Romney Tax Returns

Mitt Romney to Release 2011 Tax Returns, Consultants Report on His Tax History

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For most of the year we've heard calls for Mitt Romney to release his tax returns going all the way back to the dawn of time. Romney's campaign still isn't quite giving those folks what they want (as I'm sure they will shortly let us know), but this afternoon, the GOP presidential candidate will release his complete 2011 tax returns along with a separate report providing an overview of twenty years (1990-2009) of Romney tax filings by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A few details on the 2011 returns via the Official Mitt Romney Blog on the Internet:

  • In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.
  • The Romneys' effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
  • The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.
  • The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.
  • The Romneys' generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor's statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.

And a campaign-provided highlight reel from the PWC report:

  • 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.

A couple of quick takeaways, not in bullet point form: 1) If Romney's 203 page 2010-filing is any indication, this year's return will confirm that the U.S. tax code is needlessly complex, not that this is a surprise to anyone. 2) Mitt Romney is a very wealthy man. 3) Romney's effective tax rate of 14.1 percent this year is lower than the effective tax rates paid by a lot of people who earn far less than him. In fact, as the campaign notes, Romney actually declined to take the full charitable deduction, and thus paid more than he had to. 4) Unless someone can prove that he is lying or breaking the law — and no, legal strategies designed to lower one's tax burden don't count — the details of Romney's personal tax history are far, far less important than the details of his plan to reform the U.S. tax code, which he has so far refused to specify

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  1. So I guess all of the liberal bloggers and internet trolls who swore he was a tax felon who took advantage of the amnesty are going to take it all back now?

    1. No. Conspiracy theories about why it took him so long are next. If we’re lucky, a liberal birther movement will spring up.

      1. go on DU right now and post how the documents are faked and it took him all fall to buy off and convince the accounting firms give him cover.

        1. I cant keep an account with DU for more than ten posts befor ethe juries kick me

          1. I have often thought of just trolling over there. Write increasingly violent and crazy stuff just to see what it takes to get banned.

            1. Please do, John. You could do a world of good discrediting them further. Get to it, man!

              1. It really is doing God’s work.

      2. I think luck is going to be on our side on this one. TEAM BLUE is so delusional at this point, this has to happen.

        1. These documents are fakes. Obama has the real ones and is going to release them the weekend before the election. And they will show that Romney was facing a felony indictment for tax evasion. You just watch.

          1. And chemtrails too, John. Never forget!

            1. Jet fuel can’t melt steel. And faked tax returns can’t explain why Romney isn’t in jail.

              1. Jet fuel can’t melt steel.

                Ahh, thanks for the memories on that one.

                1. Colin Powell wanted to build a pipeline across Afghanistan.

                  Consider it a pay back for all of the mean things I say about you on other threads Randian.

                  And BTW, just whatever happened to that pipeline anyway? Wasn’t building it the whole reason Bush and the Israels pulled of 9-11?

                2. Jet fuel can’t melt steel. Of course it’s irrelevant, but still correct.

                  1. No it isn’t.

                    Can wood melt steel? If you say no, I would ask you how the blacksmiths of old managed to craft weapons. Why do rocks explode from burning grass in wildfires?

                    If you throw jet fuel on a steel beam and light it, it won’t do much. But if you supply enough air and fuel, it will burn hot enough to weaken or melt it. The tower fires were roughly like forced air chimneys.

                    1. That scruffy and it didn’t have to melt the steel. It only had to cause it to lose some of its temper such that it could no longer support the weight of the floors above it.

                    2. Yes, of course. Hence the irrelevance.

                    3. Scruffy, you’re arguing with Tulpa. Jet fuel can’t melt steel–only burning jet fuel can.

                    4. Well done, nicole. Made me actually laugh out loud.

                    5. nicole, I’m proud of you. You’re now ready to go out into the world and gadfly.

              2. If Romney hadn’t released his tax returns, we’d all be burning in jet fuel right now.

          2. some some reason I read “tax evasion” as “yacht evasion”

            1. Funny, I read it as “yak invasion”

              1. Let’s leave Warty’s weekend proclivities out of this.

              2. OK, that is something I’d like to see.

                (rumbling noise in the background)

                Helmsman: “Sir, we have hostiles approaching!”

                Officer: “What type?”

                Helmsman: “Oh God, no! Yaks!

                Officer: “Damn! Sound General Quarters! Evasive manuevers!”

                1. Those Yak Russian fighters are cool.

                  Oh! Not those kind of Yaks. Right.

            2. I don’t say tax “evasion,” I say “avoision.”

    2. The whole purpose of the delay was to make them look stupid.

      1. It’s really very difficult to make the truly stupid look stupid to themselves. They’re not going to get it.

    3. You know, I sincerely believe that Romney was born in Kenya.

      1. You know, I sincerely believe that Romney was born in KenyaMexico.

        FIFY.

        1. No, see, it was OBAMA who was born in Mexico. They’re just trying to trick you by switching the places around, you see.

    4. HAHAHAHAH!

      oh wait you’re serious.
      Let me laugh even harder.

  2. See, my takeaway from this was that the Romneys are very generous donors. That’s why their effective tax rate is as low as it is. I doubt many people, including the very wealthy, give 30% of their income to charities.

    1. Most people give most of their money to the non-profit charity known as Government.

      1. I always snicker when someone says “non-profit” like they’re somehow morally superior. If they had any idea how much graft and waste occurs in most non-profits they would be astounded.

