthernGent on January 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Angryed
Do you think these ppl will ever learn if you ignore them long enough they will go somewhere else?

angrymike on January 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Have you ever risked a dime on a business venture? Have you ever put your money into a business and created jobs or income for anyone else?

Do you work in the private sector or for Government? Either way, unless you are self employed, somebody else is paying you either through their taxes or because THEY risked their own money.

fight like a girl on January 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

fight like a girl on January 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

+++

spinny on January 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Romney doesn’t have the stomach to fight back with facts. He’ll roll over and play dead. That’s his problem.

SouthernGent on January 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

And newt will attack Juan Williams and try to obfiscate his lobbying past. That is his problem.

fight like a girl on January 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

fight like a girl on January 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

This. A thousand times, this.

Washington Nearsider on January 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Romney risked borrowed money on his business venture. He leveraged up. If he had failed, he could have got some cronies to bail him out. That kind of strategy is practically a business plan taught at business schools today.

But it will be more intesting to see how Romney invested his cash in 2008 and 2009. You don’t think he shorted Lehman, Bear Stearns, or Washington Mutual, do you? How cruel if he did. After all, those firms were headed by well-meaning businessmen who weren’t scared to risk their own other people’s money!

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Romneys father was a millionaire. Willard has been privileged his whole life

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

He accepted zero inheritance. He earned every million he has…Troll

rich801 on January 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Romneys father was a millionaire. Willard has been privileged his whole life

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Obama was brought up in relative affluence and comfort.

He was afforded all of the luxuries and privileges of the middle class.

Troll.

Good Lt on January 24, 2012 at 10:18 AM

He accepted zero inheritance. He earned every million he has…Troll

rich801 on January 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

haha I bet you also believe pigs can fly…

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of that $600 million Romney fortune invested in tax-free municipal bonds.

That’s America to me?

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Municipal bonds are securities that are issued for the purpose of financing the infrastructure needs of the issuing municipality. These needs vary greatly but can include schools, streets and highways, bridges, hospitals, public housing, sewer and water systems, power utilities, and various public projects.

So, he is privately helping to finance public infrastructure. What am I missing? What’s the problem again?

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Romney invested others people money – money from pension funds, college endowments, mutual funds, etc. He was successful because he invested that money in start-ups like Staples as a venture capitalist, therefore was rewarded for doing his job well. Bain Capital was one of the most successful companies in the world for decades with Romney at its helm.

These taxes are aid on money that he earned and now has invested on other businesses – he’s apparently making good decisions, considering the amount of taxes he paid.

If this isn’t America for you, go to Cuba. Actually they’re starting to allow venture capitalism and private investment there. North Korea, maybe? Or maybe Iran – your distaste for capitalism has some really creepy anti-semite resonances.

joana on January 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Speaking of Hipocrit Democrats!
——————————–

February-19-09 10:24:51 PM
How Many Democrats Evaded Taxes in Swiss Banks?
***********************************************

RUSH:
*****

Now, the thing I’m going to be looking for, how many members of the Obama administration, how many high-ranking Democrat, high profile Democrat or Democrat supporter’s names will be on the list of UBS account holders who tried to evade US taxes? We know that Tom Daschle tried to evade taxes. We know that Geithner didn’t pay taxes. This guy down in Houston, this Stanford guy, this guy was all over the Democrat Party. His level of fraud may be between eight billion and $50 billion. This guy had banks all over the world and clients were lined up at these banks to try to get their money out yesterday in the Caribbean, in Venezuela, Mexico City.

They were shut down. This guy’s picture was taken with Nancy Pelosi at the Democrat convention. This guy underwrote some program they had that was chaired by Bill Clinton. Pelosi and Bill Clinton both praising this guy Stanford. The level of financial corruption that has become the Democrat Party is breathtaking. Even those who are corrupt and found guilty of it, some have ended up in Barack Obama’s cabinet.
==============================

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2189701/posts

canopfor on January 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

haha I bet you also believe pigs can fly…

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I’ll bet you believe higher taxation and deficit spending creates societal wealth.

Good Lt on January 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Romney inherited zero dollars from his father.

He graduated from BYU – hardly an elite college – as the best student in his class and earned a Harvard Business School entry thanks for his academic merits (not a la Obama or Bush).

