Super PAC ad hammers Romney on taxes
August 17th, 2012
01:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Super PAC ad hammers Romney on taxes

(CNN) – The super PAC backing President Barack Obama launched an online ad on Friday reminding viewers that Mitt Romney has rejected calls to release more than two years of tax returns, and claiming that a plan offered by his running mate, Paul Ryan, would reduce his tax rate to 1%.

The spot, from Priorities USA, uses clips from Romney's press conference on Thursday in South Carolina, when he told reporters that he's paid 13% in taxes for the past decade.

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"The fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small minded," Romney is shown saying.

"I've paid at least 13%," he continues in the spot.

A narrator jumps in, claiming that "under one of Paul Ryan's budget plans, Romney would pay only 1%. That's right. Mitt Romney's worth $200 million, but under Paul Ryan's budget, he'd pay only 1% in taxes while middle class families would pay $1,000 more."

"Romney and Ryan: If they win, the middle class loses," the narrator concludes.

Priorities USA cites analysis of Ryan's House GOP Budget plan, which proposes eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. The two years of tax information that Romney has released, from 2010 and 2011, indicate that the majority of his income – $21.7 million in 2010 – came from long-term capital gains.

Romney has not indicated specifically which parts of Ryan's plan he supports and which parts he would change. Romney's website indicates that he would maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains, while enacting a "permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates."

Bill Burton, a co-founder of Priorities USA, said in a statement that under a Romney presidency, wealthy people like Romney would be awarded a lower tax rate.

"Mitt Romney already pays a lower tax rate than many middle class families, but with Romney-Ryan economics he would pay even less," Burton wrote. "The Romney-Ryan ticket would not only protect a tax system that already benefits the wealthiest like Romney over middle class Americans, it would be taken from the paychecks of millions of middle class families."

In declaring he's paid more than 13% in taxes on Thursday, Romney was describing his effective tax rate, or the percentage of actual income he gave to the federal government. Over the past two years, Romney's effective tax rate was 14.5%, based on the records he's revealed already. Some 80% of Americans have an effective rate below 15%, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Effective tax rates are always lower than top income tax rates, due to credits, deductions and exemptions that cancel out all or much of the income tax many Americans would otherwise owe.

Priorities USA said its ad would run online in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia – all battleground states. The pro-Obama super PAC is the same group that produced a much-maligned spot connecting Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to the death of a steel worker's wife. The ad never ran as a paid advertisement on television, apart from a single airing in Ohio after a station error. It did, however, air repeatedly on cable news.

“This is another false ad from a widely-denounced group with zero credibility," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote in response to the latest Priorities USA ad. "There’s only one candidate in this race who has promised to raise taxes – Barack Obama. Mitt Romney supports revenue-neutral tax reform that lowers rates across the board – for all taxpayers – and maintains the progressivity of the current code. President Obama’s failed policies have led to record-level unemployment and 23 million Americans struggling for work. Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will mean more jobs, more take-home pay, and a stronger economy.”

CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Priorities USA • Taxes
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. cja831@sbcglobal.net

    if Romney earned wages as his only source of income, then that number would be much higher... but he didnt. He invested wisely, and now he is living off his investments. I hope to be as wise as he, and able to have his freedom. That is true every WORKING american is going to have a higher tax rate. That would be because its a different income source. Wake up people, money should get taxed once. Romneys money has already been taxed!!!

    August 17, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Sniffs S hits

    LOL right on cue...obama campaign promises to stop whining about romney's taxes if he release 5 years didn't cover his lapdog media or super pacs, they would be doing this anyway, Mitt, just say NO to O.

    August 17, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. bb

    Lets talk about Oblameos record, well i guess u cant since he has done nothing but spend our money. He wants Mitts taxes, i want our stolen stimulus money back from his pals at soldryne or whatever it was. I want our money back from the elec car co in finland he gave money to. After that mr Obummer i will show u my taxes. U should be ashamed of yourself.

    August 17, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    Again, IF the subject of tax returns is only for "small minded" people, why did he ask for multiple tax returns from his running mates? Keep after him because we DEMAND the truth about his finances.

    Obama 2012

    August 17, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    I hope the Capital Gains tax rate does decrease. We need investment to get our economy growing again and this would encourage investment. It works. And then more Americans work. Good for everybody, especially the unemployed.

    August 17, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Obama - Ending the American Dream as We Know It

    Sniffit
    "In declaring he's paid more than 13% in taxes on Thursday, Romney was describing his effective tax rate, or the percentage of actual income he gave to the federal government. "

    Where did you get this CNN? How can you possibly print something like that? IT WAS 100% UNCLEAR WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. This time it's really beyond the pale. You just published an ASSUMPTION as though it is FACT. FIX IT.
    ========================================================================================

    It was only unclear to people who refuse to believe anything said and twist everything to suit your agenda.

    Romney owes you and Obama NOTHING in the way of his taxes. Scream and stomp like children but you'll get nothing but a great big loss in November because NOBDOY CARES about this when the country is on fire.

    You are all the New-BIRTHERS.

    August 17, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Hammerer – Why are right wingnuts incapable of reading about the president's accomplishments without being told what to think by Rush, Beck and Fox foreign owned media? Tune into any other media, and you will be astounded of the death of bin Laden, the end of the war in Iraq, the auto industry being saved, the stimulus that gave all Americans the lowest tax rates in 50 years, the ACA, equal pay act, 29 months of consecutive job growth after the loss of 8 million jobs in Bush's last three years, and much more. What is awesome, is that this is without a single republican vote. Once again it is republicans refusing to help Americans.

