Mitt Romney, who hasn’t had a job in years because America won’t hire him, doesn’t want to subject himself to a credit check as a condition of maybe finally landing a job:
Mitt Romney, who is one of the wealthiest men ever to seek the presidency, said on Wednesday that he had no intention of releasing his tax returns if he became the Republican presidential nominee, breaking with a long tradition in both parties.
Mr. Romney made the statement in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, but the network did not show that part of the interview. Mr. Romney, a multimillionaire who made his fortune running a private equity firm, was asked whether he planned to release his tax return.
“I doubt it,” Mr. Romney said, according to a transcript of the interview provided by NBC News. “I will provide all the financial info, which is an extraordinary pile of documents which show investments and so forth.”
“But you won’t do the tax returns?” asked Chuck Todd, host of “The Daily Rundown.”
“I don’t intend to release the tax returns. I don’t,” Mr. Romney responded.
This could be why:
In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.
The arrangement allowed Mr. Romney to pursue his career in public life while enjoying much of the financial upside of being a Bain partner as the company grew into a global investing behemoth.
In the process, Bain continued to buy and restructure companies, potentially leaving Mr. Romney exposed to further criticism that he has grown wealthier over the last decade partly as a result of layoffs. Moreover, much of his income from the arrangement has probably qualified for a lower tax rate than ordinary income under a tax provision favorable to hedge fund and private equity managers, which has become a point of contention in the battle over economic inequality. Much information about Mr. Romney’s wealth is not known publicly. Federal law does not obligate him to disclose the precise details of his investments. He has declined to release his tax returns, and his campaign last week refused to say what tax rate he paid on his Bain earnings.
But since Mr. Romney’s payouts from Bain have come partly from the firm’s share of profits on its customers’ investments, that income probably qualifies for the 15 percent tax rate reserved for capital gains, rather than the 35 percent that wealthy taxpayers pay on ordinary income. The Internal Revenue Service allows investment managers to pay the lower rate on the share of profits, known in the industry as “carried interest,” that they receive for running funds for investors.
“These are options that are not available to the ordinary taxpayer,” said Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado who studies financial firms. “You continue to take your carried interest — a return on labor, not capital invested — and you’re paying 15 percent on it instead of high marginal income rates.”
In fact, Mitt Recently pointed out that it is hard out there for middle-class people like himself:
“I think it’s a real problem when you have half of Americans — almost half of Americans that are not paying income tax,” the candidate told a group of supporters at a town hall event in Florida. “My own view with regards to tax policy is that we ought to provide help to the people that have been hurt most by the Obama economy, and that’s the middle class.”
“It’s not those at the low end and it’s certainly not for those at the very high end. It’s for the great middle-class, the 80 to 90 percent of us in this country.“
Yeah. This is going to be fun.