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February 2nd, 2012
07:37 PM ET

Is Mitt Romney's tax rate fair?

Romney’s current tax rate is about 14 percent because of something called “Carried Interest.”



But what is carried interest?



Basically, it’s a share of the profits of an investment partnership that is paid out to the manager of that partnership.



According to his recently released tax returns, as manager of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney received $12.9 million in carried interest over two years.



Because he invested other people’s money – it was a “carry” – and he was taxed at only 15%, not the 35% that regular income is subject to.



So, on that $12.9 million he paid just $1.9 million in taxes at the 15% rate, instead of the $4.5 million he would’ve paid if it had been taxed as regular income.



That’s an extra $2.6 million in Mitt Romney’s pocket.



It’s legal. 

But it’s a loophole.



CNN Contributor David Frum thinks the less Mitt Romney says on the subject the better.

“[Mitt Romney] should soldier on and allow the voters to decide how important it is,” says Frum. “He should not talk about it in the context of himself.”

CNN’s Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger agrees with Frum in theory but thinks Romney should have a plan in place when the issue is raised.

“Americans don’t begrudge anyone their wealth,” says Borger.

We called a number of people working in the financial industry to see if they could justify this loophole, but outside of the private equity lobbying groups, no one even tried.



Almost everyone agreed that it’s right to reward people for investing money, because it encourages them to start businesses and create jobs, but few agree with rewarding someone who invests other people’s money and takes very little risk themselves.



The majority of our Strike Team – a group of the nation’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs and innovators – believes Mitt Romney would be better at handling America’s economy than President Obama.



We’ve asked Mitt Romney to appear on the show numerous times to discuss the economy and his tax rate but he has always declined.



We don’t know Mitt Romney’s official position on the carried interest loophole. 

The few times it seemed like he would be open to raising the rate on carried interest, he reversed course later.




Filed under: Economy • Politics
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Alan Veren

    Erin,

    You asked how Romney's tax plan and cuts to Medicare could be managed. Average all costs associated with tests and services so that the hospitals and doctors get a fair fee and then TELL ALL hospitals and doctors this is what Medicare will pay and this is all you will get! And, you cannot charge the patient any more than the payment you get from Medicare. Why does a CAT Scan at one hospital cost 1500-2000 and others 900. Even if the machine costs 1 million, 1000 tests at 1000.00 dollars pays for it. You cant tell me that even in the first year they don't do at least 1000 tests, probably more like 2-3 thousand. Do the BASIC math!

    February 25, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
  2. JoeSeattle

    No loophole is fair. Not loopholes that allow people like Mitt to pay half the going tax rate. Not loopholes that let 47% of the U.S. pay no taxes at all.

    Taxes should be a flat % – of sales. What one consumes is the only accurate measure of a person's share in this world. Money is not wealth. If one man has 10 apples and another $10M, if the first can eat 9 of those apples and still find himself holding one apple worth $10M.

    February 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • Todd in DC

      Uh, Joe, you do realize that a sales tax, as you suggested (think Cain's 9-9-9 plan) would mean a tax increase for the lower 3/4 income of americans and a windfall for the top 5% (and roughly neutral for the rest)

      Right now, food is not taxed. In a national sales tax, it would be. A millionaire would pay far less in a sales tax than he would in income. A working poor person doesn't pay much income tax, but he'd pay a lot from out of his pocket from a national sales tax.

      You are either really rich (and unethical), or really poor (and rather stupid).

      Either way, you are not looking good.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  3. George Hilbert

    I don't care whether Mitt Romney's tax rate is fair or not. IT'S THE LAW, PEOPLE. THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO BE SAID.

    February 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
    • BMW57

      If the law is not just we need to revise it. No one said what Mittens did was illegal, it is however immoral.

      February 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • John

        It's not illegal and I really don't think it's immoral, either. He's taking advantage what congress passed in 2001 and 2003 and George Bush signed into law. Tax policy is starts with the House Ways and Means Committee. Then you have hearings, the House votes on it, If the Senate doesn't entirely support the House's version they go to a House-Senate conference committee where in this case there was a compromise and the Senate passed the compromised version which Bush then signed. The voters voted for these members of congress, they voted for Bush. They should have been whining and complaining when this legislation was in the works. It's too late now. It can only be done with comprehensive tax reform and restructuring of the tax code. Try getting that done in an election year, when politiicians are g

        February 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
        • Todd in DC

          You find nothing immoral about a man worth millions paying a lower tax rate than his secretary? Really?

          February 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  4. Alisha

    Romney paid a lot more in taxes than any retired person I have ever met. Clearly he didn't do his taxes on April 14th with TurboTax like most of us, but instead has a professional do them and follow every law.

    Romney has strong problem solving credentials (Governor & SLC Olympics), charitable acts of service and giving thousands to disaster relief and the homeless.

    We know that he will fire government workers and departments that are not delivering results to support their budgets and their pay. When he was governor of Mass. there were not that many new jobs created because, think back a few years, everyone already had a job!

    Romney is an excellent parent, husband, has a solid BYU education, a Harvard MBA/JD, international experience, excellent debate skills and really good hair. He doesn’t have much charisma, but charisma doesn’t pay the bills. I know he will solve a lot of America's problems and what he lacks in charisma will be made up with results, he has been doing that his whole life.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
    • govspy

      Are you saying Romney would tank a bunch of government agencies like he did as a corporate raider with Bain?

      February 18, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  5. Robert

    I want the same great tax rate that Mitt's lobbyist friends have gotten for him and prevent its repeal. I also want to hide my money in the Cayman Island, Luxembourg, etc.just like Mitt. Why not?(not really, Un American) I have major investments and have created jobs but still can only get down to 22 percent tax. I also served in Vietnam and other areas for our country. I'm just tired of paying high taxes and carrying bot the poor and the very rich. Regarding Mitt, what has he done for our country??? I'll compare with him any day and win. Any bet Mitt?? We Republicans will not beat Obama with a "used car salesman" like Mitt.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  6. Chris

    Why is is that all the "poor people" are supposedly working their butts off just to get by, but all the wealthy people are supposedly just kicking back living the good life and laughing at everyone else? Really? Is that how it works? From what I see, a lot of people who have some money, whether they're rich or middle-class, have it because they worked hard to earn it. I'm so tired of people posting polarizing positions that too often show a lack of appreciation for the other side. There are poor people who are just damned lazy. There are also poor people who work their butts off just to get by. There are rich people who did nothing to deserve it, and there are those who broke their backs to get it. Those "rich" people are often the drivers of this country – they are the innovators and the creators and the doctors and YES the bankers and the people who start businesses that succeed and grow and then give people jobs so that THOSE people can have a chance to get ahead. So let's stop villifying them. Yes, some of them are greedy immoral lowlifes. The same could be said of some people at every socio-economic level.

    The wealthy do more for this country, give more to this country, and pay for much more in this country than anyone else. And they should. The question here is what's fair, and what's good for our country. To the extent that loopholes or laws give them advantages that are unfair, we should examine that and push for change. If that means raising the tax on carried interest or cap gains or whatever else, let's do it. But let's debate it respectfully.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • Middle Class Citizen

      There are many hard working lawyers, bankers, brokers, etc. Many, if not most, are reasonably honest. However it only takes a few unscrupulous individuals to come up with complicated mortgage securities, complex financial trading structures, or vehicles such as "carried interest" which only benefit a very few and possibly lead to destruction for the majority to give whole industries a bad name.

      While I don't fault an individual for using existing laws to their benefit, I do think some of these special loopholes need to be addressed. I am so tired of hearing about "job creators" who need special breaks. Special tax laws for carried interest has never created one job. Most jobs are created by small businesses who do not receive these special benefits.

      Tax laws should be simplified, everyone should pay something, and the ultra-rich should not be able to invent things to give them and only them special breaks.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        I agree with almost everything you said, and wasn't implying that job creators should get tax breaks – was just saying we should appreciate them and that they often fall into the 1% category that I think is too often criticized. But I'm with you in disliking loopholes and think taxation on certain compensation is way too low.

        One thing, and not to start a completely different debate, but it took a LOT of people to create the mortgage crisis, from the special interest groups that pushed for housing for people that couldn't afford it, to the politicians that passed legislation allowing it, to the local banks and mortgage brokers who lent to those people in sometimes unscrupulous ways, to the people that bought houses they shouldn't have, and the bankers that securitized those bad mortgages and sold them to investors, and the ratings agencies that gave those investments inappropriately high ratings, to the everyday Main Street people that then defaulted on those mortgages and led to those investments blowing up. If anyone looks at these events honestly, the entire food chain is to blame for that, not any one group, not Republicans or Democrats, or rich or poor, or Wall Street or Main Street. All of those groups had a hand in it.

        February 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
        • govspy

          But when you have a person running for President, do you want the guy who found every loophole to pay the least amount of taxes, or the guy who thinks he should pay the full tax break for his bracket because it's the right thing to do?

          If you're going to run on a moral or Christian (and those aren't mutually exclusive, or even related characteristics) platform, I'd like to see you try to avoid using every sneaky loophole, especially if you're a multi-millionaire.

          February 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Brett

      Amen.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  7. Steve

    I think Mitt is the best choice for President. This country should be ran and managed as a business. Hopefully he will have a good management team that he can manage effectively. Mitt certainly could not do any worse than Obama or Bush has done to or for us. His religion weirds people out and Obama has a lot of weird followers. It will definately be an interesting year.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • Middle Class Citizen

      Do you have any thoughts or comments related to the actual article?

