OK, you know you’ve stepped in it when you are a Democrat and the Washington Post gives you “Four Pinocchios.” One wonders how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will make it into the Senate Chambers tomorrow with that honker! There’s no question that Mitt Romney has paid taxes. We already have two years in the public record.
The Washington Post reports,
Romney’s 2010 return and his estimated 2011 return do show that he paid substantial taxes in those years. In 2010, he earned nearly $22 million, including $3 million in taxable interest, nearly $5 million in dividends and more than $12 million in capital gains. He reduced his taxes by giving $3 million in charitable contributions (much of it in appreciated stock, which shielded him from paying additional capital gains.)
In other words, this tax return shows a portfolio that is not structured to yield zero taxes. We spoke to a number of tax experts, all of whom said that, given Romney’s current portfolio, it was highly improbable for Romney to have had 10 years with tax-free returns — though there could have been one or two years with little or no taxes.
We use a reasonable person standard here. Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable. Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim.
Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress. He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.
The record is clear: Mitt Romney has paid millions in taxes. He has also been charitable with his money via his religion of Mormonism, as well as, other charitable donations. Those donations effect, in part, what he owes in taxes. Yet, there can be no doubt that he has paid his “fair share.”
Now I’m wondering if we looked at Harry Reid’s tax returns what we might find in there. Would they even compare? Probably not.