He then started his professional career making a salary and launched Bain Capital by convincing others people to invest in him and in his ability to detect good investments and turnaround distressed companies. He didn’t use his dad’s money.

joana on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Should’ve released them 9 months ago. The class warfare stuff media talks abouut thi week can cost him florida

Flapjackmaka on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Romneys father was a millionaire. Willard has been privileged his whole life

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Romney’s father, George Romney, was a self-made millionaire who was elected Governor of Michigan. As Mitt Romney has pointed out, he (Mitt) didn’t inherit a mountain of money after his father died. His father wanted his son to make his own way.

True enough, Mitt Romney enjoyed a privileged childhood and youth. So did John Kerry and Al Gore, whom you claim to have voted for. So did JFK. So did FDR. So did Teddy Roosevelt. And so on. So what?

Poverty doesn’t come with a halo. Grueling hardship isn’t a requirement for the development of character and leadership, and can just as easily break someone as make them. Lincoln didn’t achieve what he achieved because of a poverty-stricken childhood, but in spite of it. It’s especially ironic, too, that the vast majority of those who beat the class war drum loudest have never known want in their lives. Me, I grew up poor. Poor sucks. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and neither do I sit around and seethe with resentment against those fortunate enough to have been born in far better circumstances than my own.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

fight like a girl on January 24, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Prove the fact that Newt helped cause the 08 housing crash and if you cannot shut the hell up about it.

jistincase on January 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

We treat capital gains differently because (a) that money got taxed elsewhere at an income rate in most cases, and (b) we want to provide an incentive for risk.

Ed, I agree with point (b), and I’ll add that along these lines that I saw Kevin Hassett (formerly at Bloomberg, now at AEI) on CSPAN yesterday. And he made the point that the reduced rate is intended, for better or worse, to attract capital–whether from domestic investors or foreign investors. This capital is used by entrepreneurs and existing businesses to engage in economic activity that, as a byproduct, creates and sustains unemployment. If investors aren’t attracted by the after-tax rate of return, they will direct their investment elsewhere.

So, like it or not, whether you think it’s fair or not, a lower rate is a “price” you pay to attract capital. The government can’t force others to invest–ignoring taxation and spending on the likes of Solyndra. So you need incentives to attract capital. Besides, it’s a concession of sorts for the risk investors take. Sure, it’s easy to look at Google, and conclude investing is a safe game. How’s your investment in Hostess and Eastman Kodak doing these days? And don’t forget, although you get to set off your losses against gains, net losses can offset other income only to the extent of $3,000 a year. I forget, but I think the carryforward of capital losses is limited only to five years. So the investor can’t be said to be playing with the house’s money.

Ed, I don’t agree with point (a) to some extent. Yes, that argument applies to dividend income. Taxable dividends come from a corporation’s retained earning which represents uninvested after-tax income. Dividends are income that has been taxed at the corporations tax rates. So those dividends are taxed a second time on the individual’s return. If Congress wants to raise the rate, how about a deduction for dividends paid at the corporate level?

But with regard to capital gains, I’m not willing to accept that argument entirely. You buy a share of stock for $100. Let’s say the share increases in value to $150 after five years, when you sell it. For tax purposes, you have a $50 long-term capital gain. To be sure, some of the that gain probably reflect mere inflation, which really shouldn’t be taxed, but indexing capital gains is likely never going to become law–too administratively inconvenient. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that we ignored $15 of the gain as inflation, it’s still not safe to argure that the remaining $35 of gain represents net income of the business that was earned during those five years but not yet paid out. Instead, the current value of a share of stock is a bit of an esoteric topic. Suffice it to say, you can try to argue that a capital gain represents income that’s already been taxed once, but I don’t think it’s supported by the facts–as it clearly is with dividends. If you want to say that it represents, in part (and I can’t say how much), I can agree. But all? No way.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Emperor Norton, do you support Newt Gingrich? The man with the tax plan that would allow Romney to not pay taxes at all?

I’ll never understand why the class warfare squishes think Newt with his tax plan that exempts billionaires from paying taxes is better equipped to face Obama’s marxist rhetoric.

joana on January 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

What the MSM keeps failing to mention is NO ONE pays the tax rate of the bracket they are in due to all the deductions, so what to the different tax brackets actually pay?

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/01/19/media-myth-debunked-97-percent-americans-pay-less-romneys-15-percent

Yeap, the top 1% does in fact pay a higher percentage in taxes which puts to rest the lie of the MSM.

