Let’s talk about taxes for a minute.
Yesterday, President Barak Obama’s twitter account tweeted an infographic that compares Mitt Romney’s tax rate to that of middle-class Americans. Fair enough.
The infographic shows that Mitt Romney in 2011 paid a 14.1% tax rate while middle-class Americans who earn less than $60,000 pay a 15.5% tax rate. The intended take away here, I believe, is that it is unfair that Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than the middle-class.
Now, I’m not a huge supporter of Mitt. If he broke any laws to pay a lower tax rate then the spirit of this infographic is right on and he absolutely deserves to be punished as the law sees fit. If, however, he was able to pay a lower tax rate legally through our overly-complicated tax system then fuck it. He should be applauded not vilified. I don’t think any Americans are trying to pay more in taxes. OK, well maybe some are. Perhaps our government should accept voluntary donations. But I digress…
It’s not like Mitt Romney is stuffing the money he didn’t pay in taxes under his mattress. He’s spending that money. He’s investing that money in businesses. He’s using that money to spur economic growth. Taxes, on the other hand, do not spur economic growth. Government, while necessary in many ways, is an expense not a stimulus package. Today we need more economy and less government, not the other way around.
To provide a bit more perspective on this issue, I thought I would make my own infographic. I wanted to pick up where the President left off and take a look at just how much Mitt Romney really paid in taxes last year.
Mitt Romney paid nearly $2 million in taxes. Compare that to a middle-class American making $60,000 and paying $9,300 in taxes. It would take more than 200 of these middle-class Americans to give the government the $2 million in taxes Mitt paid. That’s not good or bad, it’s just the way it is.
Since the President is talking about the fairness of tax rates, maybe he believes that all Americans should pay the exact same percentage in taxes? While I don’t think that’s the best solution, I do think it would be a start in the right direction.
Let’s figure out how to get all Americans paying less in taxes so they can spur more economic growth.