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« And here I thought it was me | Main | Safety »

Sep 17, 2012


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Andrew Brod

Ed's not the confused one. Most of Romney's income is taxed at the 15% capital-gains rate, and any additional earnings would also have been taxed at that rate. As long as Ed has income that's taxed as ordinary income, he's paying a higher marginal rate as well as a higher average rate than Romney.

Andrew Brod

Re Romney's quote about Fed purchases, as relayed by Frog:

Krugman takes down that misconception, twice.


And Krugman is wrong.

Andrew Brod

That's a pretty cool animation, but I think you're reading it wrong. When we get to 2012, there's a lot more black to represent the rising share of Fed purchases. But the total share of Fed purchases is the total area in black. That is, one has to look across all maturities. So yes, there were some bond sales in which the Fed bought 70% of what was available. But the private sector is still holding the lion's share, as shown by the much larger blue area.


Andrew, I separated capital gains tax out in my comment to Ed. Apples to apples, if Ed makes $100,000 in ordinary income and Romney makes $1,000,000, Romney is paying a higher marginal tax because his last dollar is being taxed at 35%, while Ed's last dollar is taxed at 28%.

If you add capital gains then both pay the same rate of 20%. If the vast majority of Romney's income is from capital gains then he may pay an average rate lower than Ed's when you combine all income. Both are playing by the exact same rules and tax brackets.

Andrew Brod

By your reasoning, Romney shouldn't diss the 47% (actually 46%) who pay no federal income tax because, after all, they're playing by the exact same rules and tax brackets that he is.

As for the Ed-Romney comparison, you're exactly right if you exclude the majority of Romney's earnings. And yes, they both play according to the same rules, except that the rules are dramatically tilted to the benefit of the one who gets to have his ordinary income taxed at the lower capital-gains rate.

Andrew Brod

All this talk of who pays no federal income tax has me wondering: Do you think Romney paid any federal income tax himself in 2008 or 2009? It sure would be interesting if that's why he refuses to release those returns, especially now that this 47% thing is dominating the news cycle.


our troops in afghanistan pay no federal income tax on their combat pay.

romney needs to study the work of george seurat.

Ian McDowell

I heard the JR rumor privately several months ago, after "sittinginthemiddle" first showed up attacking Tony Wilkins. The "u r gurl" wasn't to insult her for being a woman, but to see if she (or he) would deny it. For whatever reason, most anonymous trolls seem to be men, and while a clever (and non-sexist) male troll wouldn't rise to that bait and mock me for guessing wrong about his sex, sitting didn't seem to be that clever. But I've never done a side-by-side comparison of their prose.


Democrat Tim Kaine desires a minimum tax on the 47% and Gallup has Romney and Obama tied at 47% each.

That 47% number is looking like an awfully accurate number by Romney, however, it is not only accurate, but evidence of the predictive powers of his campaign considering how old his comments are.

Ian McDowell

And I'd argue that this is another problem with anonymice. It's not just that they aren't willing to put their real names behind what they say, but that the subterfuge allows other people (especially those who have the same enemies/objects of scorn) to be blamed for their words. I've on several occasions told "Timbo", who used to post here and whom I know in real life, that I wish he'd use his real name, just so people wouldn't think he was me.


right. romney's comments are ancient. like from may, 4 months ago. as if that has anything to do with the context.

no one is arguing the number, it's the stereotype that "those people" are the entitled class, the unmotivated, those unwilling to shape their own lives and would rather live off the government. that's a whole lot of hubris -- something romney would never say out loud in public.

i guess it's just how some rich folk speak to one another about those not in their class of wealth. the classless rich folk, to be perfectly clear.



it's the stereotype that "those people" are the entitled class, the unmotivated, those unwilling to shape their own lives and would rather live off the government. that's a whole lot of hubris -- something romney would never say out loud in public.

Who is stereotyping?

Many of the 47% Romney references are the subsidy dependents that litter the American economic landscape. They are not impoverished but are nonetheless dependent on our government. From the non competitive GM, to all-global-warming-all-the-time NPR, to the school in which Brod endeavors to protect the funding of his own job, the 47% Romney references is a vastly larger voting block than the impoverished stereotype liberals have embraced.

One of the attacks on Romney to questions his morality. How can a moral person denigrate half of the US?

