How Much Would Romney Contribute In Taxes If a Republican Was President

Bill Scher

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ROMNEY: Under that plan, I’d have paid no taxes in the last two years.

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Now that we have seen Mitt Romney’s tax returns and have a clearer glimpse at how the Bush-shaped tax code continues to favor multimillionaires, we can more easily answer the question: what would Mitt Romney and others like him contribute in taxes if he or his chief rival Newt Gingrich became President?

In 2010, Romney and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 13.9%, which is about what the average American pays … even though Romney’s $21.7M income from that year is far from average.

He’s living in flat tax world, when our tax code is supposed to be progressive.

However under current law, the Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire. And under the Affordable Care Act, there is a new Medicare tax that applies to the kind of investment income Romney earns. If those laws were left untouched, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, Romney would soon be paying an effective tax of 24%.

Still not as high as the what top earners generally pay under the Bush code (35%) or what they payed under the Clinton code (39.6%). But more than today.

So what would happen if Romney became President, and was able to enact his own campaign promises?

Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that he would wipe out all the upcoming tax increases on himself, cutting his future tax contributions by nearly half, and allowing him to remain in a flat tax world. From the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent:

…if you kept the Bush tax cuts in place, including keeping the capital gains tax at 15 percent, and scrapped the Medicare tax, as Romney wants to do … Romney would pay a rate of a little under 15 percent — because virtually all his income is from capital gains and dividends. The group calculates that this means Romney’s plan would give him a tax cut of more than 40 percent. ‘This doesn’t even include Romney’s proposal to cut corporate taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent, which would primarily benefit wealthy shareholders like himself,’ [says] Robert McIntyre, the director of Citizens for Tax Justice…

Now what would happen to Romney’s taxes if Newt Gingrich became President?

Gingrich proposes an actual 15% flat tax on income, along with the elimination of taxes on investment income.

In last night’s debate, Romney himself succinctly explained what would happen to him under the Gingrich proposal:

Under that plan, I’d have paid no taxes in the last two years.

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