        1. There is a lot of money to be made in the “non profit” industry.

          1. My sister-in-law works for the Boy Scouts and the tales she tells are enlightening to say the least.

            1. My wife had a very nice paying job working for Boys and Girls club of America. Her boss, a senior VP make well into six figures.

          2. This is what I always snicker at.

          3. There is a lot of money to be made in the “non profit” industry.

            Tell me about it.

        2. Even my rock ribbed Republican brother wound up paying for his step daughter’s bullshit degree in something related to public administration. He was ashamed to admit it. Said it was impossible to talk any sense in the kids. She was merely reflecting the mentality of the upper middle class peers she grew up around.

          1. public administration

            non profit administration.

            They did not have degrees in it in the colleges I went to, but the closest equivalent was PA.

    2. Seriously, that’s the important part. I’d rather see $4 million going to charities of his choice than the federal government.

      1. agreed. The charitable deduction is the most principled way of saying to the government “F U, I’ll decide who I want to help”. It’s great that the Romneys have that principle.

    3. not having looked, and maybe it doesn’t way what charities, but the counter will be “mormon church doesn’t count”

      1. I am sure Tony and Shreek are getting just that talking point right now. Obama and Biden give to real charities. Romney just gives to the church because he is a Jesus freak.

        1. if they do, it’s unbelievably tone deaf.

        2. “They were just buying magic underwear for Native Americans!”

          1. Dum, dum dum dum dum dummmmm….

            1. South Park’s history of Joseph Smith is the most informative yet.

        3. Until a year before the presidential run, Mooch and BO didn’t give shit to charities.

      2. I don’t consider churches to be charities in the generally understood sense. Some churches do provide charitable services, but those are sometimes limited to church members.

        Having said that, I recognize that under the tax code that churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations are charities in the legal sense, which is ultimately the one that matters, here.

        1. but those are sometimes limited to church members.

          Not any church I have ever gone to. Don’t get me started on churches. But my experience is that they really do do a lot of good work.

          1. Why does that distinction even matter?

            I don’t ever get a piece of that Sally Struthers distended-belly African kid scrilla, but that’s still a charity, right?

        2. If we’re going to get into value judgements about which nonprofits are actually charities, this is going to get to be a mess.

          For instance, are organizations that hand out free condoms to teenagers charities? What about EFF and the Sierra Club?

    4. You see generous donor. Team Blue retards with wealth envy see an evil white man who did not pay his fair share in taxes.

      1. ^^^^ This, this, and this.

        As a former National Guardsman who has been three times deployed to domestic emergencies, I can say that besides the Salvation Army, the LDS is one of the most reponsive and generous of groups in bad times. Maybe it has something to do with their terrible early history (shooting it out with my predecessors at Nauvoo, migrating West, etc)?

        1. I think the biggest thing people mention is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M…..s_massacre

          The logic being that the LDS leadership just HAD to know, and thus it’s evidence Mormon’s are bad.

          The biggest modern issue would probably be fear of some LDS Church activities. Some people are very wary of the LDS Church’s involvement in things like the opposition to gay marriage, as well as the Church’s involvement with the Boy Scouts.

          And then there’s polygamy, of course.

  3. “3)” is kind of dumb, because in all measures I’ve seen, the “effective tax rate” is on gross income and thus is lowered by charitable deductions and everything else.

    1. Are they including capital gains, interest, and dividends in that calculation?

      I don’t getting a return on money I already earned and paid income taxes on as “income”.

      1. I don’t believe…

  4. HOLY SHIT THAT FUCKER’S RICH. DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT?

    1. No kidding. How is this guy not in jail?

      1. We should eat him.

        1. What do you suppose is the best preparation?

            1. *Julia Childs Voice*

              First, you must remove the head. Be careful not to damage the cheeks as they are sweet and delicate. Set the head to a boil then simmer over low heat. I prefer to add garlic and a touch of turmeric. After 4 hours, let the head rest for 15 minutes before carving.

          1. I have Alton Brown of Food Network in my Twitter feed. Someone asked him for his favorite vegan recipe.
            1. Butcher and clean a vegan.
            2. Stuff with sausage.
            3. Roast in lard until done.
            4. Serve.

            1. did he put that on a post-it note?

              1. Yes, he did.

            2. “…and clean a vegan.”

              For such a short recipe, that’s way too much effort.

              1. Two recipes!

                Original or spit roasted.

                Is there an episode of Good Eats featuring long pig?

        2. His tax returns are a cookbook!

  5. Another reason why income tax is immoral. We as a nation have no right to know how or where anyone makes their money. Even if its nice to know and provides us with fodder to attack political candidates for being the fucksticks we suspect them to be.

    1. True that, but we also have the right to refuse to vote for politicians who don’t voluntarily release their records.

  6. Where is joe the Obama fluffer to tell us it’s not enough?

  7. He was allowed to CHOOSE where his charitable donations went? That’s outrageous! That’s obscene!

    1. That’s the governments money!

      1. He didn’t donate that.

  8. I love how Romney got the Democrats to waste months and millions in ad dollars talking about a complete non-issue.

    1. Are you kidding? Non-issues are all they’ve got. It’s not a waste if you can cement a perception before the guy has a chance to present his side of the story.

      If Mitt was going to release his tax returns he should have done so months ago. I’d be totally OK with refusing to release them at all, but if you’re going to do it, do it early.

      1. “Is Reagan too old?”

        “Does Dukakis support the death penalty?”

        “Did Clinton kill Vince Foster?”

        “Did Bush serve in the Air National Guard?”

