Mitt Romney Finally Releases His Tax Returns [Election 2012]
Mitt Romney gave in to pressure Friday when he finally released his tax returns from the past two years as well as a detailed summary of his taxes over the past two decades. Following Romney’s comments about the dependence of 47% of Americans on the government, Harry Reid again demanded that the Republican candidate release his tax returns, stating that Romney could very well be part of the “47%” that pays no income tax.
Romney proved Reid wrong, however. Here are the numbers:
The Romneys’ tax returns show that the family had an income of $20.9 million last year, and $21.7 million in 2010. Over these past two years, Romney has also managed to give away $7 million to charity, amounting to 30% of his income. All in all, the Romneys paid a total tax rate of 15.4% in 2011 and 13.9% in 2010.
According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, middle-income families making $50,000 to $75,000 a year, on average, pay 12.8% of their income in federal taxes. How has Mitt Romney succeeded in keeping his tax rate so low despite his huge income? The candidate’s tax rate has remained relatively low because the majority of his income is from investments, which are taxed at a lower rate.
As expected, Democrats are looking at this as yet another reason not to vote for Romney, and Republicans see this information in a completely different light.
Democrats see Mitt Romney’s tax returns as further evidence of the fact that he is completely out of sync with the lower classes. The question of “how can someone that makes $20 million possibly understand the woes of the poor?” arises. It makes sense to believe that, as president, Romney may be less willing to provide the financial safety net that so many Americans rely on because he has never had to deal with economic hardship.
On the other hand, Republicans look at these released tax returns as proof that Romney has not only paid his fair, legal share in taxes but has also given more than enough to the poor. Romney supporters look at the candidate’s tax returns and see a generous man that has paid 30% of his income to charity. I certainly don’t know anyone that would give away 30% of their annual income to charity. Especially as a college student, this seems infeasible.
What do I think?
While I do see how Romney’s massive income could potentially mean he does not take care of Americans struggling in our indebted economy, I don’t really see why it’s this important. Of course it’s important to a certain extent, but can’t we worry about Romney’s policies?
I don’t know about you but I’m making my decision in November based on what each candidate plans to do in the future, not how much money they’re making presently. If you want to vote for Obama because Romney is pro-life, go ahead. If you want to vote for Romney because you feel that Obama has created too much debt, be my guest. I don’t care who you vote for, but please, have a better reason than the candidate’s tax returns. Our country’s future is too important to dwell on such an extraneous matter.
How much do Romney’s tax returns affect your vote? Disagree with anything I have to say? Tell me in the comments!
Ashley is a sophomore majoring in International Affairs with a minor in English. Each week, Ashley will be discussing current events involving the upcoming presidential election. Check in every week to find out what’s going on in the election world and read one college girl’s opinion on the issues!