Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 8:38 pm

The top 13.9%

Filed under: I want my money back. — Lex @ 8:38 pm

Sir Charles at Cogitamus:

Just based on the brief things that I have read and heard this morning, it looks like Romney had income over $20 million for both years and paid an effective tax rate of 13.9% in 2010.  Unbelievable.

I pulled my 2009 taxes out of my filing cabinet this morning — I think 2010 is still at my office somewhere — just to see how my wife and I stacked up against Mittens and his wife.  I am an equity partner in my law firm, which means I derive income based on firm profits and that I am treated as self-employed under the law, meaning I pay both the employer and employee sides of the FICA tax.  My income can fluctuate quite a bit from year to year as profits ebb and flow, but I make a pretty nice living by any reasonable standard after 25 years of plying my craft.  My wife is a salaried professional who makes a six figure income in her own right, so in terms of family income we hover right around the top 1-2% depending on the year.  (Typical of most people I know in this demographic, we have virtually no investment income to speak of — we fully fund our retirement accounts, pay our big mortgage and tuition bills, take a nice vacation or two, and try to save a bit, but we do not have capital gains or interest income worthy of mention.)

In 2009, which was a very good year for me (although not in quite up to Mitt’s speaking fee income), we paid an overall federal tax rate of 30.3%.  (We get hit increasingly by the Alternative Minimum Tax, which wipes out a good bit of our mortgage interest deduction.)  We paid an additional 7% effective tax rate to the District of Columbia.

I never complain about my taxes. I feel incredibly fortunate to be where I am in life and would not object to paying a bit more for the greater good.  (And I can assure people that marginal tax rates have no impact at all on our business decisions in terms of trying to make money.)   But when I look at the tax rate paid by this “unemployed” rich kid I see red.  The meager taxes paid on capital gains and the gaping tax loophole that allows ordinary income for these investment management types to be treated as “carried interest” are completely outrageous.

The point isn’t that we’re jealous of wealth or high income. The point is that the wealthy and those with high incomes have rigged the system to be even more favorable to them than to us.


1 Comment

  1. Advice : Move out of that cesspool ..DC.

    Secondly: Romney also made charitable contributions of $3 million

    Finally , fire your CPA

    BTW, Newt is my man

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, January 25, 2012 1:04 am @ 1:04 am

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