Romney Reveals His Tax Returns

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally on January 17, 2012 in Florence, South Carolina. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Florence, South Carolina. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

It's no secret that former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a wealthy man. His time at Bain Capital, a private equity company, has been used against him by his fellow GOP nominee hopefuls. Specifically, their attack ads suggest that his business practices benefit the "one percent" at the expense of the rest of the 99. But what his experience as both an expert on private equity and CEO actually means on his policies has been largely unexplored.

Romney has assets which pays him a nice tidy $45 million dollar income, $22.5 million per year. He paid about $6 million in taxes for the period and gave away about $7 million in charitable contributions including $4.1 million to the Mormon Church, of which he is a member.

His tax rate according to the released documents is 13.9 percent. Romney clearly pays his taxes but the story told in these documents is of a man who is wealthy enough to never have to work again, who's tax rate is far lower than equivalent wage earners because he's taxed at the basic capital gains 15 percent rate before any deductions.

Benjamin Wallace-Wells is contributing editor for New York Magazine.

Guests:

Benjamin Wallace

Comments [11]

Displacedtexan

"...but the story told in these documents is of a man who is wealthy enough to never have to work again, who's tax rate is far lower than equivalent wage earners because he's taxed at the basic capital gains 15 percent rate before any deductions."

It's also the story of a man who gave well over 13% of his income to charity whereas, according to the tax returns printed out by the BBC, Mr. Gingrich donated a little under 3%. At least according to the tax returns. The former Speaker may have contributed much more in cash or time.

Jan. 24 2012 01:54 PM
listener

While the media has the green-eye shades on concerning Romney's tax returns the same media has on deliberate blinders concerning the Democrat controlled US Senate not passing a budget in 1000 days.

Jan. 24 2012 01:41 PM

I am NOT mad as heck that Gov Romney paid his taxes IN FULL & ON-TIME .. rather I am supper GLAD that Gov Romney made his tax contribution for my benefit.... YET iam MAD as HECK that CONGRESS + Speaker- Grinrich was on duty to oversee this 15% tax law for UN-earned income and THIS US CITIZEN paid his tax ACCORDING to the law is SINGLE-ly being CRITICIZED ... NOW that is= stupid and that shows BACK-at-US that many of us DO-NOT-KNOW our own law that made up by the people that we paid our taxes to keep congressman sit in W-DC for YEARS EMPLOYED back then to write these tax laws...

THOSE that complaint now about this 15% LAWFUL tax payment law are stupid of the ACTUAL "US FACT" since 1954 when this law was enacted.

WHERE are the writers of this tax-law.... why aren't they being interview and questions or DEMANDED to explain what did they do for Us-As-Citizens when they wrote up this 15% TAX-LAW .... in 1954. THE IRS + our congressman HAS not BEEN call to EXPLAIN this to those that did not know the ins&outs of this law.....Gov Romney were no where around "K-street" to peddle-congress to write this law little alone is RESPONSIBLE negatively or positively with the effect of this law... Gov Romney should be commended for paid taxes-in-full and on-time yet save and INVEST into our ECONOMY because buying US-companies STOCKS & BONDS versus EU-or-China companies investments - - WHICH this BOOST our OWN economy here at HOME - USofA

Jan. 24 2012 11:15 AM

THOSE complain about Gov Romney's LAWFUL-PAYING his taxes is AGAIN & AGAIN showing HOW-MUCH STUPID we are as society for NOT knowing OUR OWN TAX LAW + HOW THIS LAW WAS MADE and WHO ARE THE PEOPLE(congress) THAT INFLICTING THIS LAW ON US... So we can show the WORLD how STUPID WE ARE - OVER and OVER, AGAIN and AGAIN when one of our own citizen complain WRONGLY toward a LAWFUL FELLOW MAN working to make income+paying lawful taxes, creating jobs, booting the economy, paying for our government to run... with his-on-time-paying-taxes versus quit looking for work or refused to work (in some cases) or sitting around as quiter, then go to the food stamp line for hands out or for free housing while able to work - & some would game the system & won't work (NOW that is CHEATING) - but again food stamp & free housing are a laws that were also enacted for US-citizen to take part in and benefit -> exactly the same as 15% tax requirement for CAPITAL GAIN - aka unearned INCOME..... BUT the IRS-TAXman did never gone after anyone or took ANYONE to jail since 1954 for paying the 15% LAWFULLY taxes amount due to the FED.... YET if the FED know that you are FOOD-stamps cheaters or illegally benefits from free housing they have and they will continue take it away from you-the-cheater for UNLAWFULLY getting some thing that is not LEGAL or CHEATING to the FULL EXTENT that you/me/next'guy are going to JAIL for this.

IT is so sickening to hear and read about this topic on how WE ARE as a GROUP = SO STUPID about the TRUE FACTS regarding this 1954 - 15% Capital Gain TAX law & how this tax was WRITTEN to BENEFIT CITIZEN to SAVE at the SAME-TIME BOOSTING THE ECONOMY through BUSINESSes = JOBS for all who are willing to seek for it ....the more we complain OVER and OVER online, on air, on radio, on press, on AGAINST each other FACE to FACE... rather go call your congressman ask them, read YOUR tax law or asked a CPA with a free consult about the 15% Capital Gain Tax Law... then with FAIR information

Jan. 24 2012 11:14 AM
listener

Where does President Obama's wealth come from?
While a state senator he wrote two self promoting books about himself.
While a US Senator he was running for President.
While President he is running for re-election and living lavishly on the public funds and perks provided.
Instead of doing the job he was elected to do he used his power and money to quickly climb the latter of his personal ambition.
Obama's business is government and forcing citizens to pay more to his constantly expanding business which gives him the ultimate in a "rarified" lifestyle and elite "bubble".

