Revealed: Mitt Romney's tax returns

Mitt Romney’s campaign released his 2011 tax information this afternoon, as well as a notarized letter from PriceWaterhouseCoopers attesting to Romney’s tax rates from 1990-2009, and I must say: Well played, Romney campaign. Well played, indeed. The Democrats have been making a federal case of Romney’s supposed “tax secrecy,” with countless ads and speeches and the voice in Harry Reid’s head making Romney out to be a greedy, tax-evading corporate mastermind of epic proportions, but the Romney camp just let them huff and puff until they wore themselves out, and now they’re releasing the information on their terms. I’m sure the Democrats will find some stupid, populist way to continue to criticize Romney over this, but… BAZINGA:

Regarding the newly-filed 2011 Tax Return:

-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. …

Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:

-In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.

So, let’s just take a second here to process this. Mitt Romney, who is ostensibly uncaring, out-of-touch, and disdainful of poor people, gave more than 13 percent of his income (amounting to millions and millions of dollars) over twenty years to charity, and didn’t even always take the full tax deduction. (The bastard!) By at least one count, the average effective federal tax rate for Americans is 11 percent — and Romney’s average annual rate was 20 percent, also amounting to millions and millions of dollars that went into the federal government’s coffers. He has done nothing wrong or shady, unless you consider being a wildly excellent businessman to be a vice, and the finger-pointers now look pretty darn dumb.

If this isn’t it, can somebody please explain to me exactly what it is that a “fair share” is supposed to look like? Are we supposed to detest rich people, or should we admire them? Will the real Barack Obama please stand up?

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David Strom 6:01 PM on March 29, 2023