Republican hopeful Mitt Romney had stated that he would release his tax returns once he won the Republican nomination. After seeing his campaign falter on the decision not to disclose the taxes he paid, it was revealed today that Mitt paid just 13.9% on $21.6 million in earnings in 2010. This revelation makes it clear that for many Americans, the U.S. has a very regressive tax system, where the poor pay a higher percentage than the more well to do.
This has been a bone of contention with Warren Buffett, the richest American. In a televised interveiw today, he railed the current tax code by stating "I do fault a law that allows him and me earning enormous sums to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that's about half what the average person in my office pays."
Florida's Republican Primary is on January 31st, and it will be interesting if these revelations about Mitt's taxes will impact his chances. Romney did win the New Hampshire Primary, but lost to Santorum in Iowa, and Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. Meanwhile, Ron Paul has had solid performances in all three contests. What is clear is that there is no front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination.
The revelations over Mitt's remarkably low tax rate may not go over so well with Floridians who are still feeling the effects of housing's boom and bust, and with a state wide unemployment rate that exceeds the national average. Mitt Romney's background in private equity may seem a bit foreign to the average Floridian. While he has touted that job creating benefits of private equity, there are clear examples in Mitt's work history that show that Bain Capital engaged in a slash and burn strategy, basically loading up companies with debt and walking with the cash. A great way to make money, and with the tax system as regressive at its been in years, highly profitable when one's personal tax rate is just 13.9%.
It isn't a stretch to suppose that according to Republicans like Mitt, the solution to U.S. debt woes is to further cut the top tax rate, so extremely wealthy Americans like himself will create more jobs. With U.S. unemployment lagging all prior post-recession periods by a wide margin, and currently just shy of 9%, it seems this philosophy is bankrupt. Indeed, not only has unemployment remained elevated with people like Mitt paying a paltry 15% or less, but the Federal debt has continued to mushroom, now at a mere $15.131 trillion.
Surely the solution to this problem is to slash the rate paid by the wealthiest to zero. Meanwhile, the rapidly shrinking middle class of America will finally disappear.
Ron Paul solution is the only one that makes any sense, and that is to dramtically shrink the Federal Government. Despite the denigration of his candidacy by the mainstream media, Ron Paul posted solid results in all three contests to date. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Ron Paul's campaign could gain the momentum it needs to bring real change to Washington D.C.
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