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ELECTION: Unfair criticism of Romney’s tax returns

Letter by Alfred G. Gunn, Gig Harbor on Sep. 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm with 27 Comments »
September 24, 2012 2:42 pm

Americans do not pay taxes on their wealth. American’s pay income taxes on their “income,” and there is no doubt that Mitt Romney has earned some good income. But he has also, by some estimates, given 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his state, his community and his church.

Last year, Romney gave $4 million to charity, and Democrats are jumping all over him for paying more in taxes than he was required to pay.

I can’t wait to hear what Vice President Joe (“taxes are patriotic”) Biden says about this, after Biden averaged $369 per year in charitable contributions in the 10 years before he became vice president.

In three years, President Obama hasn’t been able to put together a federal budget without the whole Congress voting it down. Enough of the community organizer; let’s put someone in charge who knows how to get things done, and who loves people enough to give of his time, talents and his own money unselfishly.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. Frankenchrist says:

    Romney is a greedy, grasping, conniving tax cheat and a draft dodger.

  2. Sonofwashington says:

    Al, you are a touch confused aren’t you? President Obama was a Harvard Law graduate and Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He could have easily snatched up a 6-digit salary but instead worked pro-bono for a community organization. Mr. Romney made no such sacrifice (including avoiding service in Vietnam) and was born into millions.

    He may well be generous with his contributions to the Morman church, but that doesn’t answer the question why he and others who make the vast majority of their earnings on capital gains should only pay 14% on their income while those with “earned income” pay 20% or more. And quite obviously, the reason he didn’t take a full deduction was to avoid showing his real tax rate (estimated at 9-11%).

  3. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Romney was a draft dodger? He had student deferments while he was in school, and ministerial deferments while he was on his mission. When he returned, he was draft-eligible. In the lottery, he got a relatively high number, which meant he didn’t get selected.

    If he was a draft dodger, then what was Biden?

  4. Romney lied and said he had paid 13% when he really hadn’t, so they had to file an amended tax return to show that he had paid at least that amount in 2011. I imagine they rapidly went back and changed their former returns and paid on amendments so the accountants could summarize their average of 20% for the past years. We don’t know for sure, because he won’t release the returns only an accountant’s summary.

    He also misspoke? lied? bluffed? when he said in the primary debates that no one was qualified for president who didn’t pay only what was due and no more. So why did he pay less than what was owed if he thought that disqualifies him from being president?

    What can we believe from a man who has a pattern, long-standing at that, of changing his values, statements, tax returns when the wind blows another direction.

    Does he have any principles?

  5. Sonofwashington says:

    APimp – Technically, Mr. Romney was not a “draft dodger” in the sense that he illegally evaded the draft.

    Just like avoiding taxes, instead of the criminal act of “evading taxes”, Mr. Romney followed in the footsteps of many other fine Americans to “avoid” the draft, to include Dick Cheney (“other priorities”), Rush Limbaugh and most of the neocons and conservative pundits who pounded the drums for war in Iraq while their peers made real sacrifices in the uniform of their country.

  6. Sow, how many times do we need to show effective tax rates by income bracket?

    Why do you repeats failed #ows talking points? Your buddies were hanging out with our enemy today. Probably makes you proud.

    Sad state of the left. Repeating what they know to be a lie.

  7. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Thank you, Sonofwashington, but you still haven’t answered what Biden was. He, too, avoided the draft through student deferments. And since you brought up Cheney, tell me about Bill Clinton, who used political connections to get into ROTC for the revised draft classification, and then did not go on to serve.

  8. lylelaws says:

    Frankenchrist,

    Still waiting to learn about your military record.

  9. lylelaws says:

    tuddo,

    If Mitt Romney complies with IRS requirements what’s your gripe?

    Do you pay more than the law requires?

  10. Sonofwashington says:

    APimp – I’m not aware the Bill Clinton was ever in ROTC; I thought his deferments were for scholastic reasons, i.e., being overseas on a Rhodes scholarship. But I may be wrong on that.

    My point was, if it wasn’t clear, that the biggest warmongers and self-annoited uber-patriots (the neocons in particular) somehow couldn’t be bothered with military service. Romney, in particular, participated in pro-Vietnam War demonstrations and Limbaugh is always beating the drums of war on the slightest pretext. Of course, Dick Cheney was instrumental in pressing for phony “intelligence” to justify the illegal war in Iraq that cost us over 4,500 soldier’s lives, many thousands of wounded, sapped our treasury, and caused untold suffering to Iraqi civilians.

