Biden attacks Romney over 2011 tax return
September 25th, 2012
02:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden attacks Romney over 2011 tax return

Chesterfield, Virginia (CNN) - Four days after Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return, Vice President Joe Biden used his first in-person campaign opportunity on Tuesday to pounce: comparing Romney's effective tax rate against that of a middle class person.

"Ladies and gentlemen, somebody today in America making $23,000 a year pays over 20-percent of their income in taxes, in some form of taxes," Biden said. "A couple making a hundred thousand dollars a year, they pay 29-percent in total tax."

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"Romney paid 14-percent," Biden added, noting the Republican presidential nominee's 14.1-percent effective tax rate. The vice president proceeded to crank through the new numbers from the Friday release and also reiterated attacks that Democrats have consistently made against Romney.

"He made over $13 million dollars in income, almost all from investments which he paid in 17-percent or less," Biden said. "He got millions, he has millions stashed in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The guy had a Swiss bank account. He refuses to release 10 years of his tax returns, which he demanded of his running mate?"

Biden's comments came at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Virginia. Though Obama won Virginia in 2008, he did not win Chesterfield County – a suburb of Richmond and a reliably red part of the state. In 2008, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain won Chesterfield County by eight points. In 2004, President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry here by 26-points.

Dispatching the vice president to the county is a clear sign the Obama campaign hopes to remain competitive.

During his speech, Biden repeatedly tailored his message to a middle class audience. In addition to comparing Romney's effective tax rate against middle class brackets, the vice president also reminded voters of the secretly recorded video in which the former Massachusetts governor said 47 percent of Americans are "dependent on government" – and "will vote for the president no matter what."

"Look, instead of attacking folks who work for a living and pay their way, Romney should be respecting their hard work," Biden said. "That's the job of a president: to lift people up, not to tear them down."

And Biden mocked his rival.

"He, Romney? Attacking someone on taxes? I mean, whoa! That's like me attacking someone for being passionate in politics," Biden said, noting "these people pay a lot of taxes: Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, state and local taxes, gas taxes, property taxes."

The Romney campaign was quick to respond.

"There is only one candidate in this race who has raised taxes on middle-class workers and families – Barack Obama," spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

"Governor Romney will lower tax rates across the board and eliminate all taxes on savings and investment for low- and middle-income Americans. The robust economic benefits of a lower capital gains tax rate is the reason President Clinton signed such reforms into law, and many prominent Democrats – including members of the Obama Administration – have supported that policy."

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Mitt Romney • Virginia
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. dac38

    Funny Reads:
    #1 Romney paid 20% taxes on in come some time back ?
    On which planet. BAIN is set as a "PARTNERSHIP" and not a corporation. They dont have the same tax obligations.
    #2 the only candidate to raise taxes was Obama ?
    On which Planet? What taxes has he raised. Because of his payroll tax and other tax cuts, many people now pay 3600$ less than they used to under Bush. Thick Thick Thick skulled people are everywhere.

    September 25, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Someone cut this Joey's leash!!!! Sic 'em, Joey, sic 'em!!!!

    September 25, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "More disengenious BS from Biden. He knows full well that Romney paid taxes on ordinary income 0f somewhere North of 20% and NOW is paying 14% on the capital gain made on the invested original money. "

    What part of "effective tax rate" do you need explained?

    September 25, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. J

    Do you not understand that the more money someone gets to keep the more likely they are to BUY something!!!! That business then creates more revenue annually!! That business then pays more in taxes because it has more revenue!! That business then hires more people!!! Economics 101. The country runs on the back of business owners!! IF YOU want to decrease the debt these business's need to actually make more money so they pay more in taxes, not increase the tax rate! common sense people!!!

    September 25, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Marie– Romney disclosed the required tax returns. Anything else is none of your or my business. He pays more taxes in one year than you would even EARN in 5 lifetimes. Let it rest."

    NO. We won't let it rest and Marie is 100% correct. The two years are required by law. The decade is required by what the public wants in terms of honest, forthright, transparent disclosure and what is considered the candidates' moral obligation to the public. Mittens' own father said so when starting the tradition 36 years ago and very poignantly highlighted taht the reason it was important is that one or two years at the time of the campaign could very well just be rigged to look nice for the campaign and don't necessarily represent the real financial and tax situation of the candidate.

    Do yuo also need the difference between "legal requirement" and "moral obligation" explained?

    September 25, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Griff.

    "So come on Biden?? Own up!!! Just how long have you been living off the system, and just how much did you earn outside Washington in the past 15yrs years???"

    September 25, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Griff.

    "If the only way Biden can survive is by living of tax-payers, what use is he?? Leaches went out for Obamacare many decades ago!"

    September 25, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Alex21

    Ancient Texan 🙂 Interesting argument – How do we believe he paid 20% average tax if he is not ready to show? His campaign is full of lies – Rich needs more tax cuts are they are paying 14% tax while middle class is paying 30%.
    How can you balance a budget by tax cuts and increasing Defense expense at the same time?


    Ancient Texan – Hopefully you are not ancient – who doesn't know arithmetic!!!

    September 25, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Griff.

