Breathtaking Romney: $362,000 In Speaking Fees Is 'Not Very Much'
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney has a new definition of "not much": $362,000.
On Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate finally admitted
that the effective tax rate he has been paying for the last several
years is likely below that of middle-class workers, which would also
include military servicemembers.
In Greenville, S.C., Romney was asked directly what his effective tax
rate is. It was a hot topic of discussion at Monday night's debate, at
which Romney repeatedly declined to fully commit to release his tax returns.
"It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything," said Romney
on Tuesday. "For the past 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from
investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income or earned
annual income. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave
that all away. Then, I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very
Not very much? According to a report in USA Today, over the course of a year, Romney earned more than $362,000 in speakers fees -- a period during which he joked he was "unemployed."
His rival, Newt Gingrich, said that he made $60,000 per speech
-- defending himself against the charge that he served as a lobbyist
for Freddie Mac, for which he was paid over $1.6 million for strategic
Romney has an estimated wealth of between $190 million to $250
million, according to financial disclosure reports. Upon leaving Bain
Capital in 1999, he negotiated a retirement package guaranteeing him a percentage of the firm's profits.
A single worker who earns more than $35,350 in income pays a 25
percent tax rate on earnings above that amount. Many families that earn
less than $100,000 per year pay an effective rate of just above that,
according to the Congressional Research Service.
Romney's wealthy welfare comes from a loophole in the tax code that
taxes long-term capital gains at a 15 percent rate. Private equity
executives are then "paid" with capital gains instead of regular income.
The executives, such as Romney, then tell the Internal Revenue Service
that they were not being reimbursed a salary for work they performed but
instead were merely investors reaping the rewards of risk taking.
Happily for the executives, any investments that go belly up and lead to
bankruptcy and mass layoffs can be counted against the earnings, which
amounts to a tax subsidy for failed projects.
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:54:08 GMT
KHQ.COM - The 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is in the books. >>
KHQ.COM - The 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade is in the books. With tens of thousands of people in downtown Spokane watching the parade, the floats, the marching bands, we know you took plenty of pictures! Well, we want to see them!>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:30 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:30:26 GMT
KHQ.COM - The results of the 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade are coming in. We'll post them as we get them.>>
KHQ.COM - The results of the 2013 Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade are coming in. We'll post them as we get them. In the meantime, if you have any photos from Saturday night's parade and want to submit them for a slideshow, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org>>