Friday News Dump: Romney’s 2011 Tax Return
It’s Friday, the day when people in the news release information they want to bury as much as possible, and that means Mitt Romney has finally released one year of tax returns: Romney’s Tax Return Comedy.
We’ll be poring over the actual returns soon, but an initial release from the Romney campaign has already told us a couple of amusing things.
First, Mitt and Ann Romney donated a whole heck of a lot of money to charity in 2011 — $4,020,772, to be exact, or about 30 percent of their total income. But they chose only to claim $2.25 million of that total as charitable deductions, because, well, otherwise, their overall tax burden would been a little, shall we say, light.
From the campaign:
The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor’s statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.
Without claiming the total legally possible deduction, Romney ended up paying an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. If he’d claimed everything he had a right to, he would only have paid around 9 percent.
There’s something both hilarious and pathetic about a presidential candidate manipulating his deductions so he ends up paying what he considers a more politically appropriate tax rate. But it’s especially ludicrous n light of Romney’s numerous claims that he’s always paid the government exactly what he owes, “and not a dollar more,” implying that anyone who voluntarily gave the government more than he legally owed was either a fool or a moron.
Romney is even on record declaring that the act of paying more than he owed would mean he shouldn’t be eligible for the presidency!