Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reverse engineering: Romney disqualifies himself from being president

By Mustang Bobby 

Friday afternoon, Mitt Romney released his 2011 taxes and summaries of tax returns going back twenty years. The timing was as expected; it's called the Friday news dump when no one is supposed to be paying attention:

In his latest return, Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. As for his previous taxes, Romney's trustee, R. Bradford Malt, provided no primary documents but offered some basic details backed up by a letter from accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Malt said Romney's lowest effective tax rate was 13.66 percent and his average rate was 20.20 percent across the 20-year period.


Romney deliberately did not claim about $1.75 million in charitable deductions on his 2011 taxes in order to artificially keep his effective tax rate above 13 percent, Malt said in a statement Friday. This was to keep Romney's taxes in line with a claim he made earlier this year that he had never paid less than a 13 percent rate — without this deliberate overpayment he'd have had an estimated tax rate of just 12.2 percent, the lowest he's disclosed for any year. In doing so, Romney contradicted a July interview in which he said that he should be disqualified from being president if he ever paid more taxes than he owed.

In other words, what he did was reverse engineer the amount of his charitable donations so he could hit the target to make it look like he was paying the rate he said he was. After all, he's running for political office, for Pete's sake.

(Cross-posted at Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

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