      February 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • BankruptCitizen

      Yes, your absolutely correct. Let's have an experienced business man who is an expert on closing down business and moving it offshore or just selling the individual pieces to the highest bidder. Let's outsource all federal jobs to China and Mexico like all the other good paying jobs since the bottom line in business in the U.S. is to make a profit for the shareholders above all other concerns. Then we can get rid of that deficit in a year. (Sarcasm)

      February 6, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
  8. JORGE AGUIAR

    The question should be is "CARRIED INTEREST" fair . Most economist even celebrities wealthy people many republicans agree that is a ridiculous tax loophole . Some of the wealthy people commenting on the AGAINST the tax loophole are Michel Bloomberg , Warren Buffett and no other than Rupert Murdoch ( FOX TOP DOG) .

    Most people commenting on the "carried interest" do not understand the issue . There is no problem with the capital gain tax when applied to once income or with the legality of Mitt Romney income tax or rate .

    My advice to those writing is take the time to read or have someone explain to you what is one of the biggest outrageous tax loophole used by the special interest . Is not a political issue of the right or the left or class warfare is what most educated and responsible people agree is something that should end .

    February 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  9. avdspm

    you news reporters drive people INSANE. Do you work for Obama or the liberals in general? You're actually attacking a person's wealth for what reason? Because he earned his money and figured out how to make it work by being intelligent about it?

    There is NOTHING unethical or illegal about how Mitt makes his money, yet reporters keep bringing it up time and again as if it is Mitt's problem. If you (NEWS REPORTERS) feel that it's so important to tax more on the rich, then START ATTACKING OBAMA for not raising the taxes for the 3 years he was in office! No laws were violated and I'd LOVE to see ANYONE on this message board or ANY news reporter (who usually at this level are millionaires themselves) try to find a way to pay more taxes. Who among you would actually NOT visit with a tax consultant and figure out a way to PAY LESS TAXES?! Who actually says, OH OK, I'll just pay more taxes than I need to??

    Come on already people, MOVE ON. This is a non sequitir and quite frankly why would you want to elect a president, in this economy, who doesn't know how to manage money? Oh wait... you guys already did and I guess that got you places, didn't it?

    February 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • govspy

      uh, yeah, Obama did try to raise taxes by ending the Bush Tax Cuts on the wealthy. But some other party stopped that. Hmm. Who could that be?

      February 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  10. JC

    It's naive to expect an absolutely fair tax system, but Romney is advocating an extremely unfair system with loopholes that can benefit only people like him. It's interesting that some people are always defending the system. I guess many of those people truly wish to also make Romney's kind of money some day by taking advantage of the unfair system. Good luck.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  11. Maine liberal

    Mitt makes in one day (60k) what the average person makes in one year.

    Mitt pays 15 percent on his 60k while the avg pays 25 percent on their 60k
    Mitt pays 0 (fica) on his 60k while the avg pays 8 percent

    February 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • avdspm

      and your point is? He's smarter than you?

      Seriously, if you had millions, would you donate more than you had to, to the US Government? Or would you be pitching $100 bills to every person who asked you for money as if it were water?

      Stop with the money envy people and go out and earn (or learn) your way. Stop wanting to live off of everyone else's success.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • govspy

        But we're not the ones running for President and claiming to follow a religion that says to take care of the poor and not be greedy.

        February 18, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • avdspm

      if you think rich should pay more in taxes, then maybe you should be getting on Obama for not raising them.

      Did you forget that Obama plays by the same rules as Mitt? He's got millions too, you know?

      February 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
      • BMW57

        Ah, no the Presidents returns have been open for evaluation and no his income mostly comes from royalties which are taxed as earned income. Try again.

        Simpe problem to solve, treat all income as income without preference.

        February 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • Fuzzyone

      According to the IRS's last published data (2008), if you were paying 25% on your AGI, you were likely in the group making 200k to 500k. It would be incredibly interesting if the news agencies and politicians would actually look at the published statistical tax rates found on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=129270,00.html. It shows that on average, it is an escalating tax rate percentage.

      The lowest earners (less than $5,000 are fairly hard hit, but on average, that's because their single people with no dependants who are being claimed by someone else as a dependant.
      It goes from there... (Based on IRS data
      0 to 5000 AGI – Avg Tax rate is 9.4%
      5,000 to 10,000 – Avg Tax rate is 3.4%
      10,000 to 15,000 – Avg tax rate is 1.8%
      15,000 to 20,000 – Avg tax rate is 2.6%
      20,000 to 25,000 – Avg tax rate is 3.4%
      25,000 to 30,000 – Avg tax rate is 4.1%
      30,000 to 40,000 – Avg tax rate is 5.3%
      40,000 to 50,000 – Avg tax rate is 6.5%
      50,000 to 75,000 – Avg tax rate is 7.8%
      75,000 to 100,000 – Avg tax rate is 9.0%
      100,000 to 200,000 – Avg tax rate is 12.4%
      200,000 to 500,000 – Avg tax rate is 19.4%
      500,000 to 1,000,000 – avg tax rate is 25.6%
      1 mil to 1.5 mil – Avg tax rate is 27.9%
      1.5 mil to 2 mil, Avg tax rate is 27.5%
      2.0 mil to 5 mil – Avg tax rate is 28.8%
      5 mil to 10 mil – Avg tax rate is 29.3%
      10 mil or more – Avg tax rate is 28.5%

      Yes, they are averages. That means some people pay more while others pay less (dependants, donations, etc, etc). But on average (At least according to the IRS), the people that bring in more money are paying a higher percentage of their income in income taxes (then we can get into sales tax, property taxes, etc, etc).

      It amazes me that it is so simple to find the information on the actual facts and percentages on the IRS website, and yet Obama and other politicians are going off on how someone making millions should be paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than someone making less. The statistics agree.. They already are for the most part. At least on average.

      February 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
      • malron

        Your tax tables are just the bare bones of the tax code people who make $75,000 and less do not benefit from all the tax deductions available to people who make a lot of money. Just look at form 1040 and all the things that are there to be able to deduct and attache various forms, I did my own tax's last year and did one of each 1040a and 1040 (long form) what a nightmare . I was unemployed and could not afford to have my tax's done. The tax code is set up for the rich who can afford a tax accountant, A flat tax I think would be fair. Mitt Romney is taking advantage of a loophole but so would I, the difference is I AM NOT RUNNING For President.

        February 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • BMW57

        YOur tables only apply to eared income. INcome frome cerain sources such as carried interets and capital gains are taxed at a max rate of 15%. I would love a system where all income is income and subject to the rates you have shown.

        Oh and be sure to add FICA on the first 106K and Medicare tax as well. These aslo do not apply to carried interets and capital gains.

        February 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  12. Chris

    The whole point of carried interest is to provide incentive to partnership managers to perform well with other people money. If you reduce that incentive, there's less reason to try to manage other people's money well. It is a good thing to let these managers have as much "skin in the game" as possible rather than just paying them bloated salaries. Secondly, Obama's call for a 30% minimum on millionaires will effectively double the capital gains tax rate for them. That may appeal to one's sense of social justice but will harm the economy in the long run. Increased taxes reduce incentive to invest in start ups, or turning around troubled firms These are not the things we should do to get the economy back on track.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • malron

      Managing someones else's money does not gove you skin in the game. Your return on money invested is the benchmark for people who have there money managed. Money Managers, Bond Managers, already have bloated salaries, There incentive is to keep managing other peoples money, So they work, I imagine, hard to get the best return on there clients money. They are not creating jobs, no research and development why give them a tax break, or loophole for doing something that they would do regardless. I am a carpenter, I build buildings why not give me a tax break for creating something. Why because I am not any different then the rest of the work force out there that work with there hands. I don't have lobbyist in washington advocating for my cause, Skin In the Game, what a joke.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  13. Paul in MN

    It's America! You can choose any job you want! If you want the summers off and have a job fulfilling career, be a teacher. If you want to make a lot of money choose another career. Both people get the same benefits from the government but one paid in a lot more.

    Quit your whining!

    February 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Middle Class Citizen

      I agree that not all people try to take on challenging, well paying jobs that can. However, some people are not as intelligent as others and cannot choose to be something well-paying (not everyone is smart enough to be a doctor, engineer, etc.)

      Even people who have gone to college, worked hard, and done all the right things to try to advance their career do not succeed. While the effort a person puts in is absolutely required, it is no guarantee that they will get a good, well-paying job.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Ivan

      explain to me why Obama does nto pay his fair sahre of Taxes.
      Obama has been getting a Foregin Tax Credit for his investments Overseas.
      For many years even now.
      see the link for his tax reurns.
      http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/web/presidentialtaxreturns
      Souldn't the president keep his money in the US? And not investong it overseas and getting a credit on it.
      Something wrong with that picture and yet noone is reporting on that.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • TxJack

      see the link for All candidates tax reurns.
      http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/web/presidentialtaxreturns
      Souldn't everyoen pay their fair share?

      February 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • Brett

        Define "fair share."

        February 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • BankruptCitizen

      Why do some people always try to villify teachers? Is it because you feel they were not able to teach you how to be intelligent?

      As a group they have always been underpaid in society, a football player gets 10 million a year to play with a pig skin but a professor makes how much? Ask yourself which one is more important to society. Checkmate!

      February 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
      • BankruptCitizen

        Note to self only one "L" in vilify.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        Any football player making $10million a year is one of the best football players in the world, and deserves to make a lot of money. Find me the top 20 teachers in the world, and I bet they're making a lot of money. Besides, entertainers make a lot of money because they generate a lot of money. That's capitalism. That's not to say I don't want to see teachers paid for what they do, but your comparison is ridiculous.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
        • BankruptCitizen

          Your right "dedicated Football fan" a man playing a childs game as an entertainer is definately worth a 10 million dollar salary. What was I thinking?

