Monday, September 24, 2012

Quick Hits - September 21, 2012

Earlier today, Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return, as promised during the primary race, and included with the release of his 2011 return a notarized letter from PriceWaterhouseCoopers attesting to the taxes paid by the Romney's between 1990 and 2009....
Regarding the newly-filed 2011 Tax Return:

-In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.

-The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.

-The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.

-The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions. …

Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:

In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.

-Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.

During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.

Will this put to rest the kerfuffle promoted by the Obama campaign, Harry Reid, and the Obama media sycophants about Romney's taxes?

Of course it will not.

One, when have facts ever stopped a politically motivated class warfare class demonization kerfuffle?  Never.

Second, to the class warfare obsessed progressives, most of whom are in the in 1% themselves, this only fuels more demonization against Mitt Romney and the rich, in particular, rich Republicans.

'He only paid 14.1% effective tax rate' - when so many others pay >24%.... casually forgetting that not only is the rate after pretty much all of the Romney's income came from capital gains - taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income in order to stimulate investments, but that the Romney's also donated nearly 30% of their total 2011 income to charity - donations that are tax deductible.

Beyond the type of income the Romney's received being different - but their effective tax rate is lower because of their generosity towards private charity.

Now this chafes the progressives to no end - because in their vision and viewpoint, only government should operate in this manner - not private charities.  They contend that private charities are inefficient and ineffective with government being the best provider to those in need of assistance.  This is seen in the wide differences between the amounts that conservatives / Republicans give to charity and the amounts that liberals / progressives / Democrats (Hello Joe Biden, Hello Barack Obama prior to 2008) give to charities.

Just about the only real surprise to me from the 2011 tax return information is that while the Romney's donated just over $4 million to charity, they only deducted $2.25 million of these donations in order to, according to the Governor, keep the effective tax rate above 13%.

Yes, the Romney's also made a charitable (non-deductible) donation to the US government.

The PWC letter also provides some good information that counters the base accusations of those like Harry Reid who claimed that the Romney's didn't pay any taxes - like over the 20 year period covered (1990-2009), the Romney's actually paid 38.49% of their income to federal and state taxes plus their tax deductible charitable contributions.  It also discloses that the Romney's paid 100% of the taxes they owed and no year had an effective tax rate of less than 13.66%.  Their average effective tax rate over that same 20 year period was 20.20% - just slightly higher than the 20.5% that the Obama's paid in 2011....except in the case of the Obama's, most of their income was ordinary income not capital gains.

I won't hold my breath for Harry Reid to release his tax returns (not his annual financial statement) and in particular some of the details about some of those real estate deals which made him so much money.

Both Republicans and Democrats say that the US Federal Tax Code needs a major overhaul - but only one party is advocating tax simplification across the board, across the board tax reductions, and a broadening of the tax base so that more taxpayers have real skin in the game and will hold the federal government accountable for how the taxpayer's money is spent.

The House Ethics Committee announced today that after several years of investigating, they will not be charging the far left Democrat Representative Maxine Waters for allegedly intervening for federal bailouts for a bank her husband had a substantial investment position in.

Scott Brown, the incumbent Republican Senator from Massachusetts and his Democrat challenger, Elizabeth 'Fauxahontas' Warren held the first debate in their contest for November's election.  Warren, the self-described spiritual founder of the OccupyWallStreet movement and self-described Native American, faced an immediate challenge from Mr. Brown as he accused her of using false Native American claims to gain affirmative action advantages in advancing her career.

Warren responded by denying that she ever used the claims to advance her career - despite not making any claims to Native American status until her last two jobs, including her position on the faculty of Harvard Law School - or that after her claim, Harvard Law School filing official affirmative action reports showing a Native American now on staff.

She also repeated her mantra that her information regarding her status comes from long known and accepted family folklore...

The House of Representatives voted by a margin of 250 - 164 to block President Obama's changes (made by Executive fiat) to the work requirement rules that are part of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act legislation which reduce the work requirements needed in order to collect welfare payments.  19 Democrats joined the Republicans in their counter to what is largely seen as an unconstitutional change by the Chief Executive of a federal law - a change that can only legally be done by Congress.

The Washington Post, desperately trying to spin the campaign talk from the Administration's blatant lying over the 9/11 terror attack and the connection between the violence in the Middle East with the President's feckless foreign policy, touts that in the past week Mitt Romney 'had the worst week in Washington'!

The article defies credibility.  In the past week, the Department of Justice was implicated and called out for its incompetence / actions regarding running thousands of assault rifles to Mexican drug cartels and being complicit in hundreds of deaths [Fast and Furious]; the Department of Justice was linked to using a George Soros funded slime firm, MediaMatters, to smear and attack critics of the DoJ and AG Eric Holder; news that the Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebielus, was found to have violated the Hatch Act, the Secretary of State; US Ambassador to the United Nations, and the President repeatedly lying about the root cause and conditions around the terror attack in Benghazi which killed 4 Americans including the US Ambassador to Libya (the first Ambassador killed since 1979) and the sacking of the US Embassy in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen; Barack Obama snubbing Israeli PM Netanyahu saying he didn't have time for a meeting, but having time to appear on David Letterman's show and attend a fundraiser hosted by Beyonce and Jay-Z, then agreeing to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi; to reports that the State Department is using taxpayer funds to run advertisements on Pakistani television apologizing for the US having free speech; to another dismal jobless report (382,000); and another round of downgrades of the US credit rating by international credit rating organizations in the wake of the Fed announcing QE3.

And it was a bad week for Romney because someone provided a hard left organization, 'Mother Jones', an edited film from a May 2012 fundraiser where Romney says what 90% of all conservatives already believe?

If there is any doubt that the Washington Post is not all in shilling for the President's reelection - this article kills it.

A few political cartoons -

This Day in History

1780 - American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British Army.  The plot was foiled with the capture of Major Andre and the discovery of papers which confirm Arnold's treachery.  Arnold fled before being captured.  Andre was convicted of being a spy and executed.  Arnold went on to lead British troops during the Revolutionary War in Connecticut and Virginia - fleeing to England when the war was lost.  He never received all that he was promised.  Today, Benedict Arnold is synonymous with the word 'traitor' in the United States.

1792 - In Revolutionary France, the Legislative Assembly votes to abolish the monarchy and establish France's First Republic.

1904 - Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe dies on the Colville reservation in northern Washington at the age of 64.

1938 - A powerful category 3 hurricane slams into Long Island and Southern New England causing 600 deaths and devastating coastal cities and towns.  The unnamed storm, nicknamed the Long Island Express, was the most destructive storm to strike the region in the 20th century.  The damage was made worse because of the lack of modern tools to track the storm or warn of its approach.  The tidal surge was at least 40 feet high and winds were in excess of 100 mph.

1942 - The Boeing B-29 Superfortress 4 engined heavy bomber made its debut flight in Seattle, Washington.  The B-29 was able to carry bomb loads nearly equal to its own weight at altitudes of 30,000 ft to 40,000 ft, a pressurized cabin, and extremely long range at speeds far faster than contemporary bombers in service.  It would make its combat debut in June 1944 flying missions from China to the Japanese mainland.  The aircraft would, in August 1945, drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

1949 - Mao Zedong celebrated the victory in the Chinese Civil War over the Nationalist Chinese forces and announced that the new Chinese government will be 'under the leadership of the Communist Party of China' at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Peking - now Beijing.

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