Mitt Romney has been getting some flak for not releasing his tax returns. His stuttering answer during the debate Tuesday and his lukewarm agreement to follow tradition when he’s nominated, didn’t add much to his decision, and it certainly didn’t tell the whole story.
So why doesn’t Romney want to release his tax returns?
He’s not a tax cheat. (That’s Timothy Geithner.) He’s rich, but a lot of people are a lot richer. (Plus, most politicians have money.) His finances are personal, but politicians know they’ll be forced to forgo their privacy when they enter the race.
What would happen then, if Romney released his tax returns?
He’ll get slammed, and he knows it. Let me explain.
Romney’s businesses deal with investments. The income earned from investments is called capital gains. In our country, the tax for capital gains is 15% of that income. This is significantly lower than the tax rates for earned income (which is what most of us pay, since we’re compensated for labor [goods and services]).
The Left (and sadly, even some on the Right) will cry foul that someone as successful and wealthy as Romney pays less in taxes (percentage-wise) than an individual who earns, say, $50K or $60K a year.
That foul cry doesn’t makes sense, though. Everybody wants to be able to keep the greatest amount possible of their own money. If we didn’t, we would all be volunteering to pay extra taxes.
The capital gains tax is significantly lower than tax on earned income. That’s simply how the law is written.
Romney is paying his taxes according to the law. So are you. Virtually everybody has capital gains income. Anyone who has a 401k earns money from investments, and pays – you guessed it – the 15% tax required by law on capital gains income. Nobody volunteers to pay more than that because… well, because that would be crazy.
Mitt Romney’s tax returns will show us something else: He will be an excellent steward of our money.
He created his business in a way that allows him to keep the greatest amount of his own money allowed by law, rather than forfeiting his earnings to the government.
This makes sense. Nobody likes to pay taxes, and nobody wants to turn their hard-earned money over to a government who wastes it. We want choose the way our money is spent and keep as much of it as possible, because we earned it.
So does Mitt Romney.
The 15% taxes he pays is the strategy he chose to be efficient with his money. He designed his business around the fact that investments could makes him the most money, both in themselves and through the lower tax rate.
His money strategy is honest, it’s legal, and it’s smart. If he’s wins the nomination and is elected President, he’s the kind of man I’d want to be the steward of my money.