Mitt Romney seemed proud, proud I say, that he paid “about 13% in taxes”. We have no way to know if that’s true or not, nor is it clear what taxes on what income he is referring to. Does that mean income taxes, did he include state taxes, was sales tax somehow factored in, perhaps he didn’t include any comp that ended up in his $100 million IRA as income? Or, seeing as Mittens has lied about his taxes before and been stone cold busted, it could be complete bullshit through and through. But here’s the thing, even if it’s true, I pay more income taxes percentage wise than Romney. Odds are so do you.
WSJ – “[C]an we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit. Stunning.” …“Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college.”
As regular readers know I’m currently in a dead end low paying job about ten ticks below my qualifications and past salaries. During good times I was smart, I paid with cash, rarely used credit cards, and for better or for worse I don’t have kids or any other dependents. Not even a pet. So no car payments, no mortgage, I don’t have a dating life of any kind, so no unexpected expenses or birthday presents or anything like that. Plus I live in a tiny studio apartment, my employer pays for my entire insurance premium and it’s fan-fucking-tastic insurance, I never travel for fun or go to movies or concerts or nice restaurants. I literally cannot afford any of that.
That’s my life post economic collapse. It wasn’t always like this. Sometimes I feel like Johnny Mnemonic, when he broke down crying about room service and fine dining, and started screaming “I want my life back!” I too, want my life back.
Take about $12/hour and do the math: every month is tight. It’s rare when there’s more than a hundred bucks left over. At least my full time employer is profitable, there’s overtime available whenever I want it. And a few weeks ago we even got some greatly appreciated profit-sharing. My share was about $500 bucks. Not great, but it’s money I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
That full 500 didn’t end up in my checking account though, because I had to pay income taxes on it. I may end up qualifying for a refund, but with zero deductions it won’t be anywhere close to what I paid in. I paid about $140 in federal income taxes on that $500, or about 28%. Or more than twice what Mitt Romney paid on his millions, at least according to Mitt Romney.
Seriously conservatives, in your addled minds, this is fair?
Admittedly, I sit in an air conditioned cube farm, but that’s where the fun ends. I’m wired into headset, one of a team of bad ass tech support gurus wired into headsets, staring at double screens packed with data for 10 hours a day, supporting one of the most complex software creations ever developed for a global market. Half my calls or online contacts are delivered in broken english over questionable phone systems at least part of which reside in the third world. In the space of one or two minutes of scratchy, static filled english as a second-language conservation I am tasked to collect critical diagnostic info, use it to track identify known bugs and glitches, from the network to end user PC and Mac levels, and walked the customer through implementing that solution. And if I miss three days over six months, for any reason, including car wreck, terrorist attack, or lightning strike, I can be fined my profit sharing, denied any hope of any raise or promotion, or summarily fired.
It’s not a fun life, in fact it’s a little bit bleak. The tech challenged Mitt Romney’s of the world would crash and burn at this job and the forced drab lifestyle inside of five minutes, at the end of the day they would be a quivering mass of conflicting nerve impulses, assuming they didn’t stroke out in their cube. On the other hand, as a quasi-retired financial analyst with degrees in math and physics, I’m pretty sure I could least bullshit my way through Mitt Romney’s Bain job for a day or two — if not actually learn on the job and do it competently pretty quick.
In short, I think my job is way, way harder than Mitt’s. But even if you disagree with that, the point is I work hard for peanuts, and there is no middle class success beckoning at the end of the tunnel, let alone a life of luxury and ease, and there never will be as long as I’m in this job. Unless I find another job — and believe me I’m trying — the best prognosis is I don’t get fired or laid off or outsourced, and maybe an annual 20 or 30 cent an hour raise. As long as the company is making money and I don’t get sick or injured.
Mitt Romney paid 13% in taxes, I pay way more.
Romney whipped out that 13% figure like it was some kind of burden. As though he were proud of his sacrifice. There was a haughtiness to it, like “ha-ha, look how much I paid!” He was able to get away with it, presumably, because capital gains are taxed at a base rate of 15%, and Romney no doubt had deductions. Like his $75,000 dancing horse deduction and who knows what else. It’s a sick system that allows this to continue. Truth be told Republicans are way more gung ho for it than dems, but there are plenty of democrats willing to go along. It’s sick, just fucking sick, rotten to the core.
We’ll probably never know if Romney really paid about 13% in federal income taxes, or how much the compensation was when offshore and Swiss bank accounts and tax qualified monies or stock are included, because Ann and Mitt Romney aren’t going to release their returns to us commoners getting taxed at normal income bracket rates.
We just have to trust them.