Saturday, August 18, 2012

Paul Ryan Two Tax Returns, Romney Less


Exactly one week after being named VP choice by Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan has released two years of tax returns. In releasing just two, he is displaying solidarity with Mitt, and probably showing less than he had to do while being vetted by the Romney campaign, since Tim Pawlenty admitted to showing them "bunches" of returns. Hypocrisy, thou name art Romney.

Huff Post Story
The Republican vice presidential candidate and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 15.9 percent in 2010 and 20 percent in 2011.
They paid $34,233 in taxes on an adjusted gross income of $215,417 in 2010, and paid $64,764 in taxes on an adjusted gross income of $323,416 in 2011.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal Story

. . . A Ryan aide told the Journal Sentinel last week that a portion of Ryan's investment income is from holdings that belonged to his wife.
"As these are properties Rep. Ryan 'married into,' for lack of a better term," Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said last week, "he does not play an active role in them and has no plans to."
Seifert said last week that the Ryans' investments include several companies that lease land and mineral rights to energy companies.

Those holdings have resulted in some critics pointing out that Ryan's federal budget plan keeps a tax deduction for land owners who lease property for drilling. The Ryans' received a $2,543 deduction last year, and other family members in the partnership presumably would have also received deductions.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign continued to pressure Romney to release more than the 1-1/2 tax returns he has offered so far. They suggested a deal, which Romney refused. I think that was rather stupid on the part of the Romney campaign because it reinforces the idea that the candidate is hiding something.

Washington Post Story
In a letter Friday to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, Obama reelection campaign manager Jim Messina pledged that if Romney released five years of tax returns filed from 2007 to 2012, the Obama campaign in turn would stop criticizing the Republican candidate for not making public more of his returns. Messina said the offer addresses Romney’s apparent “fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide.”
. . . Messina said Romney “would have to release only three more sets of returns in addition to the 2010 return he has released and the 2011 return he has pledged to provide.”
. . . Rhoades promptly rejected the offer, telling Messina in an e-mail: “It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending.”

As Rachel Maddow pointed out tonight, "Precedent Matters." It may not be a "law" that Romney should relase more tax returns, but it's the custom of the country, the tradition, the way things are done.

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