by Max Brantley
It's true. Fabulously wealthy people can come up with ways to avoid paying income taxes. If Mitt Romney was NOT one of those, he can readily prove it by releasing pages one and two of his 1040 for the last 10 years.
Of the 400 richest Americans measured by annual income — they reported an average $200 million each in 2009 — six of them paid NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX. Of the group, 116 paid an income tax rate of lower than 15 percent. That's undoubtedly because most of their income isn't earned in wages, but realized in dividends, interest and capital gains.
Romney's a piker in this group. He only made $21 million in 2010, but paid only a 13.9 percent tax rate.
I looked up my percentage the other day. It was around 23 percent. I didn't make $21 million.