But if Romney is somehow immoral for noting that dependency on government has risen under Obama, then, it must, conversely, be moral for Obama to grow the numbers of government dependents.

I and most Americans reject that. There are few better measures of Obama's failure than the steadily increasing numbers of Americans that become statistics on the various forms of government assistance. Democrats seem to look upon those numbers measures of success. Look at GM, Fannie & Freddie, Fisker, and the pride that radiates from Democrats when they point to the growing numbers of people they "help".

That is not success, and more importantly, it is not moral. There is no morality in not endeavoring to decrease the number of government dependents. But what is truly wicked is to look upon our swelling rolls of dependents as a form of success.

Second thought. Many of the individuals who make up Romney's 47% understand what is described above and further understand that they are there because of Obama. They desire success for themselves and reject being told by Democrats that they should feel good about their dependency.

Real Americans know that the smug dependency sold by Democrats is fundamentally immoral, fundamentally unAmerican, fundamentally Democrat, and fundamentally enabling our current depression.

And many of those real Americans are part of Romney's 47%.

Ian McDowell

As for the subject of my father (and thank you, Ed and Dr. Hayes and others, for your kind words), he does (or did -- four years later, it's still weird writing of him in the past tense) represent the that increasingly small undecided demographic that whichever candidate wins will need to convince (or that the loser will "unconvince" by alienation).

Dad's politics were interesting. He used to argue with my grandfather about the Kennedys -- Dad liked Bobby more than JFK, but supported the latter against my grandfather's claims that he was part of a Catholic conspiracy to take over the country. Dad was an atheist who'd once studied for the priesthood, before realizing he loved the theater and ritual of it rather than the idea of God (he used to say that if he did come to believe in God, he'd be a Catholic, a high church episcopal, an Eastern Orthodox or a Jew, as he loved their formality and sense of ritual). He thought Ayn Rand was a bad thinker and a bad writer, but he was addicted to the writings of a variety of Catholic and Anglican theologians. He loved William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal pretty much equally. He disliked Nixon, loathed Jimmy Carter the moment he appeared on the political radar, but fell in love with Reagan once he became president, despite having previously scorned hm. When he said that Reagan only became a great actor after entering the White House, he meant that as a total compliment, as he'd disliked Reagan as a movie star (he and Rip Torn had done the play THE HASTY HEART while in the army, and every time the movie version came on TV back in the 60s and early 70s, Dad would hurl invective at Reagan's performance as "Yank," the role Dad had played, as "awful"). He loved John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, but also Joan Baez (but not Jane Fonda). He argued with my grandfather, and then, years later, with my stepmother, about Ali, saying he respected his decision to refuse the draft even while disagreeing with it, and thinking it was a brave statement of principles rather than the cowardice both my grandfather and my stepmother accused it of being (Dad made the reasonable point that the Army would never had let Ali anywhere near combat in Vietnam, and that he would have spent his tour doing exhibtion matches).

He had a certain amount of respect for Bush but despised Cheney with a passion (the one four-star general I know agrees with this, although he likes Bush less than Dad did). He was disappointed that Fred Thompson's campaign fizzled out and switched his support to McCain, whom he'd also always liked, until McCain chose Palin. He loathed Hillary and John Edwards but was merely ambivalent about Obama, respecting his intelligence and some of his ideas while being dubious of his messianic aura.

I'd like to think I knew my father well enough to believe that he would have been attracted to Romney, although he had harsh words for Mormons in general, as he considered their religion undignified and tacky and felt it lacked both the sense of style and the literary/intellectual tradition of (non-Baptist) Christianity (I do think he would have greatly enjoyed Orson Scott Card as a pundit while despising his fiction -- he was fond of Limbaugh as a raconteur and radio personality, mainly because he loved his voice, while generally disagreeing with him politically). He would have probably felt that Obama had had his shot and that we should give someone else a crack at it. But the current GOP's embrace of fundamentalist Christianity and its denial of evolution would have appalled him (not that the current Democrats are much better on the former count).

But he would have been apoplectic over Romney's 47% comment, and no, he wouldn't have cared whether anything Obama had said was "just as bad." He would have felt that anyone who said that, in this tight a race, was a fool who needed to lose, pretty much as Joe Scarborough and David Brooks have said.


frog, i'm paraphrasing what romney said himself. if you have issues with that, that's fine. but romney did the broad stroke stereotyping, not me.

as for the rest of your retort, c'mon man, really? all this "dependency on government has risen under Obama?" really?

