"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taxes are for the little people
Posted by Jill | 8:06 AM
As part of the Friday Document Dump In Which We Release Crap To Which We Do Not Want You To Pay Attention, Willard "47%" Rmoney released his 2011 tax returns on Friday:
Mitt Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates ever to seek the presidency, paid nearly $2 million in federal taxes on $13.7 million in income that he and his wife reported last year, his U.S. returns showed Friday. That came to an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, lower than millions of middle-income Americans but actually more than he had to pay.

Most of Romney's income was from investment returns. That is why his rate was lower than taxpayers whose income was mostly from wages, which can be taxed at higher rates.

It is a measure of just how out-of-touch these people are that Rmoney thinks we're supposed to give him a medal for this. I went back and looked at our tax returns for 2011 and found that we paid 17.9% in federal income taxes last year. Nearly all of our income is salary, not investments, and our only significant deductions are for our ridiculous NJ property taxes and a relatively minimal mortgage interest deduction, given that we are a shade more than eight years into a 15-year mortgage at 4.75%. Mr. Brilliant shuttles from short-term low-paid contract to short-term low-paid contract these days because companies no longer place any value on reliable network adminnistration and technical support, so in any given year he is out of work for part of it. We're not hurting, but we're constantly vigilant, given that my job could be offshored at any time (for all that companies in my industry are starting to bring offshored jobs back to the US, having found that the too-good-to-refuse deals they're being offered by consulting companies aren't that good after all). My attitude towards the expiration of the Bush-originated tax cuts is "You do what you have to do."

But back to Willard. You know you're completely out of touch when your financial guy says this in your defense:
For the year, they claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of their $4.021 million in charitable contributions, said Brad Malt, trustee of the candidate's blind trust.

The Romneys gave $2.6 million in cash to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the documents show. They gave just over $2 million in non-cash charitable contributions — including donations of stock holdings in Domino's Pizza, Dunkin Donuts and Warner Chilcott — to a family trust.

They could have claimed more in deductions, Malt said, but the couple "limited their deductions of charitable contributions to conform to the governor's statement (n August, based on the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13 percent in income taxes in each of the last 10 years."

What Malt didn't say is that Willard has three years to amend his return, so after the election, when presumably he will be the most powerful man in the world, having prevented enough black people from voting to eke out a teeny-tiny win, he will be able to go back and amend his return and pocket another cool 467,000.

How cynical is it to "overpay" your taxes for political reasons (after claiming that anyone who pays more than he has to isn't qualified to be president), knowing full well that you can go back and amend your tax returns and pocket another half-million dollars?

For that matter, what must it be like to be able to forgo a HALF-MILLION DOLLARS for a few months for the sake of your lust for the presidency?

All of which brings us to our friend and colleague jurassicpork, who would give anything to not be part of that 47% that Willard Rmoney loathes so much. It's getting to the end of the month again, and the wolf is at the JPs' door again, since it is another month that no one was interested in hiring an over-50 QC specialist or a sign designer. So if you appreciate the work he does over here when I'm AWOL, pop on over to Welcome Back to Pottersville and throw a few shekels in the kitty. Right now the JPs are faced with a choice of trying to eke out another month in Massachusetts or head south to a place with an even higher unemployment rate and depend on the kindness of family. Whatever decision they make, they'll need money to do it. It's a far more difficult decision than what you're going to do with another half-million after you quietly amend your tax returns.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share
Anonymous marty said...
"They gave just over $2 million in non-cash charitable contributions — including donations of stock holdings in Domino's Pizza, Dunkin Donuts and Warner Chilcott — to a family trust."

My, what "charity"- giving stock to his own family trust. I guess if I take money out of my left pocket and put it in my right, I'm making a charitable contribution too.....

Blogger lungta said...
bush jr. said once paraphrase
there is no sense taxing the rich they have too many lawyers to find loopholes

Anonymous lless said...
Jill: You are drinking the same Kool Aid that the Republicans have been selling to the Society at large. Your effective rate is roughly 34%. They hide that from you on the standard 1040. For most of my carreer I was self employed and filed a 1040SE. There they added to my tax bill both halves of Social Security and Medicare, so that my effective rate was usually around 44%. They deliberately obfuscate on that for the political reason that they don't want to call attention to the abomination that passive yield income of the rich is exempt from both. Its not just the taxes of the 47% that are being misstated. It's all of our taxes that are being understated for political reasons.

Blogger Jill said...
Not buying the kool-aid, just neglected to specify federal INCOME taxes. The calculations were done from our actual 1040, which of course does not take into account the FICA and Medicare withholding.