Tax records reveal shocking truth: Romney is richby Jay L. Byrde
Jan. 25, 2012, Miami, FL — Mitt Romney's 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 taxes, released yesterday, shocked journalists and political opponents who have been poring over the papers.
"Mitt has a lot of money," said MSNBC reporter and former salvage diver "Deep" Laura Bill. "I just about ran out of oxygen at sea level when I realized he has earned $42.5 million just in the past two years. According to my Iphone calculator, that means Romney is rich."
Mockumentary producer and anti-capitalist Michael Moore said the records prove that capitalism "only allows the rich to get richer."
"I can't believe that a guy like Romney can get rich by investing in companies when I have to make film after film just to get a measly $50 million in the bank."
Former presidential candidate John Kerry, a billionaire, criticized Romney's $3.5 million in charitable contributions, particularly the tithing he paid to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"The tithing he paid is unconscionable," Kerry said. "The church doesn't need money. It has so much that it builds brand new chapels almost every day, and it has millions left over to ship out of the country to places like Haiti.
"He should donate money to the U.S. government. We need the money a lot more than any church."
Vice-President Joe Biden said Romney should follow his lead and contribute no more than $400 a year to charity.
"Both former Vice-President Al Gore and I believe the government should handle all charities," Biden said. "It's wrong to give money to charities that don't pay taxes. Al gave $353 to charity one year, and that's about what Romney should pay. Mitt got a deduction for charitable giving, for crying out loud."
CNN Anchor Soledad O'Brien said even more shocking than Romney's wealth was that he will pay $6.2 million in federal taxes for 2010-2011.
"That's only 14.6 percent of his income," she said. "That's not fair because I pay 28 percent like most Americans."
She noted that the average American pays 11 percent on adjusted gross income but that she is in the $500,000 and $1 million a year earning class, putting O'Brien herself among the top 1 percent of wage earners in the Unisted States and requiring her to pay 28 percent of her paychecks to Uncle Sam.
The tax documents showed that Romney pays a lower tax rate than O'Brien because most of his money is earned from investments in private businesses. Congress sets the tax rate for capital investments at a low level so that private enterprises can raise the money they need to operate and expand. The bulk of his money is in a blind trust that is managed by trustee Brad Malt, a move that Romney made to remove the motive for seeking legal changes that could benefit specific investments.
That did not stop fellow presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich from attacking the former Massachusetts governor for owning stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant Democrat-controlled federal corporations that have been blamed for the current rescession.
"I don't know how Mitt can criticize me for charging Freddie Mac $3 million for my history lessons when his blind trust invested in the same corporation," Gingrich said. "He shouldn't have a blind trust. He should invest the money himself and not blame it on somebody else. I myself invest in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and take full responsiblity for it."
New Hampshire Governor John Sununu said Gingrich's attack could be effective because "at least 50 percent of voters are idiots who don't understand that investors who have blind trusts have no control over their investments."
"These are the same numbskulls who believe Gingrich when he accused Mitt of having control over the Super PAC that ran advertisements critical of Newt before the Iowa caucus vote," he said. "Look, half the people in this country are in the bottom 50 percent in intelligence."
Democrat adviser Shay Dee said Romney's tax papers demonstrate that "wealthy citizens do not pay their fair share of taxes."
The capital gains rate is only 15 percent," she said. "It ought to be 115 percent. We should not reward people for investing in the private sector and competing with government. We should penalize them."
President Obama's campaign spokesperson, Crystal Ball, said voters will not elect a president who made money in the private sector.
"President Obama was penniless before he was elected to Congress," she said. "Voters favor representatives who are smart enough to use their influence to grow their wealth. The president is worth at least $10 million today, which shows how intelligent he is."
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) said it's fundamentally wrong for a person of Romney's wealth to pay an average of $3.1 million a year in taxes.
"He should pay his fair share," she said. "His investments might have created more than 100,000 jobs, but I would be willing to bet the federal government could create more jobs with the same amount of money. Plus when Mitt invests in companies, he can invest in enterprises that do anti-American things like mine for coal, drill for oil and cut down trees. So I think we should take more money from Romney and others like him and give it to the president to invest in green jobs."
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