Entries in Tax Rate (5)


Obama Hits Romney for His ‘Fair’ Tax Rate

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- President Obama Monday pounced on rival Mitt Romney‘s comment that it’s fair for him to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans, arguing his opponent’s remarks embody the different visions at stake in this election.

“He said yes, I think it’s fair, and I also think that’s the way you get economic growth,” Obama said in an appearance on ABC’s The View. “The notion being, if people at the top have more income, they’ll invest and they’ll create jobs.”

“I’ve just got a different vision about how we grow an economy,” Obama said Monday's taping to air on Tuesday. “I think … that you grow an economy from the middle out, not from the top down.”


Romney has defended paying a lower tax rate on his roughly $20 million investment income than people do when they make $50,000 a year.  He told CBS’ 60 Minutes, It’s “the right way to encourage economic growth -- to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.”

“That’s a different vision about how we move the country forward, and you know, ultimately it’s going to be up to the American people to make a decision about you know who’s got the better plan,” the president told the women of The View.

“When the teacher and the bus driver and the receptionist and the office manager -- when they’ve got more money in their pockets, when they’re doing well, then that means business has more customers, that means business makes more profits, they hire more workers and that’s been the history of our country, is we grow fastest when the middle class is doing well and when folks who are trying to get in the middle class have ladders of opportunity,” Obama said.

“I’m voting for him,” first lady Michelle Obama chimed in to laughter and applause from the audience.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Paid 14.1 Percent Tax Rate in 2011

Mario Tama/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) - After months of criticism for not being transparent enough as a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has filed his 2011 tax returns which the campaign says shows the presidential candidate paid a 14.1 percent tax rate.

Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes on $13.7 million in income for the year 2011.

The rate falls in line with Romney's estimate back in August that he had paid "13.6 [percent] or something like that."

In a surprise move, the campaign will also release a summary of 20 years of returns. Romney had previously pledged to only release the two most recent years of returns.

The full returns for 2011 will be posted later Friday afternoon, as will health reports for both Romney and Ryan.

According the campaign, the Romneys donated nearly 30 percent of their income to charity in 2011.

The release of Romney's full 2011 return and the 20 years of summaries comes after months and months of hounding by Democrats for the documents, who argued that Romney's lack of transparency was worrisome for a could-be president.

Romney's tax saga has been ongoing since January, when in a hastily arranged press conference after a dismal showing at a rally just days before the South Carolina primary, he disclosed that his tax rate was "probably closer to the 15 percent rate."

At that time, Romney said it was traditional for nominees to release their returns in April -- "tax season," he explained -- but the candidate back pedaled just days later, when in an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace he announced he would, in fact, release the documents.

He told Wallace at the time that he'd "made a mistake for holding off" as long as he had in releasing them.

So on Jan. 24 he took the plunge, releasing his 2010 returns and an estimate of 2011 returns, which weren't ready yet, his campaign said.

His 2010 releases show that Romney took in $21.7 million in income in 2010 and paid $3 million in taxes, a tax rate of just under 14 percent.

The returns also show that Romney gave $3 million in charitable donations in 2010, including $1.5 million to the Mormon church.

As calls intensified for him to release as many as 10 years of returns, Romney continued to point to Sen. John McCain as his role model on the issue, highlighting that McCain only released two years of his tax returns, and maintaining that he had done everything "required of him by law" when it came to his financial documents.

But the criticism only continued when it emerged that Romney's campaign had requested "several years" of tax returns from those who were vetted as potential vice presidential candidates.

The focus on Romney's tax returns has long irritated Romney advisers, who felt the issue took Romney off message and dominated the news cycle when they would have rather it be focused on the economy.

For example, during a press conference in August that was meant to focus on his Medicare plan, Romney was dogged about his tax rate, the candidate asked whether he'd kept his promise to ABC News, which he made during an interview in Jerusalem, to "go back and look" and see if he'd ever paid a tax rate lower than 13 percent.

"I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13 percent," Romney said at the time.

So why did Romney wait so long -- and until Election Day was so close -- to release his returns? The candidate and his wife told Parade magazine in August that one of the reasons they have been hesitant to release their financial documents is due to the amount of money they give the Mormon church.

"Our church doesn't publish how much is given," Romney told the magazine. "One of the downsides of releasing one's financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It's a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church." 

======= SEE THE FULL DOCUMENTS =======

2011 Mitt & Ann Romney Return

2011 Mitt Romney Trust Return

2011 Ann Romney Trust Return

2011 Family Trust Return

Physician's Letter on Mitt Romney's Health

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama: Ryan Plan Means Lower Taxes for Romney

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WINDHAM, N.H.) -- President Obama on Saturday day ratcheted up attacks on Mitt Romney over his personal tax rate, accusing the presumptive GOP nominee of choosing a running mate whose budget plan would reduce his tax burden to less than 1 percent each year.

“His new running mate, Congressman [Paul] Ryan, put forward a plan that would let Governor Romney pay less than 1 percent in taxes each year,” Obama said on the stump in Windham, N.H.

“Here’s the kicker: he expects you to pick up the tab. Governor Romney’s tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000.  Not to reduce the deficit, or grow jobs, or invest in education ¬but to give another tax cut to people like him,” Obama said.

The charge is based on an analysis by Roll Call earlier this month of Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” 2010 budget, which would eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest — the primary sources of Romney’s income.  A separate study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, disputed by the Romney campaign, found the Republican’s plan would raise rates on lower-income earners.