        “Is McCain/Obama a natural-born citizen?”

        1. You forgot

          “Who shot JR?”

          1. Carter?

            1. Future JR?

          2. fried chicken shot him, but it was all in a snow globe

      2. I dunno, after Team Left got all excited about this, they were gonna look a little stupid when when the returns were released no matter what. So it makes sense to save it for when he also wants to change the subject anyways.

        Now they have to at least talk about this a little bit between the 95th and 96th rehashing of 47%gate.

  9. will release his complete 2011 tax returns along with a separate report providing an overview of the wenty years (1990-2009)

    Is that a reference to serial shirker Norm, played by George Wendt? If so, you spelled it wrong.

      1. …IN MASSACHUSETTS! It’s all falling into place.

  10. It’s interesting that the federal govt gives out tax deductions, tax credits, and lowered tax rates to encourage certain financial decisions… and then demonizes any rich person who actually does what fedgov was trying to encourage.

    1. Those deductions are only there to test your spirit and patriotism. It’s set up to differentiate the exemplary citizens from the self-absorbed individuals.

  11. Romney earned every penny of his wealth (save for the portion he might have made off of our current Crony Capitalist system), and he should be able to keep as much of it as he wants.

    THE. END.

  12. 3) Romney’s effective tax rate of 14.1 percent this year is lower than the effective tax rates paid by a lot of people who earn far less than him.
    Yes, but he pays more in taxes each year than most people make over a couple of decades. The rich do not pay their fair share? Really? Fuck that.

    1. 14.1% of of $1,000,000 is $140,000, and 14.1% of $10,000 is $1,400. So the millionaire payed 100 times as much in taxes as the poorer man.

      1. 14.1% of of $1,000,000 is $141,000, etc. Math-challenged, bro?

        Also, I could live with a head tax (each and every individual taxed at the exact same amount), but I’d prefer a flat tax (each and every individual taxed at the exact same rate).

  13. this year’s return will confirm that the U.S. tax code is needlessly complex

    But the only solution to loopholes is MOAR RULEZ.

  14. Check Google news on this right now. Everyone is burying the part about donating $4 million to charity.

    1. That’s exactly what I noticed.

  15. I hope Romney wins, but he is an idiot. He has been running for President for almost 8 years. He knew the MSM would put an electron microscope up to all of his taxes. They made McCain into a rich guy even though he is nowhere near Romney’s wealth.

    He should have been crafting his tax returns to not look like he was paying little to government. And if his donations were just to the Mormon Church, very few people are going to see them as worthwhile, especially lefties who hate Mormons anyway.

    1. This lefty is an equal opportunity hater of all religion. It should be considered a for-profit business at best, a fraudulent con in a perfect world.

      But I will say the Mormons are comparatively quite socially conscience, at least for other Mormons. I wonder what Ayn Rand cultist Paul Ryan really thinks about this combination of religion and charity in his running mate.

      1. Yeah Tony, you hate all religion. that is why you worship a President who is a 20+ year member and regular attendee at the United Church of Christ.

        1. No I don’t.

      2. John and Tony, you two deserve one another.

        1. No Tonio, I deserve you!!

        2. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced Lovecraftian-grade horror here.

          1. Nothing worse than unrequited love Tonio.

      3. I wonder what Ayn Rand cultist Paul Ryan really thinks about this combination of religion and charity in his running mate.

        I wonder how REAL Ayn Rand cultists feel about someone so profoundly lukewarm being conflated with an Objectivist.

  16. I like how he did this on a Friday so it will dominate the news cycle over the weekend.

  17. Private charities are notoriously inefficient at giving to the real people in need, union members and bureaucrats.

    1. will nobody think of the bureaucrats!?!

    2. And teachers! And cops on the street! Why do you hate teachers and cops Lisa?

      1. This April, be generous with your 1040. Think of those paper pushers. we’re in desperate need of short-sleeve dress shirts and out-of-fashion ties.

    3. Don’t forget politicians. Why, oh why do you hate politicians, Lisa? What did they ever do to you??

    4. Slim, Efficient, Effective GOVERNMENT! Ask for it by name!

  18. Another reason why income tax is immoral.

    I don’t really consider this to be PARTICULARLY correct. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just a consumption tax on knowledge/labor. At least it’s based on a real number, derived from a voluntary and mutually beneficial transaction.

    I want it simple, low, flat, and administered equitably (which *should* go without saying).

  19. My takeaways:

    1). Romney is one generous dude. He’s probably more generous than 99% of regressives who pat themselves on the back for giving away other people’s money and shriek about Romney’s tax rates.

    2). Romney pays way too much in taxes.

    1. Also: 203 pages?! His accountant must be rich as fuck and have a superhuman tolerance for pain.

  20. So when Gates sets up a foundation with his money it is all good and well because he’s leaning Democrat, but if Romney donates money to some church it is all about evil rich guy reducing his tax liability.

  21. The issue, to me, has never been about whether Mitt is engaging in unseemly tax avoidance (he no doubt has in years past–this return was admittedly doctored to be as legit as possible). It’s the fact that he wants to lower his own tax burden and raise that of people who barely make enough to live on. He’s a symbol of his party’s insanity on the tax issue. Almost too perfect a symbol. Santorum didn’t go far enough: Romney is the worst Republican in the country to run on the issue of healthcare, yes, but the same goes for the deficit. And at every opportunity–the one thing he is ever consistent on–he refuses to be a populist one iota. He’s proud of his wealth and he refuses on principle to pretend that he isn’t. (Same for Romneycare incidentally.) And why not? He worked hard to choose his father.

