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Romney pays 15% taxes

by JonDE
Tags: pays, romney, taxes
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mege
#55
Jan25-12, 12:12 AM
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For perspective - here's the effective tax rates for a few years - http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfa....cfm?Docid=456 (this is CBO data, just easier to read IMO)

So for every 1 Romney that is paying 15% taxes... there are 5 others in the same income paying at least 35% taxes. The justification for the 'Buffett rule' doesn't align with the 'Buffett facts' IMO.
turbo
#56
Jan25-12, 12:14 AM
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Quote Quote by mege View Post
For perspective - here's the effective tax rates for a few years - http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfa....cfm?Docid=456 (this is CBO data, just easier to read IMO)

So for every 1 Romney that is paying 15% taxes... there are 5 others in the same income paying at least 35% taxes. The justification for the 'Buffett rule' doesn't align with the 'Buffett facts' IMO.
Please back this up with actual citations. The wealthy never pay 35%.
russ_watters
#57
Jan25-12, 05:52 AM
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Quote Quote by mege View Post
For perspective - here's the effective tax rates for a few years - http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfa....cfm?Docid=456 (this is CBO data, just easier to read IMO)

So for every 1 Romney that is paying 15% taxes... there are 5 others in the same income paying at least 35% taxes. The justification for the 'Buffett rule' doesn't align with the 'Buffett facts' IMO.
You're misreading the data. The Romney disucssion is about the federal income tax, not the total federal tax (does not include the payroll tax). At 14% Romney pays just a little below the average for a 1%er, which was 19% in the most recent data.
russ_watters
#58
Jan25-12, 06:04 AM
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Quote Quote by rcgldr View Post
These days it's just another tax, but at least one where the pay-out go to social security related payments as opposed to whereever the government wants to spend it. If the cap was removed, then FICA would be a flat tax, the kind of tax that republicans are supposed to favor.[emphasis added]
You've got the shoe on the wrong foot here. Republicans don't favor removing the cap not because we're holding a position inconsistent with our values on flat taxes, but because SS is not "just another tax". Even (in my perception) the media understands this, which is why the issue of this thread was presented without a payroll tax component by the media - regardless of what liberals like to argue in this forum.

The reason this issue was brought to us without consideration of SS is that SS was created as a forced-savings retirement plan, not as a tax serving general government funding. Yeah, I know it has been abused somewhat, but removing the cap on pay-in without raising the pay-out for some people removes all remainging pretense. And we have liberals here arguing vehimently that (paraphrase) 'I paid in and the government made a promise that they'd pay me back plus interest. The government needs to keep that promise.' If we eliminate the cap on pay-in without also eliminating it on pay-out, we'd become a country that keeps that big promise to some while not keeping it for others. I don't think that's really a country liberals want to be, but more to the point, if the government broke that big promise for some I would think it would cause worry for the rest as well. And frankly, I think the media sees this, which is why they typically frame the issue the way they do, ignoring the SS component.
That was one of the two options listed, the other was eliminating cap on pay-in and pay-out.
Sorry, I missed that one. But I'd be surprised if many people would support a change to the program that resulted in the government writing million dollar benefit checks to rich people. I'm also distrusting of the prediction on how it would help the program, since it doesn't have a timeframe attached to it. It doesn't change the structure of the program, so the pyramid-scheme-type flaw still exists. SS did fine for a long time, but is on a trajectory to not do fine. Extending it would be like starting over with a different pool of people: it would work fine again -- but only for a while.
russ_watters
#59
Jan25-12, 06:53 AM
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Quote Quote by ParticleGrl View Post
If you include state and local taxes,which tend to be regressive, its easier to do.
As I pointed out - but unless someone says they are reframing the issue, I must assume they are responding to the issue that was presented to them.
mege
#60
Jan25-12, 07:14 AM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
Please back this up with actual citations. The wealthy never pay 35%.
Same data from the CBO source:
http://www.cbo.gov/publications/coll...xRates2007.pdf

What do you want? The data is pretty self-evident. If I am making mistakes conveying it - that doesn't change the point: Romney is an outlier in taxes.

Seems to me he contributes much more than his 'fair share' even so.
Lapidus
#61
Jan25-12, 09:43 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Better placed here ...

On the tax question I think Romney should say,

"I paid $3 million in taxes in 2010."

In answer to follow up questions about percentages, he should say,

"I paid $3 million in taxes in 2010. I gave away another $3 million in charitable donations in 2010"

Romney paid, I think, 200 times what the median tax payer pays in income taxes, and that doesn't include his property tax. But he doesn't get to vote 200 times on election day, he gets no bigger share of national defense than anyone else, he can't go to anymore than one national park at a time, can only ride in one car at a time on the government road, can only fly in one FAA controlled plane at a time.
The 20 Millions he earned in 2010, where did they come from?

These 20 Millions were almost exclusively generated by the capital he owns and by the many, many people that work with that capital.
turbo
#62
Jan25-12, 10:23 AM
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Quote Quote by mege View Post
Same data from the CBO source:
http://www.cbo.gov/publications/coll...xRates2007.pdf

What do you want? The data is pretty self-evident. If I am making mistakes conveying it - that doesn't change the point: Romney is an outlier in taxes.

Seems to me he contributes much more than his 'fair share' even so.
The data in your link soundly refutes your assertion. Nobody in the top 10% on average pays even 20% in income taxes.

