Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | October 15, 2012

Malice Toward None, Charity For All

On the cusp of the second debate between Governor Romney and President Obama, there has been a lot of talk about Romney’s personal income tax rate, and there are continuing calls for him to release tax returns going back many years.  The relevant tax returns have already been released, so the calls for years and years of tax returns are nothing more than political fodder—an attempt to keep a non-issue in the news, and a hope that the Governor will fall into the trap so that opponents can comb through earlier returns looking for bits of string from which they can fashion a noose big enough to fit around the governor’s political neck.

I am struck by the notion that the former governor’s tax rate is low so, therefore, he must be hiding something.  He must be a rich, greedy, white, tax-cheating business-guy who would like nothing better than to see the common folk suffer and starve.

There is a strange irony in how the governor is portrayed by his opponents vis-a-vis who he really is.  And people are starting to see this.  The numbers alone tell the story.

Therefore, I would like to offer exhibit one, Romney in round numbers:

2011 Income—14 million;
2011 Tax bill—2 million;
Tax rate—14%.

2011 charitable giving—4 million;
2011 Charitable giving as a percentage of income–29%.

If these figures are anything near the norm for wealthy Americans, then it seems to me, quite frankly, that lower tax rates allow individuals to channel their own money to causes that they want to support, rather than to a government that confiscates income to support hopeless programs.

My conclusion: We need a policy that reduces taxes and provides incentives for charitable giving. This gives more power to the individual to decide where “their own” money can be best put to use. We all know that the government doesn’t spend your money effectively, efficiently, or at all in your best interest. And they have no idea what a balance sheet is! (Coming down off my soapbox now. Fire away!)


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