Romney to release 2011 taxes

Breaking:

Romney aides on Friday said the Republican presidential nominee would give the public a look at his finished tax forms. Ahead of their release, expected at 3 p.m., aides said Romney earned almost $13.7 million last year and paid more than $1.9 million in taxes — an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent.

Drip, drip, drip.

Cutting the tail off one inch at a time.

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83 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    Oh, wow. 14.1 percent.

    I wish I paid that.

    Anyone with a paystub and a calculator is about to become engulfed in righteous rage.

  2. 2
    Comrade Mary says:

    Potentially relevant: “What a Slinky Knows” from Radiolab.

    If you’ve played with a Slinky for more than five minutes, you’ve probably mastered all the classic moves. But it turns out those humble coils have a surprise up their sleeves. Do this:
    __
    1) Dangle a Slinky above the ground as though you were holding a fish by the tip of its tail.
    __
    2) Let it extend to its full length.
    __
    3) Let go.
    __
    For a fraction of a second, something amazing happens: the bottom of slinky hovers in midair, seeming to defy the laws of physics, while the top collapses toward it.
    __
    The reason the bottom just floats there, according to Steve Strogatz, is simple: it hasn’t gotten the memo yet.

    Kind of like the Black Knight.

  3. 3
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    This was dead and buried. He could have simply not released them and it wouldn’t be a big deal. But no. No, Dr. Rmoney had to go and tear the bandage off the wound and let it bleed some more.

    He doesn’t want to win, does he?

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    @WereBear: Per DKos he claims he deliberately overpaid and that his real rate would have been 9%.

    We’re also supposed to be getting his medical records.

  5. 5
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    I am still curious about the amount and type of “charity” the Romney’s are paying. Is all the “charity” the mandated tithe to the Mormon Church?

  6. 6
    skyway says:

    Notice how the press release explicitly states that the Romneys owed state and local taxes each year, but merges all twenty years of payments(“Over the entire 20-year period) ? He didn’t pay every year; he took the amnesty.

    Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:

    In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.
    Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.
    Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.
    Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.
    Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

  7. 7
    BC says:

    New shiny object for the media to chase and stop talking about the fund-raising video? Romney would make a terrible poker player, would telegraph every hand he holds.

  8. 8

    The twitterverse is alive with the fact that he didn’t take all of his charitable donation deductions to INFLATE his tax rate. If he had taken the entire deduction it would have been 9%.

  9. 9
    ChrisB says:

    John Harwood just reported on CNBC that Romney did not take his full charitable deduction in 2011 and that if he had done so his 2011 tax rate could have been less than 14 percent. Apparently, Romney did not want to show the lower rate and/or did not want to come close to violating his statement that he never paid less than 13 percent (or whatever he said exactly).

  10. 10
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: As they said over at Daily KOS, that’s how desperate Mittens is to get away from 47%.

  11. 11

    @beltane:

    Someone already has the quote from earlier this year where Romney says “If I paid more than I needed to in taxes I wouldn’t be qualified to be president”. BWAHAHAHAHAHA

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    When *this* is what you use as a distraction from the other news, things are going that well, are they?

  13. 13
    Hal says:

    On the tail end of his victim moochers who don’t pay federal income taxes comes Mitt “unemployed but looking” Romney and his massive 14.1% tax rate.

    Apparently Romney is also releasing summaries of the past 20 years.

  14. 14
    General Stuck says:

    I’d swear to almost anything, if there was no chance the evidence would ever see the light of day. I never believed that Romney hadn’t paid any income tax in all that time. It is all the schemes employed to pay the lowest rate possible that I believe they are hiding. The past 10 years, especially, all these guys did dubious shit because they believed the rules would never be enforced. Either laws or ethics, depending. With a road map to all those shenanigans being listed and centralized in those tax returns no one will ever see. But there are other ways to skin a tax cheat, and a lot of eyes out there are looking to do just that. My guess is the Obama folks already has a smoking gun or two, and are disciplined enough to free it at just the right moment. If these guys aren’t the best running a pol election campaign, I don’t know who was better.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @Enhanced Mooching Techniques: After he loses will he file an amended return so he can get his money back?

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Uh, aren’t. I are an idiot.

  17. 17
    PeakVT says:

    How much would Romney have paid under the RYAN/romney tax proposals? That’s what I want to know.