          February 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • Brett

        @ Bankrupt Citizen: Who vilified teachers? Is calling teaching a "fulfilling career" vilification? No–it is actually complimentary. Is stating that teachers generally get summers off vilification? No, because generally that is in fact the case–it is what it is, no judgment was made by "Paul in MN". You are the one vilifying teachers simply by reaching a malignant conclusion to truly benign comments.

        February 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  14. C.J Nervios

    Erin I am a fan but your question is unfair it implies that Romney is doing something wrong and only the IRS will decide that. He is doing like any other law abiding citizen would do which is present the taxes according to the code, as simple as that

    February 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  15. Maine liberal

    Mitt makes in one day (60k) what the average worker makes in a year.
    Mitt pays 15 percent on his 60k while the average person pays 25 percent on their 60k
    Mitt pays 0 payroll tax on his 60k while the average person pays 9 percent on their 60k

    February 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  16. Dawn

    Anyone who makes $21 million and pays 13.9% taxes isn't paying their fair share. With that much income their standard of living isn't going to change if they have to pay more-even twice as much tax. A family of 4 making $130,000 per year pays 28% federal income tax. Seems like the truly wealthy ought to pay in the top income tax bracket.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  17. Paul in MN

    How can you comment if you don't know the tax code?

    Payroll income is expensed by the company so rhe company doesnt pay taxes ob it before paying the employee. Profits have taxes paid by the company BEFORE paying a dividend. The money paid to Romney was taxes rwice and likely at a higher net tax rate than Gingrich!

    February 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      Incorrect, Carried Interest is not first taxed at a corporate rate and isn't taxed twice, but of course there are people here that know that well and will try to mislead others into believing that to divert the truth..

      February 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  18. yianni

    Mr Romney, keep your promise. Make the Military as strong as you can. And start as many wars as you can. But please, send your sons to the front. Not my sons. From your Millions pay for the cost of the bombs and take care the inured Veterans upon their returns. Not a problem.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  19. citizen

    I keep hearing comments about if it is moral.
    I though liberals believed that we could not impose morality.
    My mistake, It is relative to the liberal casue.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • govspy

      Liberals aren't the ones running on moral platforms. Conservatives like Mitt are. So we only judge them by the moral standards that they pretend to uphold and we find them wanting.

      February 18, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  20. citizen

    Socialism 101
    Class envy
    Play on words by focusing on tax rate versus tax paid
    America freedom has been good, but it looks like the left has finally destroyed America.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  21. T Collet

    The hated 1% pay 38% of all federal income taxes. The top 10% pay 70%. The bottom 50% pay only 3% of federal income taxes. All the bleating about unfairness seems a bit misdirected.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      I get it, the poor should fork over 100% of their earnings and starve while the uber-rich should fork over only a miniscule fraction of what they make. Niiiiiiceeeeeeeeeee.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        Dem –
        You clearly have an agenda, but don't distort what people have said. This person didn't in any way imply that the poor should "pay 100%", he simply made the point that the wealthy ALREADY pay there fair share, and absolutely carry the burden of providing for the poor in this country. We can debate the exact level all we want, but don't suggest that the 1% aren't doing their part.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • buctootim

      They pay most of the tax because they have most of the money. Not rocket science is it? The point is they are paying less tax than their share of wealth would indicate – unless of course you are arguing that people with $300m of inherited wealth should pay only 15% but working people on $40,000 should pay double that? Interesting idea. The US is in the hole for $17trillion. I'd give your economic plan 5 years before US bankruptcy and civil insurrection.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • BankruptCitizen

      When I was a young man, I opened up an IRS tax form booklet to look at the tax rates/amounts on the income scale in the back of the book. I was confused; as the income amount rose per individual the tax amount decreased. Does'nt that seem to be the opposite of how to make a society healthy and productive? The less you have the more you pay (percentage wise) and the more you have the less you pay. I'm not an expert but it does seem to be going in the wrong direction. What do the rest of you intelligent posters think?

      My apologies for any mispellings or typos in any of my posts.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        The problem seems to be that you don't know how to read charts – the tax rate goes higher the more you make, and always has.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • BankruptCitizen

        Thanks for explaining that chris, I didn't realize when you were at the 35% tax bracket you were unable to use all the deductions by being able to afford the best accountants and lawyers to reduce that amount to zero. But what do I know I couldn'tt even read a chart when I was 16 yrs old. Using the phrase, " and have summers off," is intended to be derogatory when mentioning teachers otherwise vacation time would be mentioned when discussing all jobs on these comment boards. If you want to discuss work hrs vrs. actual vacation time then take a good look at how many days your congressman/woman are not at work; hint it comes out to more than just the whole summer off. Have a great day!

        And to answer your reply for you, Whats wrong with using deductions? You use them to reduce your taxes too!

        My reply, someone on here posted an excellant comment about removing all deductions from the tax code, maybe then the argument that taxes for some were fair or unfair would have two legs to stand on.

        February 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
  22. Charlie Kunkel

    Class warfare exists, and the rich won. It was called trickle-down economics. It's only BAD class warfare when the people without money fight for their rights back that were stolen from them by the bush tax cuts and loopholes and laws put in place by the politicians who were bought by these greedy fear-mongering corporate fat cats. The real problem is that someone working in a noble profession like a school teacher or a police officer, who work JUST as many hours, and JUST as hard (probably harder), and do WAY more for the future of this once-great country, get paid nothing compared to these evil moneygrubbers who are driven solely by greed, and don't have the opportunities and loopholes made available to them that the greed-driven people who already have enough to buy a small island take advantage of regularly. It's a sad world we live in that the people doing the most noble of professions reap the least amount of rewards. There has never been such an income disparity since the days of the roman empire, and we all know how THAT ended. It will happen here too unless we change our course soon. Obama is trying his best, but it's not good enough, and is constantly blocked by the republicans in congress whose pockets are being lined by the corporate fat cats who benefit from the system staying the way it is.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • citizen

      So you prefer trickle up poverty.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  23. onwee

    Since some people are missing this point, when talking about Romney we're talking "income taxes," not "taxes." Income taxes pay for government, payroll taxes like unemployment and social security pay for the right to get payments from the government in those categories. Mixing and matching the two, as Buffett so clearly does with his secretary (and clearly knows he is doing) is simply wrong when the debate turns to "fair share" of general government costs. CNN itself said over 80% of the US population pays a lower income tax rate than Romney. BTW, capital gains rates are lower in most developed countries – shall we assume the rich paid off everyone everywhere, even countries far more socialist than ours?

    February 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  24. Preacher

    If it is wrong to reward investors when they make good choices, then it is only right that they get a full refund if the investment fails.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  25. Dem

    I am not at all surprised by the attempts here to divert the focus from the question – is a 15% tax rate on Carried Interest fair or not. No one disagrees whether it is legal – it is 100% legal, but it is IMMORAL. It would be one thing if Carried Interest were from the RISK of investing one's own wealth, but it ISN'T. It's income for service – a massive management fee that isn't otherwise taxed. There is NOTHING fair about treating Carried Interest income like other capital gains in which an investor has to risk his own capital.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Middle Class Citizen

      I think most people feel that paying a lower rate on Carried Interest is unfair (once they actually understand what it is). Many people confuse it with capital gains earned on money that a person has actually put at risk. On the issue of normal capital gains the public appears to be more divided in opinion.

      Many Wall Street gamblers have made a complicated system that the average person cannot understand, much less benefit from.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  26. tim

    The wealthiest pay money to our elected officials to make laws favorable to themselves and the corporations they work for. Nothing new here, but SCOTUS' Citizens United decision did make it easier for them to demand favors making it less likely our lawmakers will do what's best for the country.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      Tim, right on point, and it was prior SCOTUS decisions starting with the 1886 case that was wrongly used to treat corporations as people instead of the PROPERTY which they were for the first 100 years of our republic. As 'persons' corporations gained free speech and once the court ruled that money=free speech, then corporations automatically gained a far greater voice than living, breathing individual citizens, which has led us to our subverted republic.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  27. Kentucky

    If Mitt Romney made the same amount of money as Newt Gingrich, 3.1 million, and he paid his Romney rate of 13.9%, he would have paid $552,600 LESS in taxes than Gingrich, who paid 31.45% rate. That simply is not fair. It may be legal, but not fair. Very few Americans could care a less if people make millions. They do care when others do not pay thier fair share. The tax code needs to be changed or minumum rates need to be applied.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • Flyonthewall

      Amen!! Thats all this middle class person is asking for!! Who can argue with this? Please present a logical argument if you can....I will be back to check!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        I may actually agree with you people about carried interest being taxed as ordinary income. I do think we should have a 0% capital gains tax though, as corporations are already taxed at the corporate level before any dividends are paid out and/or stock sales made.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • k1k2lee

      Agreed! And I think the reason we care where Romney got his money and the kind of taxes he pays on it, is because his policies seek to continue and increase these loopholes which benefit only those super-rich and the corporations who engage in this practice. Nobody begrudges people great wealth who have worked hard to earn it. This is just the new mantra of the GOP to mask the true purpose of their platform – which is to further increase the wealth of a smaller and smaller group of people and exploit the American middle class worker out of existence.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      I don't disagree that the tax rate for carried interest should be raised, but would somebody in this blog please acknowledge that part of the reason Romney paid so little in taxes is that he gave millions of dollars to charity, and thus got big deductions? If he hadn't been GENEROUS with some of his money, his tax rate would have been much higher.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  28. Felix

    He is a businessman. In it for himself and his business.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  29. Jim in San Mateo

    The wealthy scream about their taxes, which aren't very high compared to other countries. They invest because it's the only place they can make money. You don't get wealthy on a savings account that pays less than 1%. Does anyone think that they will stop investing if they have to pay their fare share?