    1. I see Tony sock puppet has gotten his talking points for today.

      Needs more christfag.

      1. Funny, I thought he gave away his entire inheritance – just like John Kerry refused to marry into money, get an annulment and marry even more money (earned by a late TEAM RED Senator)!

      2. Oh and the earlier predictions of the TEAM BLUE fluffers shrieking about fake returns was spot on.

        this return was admittedly doctored to be as legit as possible

        Harry Reid, is that you?

        1. Yeah, that’s just oh so precious, and so predictable.

        2. I always just skim anything Tony posts. But yeah. You can’t even satirize these people anymore.

    2. As if being a populist is something to be proud of.

    3. Damn, that’s embarrassing, even for you. You need to go back to Trolling 101.

      1. Tony has really been mailing it in lately. I guess his masters just can’t find anything better. Trolls just are not what they used to be.

    4. he no doubt has in years past

      Citation needed, but not required?

      1. The fact that he pays less than people who actually work for their income is unseemly enough. But there’s a pretty easy deduction here. He refuses to release more than 2 years, despite the political trouble that’s put him in, so he must be more incentivized to hide those years.

        1. As I said, citaion not required to engage in hearsay, speculation, and rumor mongering.

        2. You mean he pays taxes at a lower percentage which is a very different thing than “paying less”.

          1. Yeah and it never seems to occur to you guys that such tax favoritism is itself a large contributor to the rich getting richer.

            1. We advocate lower taxes for everyone. It’s not our fault you make that impossible. Blame yourself.

              1. Well, in all honesty, Jordan, a true flat or head tax might lead to some poor people paying more taxes than they currently do.

                1. Well, paying taxes certainly is more than paying NO taxes.

          2. Your fundamental dishonesty is why nobody takes you seriously.

        3. He refuses to release more than 2 years,

          Only T o n y would find twenty years of tax summaries to be too little disclosure. Why don’t you advocate that the mighty Obama release twenty years of HIS returns? Oh yeah, it would probably be more evidence he gives half the percentage to charity that Romney does.

    5. LOL

      It’s the fact that he wants to lower his own tax burden and raise that of people who barely make enough to live on

      You know, I’ve been examining the tax code, and nowhere does it alter my rates based on what other people are paying.

      Do you realize how stupid your writings make you out to be?

      TOny, we aren’t laughing with you… we’re laughing *at* you.

    6. :'( My daddy’s not rich. His was. He must be punished.

      1. Actually, it might be guilt, rather than jealousy*; didn’t Tony say he inherited some wealth?

        *Though both are common among the class-warfare promoters.

    7. He probably worked over 50 hour weeks when he was first starting out. He wasn’t just living off his dad like Obama was with his grandparents.

    8. “…he refuses to be a populist one iota.”

      That’s to his credit. Populism is the bane of rational governance. Appeals to the passions of the people is one of the things the US form of government was designed to temper.

  22. And why not? He worked hard to choose his father.

    1. Would that be the father who provided the inheritance that Mitt gave away?

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/ed…..iven-away/

  23. Poor Tony, so envious….

    1. Only of Republicans. Of rich Democrats he is worshipful. Teddy Kennedy worked hard to pick his father, get kicked out of Harvard for cheating and leave a woman to drown in a car he just wrecked. But Tony thinks he was dreamy.

    2. Nope. I chose my parents wisely too.

      Is it possible to ever discuss wealth inequality without you guys dumping it all into the moronic psychobabble bin?

      1. Not when arguing with someone like yourself who does so disengenously.

      2. Peyton Manning had a good genetic inheritance and the wise counsel of his father growing up, which contributed to his success in the NFL. (His father’s wealth from playing and his later business interests didn’t hurt either.) But he still had to bust his ass in high school and college to not only perform athletically but also academically to continue his success.

        I don’t see Joe Montana’s kids garnering 4 NFL MVPs and $90 million contracts.

      3. Whining about “wealth inequality” is moronic on its face, so no.

        1. Because the rich always earn their money. Even when they get it via government handouts. When the poor do it, it’s parasitism. When the rich do it, it’s ingenuity.

          The rich, they’re different from you and me.

          1. Because the rich always earn their money. Even when they get it via government handouts.

            Provide one example of anyone at Reason ever defending government bailouts or handouts to wealthy people.

            1. Shutting down every single criticism about tax avoidance by the wealthy and corporations as the product of “envy.” Talk about phoning it in.

              1. Yes, because not taking is the same as giving in your muddled little brain. When a rich person takes a deduction your tax rate does not go up nor does the government give him anything from the Treasury, so it’s not a handout.

                1. This semantic bullshit skirts the very issue: you don’t like the poor getting handouts. Presumably you don’t like the rich getting handouts either. But the rich don’t need welfare checks, they just have lobbyists get them favorable tax policy. Because you dogmatically hate taxes, you don’t see this as exactly the same parasitism just in a different form.

                  1. My my, aren’t we a bit prickly this afternoon.

                  2. Let me get this straight: not giving your money to a government that has expressly said it doesn’t want the money is “parasitism”? The government sounds a lot like my mom. Barf.

                    It’s also odd that your solution to a problem caused by rich people being able to bend govt to their will is to expand that same government’s “flexibility” as your hero puts it.

              2. Uh, nobody has shut you down. You’re not banned, nobody deletes your comments. Failure to find anyone who agrees with you is not the same as shutting down. Leftists on the other hand regularly try to shut down speech of people they don’t like.

