GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released his tax returns following the first of two GOP debates in Florida and as suspected his tax rate is lower than that of many poor and middle class Americans.
In 2011 Mitt Romney collected $20.9 million in income and in 2010 that number was higher at $21.7 million, however because all of those profits were paid in dividends and interest from investments Romney wasn’t charged any wages. That mean his estimated tax payment of $3.2 million in 2011 is just 15.4% while his $3 million payment in 2010 was just 13.9%, that would be a lower tax bracket them a poverty earning American making $15,000 in the same time period.
The Romney family did manage to be slightly more generous with their money when it came to charities, giving away $7 million of which $4.1 million was paid to the Mormon church.
During the Florida debate Romney repeated that his tax bill is “entirely legal and fair” while adding “I’m proud of the fact that I pay a lot of taxes.”
In actuality he paid far less in taxes then even Newt Gingrich who’s recently tax return shows almost $1 million paid on just over $3 million earned (more than 30% paid).
Joking during the debate about Romney’s tax payments Newt Gingrich said he would love to bring Americans’ tax rate “down” to Romney’s level. At the same time Mitt Romney points out that Gingrich supports a 0% tax on capital gains which would have left Romney paying “no taxes”
It should be noted that Mitt Romney only released his 550 pages of tax documents for his three family trusts and his foundation after coming under fire regarding his $250 million fortune.
With such a small percentage of his gross earnings afforded to taxes it’s likely the trouncing he felt in South Carolina will continue if he doesn’t come up with a better stance then being “proud” about his “legal payments” when many American’s and even some of the countries most wealthy citizens are asking for higher taxes on the rich.
In the meantime Romney has attempted to shift the focus away from his low tax bracket by noting that Newt Gingrich’s consulting firm accepted $1.8 million from Freddie Mac ahead of the 2008 housing collapse. Gingrich has repeatedly claims that none of that money was used for lobbying purposes. One thing is for certain, at least Newt paid more than 30% of those earnings into taxes, Romney would have pocketed an extra $200,000 had he been the one consulting the company.
In the meantime I just wish I can one day collect $20 million and claim it as non-wages. Are you appalled with Mitt Romney’s low tax bracket on millions of dollars earned?