    February 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  30. bob

    I pay about 17-20% tax right now, I think a more fair tax rate would be 15% on the first 200k for interest and capital gains anything after that shoulod be taxed as regular income.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  31. CNN=BlatantBias

    CNN, Please try not to SPIN your stories so hard. Readers are getting dizzy. "Mitt Romney's Tax Rate" implies that he developed and chose the tax rate. "Tax rate which Mitt Romney Paid" is much more accurate and unbiased. Is the loophole one which needs to be closed? Most likely yes. Is Mitt Romney responsible for the loophole as the article attempts to say? Absolutely not.

    How about a factual story without the spin? Is that even possible from the hard standing Liberal media fountain that is CNN?

    February 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  32. KAZPORT

    Erin has been obsessed with Romney's taxes from the start. Waiving around his tax returns like she works for the IRS.
    Romney is Wealthy, has contributed more to charity then all the candidates combined. Get over it Erin its called Capitalism.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  33. Middle Class Citizen

    It appears that Mitt Romney followed the tax laws properly, which is what all of us should do. Who on here would not use all the legal means possible to lower their taxes? I do not have a problem with him following the law and keeping his taxes low.

    I do have a problem with the current tax law structure. It should be simplified. Special loopholes should be eliminated. Every citizen should pay something, based on their ability. Our tax laws need to be overhauled.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • KAZPORT

      Simply put and well said.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      So, you wouldn't mind paying more so that I can pay less? I love it (and so do the uber-rich!)

      February 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Middle Class Citizen

        I don't think you read my comment closely. I think the tax system needs to be reformed. I do not think it is fair. However, I don't fault Mitt Romney for taking advantage of the tax laws as they are written.

        To me it would be no more fair to attack Romney for using tax breaks that he qualifies for than it would be for me to attack a poor working family for taking an earned income credit or child care deductions. I would love to see an end to all the various tax breaks, credits, loopholes, etc. In a perfect world (IMHO) their would be a graduated tax rate based on income, with no special breaks related to where that income originated (earned or capital gains).

        February 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
      • Flyonthewall

        Yes, everyone should pay the same 35% not just the middle class.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • Kimo

      Are you aware that companies like Bain Capital spent millions of dollars on lobbyists to have the capital gains rate lowered to 15%. When congress wanted to restore the rate to 20% lobbyists got that legislation squashed. Wouldn't you like a level playing field or do you think we should have a plutocracy (I think we already do).

      February 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • k1k2lee

      I, too, do not fault Mr. Romney for taking advantage of the laws as written. But I do take issue with the fact that his platform includes policies which not only continue such loopholes but, in fact, increase them. I agree with you that the system needs to be reformed to eliminate or at least reduce these kind of loopholes, which only benefits those who are going from rich to uber-rich and further concentrates wealth into a tiny minority at the top which does nothing to build business or the national GDP. But Mr. Romney does not want to do that. That, I think, is why it is important to understand his particular source of income and the taxes he pays on it – because it is this system he seeks to protect and enlarge.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • Middle Class Citizen

        Unfortunately it takes a lot of money to win political office. Usually both the individual his/herself is rich and their donors are rich and benefiting from all the crazy financial and tax law shenanigans. While I would love to see true tax reform, I do not think it will ever happen.

        Politicians will keep saying whatever they have to in order to win office, then do whatever benefits them and their donors after they are in.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • kerpluk01

      Flat tax would be most favorable. I would too like to see deductions phased out as one makes more money, the phase outs should occur around $1M. 15-20% tax rate would be good enough, but the gov't must live within its means. I do agree that Mitt is doing what is lawful and shouldn't he demonized for it.

      BUt that is the liberal way...ask any rich liberal to write the IRS a check and everyone would say no. Warren Buffet should put his money where is mouth is and just donate money to the gov't. If he isn't willing to do that, he should zip it.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • RLP1509

      Totally agree. Change the tax laws to eliminate the loopholes. If anyone is serious on paying his/her fair share, then do not take any of the loopholes all of us are allowed (interest and prop. tax deductions, charitable deductions, standard deduction, exeptions for self and family members, etc). Pay straight up on your gross income at your tax rate and see how you like that.

      How about a graduated tax rate based solely on 100% of gross income from all sources?? No deductions, period. It would take us all about 5 minutes to do the form (from finding a pen and our W-2/1099's, etc taking about 4 of those 5 minutes), we would hopefully have lower rates across the board and would have no complaints about the "rich" taking advantage of the system that's in place. I guess what I am suggesting is just too easy. It requires Congress and the President agreeing to abolish the current system and put into place a system that would take up 1 page rather than thousands. That's just too simple yet too complicated for those in D.C. that are supposedly much more intelligent than us commoners!!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  34. Jorge

    If you guys want to go after someone, go after the Federal Workers who owe the IRS 8 billion in taxes!!

    February 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      We can't go after both?

      February 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • Jim in San Mateo

      You want to quote your source for that unbelievable statement?

      February 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • Flyonthewall

      And not go after rich people who use loopholes to get out of paying there fair share? NOOOO WAAAYY we need to close the loopholes NOW!!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Ted

      Mitt didn't break any laws, he pays his federal taxes, pays property taxes, donates a lot to charity. No one is complaining that Mr. Obama is cutting megadollar book deals while still in the White House. The Obamas love luxury, expensive clothes, first class food, lavish trips and vacations, a huge home. And I do think there are people who begrudge wealth despite what Gloria Borger says......and Mr. Obama does play on that.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • rc

        amen

        February 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • Flyonthewall

        Nd what is obamas effective tax rate???? Oh...i see its around 35%... go figure....come back again and make your argument when EVERYONE pays the same tax rate...otherwise your argument is moot.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  35. Jennifer NYC

    I figured that my taxes are about 17%...not 30 or 35%...where do they get that nonsense? If I owned a home, or had more deductions or sheltered more in IRA's, mine would also be lower to 14 – 15%. So Mitt is paying his taxes and they didn't mention how he pays $1.5+ million in state and local taxes and gives around 3 million to charity.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • KAZPORT

      Thank you very well said. Erin seems to be on a real roll night after night with Romneys taxes. Enough already

      February 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Flyonthewall

      Charity = choice......and by far charities in america are a joke with only about 10% going to actual charitable work...the rest goes to highly paid board members of charities and expenses......you cant in good conscience say charity is even close to the same thing as taxes. That is a moot point......come back and talk to me when all the rich pay the same effective tax rates as the middle class. End of story dude!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
      • Emily

        Even at 15%, he is still paying an effective tax rate higher than 80% of the country. So he IS paying at least the same effective tax rate as the middle class, if not higher.

        And your "facts" about charity are downright wrong. You can't make up statistics and claim they're true (only 10% goes to the cause?) Flat out lie – at least for reputable charities. You can look up specific charities and their expense breakdowns because they have to file that publicly. I always check the portion of funding that goes to "administration" vs the cause itself before donating. And you're kidding yourself if you think there isn't a TON of waste and administrative costs for anything that our tax dollars pay for. Believe me...charities are a LOT more efficient with putting their funding to work actually helping people than the government could ever dream of being!

        February 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Jack - BCOM, BA

      The only good thing is that Romney actually gave 15% of his income to his church/charity but his federal tax rate was way too low for a millionaire. Romney paid 14% in 2010 with just over $20M income. Obama made $1.8M and paid 25% tax. Gingrich just over $3M and 31% tax. Buffet paid 17% on the billions he made last year. The people that really benefit from lower capital gains taxes are the CEOs and super rich. Many who are getting 50 to 100% of their income from stock options. They are getting richer by paying lower tax rates than the middle class and one reason why America has such a massive deficit and out of control debt. Too many tax breaks for the super rich is one part of the problem. The other is somewhat higher govt spending from wars and programs. Both have to be fixed to bring America's economy back into balance!!!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  36. JCal

    I think a better question here would be – is this representative of high income earners as a whole? The answer is NO! People take the most extreme cases and try to fit everyone else into that category.

    Of equal importance is the fact that Romney is not doing anything wrong – his accountant(s) likely just fill out his tax returns and follow the instructions like anyone else. There were reasons for the "carried interest" provision – as there can be extreme risk and, when successful, these investments make a lot of money for people. These are nowhere near the kind of investments that led to the housing bubble. Those were predatory loans selling to people who could never be expected to pay them back.

    I noticed one year that Obama took a tax credit for tax paid in foreign countries (off royalties from his book(s)). Well, that is essentially a loophole too. People who have that type of income and other – that is earned in the US – tend to pay a lot of AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), which functions to raise one's tax rate. Obama did not pay that tax.

    So everyone just follows the rules.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  37. MichaelP

    People think that slick Mitt would do this and that so speaking of the wingnuts. Running a country is a totally different thing than running a business...and plenty of CEOs have drove companies into the ground..so that argument doesn't hold water.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  38. T S

    I just wonder how long CNN and other news outlets are going to make a story of this.

    CNN Headline in June 2012:
    "It's Day 146 of the Romney candidacy, and he's still only paying 14% in federal income tax. Do you really really really really think that's fair? No, really, do you?"

    CNN is class warfare's biggest fan!

