by Kate Childs Graham | September 21, 2012
The West Wing called the practice “taking out the trash.” It’s when politicians make potentially damaging announcements right before a weekend in order to minimize news coverage. That’s exactly what Mitt Romney’s campaign did this afternoon with their release of Romney’s 2011 tax returns.
The campaign had reason to worry. In 2011, Romney paid only 14.1 percent in taxes. The low rate is attributed to the fact that most of his income was in the form of capital gains, according to his advisors. Most Americans pay about twice that – 28 percent – on incomes a small fraction of the Romneys’ $13,696,951.
In addition to the 2011 returns, the campaign released a summary of tax rates from the Romneys’ tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009, to prove that Romney never paid less than 13 percent.
Romney’s tax plan would give the ultra-wealthy an even bigger break than they’ve already got by extending the failed Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, 18 million working families would see their taxes increase by $900.
No households making more than $1 million – or Romney’s $14 million – should pay less in taxes than middle-class Americans. President Obama’s Buffett Rule would ensure that every American pays their fair share.
The Romney campaign may be trying to minimize the coverage, but AFSCME members have their boots on the ground, knocking on doors and making phone calls to let their communities know what’s at stake in this election. Tax returns and all.