What troubles me, and what will probably trouble a lot of Americans is, that on his $21.6 million income, Romney only paid 13.9% in federal income tax. The reason he pays such a low a rate is that US tax policy favors people who don’t work for a living, whose income comes from investment gains1. I don’t think that up until now the sweet deal that the wealthy get has been appreciated by the overburdened middle class, but now they know one reason why their class is shrinking.
That said, this is not the Romney Conspiracy Theories blog, so let’s move on to President Obama whose 2010 tax returns are also public. President Obama worked for a living and his income came largely from his salary as President and royalties from books he wrote. He paid 25% in federal income tax on just under $2 million in income.
I retired in 2011 and now I’ll get those cushy low rates, so I can’t complain about me and Mitt’s sweet deal. You might, though.
I don’t know if folks from Denmark are laughing or crying right now.
1In the US, the top rate on earned income is 35%. Long-term capital gains (from buying and selling stocks held more than a year) are taxed at 15%. Mitt Romney’s investments are in a blind trust, so one cannot say that he earned the money working as an investor.