Election 2012

Ryan’s Plan Would Cut Romney’s Taxes to 1 Percent

Did Mitt Romney pay no income taxes for 10 years?

We don't know for sure, and we probably never will. What we do know is that under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt would pay virtually no taxes.

The tax plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate, would have slashed Mitt Romney's effective tax rate to about 1 percent in 2010, based on Romney's tax return that year, according to a Roll Call analysis.

The Ryan tax cut, which would shave about 90 percent off of Romney's tax bill, would result from the Wisconsin Republican's "Roadmap for America's Future" proposal to eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. Since about 95 percent of Romney's $21.6 million income came from those sources in 2010, he would pay no taxes on the vast majority of his earnings. It's not certain exactly how low Romney's tax bill would go, but his income from other sources amounts to about $1 million, and Ryan's plan would set a new top rate of 25 percent. Romney's total tax bill would have dropped from the $3 million that he paid to a few hundred thousand dollars if Ryan's plan had been in effect.

Ryan also proposes eliminating the estate tax, which would benefit Romney's heirs by tens of millions of dollars.

If Mitt's effective tax rate without taxes on capital gains was 1 percent, does this mean his effective tax rate for the 10 years prior to 2010 would have also been 1 percent or less? It's entirely possible.

When Roll Call says his effective tax rate would be "about 1 percent," what they mean is between 0.8 and 0.9 percent. They rounded up.

As you may recall, nearly every Republican candidate proposed "zeroing-out" the capital gains tax during the Republican primary.

The motivation for doing this is simple -- capital gains taxes are the only taxes many of the Super Rich pay. And if we simply zero it out, they will no longer be burdened by that whole paying taxes thing. Paying taxes is so 20th century. It's something only you people should have to do.