Romney made most of his money in the private sector and along with public service like Governor of Massachusetts which is home to the much larger Kennedy and Kerry fortunes and where our President takes massively expensive vacations on Cape Cod thanks to the tax payer during a recession.
How about that "rarified" world which we all get to pay for?

Jan. 24 2012 10:20 AM

When you (or your accountant) fill out your tax forms, the tax code tells you how much to pay. I'm fairly certain that virtually no Americans choose to pay more than this amount. Romney is not guilty here. Blame the tax code but leave him out of it. In fact, if you want to place some blame, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Barack Obama have all been in stronger positions to influence the Federal tax code than Romney has ever been.

Jan. 24 2012 10:16 AM
Patty - Suburb MA from Metro-west Boston

I was struck by the woman who moments ago (they played her phone message at the end of the show) - commented that since Mitt Romney knows how to make money, shouldn't he run the country. My answer, no, he should run a corporation, perhaps, but not the country. This is a diverse country of people with all different kinds of needs - it is not a bottom line driven company.

She also said "who doesn't want to make more money?" - answer: I don't, really, nor does my husband. We are content with life the way it is. We are lucky that we can support our family in a reasonable manner. We are not super rich, but value other things other than the almighty dollar.

Jan. 24 2012 10:05 AM
Mariano from FL

I am a tax paying citizen and work hard to feed and sustain my family. I am appaled by the fact that Mr. Romney and all those rich guys who have cleaver investments can hide their whealth and pay a low tax rate. When you compared Romney to Obama's tax rate your guest said that Obama needed a better accountant! THAT IS CHEATING.

It makes me sick that for all the noise these politicians make, they cheat the country of their financial duty. When they claim that their low tax rate creates jobs, they lie because by taking their money to their tax shelters, they never use it in the USA to avoid even more taxes and so the merry-go-around goes.

I used to work for a company with a $2 Billion in income for which they paid no tax in the USA because they have such complicated structure in Europe, Bahamas, etc, that they could 'legaly' hide their gains and post only losses in the USA. They where even able to pay executives without deducting any income tax. Clever accountants uhh!

In my case at a tax rate of 25% from my salary, if I paid 15%, I could have more than $10,000 of additional disposable income which I could use to avoid some college loans for my children education or perhaps to repair some things at home.

I commend Mr. Obama for being as honest as he has been with his taxes. Shame on Romney and Newt too!

Jan. 24 2012 09:44 AM
John-TaxUser from Boston MA

I am NOT mad as heck that Governor Romey paid his taxes IN FULL and on time rather I am supper GLAD that he made his contribution or my welfare.... I AM mad as HECK that CONGRESS + Speaker- Grinrick was on duty to make up this 15% tax rate law for UNearned income and the US CITENZENS paid his tax ACCORDING to the law is singlely being citizen ... that is stupid and that show many of us do not know our own law that made up my the people that we paid our taxes and being EMPLOYED back then to write these laws...

THOSE that complaint now about this 15% lawful tax payment law are stupid of the ACTUAL US FACT since 1954 when this law was enacted.

WHERE are the authors of theses tax that put into law .... why aren't they being interview and questions or EXPECTED to explain what did they do for US-as-citezens by writing up this tax.... in 1954 Governor Romey in no where around "K-street" to peddle congress to write this law lillie alone is RESPONSIBLE negatively or positively with the effect of this law...

THOSE that complain about Governor Romney LAWFUL-PAYING his taxes is again and again showing how MUCH STUPID we are as citizen for not knowing OUR OWN TAX LAW - HOW THIS LAW WAS MADE and WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT INFLICTING THIS ON US so we can show the WORLD how STUPID WE ARE - OVER and OVER AGAIN AGAIN when own of our own citizen complain WRONGLY toward lawful fellow man making income+paying taxes versus quit looking for work or refused to work (in some cases) and sitting around as looser at some point then go to the food stamp line or hands out for free housing...

IT is so sickening to hear and read about this topic on how we are as a group SO STUPID the more we complain over and over online, on air, on radio, on press, on against each other FACE to FACE.

Jan. 24 2012 09:40 AM
ble13 from 02067

PLEASE STOP criticizing Romney for filing a tax return in COMPLETE COMPLIANCE with existing tax law. Just because a majority of his income is made from capital gains... is not illegal! In fact, the lower tax rate for capital gains was implemented in the tax code to offer an incentive to investment capital! Much like charitable donations are deductible to offer an incentive to make those contributions.

If you don't like the tax code, CHANGE THE CODE!

Jan. 24 2012 09:28 AM
david maurand from mass.

romney is clearly in no one's back pocket, and doesn't owe anyone anything. gingrich is a man on the take...and what will he owe his benefactors if he reaches the white house?

Jan. 24 2012 09:19 AM

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