  18. 18
    Zam says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: My guess is that he believes this will push the 47% story out of the news. He may also plan on going with the “I paid nearly $2 million in taxes, how much did you lazy moochers pay?” defense. Either way showing how much money the man makes is not a solid strategy to prove that he really is for the 47%.

    @phoebes-in-santa fe: Yea I have always been curious on that, it’s not fucking charity if you believe that God is making you do it.

  19. 19
    catclub says:

    @Comrade Mary: Some people are like a slinky. Not very useful, but they make you smile when you push one down a staircase.

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    So of course the next obvious question is what is he hiding by not releasing the actual older tax returns?

  21. 21
    ChrisB says:

    So the 14% is supposed to draw attention from the 47%?

    Romney never was very good with numbers.

  22. 22
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Hal:

    Apparently Romney is also releasing summaries of the past 20 years.

    Those won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on.

    Kinda like this: http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_.....rd-numbers

  23. 23
    Comrade Mary says:

    @catclub: BWAH! Nice one!

  24. 24
    Laura says:

    Did anyone care about 2011? Does he think this will shut people up about the last decade?

  25. 25
    LeeRoy Jenkins says:

    “aides said Romney earned almost $13.7 million last year…”

    Just because he received $13.7 million in income does not mean he earned it.

  26. 26
    Paul says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Someone already has the quote from earlier this year where Romney says “If I paid more than I needed to in taxes I wouldn’t be qualified to be president”. BWAHAHAHAHAHA

    It shouldn’t take long for this to be an effective ad against Romney using his very own words.

  27. 27
    MattR says:

    @Hal:

    Apparently Romney is also releasing summaries of the past 20 years.

    President Obama should immediately release a summary of his college transcript (make it truthful but generic like “he got mostly A’s and B’s with an occassional C”) so we can sit back and watch them try to explain why Romney’s summary should settle the matter but Obama’s summary just creates more questions.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Ann Rynd says:

    @beltane: Yes.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Hal:

    Apparently Romney is also releasing summaries of the past 20 years.

    They’ll be in musical form, sung by Willard with Mormon Tabernacle Choir accompaniment.

    “When I was seventeen, it was a very good year.

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    You know, this is just making me angry. Not a penny of Mitt’s income is earned income and he has the f*cking gall to whine about having to pay more in taxes than hard-working families who are struggling to raise children, pay the mortgage and property tax on $50,000 or less a year. Fuck him and fuck his nasty, never-worked-outside-the-bedroom wife.

    If it’s too tough being rich maybe these people should try poverty instead.

  32. 32
    👽 Martin says:

    Summarized to avoid showing he drew Social Security and is therefore dependent on the government and unwilling to take responsibility for his life.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @beltane:

    he has the f*cking gall to whine about having to pay more in taxes than hard-working families

    Except he’s not. Most of the 47% are paying 15% in Social Security taxes. Mitt doesn’t pay that. He’s paying less than the people he calls deadbeats do.

  34. 34
    nemesis says:

    Word is other years he paid an avg of 20%, which may be tenable with voters.

    And he will only release SUMMARIES of past years. So suck it, America.

  35. 35
    MattR says:

    @Paul: I don’t see that being an effective line of attack. Pointing out that he really should have had a lower rate without an accounting trick will work, but not painting him as a hypocrite over that previous statement. (This is based on my understanding that he deferred the charitable deduction (presumably to 2012) so he is not really paying any more total taxes than he needs to in the long run.)

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    @trollhattan: The past few days I haven’t been able to get the tune from “If I Were a Rich Man” out of my head. If I were Mitt Romney, diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dee. All day long I’d diddle diddle doo, if I were Mitt Rom-nee.

  37. 37
    Keith says:

    Another way to say it: Mitt Romney pays a tax rate that is lower than what most people tip waitstaff.

  38. 38
    UncommonSense says:

    Classic evasion tactic. He dumps the returns at 3PM on a Friday. If anybody reports on it, it will be in the Saturday paper. By Monday, it’s old news.

    That, or this week has been so bad for his campaign that he actually wants people focusing on his taxes for a change.

  39. 39
    Alex S. says:

    @Zam:

    Romney is caught in the trap. Whatever he does, it’s only going to reinforce his negative associations.