    February 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  39. MacD

    This argument is not original. This is the exact same argument posed by Marxists at the turn of the last century. The proletariat will rise against the burgeoisie. The president continues to push this ideology on the American people. Shame on Obama and his administration for pushing Marxism under a new name.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • JCal

      I am definitely no communist or Marxist – but I don't think Obama is one either. I think his obsession with piling taxes on those who are well off (not wealthy!), is a political agenda item.

      Obama is basically playing politics and vilifying the well off – not a good policy when the country is in such poor financial shape. It's also just a nasty way of getting what he wants – which is into the history books as "the Great Reformer" – but it will be reform at any cost!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • BankruptCitizen

      Since you are knowledgeable about how the Marxist's "can" take over a society perhaps you would like to enlighten us about the conditions that are always present in a society that makes people desire anything other than the conditions they are living under that brings the Marxists to power. Take your time

      February 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  40. Steve

    Mitt is using the system as it is currently intended to be used. I would do the same if I was in a similar position. The tax system provides a lot of tax credits aimed at providing tax relief to those that can take advantage of them. Mitt is doing nothing wrong and I am sure will take advantage of all tax shelters and loop holes as any smart business person would. If the majority thinks loopholes and tax credtis/deductions should be changed then that is what they should lobby for.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Hear! Hear!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • T S

      EVERYONE would do the same if they were in his position. But since they're not, they'll criticize him out of envy.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Kimo

      Nonsense. Bain Capital and others spent millions lobbying congress to lower the tax rate to 15% during the Bush administration and to keep congress from restoring it to 20%. The playing field is not level. The wealthy own the ball, own the field, own the referees and make the rules up as they go along.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • superfudge1

      Well said!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      The immorality and unfairness stems from the fact that it was the power and influence of the wealthy that effectively bought the loophole from their bought lawmakers, and you think that is fair??? Not!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • k1k2lee

      The article doesn't say Mitt is wrong for following the tax laws as they currently exist. And I don't say he shouldn't do so. But the fact is that he is running for President and his stated intention is to continue the policy that permits this loophole and, indeed, make the loophole larger. THAT, I think, is what people have a problem with – myself included.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        ok. We are on the same page/team. The problems we as a nation encounter are getting through to the politicians who are the law makers, which includes controlling the tax laws. Since most politicians are well off, if not filthy rich, they will not want to change any loophole or increase taxes which will make them less well off or less filthy rich. Its obvious to me that no matter WHO we have as President, these issues will likely not fixed the way most of us think they should be. Its up to the House and Senate to get a bill on the Presidents desk to change the laws of the land. The President can veto the bill and send it back down the line but he can't dictate what will be. Our best bet of making change, which we have not gotten as the bill of goods indicated we would get, is to vote out as many of the existing law makers as possible and get the new one in who are not pushing lobbyist agenda's or looking out for their best interest. I'm not against welfare, but I am against welfare abusers. The system should be used, not abused. It should be changed as well to prevent abuse. TANF for one is one easily abusable and/or misused system. Its rediculous. On the other hand WIC is one of the best programs available, IMHO.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • fair

      Bottom line–did he break a law? That is all that should matter when viewing his tax returns in light of his campaign for president. If he didn't break the law, NOTHING more should be read into his tax returns. He shouldn't be blamed for the tax code as it is. There is nobody reading this article who wouldn't take every legal tax break the law allows. Again, he's either honest or he's not, and that's the end of it.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
      • Dem

        No one is faulting Mitt Romney for using the legal tax code to its fullest advantage, but he isn't for eliminating such a clearly unfair loophole like Carried Interest that he and his super rich friends and SuperPac donors are indirectly buying and directly benefiting from. This is just hard proof that Mitt has no empathy or real care for the middle class.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  41. buttrepublic

    Fair: free from bias, dishonesty or injustice
    Nothing about this is "fair". If it were fair, Mitt Romney would not pay the same tax rate as a family below the poverty line. He makes over $50,000 per day, yet pays a lower percentage than I do, and I barely make that in a year. I have nothing against the rich, so long as they choose to help improve our country. The last decade has proven profitable and equitable for the wealthy in our country, and it is time that they give back. Our country desperately needs revenue, and our rich pay lower percentages than the middle class and working class Americans

    February 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  42. Todd

    I just figured up how much I pay in taxes. It added up to about 14%.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  43. MotoJB

    Heck no! I'm outraged that people would support and get behind a candidate that makes MILLIONS and then uses a loophole to pay less than 15% in taxes (while the rest of us are bent over by the gov). I'll NEVER vote for this guy because of this...pathetic.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  44. Sterling

    – The majority of our Strike Team – a group of the nation’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs and innovators – believes Mitt Romney would be better at handling America’s economy than President Obama.
    That's expected because they want someone in the preseidency that will put more money in their pockets and help them keep their workers making less money with less benefits. Closing the loopholes (which Romney will NEVER do) will hurt them (your "strike team") as they are also benefitting from the tax loopholes. Same reason congress will not make the rich pay more in taxes.... they are the rich!

    February 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  45. Mike

    Is Outfront an editorial show or a news show? She seems very biased towards a liberal's stance on this issue – which is fine if it is an editorial show.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  46. eberle

    Flat Tax. Now.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  47. David

    The only way that people who make up the vast majority of the country (the "have-nots") can buy into a platform that calls for continuing to line the pockets of the wealthy while cutting benefits and services is if they believe in the American Dream – that some day, with hard work etc., they too can be hugely wealthy. We know of course that the dream is a myth which keeps people voting for things that bolster capitalism's worst aspects while they firmly believe that some day they will hit the jackpot.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • rc

      Hate to bust your myth, but I am living the dream. It exists we just need to do a better job of showing people how to achieve it. Of course my dream starts with scrubbing toilets in office buildings at 3am to feed my kids while I put myself thorugh college. And then working as a nurse odd hours while I started my business. So you can do it, but you better be ready for the sacrifices that come with it especially knowing theire is not guaranteed pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you're ready to try, best of luck. If not, at least please don't disparage those that did and certainly don't put a damper on those that are willing to try.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • JCal

      Capitalism is not a lottery – and there are no jackpots. There are an occasional few who do well, but that is it.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  48. Jim

    "Americans don’t begrudge anyone their wealth,” says Borger.

    That's BS, unfortunately. Liberals constantly push class-warfare and wealth-envy rhetoric. It's class warfare because Obama and his surrogates alway use wealth inequality examples to illustrate why they are pushing for a new tax (e.g. 30% minimum tax on incomes > 1million, the several "windfall profits" taxes that have been pushed, etc). They don't use inequality examples to advocate policies to lift lower earners, only to villianize and punish wealthy people. The narrative is "see what they have? We'll take it from them and give it to you", rather than "see what they have? We'll help you get there". Take Obama at the SOTU "Why should Warren Buffett's secretary be taxed at a higher rate than the billionaire himself?" Putting aside Obama's false comparison between salary income and investment income, Obama didn't question why Buffett only pays his secretary 80K, or what policies Obama would push to allow ALL Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. Instead, he always picks out a wealthy person and then uses them as the bad guy in his wealth-envy storylines. As a result of this constant barrage of progressive liberal propaganda, there are many people that think wealth should be redistributed, that government should act like Robin Hood, and that some people "have more than they need" and others "have less than they need", and somehow it is the function of government to "make things right".

    February 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Right on!

      February 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      Good points, however, sadly the "we'll get you there" is much more complex and difficult than it may appear at face value. Hundreds of years of bad choices and ethics engrained in one's fabric and that of their family cannot be changed by the choices of a president or the departments he/she may create.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • k1k2lee

      Obama didn't complain about the amount Buffett pays his secretary because this is not about class warfare. Nobody begrudges Buffett his millions. Nobody begrudges Gates his millions. They've worked hard and built businesses and deserve it. And this isn't about everyone being forced to pay others more than what is fair, but to ask for a fair tax upon for those who do nothing but sponge off the wealth of the family they were born into and then use "other peopel's money" to risk and become even richer by destroying American businesses or then get bailed out if they screw it up (hence Wall St.) Didn't you read the article? The only people who think this tax loophole should remain open are the hedge fund managers.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      Nice explanation of how tax rates is now the biggest 'thing' in this election year. I wonder why the major corporations that pay $0 aren't on the radar screen instead of John Q Public? Gas companies, GE and many others get huge tax breaks while other companies (3M for example) pays +30%. Leave the taxpayer alone, go after the tax breaks for major corporations, tie any tax breaks (if they still exist) to job growth within the US and quit spending money that doesn't exist!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Sterling

      A little carried away with the "liberal" and "propaganda" tags aren't you. Why is it that reporting the truth makes one a liberal? You probably think Regean was a GREAT economic president don't you? Use google, look up national deficit by president and see where the budget deficit problem really started! It was under his presidency. The rich (yes, I use that term) were also taxed much higher then than now. Your "liberal" preseident Clinton is the only recent president that actually made a dent in the derficit.
      If you continue to have your way, there will be just two classes in the USA and what is happening in Egypt and other countries will happen here. At least Obama helped save the auto industry and saved thousands of jobs there. I hope you open your eyes and look around you one day and take a dose of reality.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      I am a liberal, but I don't begrudge Romney or anyone else their wealth as long as they came by it honestly and constructively. What I do begrudge is the conservative notion that the wealthy shouldn't return more to society in the form of tax revenues. Because no wealthy person in America became wealthy on his or her own. The people through their taxes paid to the government built the roads, rails, schools, energy infrastructure, etc. etc. that allow businesses to flourish and businessmen and women to profit. The romantic notion of the self-made millionaire or billionaire is a fantasy. If you have done well financially then you have benefited from the people's investment, and it your duty as a citizen to return some of the profit to society. I write this as someone who has profited and done well. I am willing to pay my share to rebuild the country. What about you?