“Ask Governor Romney and his running mate when they’re here in New Hampshire on Monday — they’re going to be coming here on Monday — ask them if they think that’s fair. Ask them how it’ll grow the economy, or strengthen the middle-class. They have tried to sell us this trickle-down snake oil before. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now,” he said.

The Romney-Ryan campaign says Obama distorts the facts with his charge.  Romney has said he opposes eliminating the capital gains tax for upper-income earners; elimination of the capital gains tax was also not in Ryan’s most recent budget proposal from 2012. (See an ABC fact-check of Obama’s claims HERE.)

“Following news that 44 out of 50 states saw their unemployment rates rise, it is not surprising the President is launching yet another false attack,” Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said. “The fact is President Obama wants to raise taxes on private investment and job creators, which will lead to higher unemployment and fewer jobs. The Romney-Ryan Plan eliminates taxes for the middle class on interest, dividends and capital gains and implements pro-growth policies to deliver more jobs and more take-home pay for middle-class families.”

The president also swiped at his rivals for their Medicare plan and pushed back against recent attacks that he has undermined the program.

“You think they’d avoid talking about Medicare, given the fact that both of them have proposed to voucherize the Medicare system,” Obama said.

“That doesn’t strengthen Medicare; that undoes the very guarantee of Medicare. That’s the core of the plan reached by Congressman Ryan and endorsed by Governor Romney,” the president said, echoing his remarks in Iowa earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Ryan was in Florida at the nation’s largest retirement community, The Villages, to make the case before hundreds of seniors that Obama has already ended Medicare as it is known, cutting $700 billion in spending on the program to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.  Ryan also accused Obama of not putting forward a plan to address the entitlement’s long-term financial solvency.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich Paid 31% Tax Rate in 2010

Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that he paid a 31 percent tax rate in 2010 and plans to release his tax returns for 2010 Thursday, followed by the 2011 documents.

“We can confirm that I paid a 31 percent rate, and although let me be clear, the 21st century Contract With America has an optional 15 percent for every American,” Gingrich said at a press availability in South Carolina. “My goal is not to raise Mitt Romney’s taxes. It’s to let everybody pay Mitt Romney’s rate. And so I’m not going to criticize Mitt Romney. I’m going to say, shouldn’t we all have the option of a flat tax at the same rate he was paying.”

Gingrich’s taxes were in line with the total effective federal tax rate, which was 31.2 percent in 2010 for top 1 percent of taxpayers.

The former House speaker said his campaign went through his documents three times to make sure he paid a 31 percent rate, but said he would need to check whether that was only federal or both federal and state taxes.

“We’re pulling together the documents,” he added. “We hope to get it out sometime tomorrow. … And we’ll release 2011 as soon as we put it together.”

When asked what he earned, Gingrich said he did not know.

The former congressman divulged his tax returns after chief rival Mitt Romney revealed Tuesday that his effective tax rate is “closer to 15 percent.”

Romney is under fire by his rivals -- and has even been urged by his supporters such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- to release his tax returns. The former Massachusetts governor said in Monday night’s debate that he will do so in April.

Gingrich, who has gained some momentum after the Fox News-Wall Street Journal debate, also said Wednesday that it would be helpful if Rick Santorum and Rick Perry dropped out of the race. Gingrich has suggested that voting for either would only boost Romney because neither of them can win.

Santorum has dismissed those claims, pointing to his No. 2 finish in the Iowa caucuses, where he lost to Romney by eight votes, and his tie with Gingrich in the New Hampshire primary.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Reveals His Tax Rate is ‘Probably Closer to 15 Percent’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(FLORENCE, S.C.) -- Mitt Romney revealed for the first time Tuesday that his effective tax rate is “closer to 15 percent,” suggesting that he pays less in taxes than many middle income Americans despite being worth an estimated $250 million.

“What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,” Romney said during a press conference after an early morning rally. “Because my last 10 years, I’ve…my income comes overwhelmingly from some investments made in the past, whether ordinary income or earned annually. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. And then I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much.”

According to his personal financial disclosure report released in August, Romney was paid more than $370,000 for speaking appearances in the 2011-2011 filing period.

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Under pressure by his rivals to release his tax returns, a move he said during Monday night’s Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate he will not take before April, Romney on Tuesday offered a rare glimpse into what the coveted documents may reveal. What Romney admitted is exactly what billionaire Warren Buffett has railed against -- the fact that many multi-millionaires actually pay far less in taxes than the people who work for them.

In addition to hinting at his tax rate, Romney suggested that if he does release his returns, he will only release those from 2011 and not those from years prior.

In addressing his differing positions from former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Romney said that he is opposed to Gingrich’s plan to eliminate capital gains tax for high income individuals -- the very tax he suggested he pays.

Romney also addressed how he accounts for the 120,000 jobs he claims to have created during his work at Bain Capital, a number he himself offered during last night’s debate.

“Let’s get the math, alright?” said Romney, who appeared irritated as he was followed to his campaign bus by a crush of reporters.

“Four companies created 120,000 jobs. It’s very simple,” said Romney. “Four companies created 120,000. Staples, Bright Horizons, Steel Dynamics, and…which one am I missing? Sports Authority. If you look up their 10Ks today, you’ll find that they have 120,000 jobs. Those were all businesses I helped get started.”

“So those four created about 120,000 jobs,” Romney continued. “And then all of those businesses that had been well-documented by various people over the years, when I ran in ’94, when I ran last time, when I ran for governor, those that have lost jobs, they end up being a little less than 10,000, those that were losers. So if you took the ones that were losers, and compare with the ones that were, those four, at least, why you end up with something over 100,000.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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