JeffinSac on January 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

What now, anti-Romney paranoids? Big shocker: Mitt Romney is a wealthy man. Wow.Was it worth it to climb into bed with Michael Moore and humiliate yourselves? What’s the strategy for Newty now? Wait for another opportunity to pick a fight with a moderator?

cicerone on January 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Romney’s father, George Romney, was a self-made millionaire who was elected Governor of Michigan. As Mitt Romney has pointed out, he (Mitt) didn’t inherit a mountain of money after his father died. His father wanted his son to make his own way.

True enough, Mitt Romney enjoyed a privileged childhood and youth. So did John Kerry and Al Gore, whom you claim to have voted for. So did JFK. So did FDR. So did Teddy Roosevelt. And so on. So what?

Poverty doesn’t come with a halo. Grueling hardship isn’t a requirement for the development of character and leadership, and can just as easily break someone as make them. Lincoln didn’t achieve what he achieved because of a poverty-stricken childhood, but in spite of it. It’s especially ironic, too, that the vast majority of those who beat the class war drum loudest have never known want in their lives. Me, I grew up poor. Poor sucks. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and neither do I sit around and seethe with resentment against those fortunate enough to have been born in far better circumstances than my own.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Well said.

cicerone on January 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of that $600 million Romney fortune invested in tax-free municipal bonds.

That’s America to me?

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Please don’t juggle my paragraphs, Fallon. My post actually said:

The bottom line is that Willard, Lord Romney makes $20 million a year for sitting on his butt.

That’s America to me?

My sarcasm was directed at Willard, Lord Romney’s level of unearned income, and not meant as any criticism of municipal bonds. When you make money like that for not working, you’re out of touch.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Jealousy is an ugly thing!

jistincase on January 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

It’s especially ironic, too, that the vast majority of those who beat the class war drum loudest have never known want in their lives. Me, I grew up poor. Poor sucks. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and neither do I sit around and seethe with resentment against those fortunate enough to have been born in far better circumstances than my own.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

While poor sucks, I’m rather glad I was born that way. The struggle made me stronger. My kids, while not born into extreme affluence, have never known the deep desire to better one’s circumstance. The edge they have in comfort is negated by the edge they don’t have in drive. Meh.

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

American people hate rich people who pretend they can feel their pain which applies to both republican and democrats.

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Says the pinhead who voted for Bill “I Feel Your Pain” Clinton.

CurtZHP on January 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

If this isn’t America for you, go to Cuba.

This is an example of the stale rhetoric you get when Hot Air stages an open enrollment. Come on, if you’re going to post here, bring your “A” game.

your distaste for capitalism has some really creepy anti-semite resonances.

I’ve criticised Ron Paul many times on this site for the usual reasons–so, no, you’re very wrong there.

But don’t forget–you’re a great American!

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

joana on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

well who do you think paid for mitten’s tuition?? and after he graduated do you think who his father was had no bearing on the job offers and opportunities he got? do you think his father never helped him financially? never ever? that mitt just went out on his own after high school and earned every penny he has off the sweat of his brow?

im not dinging him for benefitting from his father and family but you need a reality check. its doubtful if his dad had been a lineworker at AMC instead of president that he wouldve achieved as much as he has in life. when you try to insist he is selfmade in light of his background you just sound pathetic

chasdal on January 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

When you make money like that for not working, you’re out of touch.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

His money is working, Norton. Wasn’t that the point of Robert Kiyosaki’s best selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad series? You should learn to manage risk and make your money work for you.

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Romney inherited zero dollars from his father.

He graduated from BYU – hardly an elite college – as the best student in his class and earned a Harvard Business School entry thanks for his academic merits (not a la Obama or Bush).

He then started his professional career making a salary and launched Bain Capital by convincing others people to invest in him and in his ability to detect good investments and turnaround distressed companies. He didn’t use his dad’s money.

joana on January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Sorry, I’m a stickler. My impression is that BYU is considered pretty elite if you’re a Mormon. Regardless, Mitt did attend the elite Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. My suburban Cincinnati public high school played them in a home-and-home series my senior year. The grounds were UNBELIEVABLE. I played left field, and it was the plushest diamond I ever played on. Their starting pitcher was a black guy named Rupert. So, I’m not buying the “Mitt didn’t go to an elite school.” It’s a boarding school, and I’m sure that Mitt accumulated relationships, contacts, associations from those years with both contemporaries and parents that have stood him well throughout his life. No resentment here, but just don’t cast Mitt as the self-made man. For crying out loud, he’s named after his dad’s best friend, a Marriott!

