Romney on Tax Reform

Mitt Romney has written an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal describing his vision for tax reform and tax relief.  He identifies problems with the tax code as one of our countries top problems:

  • record-breaking unemployment
  • deficit spending
  • big inefficient government & lack of leadership
  • screwed up tax code

I believe we must make the tax code simpler and fairer. We must reduce tax rates for job creators to promote economic growth. And we must still raise enough revenue to stop the endless borrowing that threatens American prosperity.

Romney lists 5 specific changes he would implement if he were elected the next US president:

  1. across-the-board 20% reduction in marginal individual tax rates
  2. reduce the corporate tax rate to 25%, transition from a world-wide taxation system to a territorial one, and make the R&D tax credit permanent
  3. maintain the low 15% rate on capital gains & eliminate it entirely for those earning below $200,000
  4. get rid of the AMT and the death tax
  5. bring stability to the tax code by making these changes permanent

Read the full op-ed piece here.  I’m not sure how he would achieve #5, although it sounds great.  So would that mean the Turbo Tax software I purchase in 2012 would also work for tax years 2013, 2014, 2015 . . . ?!

Norris Likes Newt for President

Chuck Norris may be able to cut through a hot knife with butter and a million other fantastic feats, but he still only gets to cast his vote once. And this time around he’ll be voting for Newton Leroy Gingrich.

Yes, today the legendary martial artist, actor, author, and political activist, Chuck Norris announced his endorsement of Newt Gingrich for president.

“I’m tired of watching our country being torn to shreds by those who think the answer is more government debt and control. I’m tired of being in bondage to a tax system that robs U.S. citizens like the King of England did before the Revolution. I’m tired of watching our sovereignty being sold by foreign loans and loose borders. And I will not sit back and merely watch this decay and degradation of the U.S. and then hand it over to my children and grandchildren to deal with.

~ Chuck Norris

Newt is obviously thrilled by the endorsement. Doesn’t the Chuck Norris endorsement pretty much guarantee he’ll win the nomination? See full story here.

Our Next President Shouldn’t Be a Tax Schmuck

When Mitt Romney announced that he would probably follow tradition by disclosing his tax return sometime in April, he also confirmed that his effective tax rate is around 15%.  Yes, it is low.  Yes, Romney takes full advantage of every opportunity available to him within the Tax Code to pay less taxes.  Isn’t that what anyone would do?  Here is the Tax Girl’s view:

“The thing is, I want my President – no matter who it is – to either know enough about fiscal and tax policy to make smart decisions or to surround himself (or herself) with people who can make those smart decisions. Having someone who consistently makes poor decisions about their own taxes directing tax policy seems like, I don’t know, asking Newt Gingrich for relationship advice.

~ Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes writer / blogger

I guess the Gingrich comment was added for a little extra spice.  Ouch.

Romney Will “Probably” Release Tax Returns in April

I’m not sure what people are hoping to see on Romney’s tax return. Everyone already knows he is very wealthy. Are they hoping to find that he owes the IRS or has other tax problems? He’s probably just waiting for the last possible minute to file (that would be 11:59pm on April 17th this year) like any other tax-loathing American would do. If it’s prior year tax returns that they are hoping to see then he still has some time before he could be criticized for going against history and tradition.

Romney’s running mates are pushing him to release his tax records sooner than later because they think that whatever is revealed  in his taxes may have an influence on how people vote. Presidential candidates are not required to make their tax returns public, but they have traditionally done so . . . usually around tax time.

I looked at what has been done in campaigns in the past . . . They have tended to release tax records in April or tax season . . . And if I become our nominee, and what’s happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year, and that’s probably what I would do.

~ Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaking at a Republican presidential debate on January 16, 2012

See CNN story for a list of party nominees in the last few elections and when they released their tax records.