  40. 40
    nemesis says:

    @phoebes-in-santa fe:

    I am still curious about the amount and type of “charity” the Romney’s are paying. Is all the “charity” the mandated tithe to the Mormon Church?

    Yes.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @MikeJ: That’s right, rentiers don’t pay into Social Security, and with the SS tax cap high income workers pay a lower percentage of payroll taxes than lower income wage earners.

    Crime pays.

  42. 42
    Maude says:

    @beltane:
    Why thanks. I now have it in my head.

  43. 43
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Rmoney has the rich man’s privilege of being able to choose his effective tax rate for the optics.

  44. 44
    Paul says:

    @nemesis:

    Word is other years he paid an avg of 20%, which may be tenable with voters. And he will only release SUMMARIES of past years. So suck it, America.

    And this, of course, won’t make the issue go away. He lied about his taxes in MA, so why would anybody trust him on the 20% rate? Heck, unless he has something to hide, why not release them?

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @beltane:
    Darn you to heck for putting that in my head! [shakes fist]

    Darn clever, also, too.

  46. 46
    Legalize says:

    I think I hear the sound of Harry Reid running toward the microphones :)

  47. 47
    MikeJ says:

    @phoebes-in-santa fe:

    I am still curious about the amount and type of “charity” the Romney’s are paying. Is all the “charity” the mandated tithe to the Mormon Church?

    And the beautiful thing is he doesn’t even pay them cash. He buys stock for .50, when it goes up to $5 he gives it to the church. He doesn’t pay cap gains and he claims $5 charitable gift.

    Since he was at Bain he was able to get insider prices for millions of dollars worth of stock and claim tens of millions as write offs.

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Dan Froomkin:

    If Romney had taken all his deductions, he wd have paid closer to 9% tax in 2011. He paid extra VOLUNTARILY just for optics.

    Mitt Romney, July:

    Frankly, if I had paid more [Federal income taxes] than are legally due, I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.

    So, here’s Mitt’s dilemma. Mitt will want to brag about how he’s so generous to America, he overpaid his taxes, which just shows you how cool his is.

    On the other hand, Mitt still only paid 14.1% in taxes this year.

    You know what Mitt? You can’t pay a lower tax rate than your admin asst., admit it’s overpaying, and still claim taxes are too high on the JOB CREATORS!

    Oh, and you know what else you can’t do? Bitch that taxes are too high, then bitch that your message can’t influence half the country because their taxes are too low.
    __
    __
    *Both quotes via Jed Lewison @ DKos — I’ve run out of links, so you’ll have to cut and paste if you want to see the whole thing: dailykos.com/story/2012/09/21/1134888/-Mitt-Romney-claims-to-have-intentionally-overpaid-2011-taxes

    .

  49. 49
    shortstop says:

    Just want to point out that I totes predicted his Stennis Compromise-like release of “summaries” coupled with assurances that now we people have everything we need to know. I did think they’d waggishly call them “tax snapshots,” so I’m a little disappointed there.

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @nemesis: and not a penny elsewhither. Oh, I bet there is a charitable foundation with the Romney name on it they also ‘donated’ to.

    Hold up your hand if you have a swiss bank account and your own vanity charitable foundation.

    Mitt, asshole of the people.

  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker says:

    Word is other years he paid an avg of 20%, which may be tenable with voters.

    Math was never my strong point, but I’m extremely dubious that 13/14 percents of the last two years were such outliers that his average rate over 20 years was 20%.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    What of Harry Reid’s informer, who told Reid that Mitt paid nothing in taxes for ten years?

  53. 53
    JWL says:

    Hunter at Daily Kos notes:

    “…Mind you, he’s still not releasing those tax returns. He’s released the much-promised 2011 version, finally, but the rest of it is not really tax returns, but an artist’s interpretation of what his tax returns would look like, if he did release him. A very polite and notarized letter from his mother doctor accountant saying please excuse Mitt Romney from releasing his tax returns as other presidential candidates have. I sincerely promise everything is on the up-and-up in there and there is no reason to look any further; signed, some guys paid by Mitt Romney to say this.

    Well that should do the trick, no? What sort of monster would not be satisfied by that?..”

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @JGabriel: There will be an amended return that claws back that overpayment.

  55. 55
    Paul says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker:

    Math was never my strong point, but I’m extremely dubious that 13/14 percents of the last two years were such outliers that his average rate over 20 years was 20%.

