Now that Mitt Romney appears to be back in the US election race, he is attempting to set the record straight. Those oh so offensive comments regarding 47% of American citizens needed addressing. In an arrogant manner he virtually declared that 47&% of Americans are happy to sit back and live a life of luxury on welfare.
What a shameful accusation, made all the worse as Romney is such a wealthy man. He and his wife are no newcomers to wealth and privilege, meaning that they have no idea how most Americans live.
His accusations were aimed at a swathe of Americans who do not pay taxes. That is they have no suitable income to be taxed. His remarks were disparaging especially considering that he manages to pay a low rate of tax in spite of his vast wealth.
Romney's remarks regarding 47% of Americans was muttered behind closed doors. It was secretly taped at a Romney fund raiser. This will leave many wondering how honest his words are in TV debates. Are they just empty words aimed at winning? Perhaps behind the closed doors of fund raisers Romney speaks what he believes to be the truth?
Mitt Romney yesterday said that his words regarding 47% of Americans were "completely wrong" Well we knew that all along. Shame it took Mitt so long to realise his words were wrong. His apology may be from the heart or just because he was caught out.
Speaking with Fox Romney said, "Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. " In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong." "And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100% and that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100%."
Do we believe him? Do we Hell. Today President Obama has bounced back on the strength of better than expected unemployment figures. Mitt Romney is trying to tie up lose ends. His 47% gaffe is just one of many such gaffes.
Voters will have to decide if they trust him enough to make him the next President of the USA.
The cynic in us would not be surprised if all of this was engineered. You know, upset some of the electorate and then back pedal. In doing so he can appease the masses but his true followers will know it was all a sham. Romney may not be clever enough for all of this but his campaign managers could be.
In truth Romney did not say his sentiment was wrong simply his wording. US voters are fickle but are they easily swayed. If they believe Romney's words they must be very naive.
Lately it appears that politicians both sides of the Pond want to share their tax returns with us. That is to say some do whilst others prefer to duck and dive. In the US this "outing" of tax returns has become part of the election campaign. If you listen to GOP supporters President Obama is a rich man backed by even richer celebrities. If you listen to Democrat supporters Mitt Romney is an exceptionally wealthy man backed by exceptionally wealthy backers. There will of course be some truth in both points of view. You have to try and clear away the spin and hype if you want to find any truth.
Fox News has reported that President Obama paid a lower tax rate than his secretary. They have published a copy of his tax return and maintain that, "President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had a combined income of $789,674 in 2011 but paid a lower tax rate the president's secretary, who made less than $100,000, the White House confirmed Friday. The Obamas paid an effective rate of 20.5 percent. White House aides would not reveal presidential secretary Anita Breckenridge’s tax rate but confirmed it was higher than the first family's rate. Breckenridge earned $95,000 last year.
This means that President Obama paid less than the 30% Buffett rate the president is pushing for. This Buffett rate would apply to "millionaires". A White House spokesperson has however insisted that the President would be happy to pay more. The White House statement went on, "Under the president's own tax proposals, including the expiration of the high-income tax cuts and limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it"
Whilst the GOP candidates, supporters and media will try to use Obama's tax return as election fodder Mitt Romney has yet to publish his tax returns. According to the Guardian, "Mitt Romney has an estimated fortune of $220m yet paid tax at a rate of less than 15% on income of $45m over the past two years." Romney's income puts him firmly in the top 1% of US "earners". Much of his income came from investments which attract a lower rate of tax. Mr Romney has refused to supply any pre 2010 tax returns, leaving many wondering why.
President Obama's campaign manager said, "Governor Romney has yet to provide tax returns from the period in which he made hundreds of millions as a corporate buyout specialist, or as governor of Massachusetts, the experience he says qualifies him to be president"
Seems to this Brit that none of them have any idea how ordinary citizens live. If the people making the laws and setting the rates of tax have it fixed so that they gain over the electorate something has to be wrong.
Tags: President Obama tax rate, Mitt Romney tax rate, Mitt Romney money, US 212 election campaign