Among the many suspicions concerning Mitt Romney's refusal to release his tax returns is the suspicion they would show he is paying a lower tax rate than your average janitor, teacher, or firefighter because the overwhelming majority of his income is from capital gains. Today Mitt Romney confirmed those suspicions and openly admitted he is paying "closer to 15 percent."
This should be the story of the day if not the entire campaign.
Q: What’s the effective rate you’ve been paying?
ROMNEY: What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything, because my last ten years, I’ve, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income, rather than earned annual income.
Romney says he is paying closer to 15 percent, but it may actually be lower than that. And what we still don't know and will not know unless he releases his returns is how much of his wealth is being sheltered in off-shore tax havens.
It should be noted Mitt Romney would still be paying a lower tax rate than the average America even if he were able to implement his tax-reform proposal which would lower the top marginal rate to 25 percent.
Another very popular idea among Republicans is "zeroing out" capital gains taxes, which would mean people like Mitt Romney would pay no taxes rather than 15 percent.