Let’s Focus on the Taxes Romney Actually Paid

Matt Taibbi has a good point when it comes to attacking Romney for apparently not paying any taxes (a fact yet to be proved):

What they [the Democrats] should be doing instead is hammering Romney on the missing returns, yes, but focusing even more on the returns he did release. We’ve known for seven months now, for instance, that Romney paid $3 million in federal taxes in 2010 on $21.7 million in taxable revenue, an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent. Which, as most people know, is less than half the rate most people pay on their income tax.

When Romney released these numbers, he said they were “entirely legal and fair,” and added, “I’m proud of the fact that I pay a lot of taxes.”

The Romney tax returns are a prime example of our increasingly two-tiered bureaucratic system, in which there is one set of rules for poor and middle-class people, and another set of rules for people like Mitt Romney.

And sadly, Taibbi is probably right about why Obama isn’t:

Barack Obama is one of the few politicians with the communication skills to explain this to middle America, but he’s refusing to go there, probably because he’s still hoping for a post-election rapprochement with Wall Street. He wants to go after Bain Capital, but not private equity in general; he wants to go after Mitt Romney’s missing tax returns, but not the tax returns of all people like Mitt Romney.

I posted about this earlier today where I argued we’re unlikely to see the Democrats make much real movement on the tax code or financial regulation, because in reality, it’s politically suicidal. No Wall St or rich people backing, no Presidency.

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  • Christopher Foxx

    but he’s refusing to go there, probably because he’s still hoping for a post-election rapprochement with Wall Street.

    sigh

    To paraphrase West Wing: “I think Lincoln did what he thought was right even though it could have cost him half the country. I think you won’t do what you know is right if it might cost you Michigan’s electoral votes.”