    Especially considering that most likely Romney had big capital losses in 2008 and thus most likely paid 0% in taxes that year. People like Romney (unlike the rest of us) aren’t limited to the $3,000 capital loss deduction.

    With that in mind, the 20% sounds very dubious. He has lied before so why should he be trusted now?

  56. 56
    hep kitty says:

    @Paul: That’s what I wanna see, those 2008 returns!

  57. 57
    japa21 says:

    @Paul: Considering almost any income for the last several years has been income that woudl be taxed at the capital gains rate, in fact any income since he started with the Olympics would be that. He took the Olympics gig as non-paid and he didn’t take a salary as governor, so it would be very interesting to see how it would be 20%.

  58. 58
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @beltane: yes, funny that, he can always amend his return.

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Harry doesn’t care, he’s not up for reelection for 4 more years, if he doesn’t retire. Anytime Romney and his personal finances are being discussed at all, it is good for democrats. And I think Harry is having a hoot tweaking the nutters right now. I’d bet good money, if I had any, that there is financial information outside what is present in those Romney returns, that will come out later. And Harry likely knows that.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @Keith:

    Another way to say it: Mitt Romney pays a tax rate that is lower than what most people tip waitstaff.

    Whenever I see the GOP holding a $50,000/plate dinner like the one Romney was recorded at, I hope the restaurant/caterer automatically added an 18% gratuity for the wait staff ($9000/plate).

    If they don’t, they should. Fuck those cheap rich under-tipping moochers.

    .

  61. 61
    Teddy's Person says:

    When people begin to scrutinize the documents, Ann will have another opportunity to be shrill. Yay?

  62. 62
    ericblair says:

    @catclub:

    There will be an amended return that claws back that overpayment.

    Yep, that 1040X hits the IRS 7 Nov 2012 and you can set your watch by it.

  63. 63
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    catclub:

    There will be an amended return that claws back that overpayment.

    No doubt. Mitt has all the class of a … umm … dammit, I can’t think of anything that’s as low class as Mitt except for his fellow Republicans.

    .

  64. 64
    Dexter says:

    No sign of those tax returns on campaign’s webpage. It was supposed to be released at 3 PM Eastern, right?

  65. 65
    David Hunt says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker:

    Math was never my strong point, but I’m extremely dubious that 13/14 percents of the last two years were such outliers that his average rate over 20 years was 20%.

    A 20 year average can cover up a host of sins. I’m going to take a wild guess that that the Romneys’ effective tax rates for all of those 20 years have been close to the rate of long term capital gains, just like the two years of 2010 and 2011 that we’ve got specific numbers on. Before the Bush tax cuts, the maximum rate was, I think, 28% but it was lowered to 20 and then 15% His more recent returns would almost certainly be at closer to the c14% that we’ve seen. I don’t believe he’ll release the actual returns from that period as they’d be a graphic example of why all the billionaires are willing to pump money into his campaign: It’s a good investment. If they can keep the Bush tax cuts form going away they’ll save shattering amounts of money. I think we’d also see that Romney personally used to pay a lot more in taxes on his income but that the amounts have fallen dramatically, starting in about 2001.

    Finally, I don’t think that he’ll be releasing the actual returns, because I think he took the 2009 amnesty that was available to the tax cheats who finally reported their Swiss bank accounts. If I’m right, he’d be admitting that he was defrauding the U.S. government for years and that he’d gotten away with it. Most days, I don’t think that would be a net positive for him.

  66. 66
    LanceThruster says:

    Just got down off the roof watching the space shuttle buzz downtown LA, JPL, and Griffith Observatory before heading on down to the Queen Mary in the Port of Long Beach.

    Go socialism!

    BOOSH!

    You didn’t build that Mittens!

  67. 67
    David Hunt says:

    @japa21:

    The long term capital gains tax-rate was higher before the Bush tax cuts. I believe they were 28%. Averaging his tax rates over 20 years probably makes that average number much higher. As I said above, a 20 year average can conceal a host of sins.

  68. 68
    arthur says:

    Romney has said how much he paid in the past decade or so, but he declines to release the returns themselves. The necessary implication is that there is something other than the amount of money paid that he’s hiding.