Also, strictly speaking, Mitt’s dad died in 1995; his mom died in 1998. I have no idea what their estate plans looked like. A common plan for people of some means is to defer estate tax at the death of the first spouse by placing all or most of the predeasing spouse’s estate in trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse, and that trust pays out at the survivor’s death to descendants and any others. At Mitt’s dad’s death, the federal exemption equivalent was $600K. He may have set that aside for his spouse and kids in what’s called a “credit shelter trust,” or he could have given the kids an “advance” on their inheritance of $150K each (there were four kids, I think). Whatever the case, Mitt’s parents’ estates probably were settled in 2000 or 2001. Assuming nothing exotic, no charitable gifts, other relatives, and not generation skipping to grandchildren, Mitt and his siblings probably split their parents’ combined estates four ways about 10 years ago.

Now, Mitt has said that he turned around and gave his share to charity. More to his credit. I’ll take him at his word, but this could be confirmed by having him release the tax return or returns for the years he made those donations. I would not think less of Mitt if, instead of donating those assets he’d inherited (which receive a step up in basis), he donated low basis assets to avoid a gain on a later sale–that would be the legal, smart, and recommended thing to do.

But don’t say he didn’t inherit anything from his dad.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

$100 million Al Ghore is laughing at all you OWS Pelosi Republicans.

FlaMurph on January 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Yeap, the top 1% does in fact pay a higher percentage in taxes which puts to rest the lie of the MSM.

JeffinSac on January 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Excellent point. And, of course, the GOP candidates are too phucking stupid to point that out. Romney, gutless as he is, too afraid to point out that his dividend income has already been taxed at his payor-corporation’s level. Want to increase the rate on dividends? How about a deduction to corporations for dividends paid? It would relieve the incidence of double taxation.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

His money is working, Norton.

Well, if Romney’s money is working, how come they call it unearned income?

And if Romney’s money is working, why isn’t that money taxed at the same rate as people who work have to pay, generally
25% to 30%?

You know, I think Romney’s money–if it is truly working–would work just as hard if it belonged to 1,000 people, instead of just to him.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Mitt Romney paid taxes?

Well, good!

With so many getting away without paying taxes or being leeches on the system, we need MORE examples of those in office willing to pay their taxes and proudly do so.

I don’t think he should have ‘had’ to, but now that he has this is something to uphold as a citizen doing their part to support our Nation and ALL citizens should have a stake in the system. Not that it will be played this way… and that is part of the problem with this Nation and its politics willing to cater to the baser parts of human nature.

ajacksonian on January 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Romney capital gain and dividend were already taxed once at the corporate level (30% ?). He then paid about 3 millions in income tax, and and gave over 4 million to charity. Combined, that would be over 30% again. I would much rather have the freedom of controlling which charity I would give to, than to have the government takes the money and waste it.

As to the repeated sniping at Romney for saying $ 370000 in speaking fee is not much. BJ made over 75 millions dollars in speaking fee after he left office in 2001. He said he “did reasonably well”. And you envious crowd is not hollering?

galtani on January 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

The lsm is sure doing a good job about taking his tax rate out of context

cmsinaz on January 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

You know, I think Romney’s money–if it is truly working–would work just as hard if it belonged to 1,000 people, instead of just to him.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

If he invests in municipal bonds, his money is being spread out to thousands of people building schools, streets and highways, bridges, hospitals, public housing, sewer and water systems, power utilities, and various public projects.

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Romneys father was a millionaire. Willard has been privileged his whole life

liberal4life on January 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

But Mitt never inherited anything. He worked for every penny he has. He said so last night in the debates.

timberline on January 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM

If he invests in municipal bonds, his money is being spread out

That’s right, but my point was that it would work just as hard if 1,000 people got the interest checks instead of just Romney.