              3. Tax avoidance isn’t a government handout…

          2. Whoa, I think Tony just implicated the government in something unseemly.

          3. Didn’t Ayn Rand call corporate welfare recipients “moochers”?

            1. Yep. That was a key theme of Atlas Shrugged. Dagny Taggert’s brother…what was his name??

              Was it…T o n y?

          4. I think it’s time we cut through a great deal of the bullshit, by revisiting an old comment of mine regarding poor Tony’s pathology:

            prolefeed,

            You are actually missing Tony’s main point: We libertarians aren’t envious enough!

            Haven’t you noticed all the digs about people starving so that a billionaire can drive a Bugatti Veyron?

            We say “keep your mits to yourself!” But when one does that someone might amass alot of wealth! To an envious person this is a big problem. To a libertarian, it’s not a problem at all – so long as the wealth is amassed through production and/or voluntary trade.

            Now serious students of economic history recognize that in the presence of free markets, you get a large middle class, some rich people, and a shrinking pool of people in poverty. It wasn’t the existence of unions, for example, that ensured that a poor woman had access to stockings that 100 years previously were only available to the very wealthy. It was the expansion of production prompted by the opportunity to get rich off of one’s own labors.

            1. But to the envious, the very existence of the wealthy is the problem. To them it’s as much a crime as a mugger taking someone’s baby’s milk-money is to us.

              I think this is the cause of Tony’s frustration. A very envious person thinks it’s OK to take stuff that other people has because it’s intolerable that they don’t share their good fortune. Or, if they are opposed to taking, using force to prevent someone from getting more stuff.

              Consider Paris Hilton, for example. Now, I think we can all stipulate that Paris Hilton will consume far more than she produces. And her consumption is so frivolous as completely revolt my half Scotch-Yankee love of frugality.

              However, the wealth she consumes was amassed by people who loved her and gave it to her, and to a libertarian the fact that her dad and granddad wanted her to have that wealth they had worked so hard to produce is sufficient reason for her to have it.

              Someone filled with envy, though, looks at Paris Hilton and screams she doesn’t deserve that wealth, decent people do! They view her as being the beneficiary of a natal lottery, and rather than seeing her wealth as a gift of love, view it as a theft from their pockets.

              1. This is why I don’t think Tony will ever accept all the evidence thrown at him that he is wrong. Because to admit that forcible redistribution of wealth away from the halves would require him to confront the envy greed that is the core of his being. Far more comfortable to repeatedly type out the same jingoistic slogans and to close his mind to reason.

            2. tarran at 3:53, FTW!

          5. Hey, you’re one of the dickheads who fully supports the Ben Bernanke policy of printing unlimited amounts of money to give to the investment banks in order to artificially reinflate the stock market!

            Romney made so much investment income last year primarily because of guys like Obama, Geithner, Obama, Bernanke, and you. So if you don’t like how he did it, try looking in the mirror, shithead.

            1. I see a person who also has done quite well over the past year, having lots of my assets in stocks.

              I don’t begrudge anyone for making as much money as he legally can. I do exactly the same.

              I only begrudge Republicans for using government to entrench privilege and punish work.

              1. I only begrudge Republicans for using government to entrench privilege and punish work.

                But why limit yourself to the Republicans, who – though terrible on that score – are generally not as evil on that score as the Democrats are?

                1. In what universe?

          6. Find a lot of crony capitalism fans here, do you?

            Go talk to O! while he’s stuffing stimulus $ into pals and donors pockets. I am from a state awash in TEAM BLUE, and not that long ago TEAM RED corporate welfare (ADM anyone?) PEU giveaways and other “redistribution”.

          7. That’s hilarious coming from a supporter of TARP, the Fed, the GM bailout, green subsidies, etc.

            Now see if you can figure out the distinction between a transfer payment and a tax break.

          8. “Because the rich always earn their money.”

            Taxes are not punishment for unearned money, so saying that whatever you consider “unearned money” justifies raising rates is dishonest. The tax will hit a wealthy person who earned his money as well as one who got it by completely dishonest means. That is a just a dubious rationalization to do what you want.

      4. Dude,

        IUT doesn’t matter how you dress up envy, it’s still envy.

        You’re like a guy I went to college with who was searching for a method for forcing his penis into a girl than wouldn’t be called ‘rape’.

        1. I don’t want a dime of Mitt Romney’s money.

          I want the crackhead walking down my neighborhood street to have access to drug treatment, food, shelter, healthcare, and education so that he can go be productive with his life. Saves me money in the long run, really.

          1. I want the crackhead walking down my neighborhood street to have access to drug treatment, food, shelter, healthcare, and education so that he can go be productive with his life.

            He’s made his choices, hasn’t he? If you want to help you’re more than welcome too, but why should I or anyone else be forced to pay for a lost cause?

            It amazes me how liberals think that if only the state were more like our parent drug addicts and gangbangers would suddenly disappear rather than just mooch off the system more than they do right now.

          2. You aren’t really suggesting the crackhead in question doesn’t have access to those things, are you?

            It sounds to me that you are interested in more coercion…for the betterment of society, of course.

            1. He wouldn’t if you guys had your way. He’d be left to die on the cold street, just like nature intended.

              I thought we had a budget crisis involving the social safety net?

              1. Actually thanks in part to Mitt Romney’s generous donations to the Mormon church, that crack head can probably get help at a church funded clinic.

                But you want to completely crowd out private charity, don’t you Tony?

