# Romney pays 15% taxes

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Mentor
YAY! WhoWee is back. Wait, there was no IMO in that post, are you sure that you're the real WhoWee? :tongue2:

Gold Member
Stuff

Thank god you're back! I was starting to get worried.

I love the irony of the "Buffett rule". I'm a firm believer in the old saying ":...the truth will set you free..."
http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulrod...y-likely-makes-between-200000-and-500000year/

"Warren Buffett's Secretary Likely Makes Between $200,000 And$500,000/Year

Comment now Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. She was the president’s chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system – a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss."

Unfortunetly I have to disagree with this article. I read it and there is a flaw in their premise. They are mixing two different statements from Buffet to get the outcome they wanted.
He commented that he pays a lower percentage then his secretary, and that his staff on average pays 34%. Forbes took that to say that his secretary is paying 34% and calculated the numbers based on that. In truth she could be only paying 18% and be well below his average staff member, which according to forbes would put her into the 100,000-200,000 range.
The exert from their article, I will bold the misleading part.
Buffet himself declares that he pays a 17.4 percent rate on taxable income. His staff, like Bosanek, pay an average of 34 percent. The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The 2009 results show that the average taxpayer paying Buffet’s 17.4 rate earns an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and$200,000. But an average taxpayer in Bosaneck’s rate (after downward adjustment for payroll taxes) earns an adjusted gross income of $200,000 to$500,000. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary well above two hundred thousand.

Gold Member
I'm not sure how you implied that from what Thomas said. There are many ways the rich benefit from the present tax code, e.g., paying much lower taxes on capital gains.

And let's not forget:

Getting $9 billion tax free. (The Duncan kids) Getting$20 million x 5 tax free. (The Romney boys.)

Where's Ronald Reagan when you need him...

Ronald Reagan said:
...they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy.

Thank you Mr. Presidents!

ThomasT
And let's not forget:

Getting $9 billion tax free. (The Duncan kids) Getting$20 million x 5 tax free. (The Romney boys.)
I'm against inheritance and gift taxes, but for the elimination of tax loopholes and the general simplification of the US tax code.

Gold Member
I'm against inheritance and gift taxes, but for the elimination of tax loopholes and the general simplification of the US tax code.

As a PPP*, I'm used to scraping up coins from wherever it is available: Under the seat cushions, bottom of the wash machine, etc, etc. I consider inheritance and gift taxes simply as another source of income.

The distinguished Representative from my state posted a link this morning on facebook to the Romney vs. you income comparison calculator.

If one plugs in the average American salary for 2010($41,674), you'll see that it would take the average American a little over 500 years to make what Romney makes in one. Now, if you jump to your spreadsheet and plug in the numbers for inheritance for the two families, you come up with the following:$9 billion (The Duncan descendants: 4 kids + 4 grandkids = 8)
Amount each Duncan gets with no estate tax: $1.125 billion Time it takes the average person to make that much: 26,995 years Amount each Duncan gets with 35% estate tax -$5M deductible: $733 million Time it takes the average person to make that much: 17,589 years The average person's perception of the difference between having$1.125 billion vs. $733 million in their Swiss bank account? Fill in the blank: ________________ Revenue lost by not taxing them:$3.136 billion

$100 million (The Romney boys = 5) Same thing, only the Romneys are paupers in comparison.$20 million untaxed vs $14.75 million taxed, each 480 vs 354 years for the average American to make those amounts, respectively. Lost revenue:$26.25 million.

And if you think I'm jealous of their wealth, think again. I retire in 884 days, and plan on starting my own business. I plan on selling it ten years later for ONE BILLION DOLLARS! Even if they tax me at the rate when I was born(91% top marginal), I'll still take home 90 MILLION DOLLARS that day. I can live with that.

Which if I were to try and bring that home at my current income, would take me around 3000 years. Which makes me wonder why all my friends think it's stupid for me to retire early. It's amazing how stupid other poor people are. Bottom feeders...

And what would I bring home under today's tax rate? $650 million dollars. hmmm... For me, once again, as a retiree, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Ok... Well... Then again, maybe I could:$250,000,000 yacht

+$20,000,000 annual operating costs vs.$11,000,000 yacht

Oh dear, not having two helicopters, 2 submarines, 7 tenders, and a bevy of jet skis on board would really cramp my style. Good thing we've got the tea party watching future Om's wallet for him.

No new taxes! No new Taxes!

*PPP = Perpetually Poor Person
Though I do own 4 boats, 1 nearly brand new car, 1 almost paid off house, and I've been investing in the stock market for 4 years now. So poor I guess, would only be relative to the Romneys and Duncans.

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WhoWee
And let's not forget:

Getting $20 million x 5 tax free. (The Romney boys.) From your link: "The Romney kids will have to pay taxes when they start taking income from the trust their father set up for them—at the usual 15 percent rate paid by millionaires, of course—but the inheritance itself is blissfully tax free." I have a question - how is the inhertance "blissfully tax free" when they will be taxed - (in the future) when distributions are made from the trust? my bold Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member From your link: "The Romney kids will have to pay taxes when they start taking income from the trust their father set up for them—at the usual 15 percent rate paid by millionaires, of course—but the inheritance itself is blissfully tax free." I have a question - how is the inhertance "blissfully tax free" when they will be taxed - (in the future) when distributions are made from the trust? my bold The difference is only taxing what is used as it's used leaves the remainder to earn interest, dividends, etc. on the full amount rather than taking taxes off the top up front and having a much smaller amount to keep earning more money. Gold Member The difference is only taxing what is used as it's used leaves the remainder to earn interest, dividends, etc. on the full amount rather than taking taxes off the top up front and having a much smaller amount to keep earning more money. And what if Gingrich wins? No capital gains tax = Ha ha poor people! Gingrich pledges to eliminate capital gains tax Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has his campaign set squarely on the economy as the number one issue. To fix it, the former speaker of the house's tax plan is geared to creating jobs by eliminating taxes on capital gains, abolishing estate taxes, bolding mine Ah ha! I'm not going to sell my company for A BILLION DOLLARS! I'm going to keep it! And I will make my company pay dividends of 10%. That will give me$100,000,000 a year to play with, TAX ******* FREE!

