August 17th, 2012
07:24 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan paid a higher income tax rate than Romney, returns show

(CNN) – Tax documents released Friday by Republican vice presidential candidate show Paul Ryan had an income tax bill in 2011 of approximately 20% of his income, and 16% in 2010.

Those numbers indicate he paid a larger percentage of his income in taxes in the past two years than did his running mate Mitt Romney, whose effective tax rate over the same two years was approximately 14.5%, according to returns the Republican presidential candidate and his wife released earlier this year.

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Ryan and his wife, Janna, earned $323,416 in 2011 and owed $64,764 in federal income taxes, the returns showed. That year, he claimed $12,991 in charitable gifts.

In 2010, Ryan earned a total of $215,417 and owed $37,457 in federal taxes, including $3,224 he paid as the employer of a household worker.

He deducted $2,600 in charitable giving that year.

Ryan's income - $538,000 in the last two years - is miniscule compared to the $42 million Romney reported in the last two years.

Romney has refused to disclose returns beyond the most recent two years, which he released in January. He has faced pressure recently from Democrats - and during the primary months, from Republicans, to release additional years. Romney said at a press conference on Thursday that he has not paid less than 13% of his income in federal income taxes in any of the last 10 years.

In an interview this week on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Ryan said he would release two years of returns, comparable to Romney's release.

President Barack Obama's campaign manager on Friday sent a letter to the Romney campaign offering to drop the tax return issue altogether if Romney would disclose at least five years of documents. The Romney campaign declined.

Ryan's returns were prepared by separate CPAs in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin.

– CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Taxes
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. JT

    What is Romney hiding???

    August 17, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. LIP

    Who really gives a crap about what Romney paid for taxes...it would seem that only Obama and the Democrats really care. What everyone else cares about is 16% unemployment and an economy that is approaching the edge of the cliff. We really don't have time to listen to this misdirection put out by the Obama camp and really wish they would focus on the things that really matter.

    August 17, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  3. Paul

    This just demonstrates that America has a regressive tax system where the wealthier you are, the less tax you pay. Most stable modern jurisdictions have progressive rather than regressive tax systems to ensure equity. The further the income gap between the rich and the poor, generally the less stable the country's political system. That's why mechanisms like AMT and estate taxes exist in modern tax systems to ensure sophisticated taxpayers ultimately pay their fair share.

    The suggestion by the rich of a flatter tax system with fewer deductions (as suggested by Romney/Ryan's budgets) is always proposed by the rich as the hope is for the middle class and the poor to take on more of the tax burden and not burdening the wealthiest in society as much.

    August 17, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Someone please explain to me how Paul "Munster" Ryan became a multi-millionaire (net worth = approx. $8 million) when for his whole adult life he's been a federal employee (first as an aide to Wisconsin Senator Kasten, then legislative director for Kansas Senator Brownback, then speechwriter for New York Rep. Kemp, then as a Wisconsin
    Congressman, in his 7th term, no less)?

    No business experience, complete Washington insider who's obviously been using his contacts to line his pockets.
    Voted for two unfunded wars and unfunded Medicare Part D.

    Hey, teabaggers, you still want to vote for this guy?

    August 17, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Hey, I'll take Munster's "miniscule" income of $538,000, paying only 18% in taxes any day!

    August 17, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  6. James Mn

    "The Romney campaign declined". He is being so subversive on this thatyou know he is hiding something. I am fairly certain that he used many questionable loopholes to under pay his fair share. He hoping to get into office so he can leaglize more loopholes and reduce tax rates to all of the wealthy. That will surely be worth more to him in the payoffs he will get in the future. That is what being the president is all about–not the salary or the house, but the payoffs for doing favors down the road. I am sure Dick has taught him well about that. Mitt does not care one bit about making life better for the common American and you can be certain he will not deliver on any of his promises. He may help create some jobs, but they will be menial 8 – 15 an hour jobs. You can clean my house type of jobs–with not future.

    August 17, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  7. SamdavisJ

    Who cares. Get to the real issues of the country!

    August 18, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  8. Pditty

    Lets not talk about any meaningful issues... Only Liberals would fail to understand that 20% of half a million dollars is less money than 13% of 22 million.

    August 18, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. Osama

    no wonder he doesnt want to release his tax returns, he made 48 mill in 2 years? IS this the best the GOP could come up with? Romney is too rich to be president, he will only help out his chronies!

    August 18, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  10. bcrunner

    Yes, he paid more than Romney, but he makes almost 3 times more than me and he still paid a less effective rate than me!! Not fair!! They they want me to pay more so they can give themselves another tax break!! No way!!

    August 18, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  11. f67bird

    Hey!!
    We should have him be the one to run for President...Vice President Romney can take everyone hunting. Lol

    August 18, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  12. Workers Unite!