Disclaimer: I maxed out on SS contributions for more years than I can count over the years, and spent the last 5 of my working years comfortably in the top 2% of all earners, even without my wife's wages added in. My wife and I planned our finances and retirement in detail. I don't need too much help understanding wage-and-tax structure.
Evo
#63
Jan25-12, 10:29 AM
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How Mitt makes his money.

Mitt Romney’s $21.6 million of income in 2010 included profits from elite funds run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Golden Gate Capital Corp., illustrating how one of America’s wealthiest presidential candidates has diversified his private-equity fueled fortune.

Trusts set up for Romney and his wife held investments in Goldman Sachs US$ Liquid Reserves Fund and a Golden Gate Capital fund, as well as a Credit Suisse Group AG-backed collateralized- debt obligation, according to tax returns released yesterday by his campaign. Romney, who stepped down as head of private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC in 1999, also owns a stake in a buyout fund started by the Boston-based company in 2008.
continued...

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...lden-gate.html

http://www2.goldmansachs.com/gsam/do...ulrf_ds_en.pdf
turbo
#64
Jan25-12, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the links, Evo. It is quite enlightening to see how the uber-wealthy can tap into interest rates that the rest of us can only dream of.
mheslep
#65
Jan25-12, 01:09 PM
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Quote Quote by ParticleGrl View Post
...
Of course he does! The networth of the US is something like 55 trillion. Romney controls at least 250 million (about 10^-6) of that. His tax revenue is also about 10^-6 of the defense budget. If we aren't over-defended, he pays pretty much the cost to defend his chunk of America.

The median household in the US controls a few hundred thousand (maybe, does anyone have the number for median wealth?). So they control 10^-9 of the wealth, but pay 10^-8 of the defense budget. Under the same assumption, the median tax-payer pays 10x what it costs to defend his chunk of America. Romney gets a better deal.

If the country fell to communists tomorrow, and they confiscated all private property, I'd be out a few thousand and my rust-bucket car. Romney would be out millions.
Yes he has more in the bank to lose, though I credit most of the protection of Romney's assets to contract law. I credit protection of Romney's life and liberty against foreign threats, of which he has only one the same as you and me, to national defense. Put another way, if you, me and Romney had all been in the WTC 11 years ago of what relevance would be his bank account vs yours?
mheslep
#66
Jan25-12, 01:15 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
The data in your link soundly refutes your assertion. Nobody in the top 10% on average pays even 20% in income taxes.
...
It has been a big news story for a week now that Gingrich, who's $3.1m income places him well into the 1%, paid 31.6% in taxes.
http://thepage.time.com/2012/01/19/newts-taxes/
turbo
#67
Jan25-12, 01:28 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
It has been a big news story for a week now that Gingrich, who's $3.1m income places him well into the 1%, paid 31.6% in taxes.
http://thepage.time.com/2012/01/19/newts-taxes/
This thread isn't about Gingrich and it's not about his total tax liability. Romney pays far less than 20% in income taxes. Case closed.
mheslep
#68
Jan25-12, 04:09 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
This thread isn't about Gingrich and it's not about his total tax liability.
Then don't make statements about what 'Nobody in the top 10%' does.
Romney pays far less than 20% in income taxes. Case closed.
So?
ParticleGrl
#69
Jan25-12, 04:54 PM
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Yes he has more in the bank to lose, though I credit most of the protection of Romney's assets to contract law
So then Romney benefits much more than I do from the government's enforcement of contract law, and therefore pays to support it. My point being- Romney clearly owns more of America than the median taxpayer. He therefore pays much more to keep his assets safe.

And its not just more in the bank- Romney has stakes in properties all over the country (and probably world). Much of what the military does is defend US interests- which in turn means US assets.

Put another way, if you, me and Romney had all been in the WTC 11 years ago of what relevance would be his bank account vs yours?
Given that neither one of us WAS in the trade center, which one of us lost more wealth from the destruction of the trade center? I'm willing to bet Romney, by a mile.
russ_watters
#70
Jan25-12, 06:34 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
It has been a big news story for a week now that Gingrich, who's $3.1m income places him well into the 1%, paid 31.6% in taxes.
http://thepage.time.com/2012/01/19/newts-taxes/
Interpretation:

The previous reference appeared to add-up all the tax revenue and income in each bracket to come up with an average tax rate for the bracket. So the average tax rate for a 1%er is 19%.

Newt, on the other hand, is not an "average" 1%, he's on the low end of the 1% and makes most of his money as ordinary income, taxed at the top marginal rate. So his rate is quite high (comparitavely), at 31.6%.

So what separates a low-end 1%er like Newt (in terms of taxes paid, not income) from an "aveage" one like Romney is how much of their income is "normal" vs capital gains and how much they contribute to charity. For those who derive little from capital gains and don't contribute much to charity - like Newt - their effective income tax rates are among the highest of any Americans. I suspect that category also includes most professional athletes, actors, experienced doctors and lawyers and very successful small business owners.
mheslep
#71
Jan25-12, 11:00 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
...I suspect that category also includes most professional athletes, actors, experienced doctors and lawyers and very successful small business owners.
Yes that sounds right to me.
ThomasT
#72
Jan26-12, 07:31 PM
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Whatever justifications might be given for Romney's tax payment(s), I have to agree with the polemicists who think that his disclosure will hurt his chances. But he had to do it. And now we know why he didn't want to.

So now Romney isn't just the sleazy political opportunist, or the adherent to a religious cult in the minds of some, he's also an extremely rich guy who pays a smaller percentage of his income in taxes than a huge number of Americans who are stuggling to make ends meet.


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