    August 17, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Lionel

    Just release the taxes so that we get on and talk about medicare and tax cuts for millionaries and billionaires.

    August 17, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Debby

    Taxes don't seem to be in issue as Romney is climbing in the polls.

    August 17, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. M Garr

    Trust but Verify, a very conservative idea, espoused by Ronald Reagan.
    I just want to see the tax returns, Mr. Romney.

    August 17, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    The Ryan trickle down tax plan is to shift the burden from the 1% to the middle class.

    August 17, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. bb

    Spineless oblunder needs to address the new unemp #s that keep going up. lets talk about the economy, i dont care about Mitts taxes the irs does that, so if u think the irs has missed on Mitt remember they r to be running Oblundercare

    August 17, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Mittens is rising in the polls, it must be because everyone wants Mittens to end social security and medicare, and give even bigger tax cuts to the wealthy.

    August 17, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. kayla

    this election will not be bought, power to the people

    August 17, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Mitt the twit is too busy hiding behind Ann's skirt. Mitt the twit is clearly not the solution. He's the problem. That's why he hides his tax returns from Americans.

    August 17, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. V

    "More scare tactics from the insane left." – Yea, like the Republicans are above this. . . Get real.

    August 17, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Obama - Ending the American Dream as We Know It

    you will be astounded of the death of bin Laden, -– THANK YOU NAVY SEALS and intelligence!!! Obama taking credit where none is due.

    the end of the war in Iraq, -– THANK YOU GEORGE BUSH!! Who had everything signed before Obama took office, MORE obama taking credit for others work

    the auto industry being saved, -– American taxpayers still owed $50 BILLION and Obama unions are doing create after being given ownership of the company

    the stimulus that gave all Americans the lowest tax rates in 50 years, -- HUH?? You mean the near TRILLION Obama borrow from the Chinese that our kids will have to repay, PLUS INTEREST?

    the ACA, -- BWAHAHAHA!! You mean Obamacare that 60% of Americans want repealed? That is an "accomplishment"???

    equal pay act, -- really??? Did signing this law make one bit of difference to ANYBODY? Answer: no.

    29 months of consecutive job growth -- Jobs created were not even enough to address population growth. 5 million people have dropped OUT of the workforce. Obama will be the first president in history to have fewer people working when he left office than when he took office. 29 months x 100 jobs is NOT an accomplishment! Nice little deceitful point you have though.

    August 17, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Hammerer

    Wire Palladin,S.F.
    Where do you suggest that I could read about Obama's good deeds? Seems that all you guys know is Obama's talking points such as pay your fair share to the succesful workers and Romney's tax returns.
    Here is your chance to brag on Obama. Lets have it.

    August 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Squigman

    If this were any other person, but this a–hole they'd be in jail. What's wrong with this country. WAKE-UP.

    August 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Kenny K

    @cja831@sbcglobal.net

    if Romney earned wages as his only source of income, then that number would be much higher... but he didnt. He invested wisely, and now he is living off his investments. I hope to be as wise as he, and able to have his freedom. That is true every WORKING american is going to have a higher tax rate. That would be because its a different income source. Wake up people, money should get taxed once. Romneys money has already been taxed!!!
    ___________________________________
    If everyone invests like that and pay such low take rate, will the USA be able to afford all the good things other country envy it for?

    August 17, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @kayla "this election will not be bought, power to the people"

    2008 Goldman Sachs makes big donation to Obama (US audit records) $1 million.
    2012 Goldman Sachs let off the hook being prosecuted by US Government.

    Power to the people – vote Green Party.

    August 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Romney owes you and Obama NOTHING in the way of his taxes. Scream and stomp like children but you'll get nothing but a great big loss in November because NOBDOY CARES about this when the country is on fire."

    Really? Is that why polls show the majority of the public want to see his tax returns and think he should release them? Interesting.

    August 17, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. Kenny K

    @bb

    Spineless oblunder needs to address the new unemp #s that keep going up. lets talk about the economy, i dont care about Mitts taxes the irs does that, so if u think the irs has missed on Mitt remember they r to be running Oblundercare
    ____________________________________-
    We do care about Romney's tax returns because those are reflections of his tax policies.

    August 17, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney has endorsed the Ryan Plan. He's on record stating that he would sign it into law. The Ryan Plan would elminate capital gains taxes completely. Romney would pay less than 1%. Most middle class families would pay more.

    Don't you think it would be fair to ask Mitt Romney to pay taxes to upkeep the roads his horse travels on? To pay for the air traffic controllers at the airports he flies in and out of? Don't you think he should pay his fair share? At the very least, he should do it for his horse..

    August 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. V

    @Hammerer – The accomplishments of this Administration have been cited over and over again. The problem is, the Republicans have their hands over their ears and are humming loudly so as not to hear (like a small child does when they don't want to listen). If, by now, you don't know about the job growth (albeit not as good as one would like, but at least there has been growth), ending wars (Irag anyboby? and Afghanistan very soon), bailing out the auto industry, taking out Bin Laden and most of his top operatives, etc., then you've been asleep for the last four years and should not be allowed to vote!!

    August 17, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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