Back in the day, many conservatives believed Barack Obama may not be qualified to be President because he was actually born in Kenya. These conservatives were called Birthers, and they did and still do believe a conspiracy exists concealing this disqualification. However, most conservatives never bought the idea. At the time no one knew where this rumor stemmed from, and most on the left decided it must stem from the fact that Obama was black. Or … you know. Half black. But black nonetheless apparently. But it wasn’t a new idea; several people over the years had mentioned that they thought Barack was indeed born in Kenya. Now we know that the origin of Barack Obama being born in Kenya is Barack Obama himself, having had a literary agent write it in promotional material back in 1991. Obviously this stuff stuck in people’s heads, they believed it, and as the memory of it surfaced and the junior senator became President, his own lie became the seed of a conspiracy theory for the far right that would eventually be the blow that would remove Donald Trump as a candidate for President when Barack Obama finally released his Hawaiian birth certificate. I recite this interesting material because a similar but much more far-reaching scenario has now played out in favor of Mitt Romney.
In early August, Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, went to the floor and made this accusation:
Schills like “Thrill Up My Leg” Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow of course joined in:
Matthew’s beginning is telling. “One of my rules of politics is if the truth of a politician is better than it appears, he’ll come out and tell you. If its worse, the politician will clam up and stay clammed.” Oh really, Chris? Wonder why Barack Obama held onto his birth certificate for so long then.
Of course Harry Reid didn’t stop there, as liberal comedy show host Jon Stewart decided to point out.
But as Mitt Romney said all along, he always intended to released his 2011 tax returns. What took him so long? I don’t know. Maybe the fact that he was gathering up the last 20 years worth of it to release at once might have something to do with it. As the LA Times reports:
The Romney campaign released a statement by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the accounting firm that has prepared his tax returns since 1990, saying that Romney had never had an effective tax rate of less than 13.66% during that period and had an average tax rate during the period of 20.2%.
Add to that in 2011 Romney donated over 4 million dollars to charity, which makes up about 30% of his annual income, and all of a sudden the idea of Mitt Romney not paying his fair share seems a bit … silly. Doesn’t it, Mr. Reid?
Romney in fact paid just over 2 million dollars in taxes in 2011, and actually did not get as much money back out of charitable deductions as he could have, insuring that he kept his word earlier in the year when he said it would not be below 13%. By paying more money than he needed to, Romney ended up paying a 14% tax rate.
Of course, to the left though, the fact that Mitt Romney did indeed pay taxes for the last 10 years and donated 30% of his income to charity is not important. To them, the important news is that Mitt Romney only paid 14% in taxes and normally would have only needed to pay just over 10% in taxes.
Of course, the reasoning behind this is nothing sinister. Most of Mitt Romney’s income comes from investments, and those are taxed at a much lower rate, allowing Romney to keep more of what he makes than many other rich individuals in his tax bracket, and afford him the room required to give so much of his income to charities that need it a lot more. But rest assured the left will use, and are already using, Romney’s comparatively lower tax rate to beat the class-warfare drum and promote the call that government redistribution of wealth is much better.