August 11, 2012 3 Comments
Let me nitpick a little at Senator Reid’s charge that Mitt Romney ‘hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years’, or whatever the duration is supposed to be. Is Reid saying Romney cheated on his taxes? If so, that’s a serious allegation (at least, against a Republican; Democrats are allowed to cheat on their taxes and no one cares). But I don’t think so.
What about sales taxes? Did Romney somehow purchase zero products to which sales tax applies for 10 years? Seems doubtful.
Romney probably owns cars and has paid taxes on those. I’m pretty sure he owns at least one house, probably more, and so is subject to quite substantial property taxes. Any utility bills he pays have some random stupid taxes thrown in there. Any airline tickets he’s bought. Some fraction of the hotel rooms he’s stayed in. Yachts?
Okay, you say, but the claim is about one particular form of taxation – the income tax. He didn’t pay any income tax for 10 years, says Reid.
Let’s say that’s true. Unless (again) he is being alleged to have cheated, all this would mean is that his net tax owed, when calculated according to the laws, was 0 in those years. Presumably if Romney(‘s accountant) arranged this, it would have been due to Romney taking advantage of whatever brilliant social-engineering incentives Congress (including Harry Reid) has baked into the tax code. Credits, deductions, special one-time holidays, nontaxable investments, rules about foreign income, etc.
Does Reid think this is a bad thing, and if so which part? The part where Romney paid the amount of taxes he was legally required to? Or the part where Congress wrote so many stupid deductions, etc. into the tax code that a guy like Romney could end up with 0 liability?
The former is not a scandal (not for the first time I scratch my head at the implicit idea that Romney should somehow have paid more taxes than he owed). And the latter is more Harry Reid’s fault than it is Mitt Romney’s. So if we believe Harry Reid’s charge/hearsay and take it to heart, the most that adds up to is a criticism of…Harry Reid & co. For being poor