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1 simoom  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 3:14:32pm

Hmm, so he's going to wait till after the April filing so as to only release his next tax return? Doesn't he realize he's just making folks extremely curious what's in his 2010 returns (which this seems to avoid releasing)?

2 researchok  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 4:44:51pm

re: #1 simoom

I believe the dems don't really want to have the conversation either, and not just because of their wealthiest members.

Pensions funds are the largest investors in the stock market. Who wants to be perceived as beating up on widows and orphans?

Also, municipalities and utilities, for example, count on the low tax/non taxable returns to make their own infrastructure investments more attractive and to keep their costs lower. If there were no tax breaks for municipalities and utilities, they would have to compete on the open market and thus have to pay out more- and that gets passed along to the rest of us.

As for the stock market there is a risk/reward aspect that cannot be ignored. That said, perhaps a graduated scale might address the problem.

In terms of more equitable taxes, the individuals are not the biggest problem. It is the corporate entities that have gone offshore that are the biggest problem- trillions of dollars in tax revenue the government doesn't see.

3 simoom  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 5:13:59pm


Managers of private equity firms like Romney are often paid under an arrangement in which they receive both a set fee for their management, as well as a share of the profits that the firm makes for investors. While their management fees are taxed at normal income tax rates, the share of investor gains that go to a private equity manager (called "carried interest") are treated as capital gains, and thus taxed at a top rate of 15 percent. (Hedge fund managers and partners in real estate ventures also benefit from receiving carried interest.)

The argument for a lower capital gains rate is that it encourages investment. Whether that's true or not, private equity managers are allowed to pay the capital gains rate on the profits they make managing someone else's money, not for any risk that they take themselves.


Congress has attempted to close the carried interest loophole on a number of occasions, with the Democrats passing legislation to close it three times when they controlled the House of Representatives. But intense lobbying and Senate intransigence has kept the tax giveaway in place.

4 researchok  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 5:21:48pm

re: #3 simoom

True- but the deal only pays out in a big way only if the company profits.

Management has a vested interest in doing a good job in returning yields to investors- including those pension funds.

5 jc717  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 5:58:59pm

re: #4 researchok

True- but the deal only pays out in a big way only if the company profits.

Management has a vested interest in doing a good job in returning yields to investors- including those pension funds.

But those incentives would be there whether the carried interest was taxed at 35% or 15%... One could argue that there would be more incentive with a 35% tax... PE/Hedge Fund kings would need a bit more of a return to buy that third private jet.

6 researchok  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 6:15:56pm

re: #5 jc717

No argument here- but recall the jet manufacturers and their purchases get tax breaks, too. Their argument is if there were no tax breaks, there would be less product sold, hence fewer jobs, etc.

In fact, unions are some of the tax breaks biggest boosters.

7 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 6:26:21pm

Is the sentence about the citizenship test a link inside the original article?

If not, I'm confused.

8 researchok  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 6:49:43pm

re: #7 EmmmieG

Just an ad link I missed. It's gone now.

TY for pointing that out.

9 calochortus  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 8:44:41am

By the way, that "small" amount of income from speaking fees is reported to be around $375,000 last year. A small percentage of his income perhaps, but I'd be happy with a total income of half that amount.

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