    If I were running for office and my tax returns disclosed that I had declared a total number of dependents greater than the sum of [wife plus my wife’s minor children], I’d make sure not to release my tax returns. Perhaps Mitt feels the same way . . .

  69. 69
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Comrade Mary: It’s a great way to work into the implications of the speed of light being finite, such as why it would be 8 minutes before we would know if the sun just disappeared.

  70. 70
    Raven says:

    @LanceThruster: Well shit, my friends in Tucson were all over it yesterday and now the one’s up in Bezekely today. Dam thing is getting around. WEST COAST BIAS!

  71. 71
    Culture of Truth says:

    Are these income taxes or capital gains taxes?

  72. 72
    trollhattan says:

    @Raven:
    Posted some other thread I watched it fly by the state Capitol today. Pretty freaking cool.

  73. 73
    EconWatcher says:

    By releasing only summaries, he could be using tax penalties he had to pay (for having previously evaded taxes) to jack up his average of “tax payments” over 20 years. In other words, they may be getting to that “20% average” by including penalties he had to pay for being a tax cheat.

    One prediction I can safely make: The summaries will raise more questions than they answer, and will reignite the tax issue that had already mostly died down.

    He’s just not very good at this campaigning thing, is he?

  74. 74
    David Hunt says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Are these income taxes or capital gains taxes?

    Both. Capital Gains taxes are part of your regular income tax return. They’re reported on Schedule D of standard Form 1040. It’s just that long term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate (never more than 15%). There’s a complicated process that you go through, but you basically pay the lower capital gains rate on that income and then add up the rest of you income and pay regular taxes on that. It’s more complicated, especially when you take deductions like charity into account, but that’s a simplified version.

    The main point of is that people as rich as Romney pay lower taxes because most of their money comes from capital gains and dividend (which get a similar advantageous treatment).

  75. 75
    LanceThruster says:

    @Raven:

    You know how us Hollywood liberals always get to call the shots.

    I joked to a co-worker on the roof,

    “Did you see the pilot wave at me?”

    Without missing a beat, he said,

    “Yeah, why was he only using one finger?”

    He’s mean like that.

    xD

  76. 76
    Randy P says:

    @Comrade Mary: I’ve had arguments about this with people on physics forums.

    Not slinkies per se, but that disturbances travel at the speed of sound, for instance that if you blow up the bottom of a building, it’s going to take measurable time till the top starts to fall.

    A lot of people when they’re first exposed to relativity think about poles light years long and how you should be able to push on the near end and get the far end to move instantaneously, thus doing Faster-Than-Light communication.

    Alas, the speed of sound rule bursts that bubble.

  77. 77
    LanceThruster says:

    @Randy P:

    How about a pole one light year long, that you rotatated like a propeller. How many rpms would be needed to get the tips faster than light?

  78. 78
    SteveinSC says:

    @LanceThruster: Yeah and how about the place where the top part of the one light year long scissors crosses the bottom part? Yeah, you know it. Faster than the speed of light. Or maybe not.

  79. 79
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    No, Dr. Rmoney had to go and tear the bandage off the wound and let it bleed some more.

    Those returns are out there, and he knows they’re going to turn up soon. At this point he’s praying if he saws off his leg it’ll stop the gangrene from spreading.

    Fat chance. His campaign’s a dead man walking, and it’s going to get an amputation above the shoulders from Team Obama’s surgeons.

  80. 80
    Randy P says:

    @LanceThruster: Sorry, Einstein wins every time. I forget the resolution of this one. I think it may simply be that you’d require infinite energy to get any portion to the speed of light.

  81. 81
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Over at thinkprogress, they’ve found that romney didn’t claim his entire charitable contribution (4mil) and only claimed around 2.5mil, making his contribution around 30% of his earnings. If he had claimed his entire contribution, his tax rate would be around 9%, which violates his claim that he never paid under 13%.

    Also, this can be fixed (claiming those charitible deductions) on future tax returns.

  82. 82
    LanceThruster says:

    @Randy P:

    But what if Einstein was dealing with a god who could make a rock so big that he couldn’t lift it?

    What then?

    (Seriously, thanks for the explanations. Fascinating stuff).

  83. 83
    steverino says:

    Romney is playing Moneyball. When you take his Earned Income Average over his career… (sorry, I don’t know enough about baseball stats– feel free to finish the joke).

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