Ah! hahahahahaha!

Suckers...

Now I just need to adopt someone so I can leave my BILLION dollar company to them, TAX ******* FREE!

And the Om dynasty begins...

Muah ha ha ha...

Oh dear. On the other hand, only taking home \$100,000,000 per year means I'll have to take out a loan to buy Paul Allen's yacht. Poop. I'm feeling poor again. :tongue2:

ThomasT
I have a question - how is the inheritance "blissfully tax free" when they will be taxed - (in the future) when distributions are made from the trust? my bold
Because no tax was paid on the inheritance transaction itself. And this is, imo, as it should be. As you note, any income garnered via future manipulations of the inheritances by the heirs will be taxed. Which again is, imo, as it should be ... except that if person A gives a gift of x dollars to person B, including eventual inheritance transactions, then I don't think that that should be taxed. What should, imo, be taxed at a somewhat higher rate than it is now is interest income, dividend and other investment income, any capital gains. But I don't think that inheritances or gifts should be taxed.

I suspect that Romney would agree with my opinion on not taxing inheritances and gifts, but would disagree with increasing capital gains and other taxes which would primarily impact the fortunes of the wealthy.

Wrt the OP, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Romney or anybody else paying as little tax as they're legally able to do. But, imo, Romney and his ilk are part of a problem wrt American society whereby a tiny minority of Americans are able to amass ridiculously large fortunes by manipulating money and making informed/insider bets in the various markets, while the overwhelming majority of Americans who actually do constructive work make peanuts.

Imho, if the aim is to improve America, then somebody like Romney, in view of his stated positions on various issues, can't be considered a suitable candidate for the office of the presidency -- because his election would entail nothing more than 'business as usual' imo.

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Mentor
Wow, that's an interesting one - and not one I'd heard of. Looking into it, the way I understand it is that the venture capital firm gets paid a share of the future profits of the company they invest in. But because the initial value of such a deal is zero, there is nothing on which to base a gift tax (if transferred while the value is zero). It is a bit like giving the gift of a winning lottery ticket before the ticket is discovered to have value.

I don't actually see an issue with this at first glance, but then I'm not a fan of inheretence taxes anyway.

WhoWee
The difference is only taxing what is used as it's used leaves the remainder to earn interest, dividends, etc. on the full amount rather than taking taxes off the top up front and having a much smaller amount to keep earning more money.

A conceptual slippery slope - IMO.
http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc424.html

"A 401(k) plan is a type of tax-qualified deferred compensation plan in which an employee can elect to have the employer contribute a portion of his or her cash wages to the plan on a pretax basis. Generally, these deferred wages (commonly referred to as elective contributions) are not subject to income tax withholding at the time of deferral, and they are not reflected on your Form 1040 (PDF) since they were not included in the taxable wages on your Form W-2 (PDF)."

ParticleGrl
Looking into it, the way I understand it is that the venture capital firm gets paid a share of the future profits of the company they invest in. But because the initial value of such a deal is zero, there is nothing on which to base a gift tax (if transferred while the value is zero). It is a bit like giving the gift of a winning lottery ticket before the ticket is discovered to have value.

Its sort of like that- when a fund performs, the principle partner takes a slice of the performance. Its basically a commission, but it gets taxed like capital gains for no obvious reason.

Being able to gift the potential gains is like being able to gift performance bonuses- which for some reason we can do with certain types of funds, but we can't do with (say) sales commissions.

The problem I have is that a well off family with a 10 million dollar estate has only a limited ability to get around the estate tax (even still, they won't on a significant chunk because of things like property left to the spouse, etc). A supremely well off family with hundreds of millions in estate can transfer huge amounts of cash tax free.

As it stands now, our tax code says that money made investing is better than money made from starting a company. It further says that hedge fund/leveraged buyout/private equity investing is better than mutual fund type investing. It also says that the wealthiest estate's built from the "good" type of investing should get to keep a far larger percentage of their wealth over time. This doesn't make sense to me.

ThomasT
As it stands now, our tax code says that money made investing is better than money made from starting a company. It further says that hedge fund/leveraged buyout/private equity investing is better than mutual fund type investing. It also says that the wealthiest estate's built from the "good" type of investing should get to keep a far larger percentage of their wealth over time. This doesn't make sense to me.
I think it makes sense, if it is, in fact, the case. But I don't think it's good for the country. One might ponder how this state of affairs came about. And I think that that has an easily enough inferable answer. So, the next question would have to do with what can be done about it, if it's deemed to be a negative thing for America and most Americans. Wrt this, it seems obvious to me that continuing to vote for Democrats and Republicans won't result in any significant changes.

So what seems to be necessary is a new American political party.

jduster
I'm not blaming him personally, so please don't take it that way. Most people are going to pay what they have to pay. What I blame is our tax code that allows for too many deductions.
In 2010 Romney paid 13.9% taxes. In 2011 he expects to pay 15.4%

http://www.rocketnews.com/2012/01/wealthy-romney-pays-13-9-tax/

Keep in mind:

1) He tithes also. He donates 10% of his income to the LDS church, which spends most of its money on charity and community service.

2) It's not loopholes and deductions. He makes almost all of his money on capital gains. His income tax rate is 35%, but capital gains tax rate is much lower.