flat tax

Mitt Romney is a piker

From someone who is in the top 1%, not of income earners, but of taxpayers—a journalist's lament:

...Debbie Bosanek, Warren Buffett’s secretary, earned a seat in the limelight next to the first lady, Michelle Obama, at the State of the Union address for paying what ABC News reported was a tax rate of 35.8 percent. It isn’t clear what Ms. Bosanek meant by 35.8 percent — whether that’s her marginal federal tax rate or total tax rate, or whether she included the Nebraska state income tax...

...Republican candidate Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns that showed he paid federal income tax of just over $3 million, 13.9 percent of his adjusted gross income of $21.7 million...

...So with all the focus on tax rates, I sat down with my 2010 returns, calculator in hand. I’m still reeling from the results.
 
I paid 24 percent of my adjusted gross income in federal taxes and 37 percent in combined federal, state and local income taxes. I paid 49 percent of my taxable income in federal income tax, and 74 percent of my taxable income in combined federal, state and local income taxes. My totals include federal payroll and self-employment taxes.
Definitely read the whole thing so you can appreciate our byzantine tax code in all its glory. Not exactly the picture painted by OWSers—or by Mitt Romney or Warren Buffett for that matter.
 
What's the bottom line? According to this column we need 
...a return to the principles of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 championed by Ronald Reagan. “Broaden the base, lower overall tax rates, and tax capital gains and unearned income at the same level as ordinary income,” [Leonard] Burman [a tax expert and a professor of public affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University] said.
 
I don’t resent Mr. Romney’s millions or his low tax rate. As Mr. Buffett pointed out, he didn’t write the tax code he’s now taking advantage of. But maybe we can learn something more important from people who aren’t household names or members of the Forbes 400. I’d like to hear from more hard-working people like Ms. Bosanek who are paying high rates. I’d like to feature them in a future column, so if you’re one of them, contact me at taxstewart@gmail.com.
As for the incumbent and the Republican candidates, "no one, including President Obama, has come forward with a credible plan that addresses the inequities [in the tax code] while confronting the realities of the federal deficit."
 
And the "fairness" BHO kept touting during the SOTU?—49 percent of U.S. households pay no federal tax at all. And the top 10 percent of income earners paid 70 percent of all federal income tax in 2008:
 
 
This is fair?
 
How about this? 
 
For the details, read Saving the American Dream at Heritage.
 
P.S. Romney’s tax proposals would lower federal tax revenue by $600 billion in 2015 while not streamlining anything, increasing transparency, or addressing inequities.  I don't think he gets it.
 
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