              2. You didn’t answer my question.

                1. He has access to a mediocre social safety net. I would prefer a much better one. Finland isn’t exactly a shithole, you know, however inconvenient that, and the lack of any decent laissez-faire society, may be for you, evidence-wise.

                  And the point is Romney and the Republicans wants to reduce social safety net spending in order to fund more tax favors for the wealthy. And you guys say we can’t afford it. I say we can’t afford not to have it, as it makes for a wealthier society when we don’t let millions of people fall into destitution where they’re unable to be productive.

                  1. Nice try. Fact remains there is a lot of access to all that you ask with respect to your crackhead example.

                    If the Crackhead does not avail himself of it, why is that our problem? Isn’t what you really want more coercion to force people to make themselves prodcutive members of society?

                    1. Actually I don’t want to force people to be productive members of society. I believe people are entitled to have their basic needs met just because they are people.

                      I do think we should have social policy that encourages people to be productive.

                      You think that’s what you believe in too, but you don’t. You want social policy that rewards wealth and lets the poor die of preventable diseases. You know, freedom.

                    2. You think that’s what you believe in too, but you don’t. You want social policy that rewards wealth and lets the poor die of preventable diseases. You know, freedom.

                      Strawman. I want a social policy that protects liberty. When I’m not paying your bills, I couldn’t care less whether or not you’re productive.

                    3. Well I can understand why an Obama sychophant thinks that’s the way I think. However, that is several shades removed from the truth and I find your own use of semantics, which you decry above, to be…disingenous. Color me surprised.

                      Everyone can have there basic needs met in this country. You just have to exchange it for work.

                    4. Isn’t it better when basic needs are just met, then you can exchange work for, like, a decent lifestyle? Even if you prefer to draw the line at a more social darwinist place, it’s pretty rotten to tell the children of poor or negligent parents that if they want to eat they should go get a job.

                    5. No. You see, someone else has to work to provide those basic needs to someone who won’t provide them for himself. That work then detracts from the ability of the person providing the work to provide himself with a “decent” lifestyle, whatever that means. Oh, by the way, nice deflection – your crackhead example has now devolved into “think of the children!!”. That’s always a winner.

                    6. As we all know, any talk of children is forbidden. Too inconvenient for libertarianism to admit children exist.

                    7. Children are the responsbility of the parents that brought them into the world. Not a difficult concept for even you to understand.

                      For those not as fortunate as many of us there are state services in existence to provide for them. Your pathetic attempt at distraction boggles the mind.

                    8. Oh, and you VOTE DEMOCRAT! instead of helping them yourself, am I right?

                    9. He has access to a mediocre social safety net.

                      Isn’t it better when basic needs are just met, then you can exchange work for, like, a decent lifestyle?

                      You contradict yourself. Do you just want “basic needs” met? Mediocre you may think the safety net is, but that means it’s at least adequate. I suspect what you really mean is “as much as I can soak from other people”. Because we ALREADY have a social safety net that provides “basic needs”, and it doesn’t satisfy you. Tarran is right, you’re just envious.

                    10. “I want the crackhead walking down my neighborhood street to have access to drug treatment, food, shelter, healthcare, and education so that he can go be productive with his life. Saves me money in the long run, really.”

                      “Actually I don’t want to force people to be productive members of society. I believe people are entitled to have their basic needs met just because they are people.”

                      How does that save you money in the long run again? It shows that what your philosophy is, is the pinnacle of immorality. A person has a right to take from his fellow man and never contribute back? Free Marketeers value community much more than someone who demands to be taken care of permanantly on the communal dime.

                      Yes, being a crackhead is a preventable problem, by the crackhead. He chose that lifestyle, therefore the only one who can truly save him from being destroyed by it, is himself.

              3. Tony said:
                “He wouldn’t if you guys had your way. He’d be left to die on the cold street, just like nature intended.”

                In an earlier thread, weren’t you lamenting the moralization of public policy debates, Tony?

                If you’re going to pull that crap, Tony, then you need to refrain from the “You will leave people to die” accusation every time someone doesn’t want to participate in one of your visions for how society should be forced to work against its will.

              4. Unclear on how it’s saving you money since — despite having every opportunity to get an education and addiction treatment — he’s still a crackhead and NOT as productive with his life as you hoped.

              5. “He’d be left to die on the cold street, just like nature intended.”

                He’s going to die on the street because that is what he intended. Foreseeable consequences not being unintended and all.

          3. Then why don’t you go help that person, you heartless bastard.

            1. I am. I vote Democrat.

              1. And that’s it in a nutshell, folks. Team Blue partisans are just as smugly righteous as the worst Team Red SoCons, and want to use the coercive power of the state to achieve their goals, individual rights be damned.

              2. In other words:

                The dregs of society are icky and gross and I would never soil myself by coming into contact with any of them, even if it would make the world a better place to live and make me not a hypocrite.

              3. In more other words:

                I make other people pay to pay for people that I find gross, reprehensible, and genrally not worth any of my time. And it makes me feel good about myself too.

              4. So you give him your ballot to eat or burn to stay warm?

                Funny, I bet Mitten’s donations fed a heck of alot more folks than you ever have.

              5. Which, means, he can’t imagine it happening without the help of guns and goons.

                1. If you don’t like guns and goons then why do you insist they be available to protect Mitt Romney’s loot?

                  Maybe he should have to take the same risks you want to impose on the poor. Or is libertarianism just a flimsy intellectual cover for plutocracy?

