Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Romney Rule

The Buffett Rule refers to the idea — suggested by Warren Buffett himself — that millionaires should NOT pay a lower tax rate than middle- and lower-income earners.  But if you want an even better name — and a much more bumpersticker-friendly soundbite — how about the Romney Rule.

Mitt Romney is the perfect poster child for the absurd inequality of our tax laws.  As you probably know, the richest Americans derive most of their income from investments, rather than wages or a salary.  And the tax rate on capital gains is much lower than the tax rate on money that a person has actually worked for.

Obama wants to remedy this by establishing a minimum tax rate on the wealthiest .3% of American taxpayers.  That number would come out to roughly 450,000 taxpayers.

Mitt Romney would be hit especially hard by the Romney Rule since most of his wealth has come from capital gains.  (More specifically, Romney has made most of his money through purchasing solvent companies, driving these companies into debt, laying off the workforce and shipping the jobs overseas.  But that’s a whole ‘nother post.)

Romney is desperately fighting this Wall Street image and various nicknames like Millionaire Mitt.  He repeatedly describes himself as “currently unemployed” and “part of the middle class.”  Romney’s Achilles’ Heel is showing.  Democrats need to keep hammering away at Millionaire Mitt and the Romney Rule and all the rest of Romney's Wall Street baggage.

Even Mike Huckabee has said that Romney comes off “like the guy who laid you off.”

PrioritiesUSA Action is among the organizations trying to turn the “Romney Rule” into a ubiquitous slogan.  That should be easy to do, considering Romney paid a 14% tax rate on his income last year (according to Citizens for Tax Justice).

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Blogger Jeannie said...

Obama made $5.6M last year.

October 5, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

That's right, and he's in favor of the "millionaire tax."

October 5, 2011 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is a recent Millionaire, Romney was born rich


October 5, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should note Tom that those 3% have almost 70% of the money


October 5, 2011 at 8:51 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Democrats should make Romney's wealth and how he got it a big issue, you're right.

But did you notice this in the article linked to in the TPM one: "So far Obama’s focus on wealthy people who pay less in taxes because they make their money from investments has been mostly rhetorical. He says that these people should pay just as much as a middle-class wage earner, but . . ."

Say what?! We're supposed to have a progressive income tax. That's not a political label, it's a longstanding principle that those who make more are expected to pay more to help keep the country running. That's because they have more and benefit more from all sorts of things that make up "the common good."

Someone should clue the president in that "just as much" would neither be fair nor sufficient to get the economy back on track.

October 6, 2011 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Good thing the rich won't scour the arcane texts for yet another batch of loopholes they're surely exploit with the help of corporates masquerading as politicians.

October 6, 2011 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger Suzan said...

I'd like to see his tax return.

Most of those richies are claiming they paid the tax rate that applied to their dirty money, when in reality they didn't pay anything due to writeoffs, etc.

Love ya,


October 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: It's only the top .3 percent. God knows how much money they've got. They can bend a little.

SW: At this point, I guess we need to be grateful for whatever crumbs get thrown our way. If the progressive income tax goes the way of the Edsel and I Love Lucy, we may have to just strive to make sure millionaires pay a minimum tax, and/or that capital gains and earned income are taxed at the same rate.

Randal: Yes, I'm grateful that such a horrible scenario would never happen.

Suzan: We'll probably see the inside of Fort Knox before we see Romney's tax return.

October 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"That's right, and he's in favor of the "millionaire tax."

I would be too if I didn't have to pay a mortgage,rent,health insurance,food,transportation,electric,home heating oil,etc.....
and will enjoy lifelong taxpayer subsidies.

October 7, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

Tax Year 2008
Percentiles Ranked by AGI
AGI Threshold on Percentiles
Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1% (make >$380,354) pay
38.02% of income taxes.

Top 5% (make >$159,619) pay
58.72% of income taxes.

Top 10% (make >$113,799) pay
69.94% of income taxes.

Top 25% (make >$67,280) pay
86.34% of income taxes.

Top 50%

Bottom 50%

October 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM  

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