  11. Fibonacci says:

    Alfred the “whole congress” didn’t vote down “Obama’s”budget. Presidents don’t set budgets–congress does.

    Lyle
    Give the military chest puffing a rest huh? You were not exactly a front line marine yourself.

  12. lylelaws says:

    Fib,

    Since frankenchrist keeps pounding some Republicans for being draft dodgers, I would just like to know if, when, or where he ever served.

  13. Apimpnamedslick!
    I can tell you are young. It is obvious you are young. The term ‘draft dodger’ in the classic sense of the 1960’s was a person who LEGALLY avoided military service. I guess it can be said that Mitt’s foreign affairs experience started in Paris, France as a missionary. While other Mormon’s pedaled around down on bicycles, he, as a person of privilege was able to go to France.

    I read his bio on line also. I saw his draft board listed him as a missionary and theology student under a special understanding between Selective Service and the LDS Church. Various articles on the Internet indicate there was a healthy Mormon participation in the Viet Nam War. It is strictly a Mitt thing and definitely not a Mormon thing.

    The point that needs to be made NOW is why Mitt is saber rattling over Iran. It sure sounds as if he wants to stimulate the economy by starting another war. He seems to want to shed the blood of others, when he chose to avoid shedding his. I wonder if his five sons are eager to serve their country?

  14. And guess what it’s tax deductible so he didn’t exactly give 4 mill

  15. Tuddo wrote: “Romney lied and said he had paid 13% when he really hadn’t, so they had to file an amended tax return to show that he had paid at least that amount in 2011. I imagine they rapidly went back and changed their former returns and paid on amendments so the accountants could summarize their average of 20% for the past years. We don’t know for sure, because he won’t release the returns only an accountant’s summary.”
    ____________________________________________________

    You and ehill are establishing a trend of calling pople liars without a shred of evidence.

    1. THE ROMNEY’S 2011 TAX RETURN IS NOT AN AMENDED RETURN.

    2. WHAT YOU “IMAGINE” REGARDING PREVIOUS RETURNS IS NOT FACT.

    While I wouldn’t call you a liar, your post is supposition at its best or fabrication at its worst.

  16. oldoc, you are correct that I used a technical term when I shouldn’t have. The Romney lawyer said they went back and amended the Romney’s tax filings to follow Romeny’s orders not to go below 13%.

    I assumed that meant they filed an amended return. It turns out they just meant they changed the draft return before it was filed.

    I stand behind the question about which Romney do we believe, the one where he says he is not qualified or the one where he doesn’t stand up for what he says his values are?

    Unlike most posters, I generally label what I believe and what I found as facts. I “imagine” is clearly a belief and not a fact. The point is, Romney refuses to show us what the facts are, so all we have left is to form opinions based on past behavior.

    We know he made a misstatement of the facts (lied?) when he claimed Massachusetts taxes and residency so he could run for the governorship, so he had to go back and change his taxes through amendments. Past behavior is a pretty good predictor of future action.

  17. Of course, if/when Romney is defeated he can always go back and claim the charitable donations that he didn’t claim – so his political gambit of not claiming them in 2011 so it looks like he is paying a “fair amount” at 13% is hardly a risk.

  18. Alfred – Budgets are put together by the House of Representatives.

    Ryan had to submit 10 years of his returns to be vetted by Romney’s VP committee.

    Romney’s two years of taxes are less than what the Senate requires of those seeking Senate confirmation.

    Romney’s WIFE has said that there will be no more returns because they contain information that would harm Mitts campaign.

    Son of Wa – I wonder if one reason Mitt will not release his tax returns is that he shorted the church on his tithes.

    CT8 – you are the master repeating lies as you so seldom post anything else.

    Tuddo and Olddoc – Mitt deferred his 2011 charity deductions so his returns would show he paid 14% rather than the 11% he would have paid.

    Of course after November he will fill an amended return to claim those deductions and get a tax rebate.

    Lyle – show us the way – tell us about your military service.

  19. We know he made a misstatement of the facts (lied?) when he claimed Massachusetts taxes and residency so he could run for the governorship,

    Wasn’t that the same year that he claimed Massachusetts residency in his son’s basement?

