Mitt Romney's Tax Return Has Nothing on His Clueless Comments

Mitt RomneyIt's out! Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has finally let the world get a peek at the tax returns he was threatening to keep private until later this year. And along with his income, we now know something even more important about the former Massachusetts governor.

For a guy who was smart enough to make investments that made him $21.7 million in 2010 (a sum that represents his combined income with wife Ann) and another $20.9 million last year, Romney really is absolutely clueless. The real kicker came when the guy many are still calling the man to beat to get the GOP nomination -- even after trailing Newt Gingrich in Saturday's South Carolina primary -- came out during the NBC-sponsored Republican debate in Tampa last night to comment on just how much he paid the government last year.

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I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.

Well, actually, I don't know about you, but it wouldn't bother me terribly if the president was paying more. Heck, anyone who wants to open their pockets willingly and write a check to the government so I don't have to pay as much is welcome to do so.

I'm like a lot of Americans. I'm not living quite hand to mouth, but I can't exactly quit my day job. I pay a small town accountant to do my taxes because I really, really need him to help me find legally deductible expenses so I can put more money toward my mortgage and buying my kid yet another pair of new sneakers (seriously, can those feet grow any faster?).

I'm like most Americans because I am not like Mitt Romney. I don't have the luxury of paying some hotshot big money to take a fine tooth comb to every movement in my life so I can pay my taxes and "not a dollar more." It's a fact the candidate apparently doesn't understand.

The average American doesn't care that the $3 million he paid in federal taxes in 2010, which represents a tax rate of 13.9 percent (well below the 18.5 percent supposedly applied to the richest 1 percent of Americans), is legal to the dollar. We care that he made enough money in 2010 to pay $3 million in taxes, and he still wants to pretend that the average American can relate to him.

Sorry, Mitt, it's not about the amount of money so much as it is how you talk about money. If you want my vote, how about trying to relate to me instead? Try thinking about the people who will use their tax return this year to buy necessities for their families or the people who have to prepare their own taxes (missing plenty of those deductions rich folks can find) because they don't have a spare $50 for the guy at H&R Block.

I understand that Mitt follows the rules. It's his money. It's his right to do with it as he pleases. Good for him for making an honest buck! But as he tries to sell himself as a candidate to represent all Americans, Romney needs to show at least a simple understanding of what life is like for us average Janes and Joes.

What are you going to be using your tax return on this year?

 

Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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