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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Kilgore: On Mitt’s Taxes, 13% of What?

Ed Kilgore’s “Mitt Digs in Deeper” at the Washington Monthly asks a good question about Romney’s declaration that he hasn’t paid less than 13 percent of his income in taxes:

I mean, 13% is not a high rate for a guy with Mitt’s wealth; certainly nothing approaching the allegedly confiscatory rates the poor job-creators of America are toiling under, making them wonder each and every day if it’s time to Go Gault. And the number raises the rather obvious question: 13% of what? Total income? Adjusted Gross Income? Taxable income? Ezra Klein suggests it may be that last measurement, which may be the only one under which he can claim a double-digit tax burden.

It’s a curiously inept media strategy. As Kilgore adds, Romney would probably be better off with a “none of your damn business” approach. Instead, “his drip-drip-drip of undocumented assertions raises a lot more questions than it answers.”
President Obama and Vice President Biden have released 12 and 14 years, respectively, of their tax forms. Romney can evade and jabber all he wants. But smart voters won’t be satisfied until he shows an equal commitment to openness and transparency.

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