It Begins: Lefties Complain About Romney's Taxes

Guy Benson
Posted: Jan 25, 2012 11:43 AM

If Romney emerges as the Republican nominee -- or even if he stays in the race for the long haul, as anticipated -- expect to hear a variant of this argument a lot (via Breitbart):

Rep. Sewell is wrong on several points, natch -- and you just know West was champing at the bit to jump in and correct her.  First, Romney's total tax bill + charitable donations tab = forty-two percent of his income.  Romney's sin, in the Left's eyes, is that so much of that money ($7 million in the last two years alone) didn't go to the government.  Second, "most of Americans" are not paying a 28 or 30 percent effective rate.  AEI's Jim Pethokoukis quotes Tax Policy Center data to refute this specious point:

While Romney’s tax rate is—in his own words—”probably closer to 15 percent than anything,” that’s still higher than the 8.2 percent average total effective income tax rate (as of 2010) of U.S. households (once you factor in various tax credits). Indeed, nearly half of U.S. households pay no income tax at all. Their average effective tax rate is actually negative. Even if you add in the payroll tax, the effective tax rate of the middle fifth of U.S. taxpayers is 12.8 percent.

Ten months of this stuff, straight ahead.  Republican push-back needs to be focused and clear.  This is a pretty good template for that effort.