Actually, I think most public projects financed with municipal bonds should never have been undertaken. The only reason they could float them was by offering not to tax the income on the bonds.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM

You know, I think Romney’s money–if it is truly working–would work just as hard if it belonged to 1,000 people, instead of just to him.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

But here’s the thing: it’s Romney’s money and he can do with it whatever he likes. However, I guess you and your like-minded pals could always take it from him, which is considered stealing in most circles but I gather there is some kind of ‘social justice’ exception that makes stealing okay. Or, here’s an idea, those 1000 people could go out and make their own money and when they make enough you can steal from them, too. With the money you take from those hardworking people, you can then pick and choose those you deem worthy of the spoils, and grant them each a share conditional upon their continued support of your criminal enterprise. Meanwhile, you get to play golf all day and travel to some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world, hang out with other rich and beautiful people, and feel all warm inside knowing you’ve done your part for social justice.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Suppose I put money into a Roth IRA, where contributions are made with income after taxes, and distributions after 59 1/2 are not taxed at all.

Suppose further, that 15 years from now, I decide to retire at 60 because I have enough in my Roth that I can support my needs.

At age 65, I decide to run for office. How will the media treat me when if finds out that for the past five years, I paid zero income taxes?

Reno_Dave on January 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

it’s Romney’s money and he can do with it whatever he likes. However, I guess you and your like-minded pals could always take it from him

No, no–I want Romney to keep his money and enjoy it. He can even donate to the LDS church if he likes.

But I don’t like labor being taxed at a higher rate than capital. You know what happens, every time. Virtually all of the gains go to the richest 10% of Americans. Not the 10% highest earners in America, I mean the richest. This is a windfall the plutocrats get by persuading their political cronies in Washington to make new tax laws.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Romney capital gain and dividend were already taxed once at the corporate level (30% ?).

***

galtani on January 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

It’s not a Romney criticism, but it’s an tax policy/economic policy criticism. Feel free to scan a lengthy post I wrote above on this point: How, specifically, is a capital gain taxed at a corporate level? I agree with you on the dividends. I’m not really with you on the capital gains. Look for my illustration of the share of stock purchased at $100 and sold five years later for $150.

Please explain your position, other than calling me a socialist. I ask, because I don’t think conservatives get very far when they make arguments that aren’t supportable.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM

But I don’t like labor being taxed at a higher rate than capital.

Any “laborer” can contribute to a Roth IRA with after-tax income and once they turn 59 1/2 take tax free distributions from it.

They would be taxed at a lower rate (0%) than a rich person who took their after-tax income and invested it in dividend bearing stocks (15%).

Reno_Dave on January 24, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Didn’t Romney “chip in” about 20 mil of his own money while running his previous campaign? And he dropped out after seriously considering using more?

Will the “screechers” report that?

Would Stingy Joe use even a penny of his own money to run for President?

Mr_Magoo on January 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Nice post collecting all the major pieces on the web regarding Romney’s returns.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/01/mitt-romney-1.html

I have to say that I’m very disappointed with Newt’s level of charitable giving. C’mon, Newt.

Also, the specific donees are “hidden” because the donations were made by one or more of his businesses and flow on to his individual return as a lump-sum, separately stated itemized deduction.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I wonder if anybody will say anything about Joe Biden’s horrible record of charitable giving.

Wagthatdog on January 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM

It seems like the “fair share” argument would be out the window considering EVERYBODY PAYS THE SAME CAPITAL GAINS TAX, but i’m sure it won’t be. Trying that would be insulting to our intelligence.

Wagthatdog on January 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM

If Obama wanted to have that debate with Romney, he’d shortly be exposed as either a hypocrite or an idiot.

My money’s on IDIOT.

Mr_Magoo on January 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Any “laborer” can contribute to a Roth IRA with after-tax income and once they turn 59 1/2 take tax free distributions from it.

But the laborer contributes after-tax income, and he’s already paid 40% of his income in Federal income tax, and State tax, and Social Security tax. And 40% plus 0% for the Roth withdrawals is still 40%. His tax rate is higher than that of the rich guy, who’s clipping coupons at a 15% tax rate.

If the laborer is in the 10% Federal tax bracket–the lowest bracket–he probably doesn’t have any money left over at the end of the month to invest, anyway.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

But I don’t like labor being taxed at a higher rate than capital. You know what happens, every time. Virtually all of the gains go to the richest 10% of Americans. Not the 10% highest earners in America, I mean the richest. This is a windfall the plutocrats get by persuading their political cronies in Washington to make new tax laws.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM

As has been pointed out, capital gains are taxed at a relatively low rate in order to incentivize investments, to encourage new business ventures, which in turn stand a chance of bringing greater value to the marketplace. Labor, of itself, does not create jobs. Capital in the form of investment creates jobs.

