Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan turned over many years of tax returns to the Mitt Romney campaign during the vetting process that got him selected as Romney’s running mate. Unfortunately for us, we will only get to see two years worth of them. Ryan said yesterday in an interview on 60 Minutes that he will release the same amount of years tax returns as his running mate did.
Ryan appeared next to Romney on the show and appeared cool and collected during the entire interview. Ryan seemed to be waiting for the question about the tax returns and had an answer ready to go.
Ryan said to CBS news anchor Bob Schiefer:
“It was a very exhaustive vetting process. It is a confidential vetting process. So there were several years. But I’m going to release the same amount of years that Governor Romney has. But I got to tell you Bob — two, I’m going to be releasing two, which is what he’s releasing -– what I hear from people around this country, they are not asking, ‘Where are the tax returns,’ they are asking where the jobs are? Where is the economic growth?”
Romney has been dogged by the tax return issue as the Obama campaign is trying to find out what Romney is trying to hide. Romney only released his full tax return from 2010 and said he will release his full 2011 returns when they are complete. Parts of both years has been redacted, so their information is not available.
While the CBS host never mentioned it, under Ryan’s proposed budget, Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of 0.82 percent in 2010, according to the Atlantic.
Romney has said that any tax plan that he supports will continue to have the wealthy carry the heaviest burden.
Romney said in the interview:
“Fairness dictates that the highest-income people should pay the greatest share of taxes, and they do and the commitment that I’ve made is we will not have the top income earners in this country pay a smaller share of the tax burden. The highest-income people will continue to pay the largest share of the tax burden and middle-income taxpayers, under my plan, get a break. Their taxes come down.”
Ryan even interrupted him once during the interview saying:
“What we are saying is: Take away the tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by people in the top tax brackets so they can’t shelter as much money from taxation, so that you can lower tax rates for everybody to make America more competitive.”
Ryan and Romney both support a plan that closes all tax loopholes and uses the savings to cut taxes across the board.
Danny Kanner, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, immediately went after the tax return issue, saying in an e-mail after the interview:
“If Mitt Romney needed to examine several years of tax returns to determine whether Paul Ryan was qualified to be Vice President, why won’t he let the American people see his own returns and determine if he himself is qualified to be President?”