Republican presidential hopeful and multimillionaire Mitt Romney released his tax returns after a stream of bad press concerning his income. According to Mr. Romney’s 1040 Income Tax Return, he and his wife Ann paid 13.9% in 2010 and is expected to pay 15.4% for their 2011 returns. They reported an income of $21.6m in 2010 and $20.9m last year, almost all it from investments. They gave $7m to charity in the same period, about half of it to the Mormon Church.
In response to the slew of criticism he’s received for a multimillionaire to pay half in taxes than what the average person is obliged to, Mr. Romney said: “I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.”
“It isn’t as though Romney is the first very wealthy man to run for president, but he has a way of highlighting his wealth in a way that brings to mind the famous quip by the former Texas Gov. Ann Richards about President George H.W. Bush: “He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”
Clearly the Romney’s aren’t to blame for the tax laws that they abide by. They live mainly on an income from investments, which is 15% tax payable. Earned income is taxed at up to 35%. Business magnate Warren Buffet has notoriously argued against the policy, and has repeatedly called for Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy to close the budget deficit. “It’s the wrong policy to have,” Buffet told Bloomberg Television Betty Liu in an interview. “He’s not going to pay more than the law requires, and I don’t fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me earning enormous sums to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that’s about half what the average person in my office pays.”