You’re applying Marxist labor value metrics to a capitalist schema. The market value of a good or service is not derived from the labor entailed in its production; rather, by its demand (or lack therof) in the marketplace. Attempts by the state at various times to dictate value or manipulate supply and demand using a Labor-value model inevitably end in failure. Look at the Soviet Union. Look at the Volt.

And whether one is rich by earning it oneself or by inheriting it is irrelevant to the discussion, and frankly none of my business. The market doesn’t recognize that distinction, and neither should we. If someone was rich and wanted to lavish their children (or whomever) with a ridiculously privileged lifestyle, that would be their preogative. Leave people alone to succeed or fail on the basis of their own choices.

Insofar as your ‘plutocrat’ argument is concerned, the kind of pay for play arrangement you’re talking about is illegal, and politicians caught engaged in it still go to jail in this country. Corruption only becomes a Republic-threatening concern when it is accepted as normal and right, the way business is done. Look at Mexico. The drug cartels wouldn’t have a chance if corruption wasn’t already sewn into the social fabric.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM

It is Romney’s older tax returns that could be revealing. For example, what if he donated to Planned Parenthood for years after he ‘had a change of heart’ on abortion? What if Romney was making a lot of investments in organization that would benefit from Obamacare passing, betting on its success, indicating that he probably supported Obamacare when it was being shoved down our throats? There are all kinds of interesting tidbits that we could learn, especially his taxes from before he decided to run for POTUS.

And if his taxes don’t expose Romney in that way then it would be a wise move politically to release those taxes and put speculation to rest.

FloatingRock on January 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM

If Romney paid 6 million in taxes then didn’t he pay 6 million more than half the country? Sounds like he’s paying WAY MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE.

Wagthatdog on January 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I wonder if anybody will say anything about Joe Biden’s horrible record of charitable giving.

Wagthatdog on January 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM

They didn’t in 2008. Indeed, Biden’s were as joke, as were Obam’s up through 2006, when his AGI was something like $1.5M. It wasn’t until his 2007 return, filed in spring 2008, that he reported AGI of about $4.4M and charitable contributions of about $270K.

At the same time, Palin and her husband contributed about 10% or close to it on AGI of $140K. I fell in love with her for the tenth time when I saw that.

It seems like the “fair share” argument would be out the window considering EVERYBODY PAYS THE SAME CAPITAL GAINS TAX, but i’m sure it won’t be. Trying that would be insulting to our intelligence.

Wagthatdog on January 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Sorry, that doesn’t meet Obama’s measure of fairness. As it was determined in the ABC primary debate in 2008, with Charles Gibson moderating, he pointed out to Obama that the Clinton years had shown that when capital gains tax rates are reduced (then 28% to 20%), revenues actually go up. At first Obama was thrown off because he actually wasn’t aware of that counterintuitive fact. Nevertheless, he stuck to his guns, and he insisted that rates should be increased because it was “a matter of fairness.” In short, though unstated, Obama sees tax policy more as a means of “correcting” income disparities by bringing high income earners down than it is about raising revenue.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I wonder if anybody will say anything about Joe Biden’s horrible record of charitable giving.

Wagthatdog on January 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM

USA Today in 2008:

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife gave an average of $369 a year to charity during the past decade, his tax records show.

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s campaign today released 10 years’ worth of tax returns for Biden, a senator from Delaware, and his wife Jill, a community college instructor. The Bidens reported earning $319,853 last year, including $71,000 in royalties for his memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics.

The Bidens reported giving $995 in charitable donations last year — about 0.3% of their income and the highest amount in the past decade. The low was $120 in 1999, about 0.1% of yearly income.

Over the decade, the Bidens reported a total of $3,690 in charitable donations, or 0.2% of their income.

Del Dolemonte on January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You’re applying Marxist labor value metrics to a capitalist schema.

No, I’m not. Anyway, Marx got the “labor theory of value” from Adam Smith.

Someone who has only his labor to bring to the marketplace, in order to eat, should be taxed far less than people who don’t work and just collect unearned income. I’m not saying that labor is more productive than capital–I mean it’s unsavory to tax a working man at 40% while Willard, Lord Romney sits at home in his La Jolla estate, paying only 15%.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

All the discussion of a lower tax rate for “capital gains” is not entirely true. The lower rate is only for long term capital gains, that is gains on an asset held for more than one year. I had plenty of capital gains last year and this year which were taxed at my marginal rate of 28%, as ordinary income. What’s even worse is that short term losses can only offset $3,000 of ordinary income beyond any short and long term gains offset, even though short term gains are taxed at the ordinary income rate. This is total BS.