      February 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • JCal

      Warren Buffett's tax situation is a freak situation and should not be used as an example of normal. Buffett knows this better than anyone. To use this as a political ploy is wrong. Most people earning higher incomes pay well into the 30+% effective range. And please don't forget state income tax, which now takes easily another 10% in many states. Buffett is wrong ... and he is just playing politics.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Kimo

      What you are overlooking is that the disparity between the very wealthy and the middle class has been growing since the late 1970s and is greater than it has been since the great depression. We need a healthy middle class to drive the demand for products. That is why industry is sitting on $2 TRILLION in cash reserves but are not expanding because the middle class has no money. The other thing you forget is that the wealthy have a much greater voice in government than everyone else. They have spent billions of dollars on lobbyists to, for instance, get the capital gains tax lowered to 15%. Why? Because that is where they get most of their income. At least make a slight effort to be fair and not just repeat what you hear from the Republican leadership.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Rich

      You must be young and foolish. How do you mean that the liberals "punish" the wealthy. I couldn't even get close to wrapping my mind around that one. How does Mitt get around giving each of his 5 sons 100 million without him or his sons to pay even a penny of tax. If I give any of my children more than $13,00.00 before I die I must pay taxes on that money despite the fact I already paid taxes on it!

      February 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Charlie Kunkel

      You're right, it IS class warfare. And it was started by Reagan with a little something called trickle-down economics, and then perpetuated by every republican ever since, whether it was in the form of tax cuts for the rich, or cutting social services for those of us who need help the most. It's about TIME the rest of us started fighting back. They started it, not us. And it's FINALLY starting to sink in that we can't just roll over and take it any more while the top 10% keep sitting back watching their fortunes grow exponentially while the majority of us work harder and harder while making less and less. There's nothing wrong with class warfare. It's RIGHT to rebel against a system that is unfair and rewards greed and not nobility and selflessness. WWJD?

      February 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  49. Bill Mosby

    It's only fair in the sense that it's legal.

    The real question is need and ability to pay: the country needs to ask those with the ability to pay to help dig us out of the hole that the Bush tax cuts put us in. And one essential part of that is to let those cuts expire. If we had kept paying the tax rates that were in force before those cuts, we would most likely have very little national debt left by now, and quite possibly none. And then since interest payments would be about zero, we could all be enjoying lower tax rates now and a much better economic outlook for the future. It's worth noting that if those tax cuts are allowed to expire, everybody will pay higher taxes; the lowest bracket will go from 10 to 15 percent which is quite a large relative increase. Other brackets will of course pay more in dollar terms.

    To paraphrase an old commercial, "We can pay now or pay later". Later is more expensive.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • 99percenter

      You can't do math.
      Top 5% (bush tax cuts recipients) pay 40% of the federal budget already. At Obama's $3.8T budget that's $1.5T.
      We overspend by $1T. To fix the budget shortfall, you believe that all you have to do is levy $1T of additional tax burden on this same 5%. That would mean (assuming the government keeps spending stable in the face of new tax receipts), that the top 5% would pay $2.5T/3.8T or now have 5% shoulder the burden of government at 66%. Maybe YOU think that's fair. From my view, if you are paying most of the bills, then you now have real say about how that money is spent.

      From an economics point of view, you've bought into the Obama BS that all you have to do is let the bush tax cuts expire (Raising marginal rates by about 5%). Like I said, you can't do math. And neither can Obama.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • ticked off

      Funny, Buffet could very easily write a check to the gov't as could anyone and yet he's not doing it. Buffet wants to force the gov't to take it instead of him vountarily giving it up.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • JCal

      The problem is that there a lot of people able to pay "something" (almost half of taxpayers), and they don't have to pay anything. I earn in the mid 6 figures and pay about 31-32% federal, and 10% state income tax. That IS a fair share! I know of many people like me – and there are no tax loopholes for them either. So people tell these very tall stories about loopholes, but they exist for only a few.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • JCal

        Oh yes, and most people who earn over $250K could care less if the Bush cuts expire. We pay so much extra tax (via AMT) that the difference will be negligible. The problem people have is that this is a bad fix to a very messed up tax system that isn't fair to anyone – except the accountants. If Obama wanted to be a true reformer, he would come up with a proposal that was a bit more than reversing the Bush cuts on 3% of taxpayers. That really fixes nothing, is terribly political in nature, and just makes things even more complex than they already are.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • Bill Mosby

        It's about need rather than fairness now, and will be until we get this debt mess cleaned up. After that period of sacrifice, fairness will become more possible. If we don't get it cleaned up, we stand to lose everything sooner or later.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • rc

      Bill, raising the taxes on those making over $250k is estimated to raise $750 billion over 10 years. Now please explain to everyone how that is going to pay off $16 trillion of debt. It doesn't even come close to paying the interest. Therefore, it is a political agenda not a financial solution.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • NE

      You do realize, of course, that eliminating the Bush tax cuts (raising marginal rates) will have ZERO effect on the effective tax rate for Buffett, Romney, etc. They will still pay their 14%-15%. The people that will get hit are the ones that are already paying the 35% rate on ordinary income. Doesn't solve the debt problem, doesn't make anything more "fair"

      February 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  50. PassingThru

    This type of rule supports Wall Street and the like – that's how they make a living off of investing other's money. The rest of us will continue to pay taxes 'til the cows come home.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  51. Phil

    Yep, even though its 14%, he pays way more money into the system than others do.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      It is not about the amount paid, its about the relative contribution based on means – they call that a progressive tax system because it is FAIR.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        FAIR?? 40+% of the population gets more $$ back in 'subsidies' then they pay into taxes... and that is fair?

        February 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • Rick

        "Fair" would be all pay equal amounts. Why criticize Romney for legally paying lower taxes. If you want to change the tax laws, that's fine. But ANTONE would be an idiot to pay more tax than they are legally required to pay. There is a REASON that carried interest is taxed at a lower rate. If you disagree with the reason, that's fine, but it is a law that was passed by representatives we all voted upon.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • Jorge

        The amount that is paid is important. Rate do no matter. Revenue does. If everyone was taxed at 90%, you would see a big decline in revenue.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Dem

        Jorge, how do you figure that? I am burning with curiosity to hear your logic as your math doesn't add up.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Amount does matter Dem. Ever seen this story, I think it makes a valid point and one that could be a good read for you.
      http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/bar-stool-economics-how-taxes-work.html

      February 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      No, the money Romney pays in taxes would otherwise be used to purchase more luxury and non-essential items. For the lower economic classes that money would come out of budgets for food, medicine, education for their kids, etc. That is why we have a progressive tax system. That's why it is fair to tax the rich at a higher rate than the rest.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  52. Felix

    I don't envy Romney's wealth. I'm happy he's wealthy. I envy the fact that I make about 500 times less than him BUT i pay more in taxes percentage-wise. Heck I pay double what he does! That doesn't make any sense to me.

    And the fact that his platform seems centered on giving himself more tax breaks makes even less sense.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • GozieBoy

      You clearly do not understand simple economics and the existing tax structure, so we shall disregard your ignorant comments. Do you know the difference between captial gains and ordinary income taxes? Did you know that Buffet (and Romney) already paid taxes ONCE on the earned (ordinary) income that then went into the investment that made the capital gain, which is then taxed a SECOND time?? The effective taxes paid on those earnings are thus MUCH HIGHER than ordinary income (i.e. > 38%). Do you hear any comments on this from the MSM? No? Oh, how convenient for them to forget about the double taxation...!

      February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Doug

        That makes sense. I'm a self proclaimed libtard, and I don't see a huge problem with the 15% taxes he's paying on investments..good for him. What troubles me are his motives concerning corporations and poor people. Obama is going to crush him during the debates.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Ntrain2k

        Well said Sir!!!

        February 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • RK

        I don't actually know how it works, but wouldn't the actual "gain" be the only thing taxed? As in, I invest 100,000, I make a 200,000 profit on that, giving me a total of 300,000 – wouldn't the 200,000 be taxed, but not the 100,000?

        Again, correct me if I'm wrong.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • rosalie baine

        You may be ignorant yourself. He is taxed only on the gain he makes, not on the original investment which was already taxed. So this is definitely not double taxation.

        Why should capital gains be taxed at a lower rate? A working person may be risking his health or even his life in his job. Even a despised government employee may take huge risks- CDC lost an employee in Haiti, and has employees researching hemorrhagic diseases which requires them to wear hazmat suits in Africa's heat. I worked with HIV. Simply, the rich have these tax breaks BECAUSE THEY CAN! After all, they run the system.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
      • Jack - BCOM, BA

        GozieBoy, you are the one that needs a tax lesson. Capital gains are taxed only once!!! From dictionary, a capital gain is defined as the amount by which the selling price of a financial asset exceeds its cost. ie, the profit. Only the profit is taxed and not the initial investment. If I buy $5,000 of stock and then sell that stock for $20,000; I made a capital gain of $15,000. That $15,000 profit would get taxed. The $5,000 investment I made would not get taxed since it already has been taxed already by the govt. There is no double taxation with capital gains!!!! This means the millionaires, who derive a large % of their income from capital gains and not from salary, are paying lower taxes than the middle class and getting richer by not paying their fair share!!!

