by Max Brantley
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has released his full 2011 federal income tax returns, fulfilling a commitment he made earlier this year.
Brad Walt, the trustee of the Romneys blind trust, said the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in 2011 taxes on $13,696,951 in income. He said the Romneys effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
Also in the release, Walt said that during the 20-year period between 1990-2009, the Romneys paid an average federal tax rate of 20.2%.
In January, Romney released a summary of his 2011 taxes. In it, he and his wife, Ann, originally said they filed a joint 1040 reporting a joint income of $21 million and a tax bill of $3.2 million.
Oops. All Romney things are complicated. Turns out he overpaid (by not taking all deductions he could have claimed) so as to appear to have a higher rate. Cynics, well justified by experience, figure Romnney will amend the returns to capture the additional money in the future, when someone isn't looking, or it isn't so hot a topic.
And speaking of the lucky ducks in the upper income brackets:
2nd District Democratic candidate Herb Rule says Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, Romney's campaign chair in Arkansas, has some explaining about where he stands on Romney's leaked speech on the 47 percent moochers. "Derogatory" and "arrogant" is how Rule characterized the Romney speech. Rule blasted Griffin for suggesting that people who don't pay an income tax don't have skin in the game, for supporting a flat tax (same rate for rich and poor) and "scolding" people who "weren't born to rich parents like Tim Griffin's candidate was."
More on jump.
FROM RULE RELEASE
Rule said, “Arkansans, regardless of social status, deserve a congressman who cares about them and their well being. Griffin has a long record of doing the bidding for big money interests and Republican Party bosses. His out-of-touch reaction to Romney’s comments were predictable given his historical allegiances.”
Griffin is Romney’s campaign chairman in Arkansas.
As many are aware by now, in video-taped remarks to big-money donors, Romney said that 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes, support President Barack Obama, and “believe they are victims … My job is not to worry about those people … I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”1
Griffin was quoted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette saying that Romney’s comments weren’t “artful” but that Romney was trying to say that too many people don’t pay income taxes. “The point is that no one should be in that category,” Griffin said. Griffin also said that only people with “skin in the game” would be interested in reforming the tax code.
Rule said, “Of course, the poorest among us do, in fact, have ‘skin in the game.’ Many of those not paying taxes are either, on Social Security or in jobs paying the minimum wage. All of them pay sales, property and other taxes.”
Rule added, “What we need to be doing instead of scolding them because they weren't born to rich parents like Tim Griffin's candidate was, is to pump up the economy, create more jobs and add to our job training programs to make America great again.”
In a recent speech at the Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Griffin praised the Eastern European nation of Estonia for having a “flat tax,” and Griffin has previously spoken in favor of a “flat tax system in which everyone pays the same rate.”
Rule said, “This would be disastrous in high-poverty states like Arkansas, which has the third-highest rate of people with no income tax liability, the very people Romney and Griffin have no interest in.”