RUReady2RNR on January 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Senator John Kerry, Democrat presidential “candidate” in 2004, gave nothing to charity in more than one year when he was a U.S. Senator.

Before his marriage to Teresa Heinz (whose reported fortune was half a billion dollars), Kerry’s 1991–1995 charitable contributions were ($0, $820, $175, $2039, $0), less than one-half of one percent of his income for the period.

In contrast, private citizen George W. Bush gave ($28,236, $31,914, $31,292) in 1991–1993. His highest giving was 15.7 percent of income and his average 9.1 percent.

Del Dolemonte on January 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

By the way, dividends are taxed twice. First at the corporate level then a second time at the shareholder level, so that the effective rate is close to 50% of every dollar of profit by a company.

All of this inequality of taxation between earned income, capital gains and dividends really is the argument for the fair tax or at least flat tax with no tax on dividends at the corporate level.

RUReady2RNR on January 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Capital gain tax rate is fashioned to encourage putting your after-tax money to invest in companies that hopefully will foster job growth. Investors money help small companies and start ups. Stocks are also where a lot of pension plans and 401 k are invested in. The preferred capital gain rate is thus to encourage more people to stay involved in the market. There are also possibility of loss. Not every stock goes from 100 to 150 in 5 years.

galtani on January 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

His tax rate is higher than that of the rich guy, who’s clipping coupons at a 15% tax rate.

***

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Sorry, but his 15% rate is on top of the rate at which that dividend income was subject to tax at his payor-corporation’s level. Maybe you can’t say that the two tax rates should be added together to get the effective tax rate on those dividends, but a lion’s share of that corporate rate can’t be ignored.

To ignore it is intellectually dishonest. It might be a revenue loss, but it might help the economy to consider allowing a deduction to corporations for dividends paid. It would reduce their tax liability and make more capital available for the business or for distribution to shareholders. Of course, it might make sense to increase the rate at which dividends are then taxed.

Now, on capital gains, I don’t agree with those who say that capital gains have clearly been taxed twice. You just don’t have the direct relationship that you have with dividends. Yes, as I’ve said above, some of any capital gain might be considered mere inflation. To that extend, write a federal legislator and demand indexing. See how far you get. Again, you’re flapping your gums on dividends.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Someone who has only his labor to bring to the marketplace, in order to eat, should be taxed far less than people who don’t work and just collect unearned income
Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You are of course talking about unearned income like food stamps and other entitlements…

Mr_Magoo on January 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

You’re applying Marxist labor value metrics to a capitalist schema.
No, I’m not. Anyway, Marx got the “labor theory of value” from Adam Smith.

Someone who has only his labor to bring to the marketplace, in order to eat, should be taxed far less than people who don’t work and just collect unearned income. I’m not saying that labor is more productive than capital–I mean it’s unsavory to tax a working man at 40% while Willard, Lord Romney sits at home in his La Jolla estate, paying only 15%.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You’re being disingenuous. The ’15%’ figure is not being fully explicated by yourself and others, and you’re sharp enough to know what you’re doing. ‘Lord Romney’ gave extensively to charity and–as is his option under the tax code–claimed charitable deductions. The ’15%’ is then figured after those deductions. The working man you invoke could also get away with 15% if he made a proportionate amount of charitable contributions and then claimed those deductions.

It gets tiresome debating the Left. You lie, you leave out, you load the argument with straw men. Based on his charities alone, Romney as an individual has done more for the poor than about a dozen state agencies all staffed by people such as yourself, althugh I doubt he feels quite so smug or self-righteous about it as they do.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

galtani on January 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I don’t disagree with you at all, as I say somewhere in this lenthy post above. And I don’t insist that you read each entry before commenting.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

But I don’t agree with the argument that Ed suggested and that other put forth that capital gains–at least on the sale of stocks–have been taxed on the investment-corporation’s level. There’s some double-taxation, I suppose, but the relationship is not nearly so clear as it is with dividends.

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM

That’s right, but my point was that it would work just as hard if 1,000 people got the interest checks instead of just Romney.