  20. Frankenchrist says:

    I find it curious that most if not all repukes are miserable draft dodgers. Gleefully eager to send other people’s children to war, they all managed to avoid serving in Vietnam. Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Flush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol, Dan Quayle, Ted Nugent; the list is long and very very undistinguished.

  21. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    A321196:

    I’m in my mid-30’s, if you consider that young. There has never been an active draft during my lifetime; if you think that makes me incapable of understanding history or the definition of a particular term, fine.

    “Draft dodging” — the pejorative term for draft evasion — is the use of illegal means to not comply with draft procedures. “Draft avoidance” — distinct from draft evasion/dodging — is the use of established draft processes to delay (sometimes indefinitely) conscription.

    The use of deferments, whether student or ministerial, is itself compliance with established draft processes. Yes, Romney avoided military service when he went on his mission. The Selective Service considers LDS mission work to be ministry, and issues deferments for it. It is no different than Catholic or protestant seminary graduate accepting a 4-D to take up his ministry.

    And yes, lots of Mormons served in Vietnam. So what? There were also plenty of Mormons who did their missions and then served in the military… or didn’t. You seem to be suggesting that Romney chose to do his mission specifically to avoid military service, as if his religion was only one of convenience. Would you say the same of the seminary grad who took a 4-D?

    Romney had two student deferments, followed by two ministerial deferments, followed again by one student deferment, after which his draft lottery number didn’t get called up. Again I ask, do you consider Joe Biden, with his five student deferments, to be draft dodger or a draft avoider?

  22. LeePHilI says:

    “But he has also, by some estimates, given 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his state, his community and his church.”

    What estimates? Romney only held one political office and that was for 4 years. If he worked for free, as legend contends, that sure as heck ain’t 28 years (unless you are using conservative math).

    Unpaid leadership to your church?????? Well, I have to admit, I was paid $400 a month for my position which required about 60 hours a month. You do the math.

    I really don’t care if Romney didn’t serve in the military, but I’m amused that it was for religious reasons. The same religious reasons seem to fade when it comes time to puff up his chest to send other’s kids off to war.

    As to Lyle – he’ll gladly tell you that he served in the military during the Korean War. Of course, that doesn’t mean he served in combat.

    One of my best friends served during the Vietnam War…..in Hawaii and San Diego. Another served in San Diego and Guam. Neither of them try to pretend they are war heroes and in fact joined their respective services to avoid being drafted and sent to Nam, because they had low lottery numbers.

    I had a high lottery number, thus no reason to join to avoid Vietnam. I sat out a year of eligibility for the draft and was then re-classified until age 35 (but the draft ended before that). Since I didn’t enlist to avoid Vietnam duty, I didn’t get perks like my education paid for. I had to pay for my own.

    In Lyle’s world (and another internet hero), I did something wrong because the Selective Service Board didn’t draft me, although I was available, not hiding and didn’t enlist in the reserves to avoid war duty.

    Maybe we just need to realize that military service is just another job that some people choose to do. What makes them heroes is a perspective of what happens during their duty. A fireman saves a life? Hero. Police officer does the same? Hero. Doctor or nurse does the same? It’s their job. See how that works?

  23. charliebucket says:

    well said Lee.

  24. Frankenchrist wrote: I find it curious that most if not all repukes are miserable draft dodgers.
    ______________________________________________________

    I do not find it the least bit curious that most if not all persons calling themselves Frankenchrist are certifiable morons.

  25. “But he has also, by some estimates, given 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his state, his community and his church.”

    I’m thinking that you don’t understand what “estimates” means…it is not interchangeable with “delusions”, “fantasies” or just plain old “lies”.

  26. alindasue says:

    Mr. Gunn said, “But he has also, by some estimates, given 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his state, his community and his church.”

    I think only his service to the state of Massachusetts and the country is relevant to his candidacy for president. If he did, in fact, serve his term as governor without pay, that might be worthy of note. However, since there are no paid clergy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his unpaid work in the church would not be considered remarkable, even to church members.

    xring said, “I wonder if one reason Mitt will not release his tax returns is that he shorted the church on his tithes.”

    The end of year “tithing settlement” is generally conducted on an honor system. The bishop tells how much is on the record that you paid in offerings that year and asks if you are paying a full tithe. Nobody asks to see your financial documents and what is on Mitt Romney’s tax returns would probably not be an issue at church.

  27. Alindasue – but would it be an issure if Mitt’s claimed to have ‘fully tithe’ when he had not?

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