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LA Times 12/17/07 article reported:

"While in private business, Mitt Romney utilized shell companies in two offshore tax havens to help eligible investors avoid paying U.S. taxes, federal and state records show.

Romney gained no personal tax benefit from the legal operations in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But aides to the Republican presidential hopeful and former colleagues acknowledged that the tax-friendly jurisdictions helped attract billions of additional investment dollars to Romney's former company, Bain Capital, and thus boosted profits for Romney and his partners.

Romney has based his White House bid, in part, on the skills he learned as co-founder and chief of Bain Capital, one of the nation's most successful private equity groups. His campaign cites his record while governor of Massachusetts of closing state tax loopholes; his involvement with foreign tax havens had not previously come to light."…


Posted by sgt_doom on January 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Of course "closer to 15% than some unspecified figure" probably means 10%, or 8%.
Posted by also on January 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
For Romney, fifteen percent is the ceiling. His income is classed as capital gains, an that's the rate for capital gains. The only question is how much he's been able to shield his income from taxation to pull his effective rate below that figure.

For ordinary Americans, sixteen percent is the floor. That's what you and your emplyoer combine to pay in payroll taxes - a flat tax, affecting the first dollar of your income. Affects only earned income, which is to say it doesn't affect Mitt Romney. On top of that you've got your effective income tax rate - and after deductions, credits, and a progressive tax structure it's not unlikely to be another fifteen percent, more or less.

So: not a bad chance you're paying twice the tax rate Romney is.

By the way: apparently the latest development in Romney's weaseling around on this issue is that he might release his 2011 tax return, the one due April 17 - but not those from previous years (the latter being the normal practice). If so, he'll almost certainly pay a much higher effective rate in 2011 than in any recent year, in the hope of deceiving the peasants.
Posted by Warren Terra on January 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Lose-Lose 4
Mutherfucker. Goddam.

Does "closer to 15%" have the same sort of meaning as [not much money] = $365,000?

Posted by Lose-Lose on January 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this

As Mitt Romney defends his record running a private equity company, he frequently points to a fast-growing Indiana steel company, financed in part by Bain Capital, that now employs 6,000 workers.

What Romney doesn't mention is that Steel Dynamics also received generous tax breaks and other subsidies provided by the state of Indiana and the residents of DeKalb County, where the company's first mill was built.

The story of Bain and Steel Dynamics illustrates how Romney, during his business career, made avid use of public-private partnerships, something that many conservatives consider to be "corporate welfare." It is a commitment that carried over into his term as governor of Massachusetts, when he offered similar incentives to lure businesses to his state.…
Posted by sgt_doom on January 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
@3: A good explanation, but to be fair it's unlikely that 100% of Romney's income is capital gains. Speaking engagements and any consulting/lobbying during the year are probably just 1099 income. Still, I'd be surprised if he's paying as high as 15% total, after deductions, carryover losses, and all of the other games that a very rich person can play with their taxes.
Posted by also on January 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
When he says his tax rate is "probably closer to 15%" I wonder if he has any idea what he pays in taxes. Surely he doesn't sit at the kitchen table and file his 1040 using Turbo Tax. He probably has a highly-paid accouting firm dedicated to squeezing out every deduction they can, and all he does at the end of the day is sign the form and (maybe) write a check to the IRS.
Posted by Clayton on January 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
@7 when you're in the 0.001% (Romney is the ~3200 richest person in America), you have no idea how much money you have in your checking account (because you don't care), let alone what your taxes look like.

You spend more money on yearly tax accountants than most people do on their house.
Posted by Swearengen on January 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
AmyC 9
i wonder what it would be like to be rich enough that you neither know nor care how much is in your checking account. i just hesitated to sign up to bring lettuce to a soup/salad potluck at work because i wasn't sure if the budget could take it this week. amazing.
Posted by AmyC on January 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Fnarf 10
One interesting question about the Bain wrecking ball that I don't think has been asked is, WHO PAYS?

We've heard repeatedly that Bain would buy a troubled company, strip the assets and sell them, reorganize the company into a new, supposedly profitable form, and then release it back into the wild (i.e., sell it). We've also read repeatedly that a disturbingly large number of those companies go bankrupt shortly thereafter, leaving behind hundreds of millions of dollars of unpaid, unpayable debt.

To whom is that money typically owed? Investors and suppliers. It's not just the laid-off employees who suffer; it's everyone who comes in contact with these toxic companies. Yet Bain takes home hundreds of millions from them.

Romney still earns $26 million a year from Bain, even though he hasn't done any work for them in twenty years. All of that income is taxed as a capital gain, but it is NOT "investment income" as you or I understand that term; it's an annuity. He, and others like him, deliberately structure their wages in this way, to take advantage of the tax cheat.

Romney is a huge, huge tax cheat.
Posted by Fnarf on January 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 11
Washington Post reporting it is 15 percent today.

(technically mine is lower, Romney must not donate much ... bad Rich Person, Mitt!)
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
I'd like to earn not very much...just one year of it...
Posted by gnossos on January 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Link for the WaPo story? Do they have actual sources, or are they just guessing the Capital Gains rate like everyone else?

Also yours likely isn't lower, unless you're a student, retired, or unemployed (and thus have little or no payroll-taxable earned income). Don't forget the 15% you and your employer combine to pay in payroll taxes.
Posted by Warren Terra on January 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
I wonder, has Newt commented on this? Because we owe the 15% capital gains rate to him (and Clinton who went along with it as part of his spineless capitulation to the right, which by the way was drastically worse than any capitulating Obama has done). Also worth noting - no Social Security or Medicare is paid on capital gains.
Posted by Rhizome on January 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
@13, forget it, Will (a) doesn't ever provide links; (b) almost always gets the basic facts of stories he reads backwards (c) only reads tweets from news outlets, not full stories (d) only reads stories from right-wing outlets like WaPo and (e) habitually lies about his own finances, and demonstrates that he does not understand them.

You will shortly be hearing "I'm not going to do your research for you, numb-nuts" from him, because he thinks that every internet conversation is a research contest. He does this in person, too. Genuinely unlikable.

The fact that he thinks his own total tax burden is lower than 15% is quite amazing. I also wouldn't be surprised to find out that he donates less than $100 to charity, since Will's tiny brain can only formulate one reason why a person would do so: to impress random strangers on the internet. Which means you don't have to actually do it, just say you're going to do it.

A pathological liar, in other words.
Posted by Fnarf on January 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
@13, also, the Washington Post, like every other news organization, is merely reporting on Romney's own statement, wherein he estimated his tax burden at "probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything". They have no special sources. Will thinks they do, just as he thinks he is the only person who can see the Washington Post's tweets or visit their webpage. It's "behind a firewall", doncha know.
Posted by Fnarf on January 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 17
SLOG should encourage a Yes vote on HB-2100 then.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on January 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Cynic Romantic 18
@ 11 Awaiting the release of WiS's tax returns...
Posted by Cynic Romantic on January 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM · Report this

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