Dear Commons Community,
The presidential campaigning is heating up a bit now that Mitt Romney has named Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate and as both parties draw near their annual conventions. The news media yesterday focused mainly on comments Mitt Romney made indicating that he has paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes in each of the past ten years. Specifically as reported in the New York Times:
“Mitt Romney said Thursday that he paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes each year during the past decade, again confronting a vexing issue that Democrats have used to portray him as out of touch with middle-class values.
Calling the interest in his personal tax returns “small-minded” in light of the nation’s problems, Mr. Romney said that he had nonetheless examined the last 10 years of his personal tax returns after Democrats suggested that he might not have paid anything at all in some years.
“Every year, I’ve paid at least 13 percent,” he said, referring to his effective federal income tax rate, which is a higher effective rate than most people pay.
Mr. Romney’s decision to address the tax question on Thursday appeared to be an off-the-cuff attempt to put the nettlesome issue behind him once and for all. But at least initially, it had the opposite effect. Democrats seized on his comments to revive the issue and to once again demand proof of his claims by releasing multiple years of his tax returns.
“We would say: ‘Prove it, Governor Romney,’ ” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for President Obama.
The re-emergence of the tax issue consumed another day of the campaign and added to the sense of a shift in direction for a candidate who had once steadfastly refused to talk about anything other than job losses during Mr. Obama’s tenure, the unemployment rate and the nation’s growing debt. “
This is a step in the right direction for Mr. Romney but before the campaign is over, he is going to have to release more of his income tax information.
By the way, if anyone is interested, I pay approximately 25 percent of my income in taxes each year.