Romney's Tax Returns: How They're Playing

... great on the right, not so great on the left

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 22, 2012 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns yesterday, revealing that he paid $1.9 million in taxes on income of $13.7 million for an effective rate of 14.1%. Here's a sampling of reaction:

  • Megan McArdle, Daily Beast: Yawn. "His tax planning seems to be entirely unremarkable and completely within the law."
  • Seth Hanlon, ThinkProgress: Hanlon posts 10 questions at the liberal site, including one about Romney's decision to deduct only about half of his $4 million in charitable donations. "After the election, when the subject of your tax returns is outside of the public glare, will you file an amended tax return to claim your full deduction of charitable contributions?"

  • Jacob Weisberg, Slate: Romney intentionally overpaid his taxes (those charitable deductions) because he didn't want to fall under a rate of 13%. "By yielding to political criticism and moral pressure about how little he pays, Romney implicitly accepts that under a fairer tax system, people like him would be required to pay more."
  • Erika Johnsen, Hot Air: "So, let’s just take a second here to process this. Mitt Romney, who is ostensibly uncaring, out-of-touch, and disdainful of poor people, gave more than 13 percent of his income (amounting to millions and millions of dollars) over twenty years to charity, and didn’t even always take the full tax deduction. (The bastard!)"
  • Harry Reid: He presses the case for Romney to release more returns, notes Talking Points Memo. These show that Romney "manipulated one of the only two years of tax returns he's seen fit to show the American people—and then only to ‘conform’ with his public statements. That raises the question: what else in those returns has Romney manipulated?"
  • Ezra Klein, Washington Post: Sorry, Harry, but this proves you were flat-out wrong when you passed along rumors that Romney paid zero taxes. That's "shameful." As for Romney, good for him for making $14 million while unemployed. The problem is "his riches have come with lack of empathy for what it’s like to be poor, or even just not-rich."
  • John McCain: Romney has now given "an incredibly detailed look at his finances." Let's move on. More on that at the Los Angeles Times.
  • See Romney's taxes for yourself here, via the Washington Post.

Mitt Romney pauses as supporters cheer to remarks during a rally Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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