Mitt Romney released tax information showing he will pay a total of $6.2 million on a total income of $45.2 million in 2010 and 2011.
Math majors (and those who are quick on a calculator) who take the time to crunch all of the numbers will no doubt deduce that this amounts to 13.9% in taxes in 2010, and are expecting to pay 15.4% in taxes in 2011.
A lot of Democrats and most of the Occupy movement are likely infuriated by this.
I have just one simple question: Did Romney pay the taxes that were legally due?
Because that’s really the only thing that matters, and the only thing that should matter. After all, when you file your income taxes, do you pay more than H&R Block says you owe just because you want to be a “better” American?
If there’s a tax break or loophole that is exploitable legally and you take advantage of it, then that’s okay with me, too. More power to you. And I hope you spend that extra money you don’t have to pay in taxes to help boost the economy.
That’s because the tax breaks are there for that specific reason, and if our politicians would spend more time reading what they’re passing rather than arguing, there’d be far fewer loopholes for people to exploit to start with.
But as long as you operate within the law, which is what the rest of us have to do, then I have no problem — and frankly very little interest — in how many taxes you pay.
The issue that these people need to be focusing on isn’t what any one person (or one party full of people) are paying. But rather, how fair the tax code is as it exists.
I think this irrational hatred of the wealthy is absurd. If I make $50,000 a year (which I don’t, but would like to), and my tax bracket is, say, 28%, I should expect to pay about $14,000. Sure, that’s a lot of money. To me.
Not a great deal of money when it comes to the operations of the government. And it doesn’t hold a candle to 13.9% of tens of millions of dollars the Romneys paid in 2010.
The government is making more operating revenue off of those who have more wealth, no matter what the tax brackets happen to be. The wealthy are, by design, contributing more to the government’s budget than I am. That alone shouldn’t make them more valuable than I am as citizens, but it ought to at least give the rest of us pause as we consider that they’re keeping the government running with more revenue fuel than we are.
If you advocate a single tax rate or a graduated rate that favors the middle class over the wealthy, then that is a battle that’s worth considering. And you should vote your conscience when it comes to candidates who are willing to do something about that problem.
But as for the current candidates who don’t yet have any authority to make any kind of change, as long as they are paying what the tax laws require, that ought to be enough.