                  1. Guns and goons are plenty available to rich/powerful people even in jurisdictions with intense gun control. You think Hizzoner Bloomberg and Nancy Pelosi have only a phone to call 911 to protection? Gimme a break.

                    The difference is that in Pittsburgh, for instance, a person with $300 saved up can get a cheap Hi-Point and ammo to defend themselves. In NYC or DC, not so much.

                  2. Tony said:

                    “If you don’t like guns and goons then why do you insist they be available to protect Mitt Romney’s loot?”

                    Why do every one of your arguments devolve into some attempt to shift the conversation to some over-simplified straw man of libertarians?

                    It’s like talking to a child.

                    1. It’s the central hypocrisy of libertarianism and what makes it less a consistent philosophy of the proper role of government and more a bait-and-switch excuse for plutocracy.

                    2. Tony said:
                      “It’s the central hypocrisy of libertarianism and what makes it less a consistent philosophy of the proper role of government and more a bait-and-switch excuse for plutocracy.”

                      By a similar, lazy argument, it’s the central hypocrisy of Democrats that they accept the prohibition of human slavery, but, somehow, arbitrarily assume by magic that absolute property rights stop there, and everything else is debatable and up to our democratic process.

                      You can agree with one and disagree with the other, but to label one arbitrary and inconsistent, and the other not so much, is so inconsistent itself that it cannot stand up to rational examination.

                    3. I don’t claim a central moral premise about the role of government. Slavery is wrong is an easy moral question, but it took rules enacted democratically to prohibit it (along with a little kerfuffle in the South).

                      Don’t want to be inconsistent, don’t call all taxation theft as an inviolate moral principle, then start making exceptions for favored types of people.

              6. I am. I vote Democrat.

                Translation: I gave at the poll.

                1. Alternative translation:

                  I want other people to pay for this and someone else to provide the time and effort.

                  1. I was trying to work a “pole” joke in there somehow.

              7. Tony said:
                “I am. I vote Democrat.”

                We’ve had Democrats for a long time, Tony. How’s that working out?

              8. I am. I vote Democrat.

                I would say this is absolute proof that Tony is just pulling our collective leg on this thread…except I’m surrounded by people who have said precisely those words when asked about what they’re doing for the poor and underprivileged.

              9. I am. I vote Democrat.

                And that’s probably all he, and most liberals, do.

          4. Uh, he has access now, it’s just that he prioritizes his access to crack over everything else in his life. Outcomes for these programs are not all positive, nor guaranteed.

            You want to give him your money directly or indirectly, be my guest. Leave me out of it.

            1. So much for if you do it for the least of these, you do it for me, eh?

              1. Crap, that was in reply to “I help, I vote TEAM BLUE” man.

                1. No problem, Col, you just failed your saving throw against the cloud of confusion that accompanies Tony.

              2. LTC(ret) John said:
                “So much for if you do it for the least of these, you do it for me, eh?”

                Don’t you have to make sure someone’s a Christian before you start holding the word of their God over their heads?

            2. Yes, freedom can be very messy and chaotic.

              Unlike the fascist utopia that T o n y pines away for.

          5. I don’t want a dime of Mitt Romney’s money.

            I want the crackhead walking down my neighborhood street to have access to drug treatment, food, shelter, healthcare, and education so that he can go be productive with his life. Saves me money in the long run, really.

            If you want the crack head to have those things, just give them to him!

            Mitt’s sure as hell not standing in your way!

              1. My reply was better. So there! :

          6. I don’t want a dime of Mitt Romney’s money.

            Actually yes you do. You want Romney’s money to pay for things that you think people shouldn’t have to work for, and what you don’t want to pay for yourself or provide with your own work.

          7. I don’t want Mitt Romney’s money, I want Mitt Romney’s money to pay for someone else, to save me money down the road.

            Who’s playing semantics, again?

  24. My (somewhat admittedly offbeat) takeaway: Romney made slightly more than half the money last year that Vernon Wells of the Angels did for being one of the absolute worst everyday players in Major League Baseball.

    What a country we live in.

    1. He made less than every late night comedian who scoffs at him for being a millionaire.

  25. Is it possible to ever discuss wealth inequality without you guys dumping it all into the moronic psychobabble bin?

    Good one.

    1. Well, we could dump it into the Seven Deadly Sins bin, but we know how you feel about christfags.

  26. See, my takeaway from this was that the Romneys are very generous donors. That’s why their effective tax rate is as low as it is. I doubt many people, including the very wealthy, give 30% of their income to charities.

    They are Mormons. They tithe 10% of their income to the LDS Church, which counts as a charitable deduction. And based on this:

    “Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.”

    this year was an outlier for charitable generosity above and beyond tithing.

    That being said, this was nonetheless an impressive amount of charity.

  27. The fact that he pays less than people who actually work for their income

    Lying douchebag lies.

    Film at eleven.

    1. Oh so capital gains income isn’t taxed at a lower rate than labor income?

      1. Capital gains are taxed at the same rates for everyone, except for those with really low AGI. Then they’re taxed at 0%. How unfair.

      2. Then we should lower labor income for everyone. Or better yet, let’s abolish the income tax entirely. The country didn’t fall into anarchy the 125 years it went without. Would that make you happy?

      3. “paying a lower rate” != “paying less”.

        1. What’s your point? Should taxes be flat, as in everyone pays the same amount? Maybe the poor should be given a tax debt they have to work to pay off. What’s that called again?