    So what, who cares. CNN and the Obama state run media are way out of control on this one.
    If Romney paid a lower tax rate, then god bless him for finding a way to prevent the IRS from stealing more of his money.
    .

    August 18, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  13. nowar

    My Guess: Mr Romney's paid 13.1 % tax and Ryan 13.11 %. Believe Ryan paid more than Mr. Romney. !!!

    August 18, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  14. gjedidiah

    What is Romney hiding? He is hoping tht he will ride it out and Americans will forget by november!

    August 18, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  15. doregroj

    Did Ryan and Romey pay more taxes than President Obama's right hand man that controls our economy, Treasury Secretary Geithner? He made an honest mistake (or so he said ) of not paying income taxes on self employment income.

    August 18, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. souptwins

    And that's the difference between earned income and investment income. We get it! Can we please move off the specific person's tax returns? If people want to discuss the tax code, fine! Do it, already! You don't need to use Romney as a poster child to have the discussion.

    August 18, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  17. can't trust this Mormon

    It's sad but true – I trust Ryan and not Romney.

    August 18, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  18. 21bejay

    I am confused about what is ging on in the election. Does Romney want us to know that He knows how to cheet, lie, and how to take adventage of his neighbors? Every thing I read about him shows that. Are these the qualities that make up politiciens and Concervatives? Is this what they utilise God and Jesus, and Mohamed for? That is to give them the liberty to take from those who don't have? While on the Clinton/Obama side there is a seurch for peace, That one is his neighbor's keeper. Is this realy what is going on? Has it always been this way or I'm just waking up?

    August 18, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  19. Homer

    Who cares!
    The only reason to get your panties in a twist is IF any of them did anything illegal.........and I doubt VERY seriously if anyone running for the top offices in this country would do that. These people (both sides of the aisle) are way smarter than that. Smoke and mirrors. Let's move on and talk about the things that REALLY matter.

    August 18, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  20. Steve

    Ryan paid a higher rate on earned income, than Romney paid on long term capital gains. But Romney risked five to ten times what he earned to get those investment returns and could have lost some or all of it if he made a bad investment. Even socialist european countries tax long term capital gains at a lower rate to acknowledge the considerable risks taken with the principle.

    If you buy stock or other securities and hold them for one year or longer, your tax rate will start at 5%. That's less than the 15% Romney paid on his investments. If Romney took a salary at Bain, he'd have paid about 36% in federal taxes plus about 2% for Medicare plus about 6% in social security on the first $100K.

    Because of his income, Romney is inelgible for a Roth IRA. You likely qualify. All the earnings when you retire will be tax free.

    My 16yr old kid worked all summer at a BBQ joint. She put it all in a Roth IRA after we did the math to see what it would be worth ifvshe retires at age 65. I grew up in a ghetto and if not for my senior math teacher explaining how to invest, i'd probably still live there.

    Dont expect Obama or any other Democrat to explain this because it doesn't fit their class warefare script. The last thing they need is lower middle class people figuring out how to invest and get rich on their own.

    August 18, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  21. 21bejay

    Is it better to have equity tax, then an income tax. In Virginea We paid taxes for owning a refrigerator, a waching machine, and a car. We rented the appartment, we payed the rent. But the house owner did not pay taxes for owning the house. The fact is that I am confused about the tax system. May be the amount of money that a person has should be taxed, not what he gets by using it. After all, the police the secret services, the ambassies, and the wars that we are ingaged in are to protect the welth, not the people. May be the welth should be paying for the miletery, police and secret service.

    August 18, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  22. MAC

    Ryan pays taxes on his salary while all of Romney's taxes are on investments which are taxed at a lower rate, by the law.

    August 18, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  23. debbieF

    Does anyone besides me find the tax argument that Obama thinks he is so cleverly using against Romney about his taxes about as DUMB as he can possibly get. He has been president for the past 4 yrs...If he didn't want Romney and other people paying only 14 % why didn't he do something about it!!! It sounds to me as though he is jealous that he doesn't have enough to be in that tax bracket!! He is so dumb and wants 4 more years to make empty promises again...That he didn't keep the first time. Mr President the American people are gonna show you we aren't as stupid as you think! Start packing...

    August 18, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  24. Harry From Pa

    Even his running mate has paid more taxes, So Mitt why would you choose someone to run with you that underscores your own tax record?

    August 18, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  25. michael

    Am I the only one who is beginning to think that maybe Romney has committed tax fraud and that is the reason he does not want his tax returns scrutinized??? Let's face it, why else would he not want to release his returns? He's clearly hiding something. If he's hiding assets and not declaring all that he should be and not paying taxes on all that he should be he could be brought up on charges for tax fraud. That would be the story of the decade if someone could uncover that gem!!! Where's Anonymous when you need them???

    August 18, 2012 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
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