    "Her didn't!!! Obama is a Muslim, and the Arab world want more control on the USA. Why the hell do you think the Arab's in Europe praised him over the past three years??"

    September 25, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Alvin

    Crazy uncle Joe is at it again. I wish he'd tell us more about why he so stingy with charitable contributions, don't be a tightwad Joe!

    September 25, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Planner922

    Romney said he paid an effective rate of no less than 14% taxes in the last ten years. Big deal. The average effective tax rate for the rest of us is between 25-30%. And what kills me is some of you seem so proud that he has released any information at all!
    Well I'm NOT!
    He evaded the Draft during Vietnam.
    He lowers his Income Tax by putting his money in off-shore accounts.
    He breaks the rules by criticizing a sitting President on Foreign Affairs and LIES about it !!!!!
    And you say I'm supposed to respect him? Not NO but %^*} NO !

    September 25, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Seriously?

    Don Davis: He like the rest of us is scared to death of the current administration and I am sure that is why he is running to try and fix this mess. You got to know he is not doing this for the money as he already has plenty. Give the guy a break and listen to what he has to say before you sign us up to four more years of this mess we have now.

    He is not doing it for the money because he is already rich, and you think that makes him honest? OMG. Do you think in 2008 when he lost in the primaries to McCain that he was running to try and fix Bush's mess? Was he scared to death of another Bush administration? LOL I mean, after all, this so-called "mess" existed before Obama was elected, and Romney didn't just start running for President last year! Power is money, and money is power. He wants his greedy hands on the United States Tax Code, and honestly the thought should be terrifying to most Americans. There is no such thing as "enough" money to people like Romney. Why don't you stop and think? It might do your brain some good.

    September 25, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. yolanda

    Btw, Biden gave squat to charities last year (or any year). Maybe he spent it all on hair plugs.....

    September 25, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. jonny

    Lets face it, the only reason Biden was asked to be V.P. was as an insurance policy that Obama wouldn't get assasinated. They knew nobody would want Joe as Prez. Very scary.

    September 25, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. BLKMANinAmerica

    Love Joe, give em heck JOE!

    September 25, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Larry in Houston

    if i made 250K or over per yr, I would LOVE to have the "Burden" LOL – isn't that pathetic ? Take a poll – I don't care where you take that poll – or how may people you poll – ask Them If They were Making 250K per yr, IF they would GLADLY pay Taxes . I know I would be.
    Democrat 2012

    September 25, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. scott

    Once again the lunatic Biden spouts off at the mouth, Obama needs to keep his dog muzzled.

    September 25, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Now you know nobody making only 23 thousand a year is paying any income taxes! Hey but it is better than talking about the 16 thousand getting "canned" at Bank of America or the people being put out of a job at those Coal Mines in West Virgina Eh? Jus think, if you get a second term more people will join the welfare rolls, Eh? Tell us about Obama Care and how it is going to save us money. Tell us about that, Joe.

    September 25, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Reality

    GEEZ, Griff, get a grip. I've never seen anyone with enough of a hair-lip to have it come through in their typing!

    September 25, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. bearced

    I'm middle class and I don't remember a tax increase!

    September 25, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. sharon

    @ancienttexan – get your agruments right. You are correct that Mitt paid income taxes on anything he declared as income in the past. My understanding is venture capitalists can use a loop hole that allows them to defer reporting their income and when they do, it is taxed at the capital gains rate. So Mitt has income being taxed at 15% that should have been taxed as earned wages. I don't get to pay 15% on my 401k distributions – it is taxed at whatever rate I am obliged to pay as regular income – for me that is 25% for each additional dollar. Mitt is not being double taxed. He reduces the capital gain income by the original investment amount.
    Notademocrat – please look again at Mitt's tax returns – he gave his church over $2 million and the Tyler foundation is a private charitable organization – what do they do? Are his sons employed there and he is paying their salaries? Romney needs to supply more information on his charitable deductions. I wonder what ones he did not report – anti-gay groups, pro-life groups or more 'family charities'

    September 25, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Mark

    Romney gave 4 million dollars to charity last year. Biden gave $5,540 to charity. Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes. Romney has been successful with finances you're right and he has paid a lot of taxes every year. So what? I know liberals want everyone to make the government issued $25,000 a year. That would be fair right?

    September 25, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. sharon

    Ray e.
    I do taxes for all income levels. If a single person is making $23,000, has no dependents and not able to itemize deductions, they are paying income tax on approximately $13,000. That's after paying state/local income taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes and, in some states, personal property tax.

    September 25, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Max

    Romney is a tax evasive person and should really be charged for tax evasion?

    September 25, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. TY

    Some of you are so......................Romney is not right. He had investment in a China Oil Co., that was against the interest of the US. Romney shows nothing. He did not take his full deduction, if he would of his taxes would of been 9%. People you know this man is about self and he don't care about anything else. He give most of his monies to the he know he better come clean with them. He is a fake and he can't see beyond his nose. This goes deeper than his taxes it tells you alot about him. He needs to release his taxes 10 years t. He made Lyin Ryan to release 10 years of his. Romney think he can do what he want when he want............Am sick of him the more I see the more I don't like this cat.

    September 25, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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