          1. More disingenousness, either that or you flunked maths.

            A 12.5% flat tax would yield on the following incomes:
            $15,000 – $1,875
            $50,000 – $6,250
            $100,000 – $12,500
            $250,000 – $31,250
            $500,000 – $62,500
            $1,000,000 – $125,000

            Every fool understands that a flat tax does not mean that everyon pays the same amount. The point is that everyone pays something. How is that not fair?

            1. It could mean that. We each get equal potential benefits from the government. Why not all pay the same dollar amount?

              Anyway, it’s not fair because the income tax isn’t the only tax there is. It’s about the only tax that stops our tax code from being totally regressive. Progressivity is good because it accounts for the fact that a poor person could be sent into abject destitution by a tax rate that would not harm a wealthy person’s lifestyle one bit. With all the goodies the wealthy get our overall tax system is effectively barely progressive at all.

              1. Look at this, even more disingenousness and intellectual dishonesty! Shocka!

                That is the only thing that people mean when they speak of a flat tax. And you are correct there are more taxes than just income taxes – which means, to me at least, they should ALL be abolished in favor of a flat tax. Nice and simple with no room for shenanigans, political or otherwise.

  28. Shorter libertarians: Mitt Romney we luuuurve you.

    Didn’t notice yourselves doing that did you?

    1. Shorter Tony: I can’t understand why someone would defend a person outside of their tribe even though that person may be correct.

    2. This is one of many reasons (drink!) that no one takes you remotely seriously. Absolutely no intellectual honesty.

      1. I don’t think “reason” in the sense of a justification invokes the rules; reason in the sense of a cognitive process does.

        1. But it’s Friday! Can’t we relax the rules??

    3. I certainly respect anyone who pays as little taxes as they legally can. And I don’t mind anyone willing to pay accountants to help them do it.

  29. “LOWER RATE” not same as “LESS”

    you lying douchebag

    1. Math is hard and so, apparently, is logic.

  30. Looks like his camp played this perfectly. Bluff until the Obama admin puts all it’s chips on the table and then reveal their hand once they’ve made the other side waste the last half-year making a big fuss out of nothing instead of focusing on any sort of meaningul platform other than, “The Government owns you mind, body and soul AND HEY LOOK, TEH EVIL RICH PEOPLEZ!”

    1. The Obamabots will just say he forged this stuff since it took him so long and hes not releasing all the details.

  31. iowahawk as been great recently.

    David Burge ?@iowahawkblog
    MSNBC gives $4 million a year to charity. His name is Chris Matthews.

    1. Heh. I’d throw Sharpton in too. RESIST WE MUCH!

  32. OMG guys, from the Gawker story (I had to check what they were saying), about Romney releasing “basically made-up 2011 tax returns”:

    Mitt Romney has just released his long-awaited 2011 tax returns, and guess what? He deliberately overpaid his 2011 federal tax burden so he wouldn’t look like an avaricious plutocrat gaming the system. Which is just bizarre.

    I can’t even comment. I am laughing/crying too hard.

    1. More here if you want it. Oh man, I knew it would be worth visiting Gawker again.

    2. What a tricksy fellow, to pay extra taxes to avoid looking like he didn’t pay enough! Another funny take on the whole thing from USA Today:

      Malt said the Romneys “limited” their charitable deductions to “conform” with the candidate’s statement in August that he paid at least 13% in income taxes every year for the last 10 years.

      Nice scare quotes.

      1. It’s OK, the government limits them for him. He paid AMT.

    3. I can practically smell the wealth envy from the Gawker morons.

  33. Gaming the system? Which legitimate deduction did Romney take that Democrats in Congress didn’t support? They’ve had many majorities in both houses giving them opportunities over time to whack whatever exemptions, deductions and tax rates they didn’t like.

    1. Democrats have not had the legislative majority combined with executive authority necessary to effect significant policy change for decades. Without the filibuster they could have done in Obama’s first two years.

      1. Teh Democrats and teh Republicans have no interest in making the tax code simpler – the more complex, the better, in order to curry favor with those that fund their re-election campaigns.

      2. Without the filibuster they could have done in Obama’s first two years.

        The GOP didn’t have the ability to filibuster for almost a year.

      3. “Democrats have not had the legislative majority combined with executive authority necessary to effect significant policy change for decades.”

        They had it for longer than the Republicans have.

    2. Silence! The Democrats had determined that Mitt Romney is 100% responsible for all the unfairness Democrats see in the tax code but haven’t tried to rectify for some unknown reason.

  34. I’m one of those people who say, “I wouldn’t know what to do with all that money.” To me, $13 million is a lot of money.

    But if the government took $2 million in one year in taxes? I’d be furious.

    1. Be glad our forebears didn’t feel the same way, because I don’t think you’d like living in the Third Reich much either.

      1. So this is what people mean by “full retard”?

        1. see also “weapons grade stupid”

      2. I’m just glad we don’t live in Mao’s China yet, something you seem to want.

        Hey, if Tony can be hyperbolic…

      3. Tony said:
        “Be glad our forebears didn’t feel the same way, because I don’t think you’d like living in the Third Reich much either.”

        You do enjoy an inventive Godwin, don’t you?

  35. This makes a ll kinds if sense man, Wow.

    http://www.AnonFolks.tk

  36. He “donated” this 30% of his income to the Mormon church and now the church runs ads trying to show Mormons are just normal everyday people, effectively campaigning for Romney because the campaign knows they need the Christian voters, some of which are skeptical of Mormons. So this wasn’t really a donation, it was money well spent on his campaign.

  37. Giving to your church or anyone else’s church, although legally it is called charity, is NOT CHARITY.

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