        February 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
      • John

        I think you need a lesson in taxation. Yes, the money he invested is taxed as ordinary income when he originally earned it. But when he takes that money and invests it and makes a return, only the income derived from those earnings is taxed. Not the original investment. So, he can invest his money, make a return and pay 15% on the gain. I go to work for 40 hours per week and I pay 30%. Income is income and should be taxed at the same rate regardless of how it is earned. Just because you are rich and can live off the interest and not work does not mean you should get a lower tax rate.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Carl

        Sorry, GozieBoy, you are WRONG! Anyone purchasing stock has already paid tax on the amount being invested. The capital gains tax is only on the PROFIT resulting from that initial investment, i.e., the DIFFERENCE between the current value and the initial value. And for people like Romney and Buffet with an effective 14% tax rate based entirely on investment income, that's what they have paid on the principal being invested as well as the gains.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
      • NE

        RK...Using a very simplified example, you are wrong because the reason you made $200K is because the company you own shares in made about $300K before taxes. It paid 35% in Corporate Income Tax, leaving you an increase in value of $200K because of it's AFTER TAX PROFIT. YOU will pay and additional 15% on that amount, leaving you a net increase in value of $170K derived from $300K of pre-tax profit. So...but the time that original $300K in profit finds it's way to the owners of the business (shareholder) it has been taxed at a total rate of about 43%. Is that fair enough???

        THAT is what people mean when they say capital gains are being taxed twice.

        February 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • Tax Man

        I was watching Fox news the other night in which the host (don't remember who) was interviewing 2 accountants. He made the statement, and the accountants did NOT contradict him, that capital gains are double taxation. It amazes me how many people believe and repeat this outright myth.

        February 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  53. beevee

    I disagree with your Strike Team's opinion on whether Romeny is better than Obama in hsaping the economic policy for this country. Agree that Romeny is a businessman and knows how to invest other people's money and benefit from it. No one seems to be asking whether his business practices are fair. I think they are not and it is one reason why he can amass so much wealth in his investiment business. For the same reason no one trusts the real estate mogul.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Sterling

      Agreed. People also try to draw the correclation that "he made a ton of money in the private sector" to solving all the countries problems. As a CEO, you make decisions and that's it. The last time I checked, the president of the US cannot make laws or pass bills; the house and senate do.
      None of the current candidates have even hinted at how they will fix our crumbling infrastructure. Our water & sewer systems are old and in need of repair, the highways and bridges the same. What anout the Dams and other utility systems. Someday that will have to be dealt with.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  54. georgie

    Every politician complains about the IRS and the tax code and promises to do something about it. None keep their promise. Why? Because every loophole, waiver and special excemption is there because someone or some company with a pile of money donated to these politicians. Any other government employee that participated in something like this would be fired and possibily thrown in jail for accepting bribes. Our elected Representatives and Senators never are because they are excempt from these rules that the rest of the civil sernants have to follow. The whole system is legalized bribery!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  55. Rogue351

    Recession ? Look at the sales numbers for Lexus, Mercedes and BMW over the last few years. Then look at Mitt's 14% tax and now tell me that the rich are pass on money the money to better the economy. While they are buying a 100 thousand dollar car they are also cutting your health insurance, contributions to your 401K plan and not giving out cost of living pay increases because we are in a "Recession" It looks like to me they are saving it and buying toys for themselves. And if that was not enough they are rewarded via tax loopholes for doing so. The current trickle down plan is not working. This is exactly why unions where created in the first place but the Republicans are tell you we don’t need unions anymore. If the rich are not going to put money back into the economy via a moral obligation then the next step is to force by removing tax breaks. And if you say that buying a new Lexus is adding to the economy, you are wrong it does not help the middle class or the poor. It merely transfers money from the pocket of one rich person to the pocket of another. We need change that will make a difference for the poor and the middle class not changes that benefit the rich and then stand by and hope they do the right thing.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Jake

      Who builds those $100,000 dollar cars? I'm quite sure that millionaires aren't working the assembly lines. I think if you would ask those people, they might disagree that such a purchase doesn't help the ecomony.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  56. Dem

    No, it isn't fair because those managers don't have to risk any of their own capital – and therefore the carried interest loophole is a blatant and legal avoidance of income tax on which the rest of us have to pay the full rate. The is the poster child type of loophole that has caused the inequitable shift of wealth to the top 1% over the past 30 years. And if I understand carried interest correctly, the gains are not even taxed at a corporate rate first either, so people can't claim that paying tax on carried interest by the recipient would be double taxation. This has nothing to do with envy of wealth; It is legalized theft.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • JORDAN

      Dem, you are right on point and clearly understand the legal fraud this is. America's wealth has been drained by legal fraud and unenforced laws pertaing to the financial sectors. This is not about class warfare, if anything the the rich have initiated such, not the middle class.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  57. BankruptCitizen

    Of course it's fair, the millionaires and billionaires bankroll the politicians so they should be able to pay whatever they tell thier lackeys to set the rate at. MIC CHECK! MIC CHECK! AMERICANS WHO WORK FOR LIVING ARE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR ALL GOVERNMENT SERVICES INCLUDING WELFARE FOR THE RICHEST AND MOST PROFITABLE INDUSTRY IN THE U.S., THE OIL INDUSTRY!!!! it makes you sick doesn't it.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • Gonzodon

      What makes me sick is 71 million households, or 46% of all households, making $50,000 or less pay ZERO federal income taxes. ZERO! These freeloaders get all the food stamps, welfare, and other handouts that those of us who do pay taxes pay for. If these leaches had some skin in the game, maybe they'd care about lowering the federal budget, federal debt and federal deficit, and would quit asking for others to pay more taxes so they get more handouts.

      Romney pays a higher tax rate then 80% of all Americans and gives to charity. So shut up and stop robbing me.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
      • Rogue351

        This comment is a lie. You have been brainwashed into hating a group of people because they are poor.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • chuckly

        oh cry us a freeking river. Ya know what makes me sick? blowhards like you who are mad that the poor and lower middle class who are living paycheck to paycheck and are almost living on the street are't paying money they absolutely don't have, yet have no problem with these millionaires who are paying less then the hard working american's who actually have to break a sweat to bring home their paycheck, and when all is said and done, who pays for these millionaire's big breaks? The middle class. The poor pay very little if any simply because THEY DON"T HAVE IT. The Rich pay very little compared to the middle, and the middle class picks up the slack for both the poor and the rich. That is what makes me sick. People like you who would rather see the poor living on the street starving to death, then see the rich actually pay their fair share.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • Dem

        Actually, it would be truly progressive if even someone that earns more than say, $100 – pay at least 1% tax – everyone should have a stake in our system.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • taxed

        I agree 100%. As for all the hypocrites and burdens on society that pay nothing and complain about other people not paying enough – you have no credibility, so shut up.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Liza

        Really? I guess that doesn't apply to me. I pay 25% in taxes and I only make $46,000 per year. Where are you getting this information? Might I add, alll my friends making $45,000 to $50,000 range are in the 25% tax rate as well. Sounds like you need to do some serious fact checking as your statement is completely false.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • Liza

        P.S. you don't qualify for food stamps if you make $50,000 per year. Pehaps I need to look into this then! Sorry, you have to be dirt poor in order to qualify for food stamps. You are just clueless.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        ignore them. I think you have a valid point. I live pay check to pay check but still pay a boat load of taxes. Do I particularly like it, no, but do I realize that I should be equally as responsible to pay taxes just like the rich, you're damn right I do. What happened to patriotism, giving, kindness and morale. Hate! look at the hate below, Rogue351 in the comment from chuckly. Hate! Close minded, extremist and provocative comments won't solve anything but only continue to divide this country. How about a productive conversation, FACTS (with citation!) and a compromise. Let's grow up!

        February 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        Liza, you do not pay 25% taxes. You ARE in the 25% tax bracket but that's not what you're effective rate is. Take a look at your 1040. Divide your taxes paid (minus refund/plus payment) by your AGI. Multiple by 100. THAT's your effective rate. I guarantee at 50k, you're not paying 25%

        February 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • Cindy

        You are a nut head. People living on social security pay taxes. (Federal and State Income taxes.) You need an education.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Middle Class Citizen

        You are incorrect. I just completed our federal and Colorado returns this week. Our two person household made just under $50,000 in 2011. We paid federal and Colorado income taxes for this past year, not to mention social security, FICA, etc. on our wages throughout the year.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • GK

        Your are an IDIOT! ... many of us who make less than 50K are forced to make that! .. my pay was cut by 40%, I pay my fair share of taxes and I cannot get as you call it 'freebies' .. on top of that I don't have healthcare, because with what my employer pays me, I have to decide on what to pay for, an apartment rent, food and gas to get to work, or healthcare!
        I think that there should be a flat tax, for everyone, no loopholes, no deduction, everyone pays the same percentage rate, of course the boys at the top will not agree to that because they run the club .. so as the saying goes .. the rich get richer the poor get poorer ...

        February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
      • buttrepublic

        Romney pays lower taxes than 85% Americans. I make $50,000/year and live alone, and I pay 34%. You obviously dont know what you are talking about

        February 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        I'm calling false buttrepublic. Remember, this is federal INCOME taxes. And with the tax brackets for 2011, with no deductions, credits, loopholes etc. just based straight on 50k and the tax brackets, the most you'd pay in federal income taxes is 17.25%. Do that math!

        February 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • avdspm

        Romney paid MILLIONS in taxes. How much did you pay on that $50k or even $100k salary? Sure, government taxes a big hit from our paychecks, but you can't say he didn't pay a significant amount.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
      • Middle of the Road

        Liza...if you make $50,000 / year and it's ordinary income...your effective tax rate is 16%. And that assumes you have no deductions (mortgages, children etc.). It's safe to say your effective income tax is actually lower.