Actually, I think most public projects financed with municipal bonds should never have been undertaken. The only reason they could float them was by offering not to tax the income on the bonds.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM

What? It isn’t their money. Why would they get the interest from it?

Fallon on January 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

If Romney can’t defend himself/his wealth,
he has no d*mned business in this race anyway.

UNLEASH GINGRICH IN 2012!

Czar of Defenestration on January 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Sorry, but his 15% rate is on top of the rate at which that dividend income was subject to tax at his payor corporation’s level

BuckeyeSam on January 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Yes, I noted that earlier in this thread:

Yes, corporations have to pay corporate tax before paying out after-tax money as dividends. . .

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

You also said:

To ignore it is intellectually dishonest.

Not reading the whole thread is also intellectually dishonest.

It gets tiresome debating the Left.

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Charitable contributions or not, long-term capital gains and dividends are still taxed Federally at only 15%, and that’s where Willard, Lord Romney, makes his money. That’s what rich people do. They or their financial advisers are smart enough to know that paying 15% tax is a whole lot better than paying 40% tax.

The complaint about double-taxation of dividends is a red herring. How many dividend-paying stocks are there any more? The big money is in capital gains, and there is no excuse for a 15% rate when income is taxed at up to 40% (Federal).

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

But the laborer contributes after-tax income, and he’s already paid 40% of his income in Federal income tax, and State tax, and Social Security tax.

As would someone like Romney if they put part of their after-tax salary back into the company, or sold an investment held less than a year (which is taxed at normal income rates).

Reno_Dave on January 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I can pobably sum this all up in one phrase: “Oh, boo hoo.”

As an American who has worked for the past 45 years – my first job was collecting eggs on a chicken farm, now that was fun, I lasted 4 hours! – I think everyone should just quit whining about the rich and enjoy this great country we live in.

Ok, maybe one phrase and a (very long) sentence…

Mr_Magoo on January 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

So they are only paying 15% on the earnings from the money they already paid taxes on! If only they had spent it all, they would not have paid ANYTHING. And the companies they invested in would have had no cash to run on and paid no taxes either.

I guess I am one of those cheating rich folks. It isn’t final but it looks like my effective rate will be about 7.65%. That is (TotalFederalIncomeTax)/(TotalEarnings) and ignores things like 401k, Insurance and FSA deductions. And NONE of that was Capital Gains this year.

It would be lower still is I included the value of our employers HC and 401K contributions.

Maybe we should raise the tax on ALL capital gains? Anyone selling a house soon? I never understood why you would treat this differently than other property that appreciated in value over time.

OBQuiet on January 24, 2012 at 12:49 PM

How many dividend-paying stocks are there any more?

According to Yahoo’s Stock Screener, there are nearly 2500 stocks paying a dividend between 1% and 10%.

On his CNBC program, “Mad Money, Jim Cramer bases a lot of his investing advice on buying and holding stocks that pay good dividends, like Hershey, with a 2.2% dividend.

Reno_Dave on January 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

The complaint about double-taxation of dividends is a red herring. How many dividend-paying stocks are there any more? The big money is in capital gains, and there is no excuse for a 15% rate when income is taxed at up to 40% (Federal).

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Again: a relatively low tax rate applied to capital gains generates wealth and jobs–as well as increased tax revenue, which in turn goes to the wretched and downtrodden masses in the form of inflated salaries and unsustainable benefits applied to the bureaucrats who administer useless social programs designed to perpetuate wretchedness and downtrodden-ness.

See how that works? Is your sense of fairness satisfied?

troyriser_gopftw on January 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

What is not fair about taxing CG at the same rate as Income? If I own a restaurant with a partner and we hire all the staff the so that we don’t actually have to work there, why shouldn’t we pay 35% of our profits to the feds up front and another 35% on the money once we pay ourselves. And then, when we sell it, we can pay 35% on any profits we turn. Even if we owned it for 20yrs and it only doubled in value so we actually get less than we put in at the start in current dollars. I mean , if we lost our shirts, the Government would give us back all the money we lost. Wouldn’t they?

Makes sense to me!

OBQuiet on January 24, 2012 at 1:02 PM

a relatively low tax rate applied to capital gains generates wealth and jobs–as well as increased tax revenue

Says who? Says Hannity?

No, I would say that a low capital gains tax rate generates asset inflation.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3