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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Griper Blade: Mitt's Poverty Level Tax Rate

Nothing on Earth invites speculation from the punditry more than ignorance. Pundits get paid to do two things; to make predictions and to know things you don't. "I don't know" is probably written on some stone tablet of Forbidden Phrases somewhere. As a result, people take blind stabs at issues they couldn't possibly know anything about. One of those issues has been Mitt Romney's tax returns. Why was he reluctant to release them?

One of the blind stabs was that maybe Mittens didn't pay the required 10% tithe to the Church of Latter Day Saints. Score one for blind stabs -- he probably hasn't. "Mr. Romney reported $21.7 million in income [for 2010]," Wall Street Journal reports. "He paid $3 million in federal taxes, slightly more than the $2.98 million he made in charitable donations. At least $1.5 million of his charitable donations went to the Mormon Church." $21.7 million, $1.5 million tithe. You do the math. Mitt's shorting his church a bit.

But while that figure might get the attention of a certain Tabernacle in a certain Utah city, it's not what's drawing everyone else's. Our attention is drawn to the fact that Romney's tax bill adds up to somewhat less than even the absurdly low 15% estimate Romney gave in South Carolina. Specifically, 13.9%. You could argue that a little more than one percent difference amounts to splitting hairs, but when it's a percentage of a number like $21.7 million, we're talking about some pretty big and split-worthy hairs. It's the difference between the $3,016,300 Romney assumedly paid and $3,255,000 15% would've had him paying. You could feed and house a family on his rounding error...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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