Don’t that beat all. Mitt Romney’s video (attached to NYT article) has him sneering about the 47% of people he alleges “don’t pay taxes.” Mitt’s actually angry with people who he feels don’t pay their fair share to support the US govt! Really? Tax avoidance is going to be your issue? You sure you want to open that can of worms? Ok, Mitt, love the sound of that can opener whirring. Ooh, look what’s crawling out. Since you know what these people paid (conveniently ignoring their payroll taxes and Medicare), and have judged it’s not enough, LET’S SEE YOUR TAXES! Did you pay your fair share of income taxes? Which, per the tax code for your income level amounts to 35%. Gee, we have only one year’s return to go on. In that one it looks like you paid, what, 13.7%? Not even half what you’re supposed to. What a moocher. What guzzling from the federal teat. And that’s presumably your best year. The one you likely paid the most. LET’S SEE YOUR TAXES! You paid a lower percent than me, lower than your staff, lower than the small business owner you claim to love (until you buy him and sell his business for spare parts). Oh, that’s right, what you did is all legal. But what the 47% of people you disdain did is also legal—they’re paying what the tax code calls for. Your point is that that’s not fair. Ok, Mr. Fair, LET’S SEE YOUR TAXES and we’ll decide whether what you paid was fair.
And speaking of mooching. You make such a big deal about how you “rescued” the Salt Lake City Olympics. I didn’t know until recently that the “rescue” centered around your using your contacts to obtain $1.5 BILLION in federal money to support the games. You got a government giveaway (many, many times higher than was given to the LA Olympics) and claimed that as evidence of your management skills. What a crock. Who’s the real govt. mooch? Who’s the hypocrite? Who doesn’t deserve to be president. That’s you, Mitt.
He only sneers and will not care about those ‘non tax payers’ only if they are supporters of Obama’s. How can he be a President for all the citizens? He is only an Etch a Sketcher in Chief.
Romney: He doth protest too much.
Forget Mitt for a minute and answer this for a citizen:
When one educates him/herself, works very, very hard, more than average by a lot, creates exports, creates enormous value for the country, and gives up their life to do so, how much should he/she pay in takes? $1,000? 10,000? $100,000, $1,000,000? Is there a limit you should requires from one person?
Agreed to leave out Mitt’s individual circumstances.
Is it fair to presume that you’re ok with the tax responsibility being based on a percentage (whatever that may be, which of course is another discussion we should have) of income and that your question is whether there should be an upper limit in terms of absolute dollars when that percentage is applied?
That’s a reasonable question that I haven’t thought about before. After all, we do have a lower limit below which we do not make people pay federal tax (though not other taxes), and an upper limit on Medicare contributions, so should there be an upper limit on income tax obligations?
A couple initial thoughts. IF there were to be such a limit, I’m not sure I’m comfortable applying it to those who “educated themselves, work very, very hard…and create enormous value for the country…” I can just imagine the enormous position papers submitted with the tax return to justify that person’s separation from the bulk of high-earners who simply did a decent job. And what about the high executives who acquired an 8 figure golden parachute when their company went down the tubes through their negligence or even who just took a big bonus when the firm had a bad year? (not imaginary examples, as you know). Would these people get the same break as the high-value person or would they pay full percentage rate? Perhaps the skunks who are the opposite of your hard-working CEO should be on the hook for even MORE? I think as a practical matter to avoid endless litigation, we’d simply have to say there was a max number and leave out the differential tax burden for different levels of social utility. Given that, I think I’d have to come down on the side of the fixed percentage and say that valuable hard worker A should pay the same percentage of his compensation as not-so-hard-worker B.
I would point out this doesn’t mean I think that at the end of the day the hard-working, valuable person should net the same as the skunk. But I think this should be accomplished at the front end with the total value of their package, particularly including NOT giving rewards when performance was poor. This is off the top of my head and may not be the best example, but I recall that Goldman (and I believer other financial firms) executives received huge bonuses the year they helped tank the economy and required govt. cash infusion. I’d think we’d be better off if that kind of performance was NOT rewarded, allowing the performance differentiation between performers to be done as now, with raises and bonuses.
That being said, I hate paying taxes as much as the next person. But you know, those are the dues you pay to have a decent country.