Transcript by http://www.newsy.com
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
His critics say — mad at the 1 percent? How ’bout the .001 percent?
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney’s got a taxing dilemma: To release or not to release his Tax Returns?
It all started at Monday’s Fox News debate.
ROMNEY: “If that’s been the tradition, I’m not opposed to doing that. Time will tell. … I have nothing in them that suggests there’s any problem and I’m happy to do so. I sort of feel like we are showing a lot of exposure at this point.”
On Tuesday — that stuttered response got a little more specific when the former Massachusetts governor was asked about his effective tax rate. Here’s the video from HLN:
ROMNEY: “It’s probably closer to the 15% rate than anything, because my — the last ten years, I’ve — my income comes overwhelming from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income…”
15 percent. How’s that stack up? The Christian Science Monitor reports…
“In 2010, Barack Obama paid … an effective tax rate of 25 percent. … Texas Gov. Rick Perry … paid 23.4 percent…”
Romney has not had a regular paycheck since 1999 — like he said, he’s been making most of his money from investments. That means he pays at a lower rate than most American wage earners. According to the Associated Press — after all federal taxes, the average American household pays close to 20 percent on average. Now Romney’s GOP opponents are moving in for the kill over Romney’s 15 percent.
PERRY: “This is a job interview. You need to know everything about us. You need to know what my returns look like. … Including Mitt.”
Romney says he’d be willing to release his returns around April, though he hasn’t said how many years back he’ll go. Still — smart timing, notes Time’s Adam Sorenson.
“Romney might have hoped to delay his tax disclosures until April to soften the political impact–the nomination race will be wrapped up by then and the general election won’t yet be in full swing.”
Then again, Politico’s Reid Epstein suggests the political damage might already be done — especially because Romney said in the same interview he makes money from speaking engagements, but, quote “not very much.” Media did some digging, and turns out that ‘not very much’ is about $375,000 a year.
“The awkwardness with which Romney is handling the question … is proving to be a serious distraction, and a contrast to the generally smooth fashion by which his campaign has dispatched most controversies…”
Duration : 0:3:2