        Note to everyone...what you pay in taxes is not equal to your top MARGINAL tax rate. Hard to have an intelligent conversation about the issues when 95% of our population has little understanding of the facts.

        February 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • concjo

      Actually, those like Mitt end up paying about 70% of the total taxes for the entire U.S. What would be appropriate? 90%?

      Also, what happens when you go to work, you get paid and taxed at you tax bracket.
      what happens when he invests? If he loses, he's out the money and if he wins he pays 15%. If it were 30%, you might as well just go to Vegas and bet on black....

      February 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Bill Mosby

        They've sucked up about 40 percent of the economy so far, and probably a greater share of the total income than that. So "that's where the money is", and when the country needs the money, that's where it must go to get it. Or else the rest of us can all live in holes in the ground and pay our "fair share". Or both, if we let this deficit spending go on very much longer.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
      • Dem

        That's the point – he DID NOT invest to get Carried Interest!

        February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • chuckly

        That would not be a problem if they paid 70 percent of the taxes and actually made 70 percent of the income. But once they get all their loopholes, that 70 percent sounds like a lot til you see that they've probably made 90 percent of the income.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Snowyowl

        Yes, 90pc would be about right for a time of great national need.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • RubyDog

      Is it fair, hell no, but it isn't illegal becsue people like him created the laws. We want this country supported by the poor!!
      I don't understand how keeping money in offshore banks isn crime> I know nothing about financial laws, can someone help ?

      February 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Axel123

      God people are so ignorant. This is the IRS rate on capital Gains, smart guy YOU can get the SAME RATE if you invest, ITS NOT EXCLUSIVE TO ROMNEY !!!! Most people that have a tax rate of 30% don't even pay an effective rate of 13.9% because they have KID DECUCTIONS, MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTIONS, etc that knock there 30% rate way down below 15%.

      IF you invest you also RISK LOOSING YOUR ENTIRE INVESTMENT therefore you get 15% on the profits you make! Nobody is going to give you your INVESTMENT money back if the stock market crashes. Also the INVESTMENT money to get the capital gains was already taxed at the higher rate. YES IT IS FAIR. Maybe if you elect him president he can teach you how to invest too.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • Marc

        Thats how it's supposed to work nut when we bail out all the big losers that are too big to fail what did they lose (hint) more of everyone else's money

        February 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • Michael Smith

        The capital gains tax has been manipulated to benefit only a select few, not all those with capital investments.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
      • Dem

        Axel, let's review the facts again; – he DID NOT invest a dime to get Carried Interest. I know, remedial education isn't fun now but appears necessary.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • Andy4AZ

        Axel123- Finally someone who actually understands what's going on! Everybody needs to read and re-read your comment before making uneducated comments about taxes.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  58. Scott

    America is the land of opportunity. If the IRS wants to have overly complicated tax laws with loops holes like this available, then anyone!, even a presidential candidate, should be able to take advantage of these loop holes. The article should not be pointing fingers at Mitt Romney, but at the tax system that drastically needs overhauled. Thank you once again, media bias. Also, how about you mention how much he donated to charity. Two sides to a coin here.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • chuckly

      Yes it is the system that is at fault, but tell us who it is that fights tooth and nail to keep the loopholes and refuses to close them? Yes, the RIGHT. And what side is Mitt a member of? THE RIGHT. So, while he himself isn't too blame for his tax rate, He of the RIGHT are to blame because they refuse to fix it, therefore, it is their fault that the rich keep getting all the breaks and the poor and middle class keep footing the bill for it all.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        The only people who I have seen (and admittedly I read what the media supplies me and haven't done my own independent research on the issue) who have openly supported a major tax re-haul are members of the "RIGHT," namely Huckabee with the FairTax and then again with Herman Cain with his 9-9-9. Show me someone on your beloved left that has presented an idea of such magnitude, thought and conviction. By the way, I'm not on the "RIGHT." So it's not just the right with these ideals. Out of the box...

        February 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
      • Cman

        Chuckly. Our country suffers from illegitimate legislation that folks like you twist and bend without rationalle. Don't you know there is more wealth in Congress on the Left side of the isle? I suspect not because you don't do your homework. If you routinely watch CNN as a news source then you are subject to routine misrepresentations. Why do people play the lottery hoping to strike it rich if wealth is so bad? Achievers deserve recognition, not lies and deceit. I ask you to study basic economics as this will clear the air for you what helps and what hinders our nation.

        February 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      Actually, one of the main firms that aggressively lobbied the government to lower the carried interest tax was Romney's investment firm Bain & Company so don't claim he is entirely faultless. But that's the sort of integrityyou want in a President, a guy who finds loopholes in the system and exploits them for personal gain.
      http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/lobbying.php?cycle=2012&ind=F2600

      February 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  59. Joel

    Fair or not, it is what congress passed and the president signed into law!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      amen!

      February 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • avdspm

      thank you!

      February 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  60. Tony

    Who is this 'almost everyone' that supposedly agrees we should reward people for investing money?

    I believe all income should be treated equally, regardless of source.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  61. Schmedley

    Here is my problem with this issue, this "fairness" argument ASSUMES that your investments make money, i.e. it assumes that there is no risk.

    There is no upfront financial investment you need to make to get your salary, hence it is ordinary income. What if in order to get your salary, you needed to pony up $500K and even then it was not guaranteed? One year you might make $100,000, the next year you might lose money?

    Yes, you are able write off losses, but you are only able to write them off against a gain. If you have little or gains in a bad year, just losses, then you're hosed.

    Even though Romney, invested other people's money, I am assuming that he doesn't get paid if those investments don't get returns. If that is the case, then it is largely the same situation.

    Yes it is true that the wealthy can afford to take such risks, but it's not like it's free money. If your investments don't pan out, you can lose a lot of money.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • BBC Blogger

      Schmedley: Here is my argument with fairness. Your argument assumes that there are no risks when taking a job. there are many risks involved. Will the company go out of business, or will it be an opportunity for growth development. Will taking a job at Company A a better risk than taking a job at Company B. Will taking a sign up bonus from Company A a better move then not taking it and instead joining Company B. Will taking a job at company B will be hazardous to ones health.

      Just as any investment, choosing a job come with its own set of risks, and the past performance of a company is no guarantee on future performance it will have on your job growth.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • BigMac

      Schmedley: no up front capital you say? Then I want all the money I paid to my university back. I also know lots of well educated people who had trouble finding jobs after school too...

      While I went to school I worked part time at Wal-Mart, earned $8,000 annually. My three year BSc put me in debt by about $30,000 – as a nation my annual deficit would be 125% of my GDP 🙂 Now I am a computer programmer earning $75,000 annually and I pay a hell of a lot more than 15% in taxes! So why is it that the risks that Mitt and others like him are so much more richly rewarded?

      If I could keep more of my money I would create jobs simply because I would consume more, hell I might even have enough to invest, but if I give it to MItt to invest for me (at no risk to him) he only pays 15% while I pay more...

      Not fair – not fair at all...

      February 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Dem

      Sighhhhh, why is it that people that comment cannot seem to read? Carried Interest income requires zero investment and zero risk and it isn't first taxed at the corporate rate either. It is a management fee pure and simple. Look up Carried Interest on Wikipedia – its described quite clearly.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        Carried interest provides incentive to the managers proportionally to how well they preformed. Making sure that the managers have "skin in the game" is a good thing.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
      • Dem

        What skin does he have in the game? He has no skin in the game – it is a rich boys club with no risk.

        February 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • Middle of the Road

        Management fees as you say are very different than the incentive fee that funds earn. The management fee is very low, 1-2% (this is the no risk component), and is taxed at the corporate level as ordinary income. The incentive fee, generally 20% and is always subject to performance (this varies by fund structure), is what everyone refers to as "carried interest" and taxed at the capital gains tax rate.

        So there actually is a good alignment of interests. The management fees generally go to cover operating expenses and no one is getting rich off them. What I'm talking about applies to funds where there is a management and incentive fee...there are funds that only collect a managment fee (which people can get rich off becuase they manage far more assets).

        February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  62. spiffy53

    Carried Interest is a scam and a disgrace to all tax paying citizens. "he has the gold makes the rules"

    February 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • USA

      Spoken like a non-tax-paying citizen.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  63. TheMagusNYC

    I am under the impression that "carried interest" funds permitted exceeding the amounts that ordinarily could be deposited in an IRA, and permitted transferring $100 million tax free into trust funds for Mr. Romney's sons. Otherwise, how can he have $200 million in IRA accounts? There is more to this than just being a reduced rate of taxation. Perhaps undervalued stock options might be transferred as well, and of course one can donate appreciated stock to charity and no one pays taxes, except you and me.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  64. J. Jonas

    It's not right to envy others' wealth, and no, they should not be made to feel bad about their wealth or pay a very high rate, if they've worked honorably to earn their wealth.

    In determining whether Slick Mitt or No Drama Obama would be better at handling America’s economy, people should ask:
    1) who will be the advisors. Why – it's the advisors who really tell the President what to do.
    2) can the candidate management his teams.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • ZoeyKay

      No one is envying the wealth – closed. The issue is that our tax policy makes it so that he pays less than 15% in federal taxes, while the middle class is paying around 20%-25%, some higher. So are you saying that the middle class SHOULD pay a higher tax rate, because they are not rich? It's the same as saying the rich should pay a lower tax rate because they are more successful. Either way, it doesn't jive with Jesus' teachings in the Bible, since all the GOP candidates claim to be Christian. How about ALL of us paying that 15% instead of a small minority paying it.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply

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