President Obama’s campaign has a new ad that ties in to some comments written by Columbia Professor and Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz today.
Yes – Romney is a tax avoider. This is a man who famously pronounces “I pay what I”m legally required and not a penny more.” Well – unfortunately … he’s not even really paying what is legally required according to some experts, but regardless – we know that the techniques that he uses in order to avoid paying taxes … even if they’re legal – they certainly are techniques reserved primarily for the ultra-rich. In other words – he takes advantage of loopholes created to reduce the tax bill on the super rich in return for financial and other support to Congress. No matter how you chalk it up – Romney’s marginal tax rate is 35% but we know he only paid 13.7% in 2010 thanks to creative accounting; this man is a tax avoider by whatever means possible.
Stiglitz writes HERE:
But Romney has not chosen to do so. He evidently does not recognize that a system that taxes speculation at a lower rate than hard work distorts the economy. Indeed, much of the money that accrues to those at the top is what economists call rents, which arise not from increasing the size of the economic pie, but from grabbing a larger slice of the existing pie.
Those at the top include a disproportionate number of monopolists who increase their income by restricting production and engaging in anti-competitive practices; CEOs who exploit deficiencies in corporate-governance laws to grab a larger share of corporate revenues for themselves (leaving less for workers); and bankers who have engaged in predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices (often targeting poor and middle-class households). It is perhaps no accident that rent-seeking and inequality have increased as top tax rates have fallen, regulations have been eviscerated, and enforcement of existing rules has been weakened: the opportunity and returns from rent-seeking have increased.
Romney may not be a tax evader; only a thorough investigation by the US Internal Revenue Service could reach that conclusion. But, given that the top US marginal income-tax rate is 35%, he certainly is a tax avoider on a grand scale. And, of course, the problem is not just Romney; writ large, his level of tax avoidance makes it difficult to finance the public goods without which a modern economy cannot flourish.
Romney has a LONG rapsheet for avoiding taxes … let me back that up with some facts:
And all of that matters because as Joseph Stiglitz said before HERE – we won’t fix America until we fix income inequality:
“We used to think of ourselves as a land of opportunity, but if you look at the numbers, the statistics … the chances of someone from the bottom making it to the top or even the middle are very limited. In fact – mobility, opportunity in the United States today is lower than it is in any of the advanced industrial countries.”
Like us on Facebook?