Is Mitt Romney's Release of his 2010 and 2011 Tax Returns a Game Changing Event

Han Van Meegerin By Han Van Meegerin, 21st Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

How will people from all walks of life react to Mitt Romney releasing his 2010 and 2011 returns?

Is Mitt Romney's release of his 2010 and 2011 tax returns a game changing event?

Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney recently released his 2010 and estimated 2011 tax returns. According to CNN, over this two year per period, Romney reportedly earned $42.7 million and paid $6.2 million in federal taxes. This represents a tax rate of slightly under fourteen percent of his income. He did have itemized deductions and charitable donations which helped nudge his overall tax rate beneath the fifteen percent mark.

First, let's examine his tax rate. Though it seems low, relative to his income, keep in mind the lion's share of his earnings was derived from investments such as capital gains and dividends. This type of income is typically taxed at fifteen percent as opposed to the highest tax bracket of thirty five percent where they highest of earned income resides. These are the current rules of the tax code so its hard to fault Romney for this.

Second, let's analyze his overall income. Again, using the CNN numbers, Romney reported $21.7 million dollars of income in 2010 and $21 million in 2011. If his income is legitimate, it hard to begrudge Romney for earning top dollar. Now granted, not everyone makes the minimum wage. However, it seems valid to compare both ends of the spectrum. In 2010 and 2011 the Federal Government minimum wage was set at $7.25 per hour. Aside from overtime and holiday pay rules and regulations, a person who earns $7.25 per hour can expect to earn $290.00 per week or the equivalent of $15,080 per year.

Third, using the average annual Romney income for 2010 and 2011 of $21.35 million, let's put this income gap into perspective. It would take about 1,416 workers at the $7.25 an hour minimum wage, working forty hours per week to earn Romney's average annual wage of $21.35 million for the past two years. Though Romney's income is generally derived from investments, it is interesting to calculate how much money he earned per hour based on $21.35 million dollars per year. This calculation shows that Romney earned $10,264 per hour over the past two years. Contrast that with the $7.25 per hour minimum wage earner and it becomes clear that Romney needed to work less than an an hour and half to earn the equivalent of what an $7.25 hour minimum wage worker earns in a year.

Again, this article compares the extreme at one end of the spectrum against the extreme at the other end of the spectrum. However, many Americans come closer in average annual earnings to the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour than they do to the $10,264 per hour that Romney earned these past two years. This tremendous income gap seems to demonstrate that Romney could be slightly out of touch with many potential voters both in the Republican nominating process and that of the general election.

Romney has now almost become the very embodiment of being out of touch as it relates to money, income and being employed. This can explain several of his seemingly out of sync statements and behaviors. Most recently, CNN quotes Romney as characterizing his income from giving giving speeches as “not very much.” CNN further reported that Mitt Romney earned $375,000 for speaking engagements between February 2010 and February 2011. Additionally, as reported by CNN, there was the incident in the December GOP debate in which Romney boldly challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 wager. Lastly, remember this: As noted by CNN; back in July of 2011, while in Florida no less and speaking to unemployed Floridians, Romney managed to quip that “he was also unemployed”. It goes without saying that many unemployed people would be delighted to earn $21 million dollars a year.

This article makes no bones about Romney's earnings. If he earned his money fair and square and paid the appropriate taxes, his earnings belong to him and he is free to do with it as he sees fit. Perhaps this article is the product of what Romney might conclude was derived from envy. However, $21.35 million per year is quite a large sum of money. Compare that figure to your own earnings. First, calculate, how many of you would it have taken to earn what Mitt Romney did for the past two years. Second, calculate how much time it would take Mitt Romney to eclipse your annual earnings with his. Then ask yourself the following question:

Is Mitt Romney's release of his 2010 and 2011 tax returns a game changing event?

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Tags

Mitt Romney, Nomination, Nominee, Republican, Romney, Taxes

Meet the author

author avatar Han Van Meegerin
I am Professional Freelance Writer. If you are at a loss for words, I will find them for you.
My work can also be found on Y!CN hanvanmeegerin@yahoo.com if you need a hired pen.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
21st Jul 2012 (#)

No, but I see no reason why he doesn't. We all know he is rich and I as one, do not begrudge the guy one single penny, it is his money. The only money I care about is mine and the rest of us Americans, that are taxed way too much, especially when you add on, state and local taxes. The percentage of what he pays is the same as Warren Buffett because of how they earn 'their' money, so if folks can back Warren up, why not Mitt. Every single rich person (each one of those millionaire stars) uses our tax code to keep as much as they can, or I should say, their accountants do, we need to change the tax code, in my own opinion. Nice read. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

As far as him being able to relate to me because he is rich, why not. I am sorry I did not make that clear but, most of us that leave messages, might not always include every aspect of your article. My first response was just answering your question. Once again, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
21st Jul 2012 (#)

The issuer has never really been I don't think, how much money he made - except to the degree that it undermines his well-cultivated image of being just another 'Everyman" in blue jeans and rolled up shirt sleeves.
The more salient issue has been his consistent refusal to release the information at all. Only under continuing pressure from members of his own Party, has he done so at all.
When actions make it appear as though there is something to hide, more often than not, there is. The delays only allows more adequate time to obscure the ability of people to identify it.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

It is upside down that capital gains are taxed at a fraction of income. It should be the other way around. By not releasing returns beyond just two years, it raises the question what does he have to hide?

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

Whenever Steve and I agree (which seems to be quite often) there is near-certain reality!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

They do not release this unless they feel it will gain them something, which makes me wonder what they are hiding...

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

... Ahhh... count Mark in, too!

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author avatar Don Rothra
23rd Jul 2012 (#)

21 million dollars is quite a sum and if we all had the inside information on investments that these polititions have, we could be rich too.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
25th Jul 2012 (#)

Thanks for sharing the matter.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
1st Aug 2012 (#)

Thank you, Han Van Meegerin. Your review is appreciated. I think I know where Mitt Romney came from and I hope he goes back there!

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
7th Aug 2012 (#)

I was reading in TIME magazine about his income stashed abroad in tax havens.
For people like me, who are not US citizens Romney comes across as a not too honest person. I may be wrong, but we perceive things from what we read in the media.

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author avatar Teila
24th Aug 2012 (#)

Politics, never for certain what, who to believe. Great post

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