In the State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama made a several pointed references to the inherent unfairness of millionaires paying a lower tax rate that working class families. He urged Congress to join him in ensuring that the super-rich pay no less than 30% in taxes.
With the release of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns, most of the attention has focused on the candidate's wealth–and his low tax rate, which fell below 15 percent. But there may be other "red flags" in Romney's 500 pages of returns yet to be exploited by rivals on the campaign trail, and one of them is Romney's use of blind trusts.
Romney, like many wealthy politicians, put much of his fortune into blind trusts as a way of walling off his financial interests–a move designed to eliminate any appearance of conflict of interest. But are blind trusts truly blind? Back in 1994, when Romney ran for Senate against Sen. Ted Kennedy, Romney knocked Kennedy's blind trusts as "a ruse," saying anyone who wanted to could easily determine where their money was going.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, fresh off a dramatic win in South Carolina, is showing signs of a surge in Florida. A new poll out today puts the former House Speaker in contention for a win in the Sunshine State over rival Mitt Romney. As CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser explains:
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning, Romney is at 36% support, with Gingrich at 34%, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 13%, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 10%, and seven percent undecided. Romney's two point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.
The survey was conducted Thursday through Monday, both before and after the South Carolina primary. Looking at the numbers for Thursday through Saturday, before the results of the Palmetto State contest were known, Romney had a 37% to 26% lead over Gingrich, with Santorum and Paul each at 15%.
As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports, "in a bit of a quirk in the new poll, only 7 percent said they were still undecided but 38 percent said they might change their mind."