Ed Cone

I'm basing my statement about me paying higher marginal rates than Mitt on the blank entry for line 7 (wages, salaries, tips, etc) of his 2011 estimated return. I had to put an integer on mine. If my understanding is incorrect, I'll happily correct the error to "higher overall rate," or whatever.

Romney may have hit the top marginal rate in 2010, due to book sales and speeches (far less than $1 million, not sure where Sam got that number). As for earlier years, well, inquiring minds would like to know.


God, I can't wait until this election is over and right-wingers can go back to loathing Obama instead of pretending to admire Romney, a candidate who they NEVER would have picked if they could have helped it in the first place. The amount of feint praise being heaped on this guy is amazing. I will give GOP'ers credit for the whole "Team GOP" thing, but try as you all might, things are looking pretty bleak for Romney et all.

Andrew Brod

In 2010 Romney did indeed go well over $1 million in ordinary income, thanks to $3.3 million in interest income. Interest is generally taxed as ordinary income, just like earned income.

Romney fell well below $1 million in earned income: just shy of $600K from writing and speaking fees. None of his earned income came from wages or salary.

Notably, about two-thirds of Romney's $4.9 million in dividend income were qualified dividends, which were taxed at a rate of at most 15%, just like capital gains. Sweet.




Peggy Noonan's got it about right:

"As for those workers who don’t pay any income taxes, they pay payroll taxes—Social Security and Medicare. They want to rise in the world and make more money. They’d like to file a 1040 because that will mean they got a raise or a better job. They too are potential Romney voters, because they’re suffering under the no-growth economy. So: Romney’s theory of the case is all wrong. His understanding of the political topography is wrong."

About sums it up. Romney doesn't have the first clue about the real make up of the electorate or to say nothing about how he's conducting this election.


romney seems to watch to much fox news.



CP(Worst person on the internet)

Ian, if you're still around, there was once in these parts a fire-breathin' man who called himself "Big L". He was banned, with good reason. He later rode back into town as "Angry as Hell". It was completely obvious they were one and the same, and I think Ed just let it slide. There have been times when I thought SITM was his latest incarnation, but I've concluded SITM is actually more moderate and soft-spoken, if you can imagine that.


"romney seems to(o) watch to much fox news."

And how would you know that?


because he speaks their rhetoric, rather than a presidential candidate's.

sal leone

I say Gary Johnson is the way to go this year for President. Gary Johnson can be trusted way more then Mitt and keeps his word more then Obama.

"romney seems to(o) watch to much fox news."

And how would you know that?

Posted by: bubba | Sep 20, 2012 at 08:19 PM

Still wrong.

"romney seem TO watch TOO much fox news."


OMG. And then I left the s off seems. Karma.

sal leone

I like to say that SITM, in my terms is scared in his or her belief. I say this because of the hiding of his or her name. The comments to Ian and his dad were uncalled for, at least Ians dad served his country. I am not sure who SITM is but he or she needs to get laid, and if he or she is getting laid, that person aint laying the pipe down right. The comments left by SITM are nasty and rude at times and the heat must be getting to that person because Obama is going to win.

The fact is that Obama will win the election. The numbers show everytime Mitt speaks, his numbers go down. I am not saying Obama has done a great job, he has not and this is why I will vote for Gary Johnson.

SITM, just relax some and dont be afraid to say your real name and stand up for what you feel strong about. The way I see it is that you are afraid and dont have confidence in your belief.

sal leone

I like to add before SITM attacks me that yes I type fast and my spelling and grammer suffer for it. I may not be a Harvard man like Mitt or have his millions. The fact is that I have something in common with Mitt, we both will not be President in Nov.
SITM, you need to blame Mitt because he has no common sense, you dont pick a VP from a state that you are going to lose anyway and one with low votes in the college, he might of missed math in college. I remember McCain doing the samething and look where he is at. The easy choice would of been Rubio from Florida, easy going guy, from Florida with a lot of votes and think about the latin votes that could of changed the election. I just dont think Mitt has a clue and he blew his own election, SITM you need to blame Mitt and nobody else.
I also like to add that I think Obama is a Harvard man himself, proves my point that the more smarter you are, the less common sense you have.

Andrew Brod

Maybe this isn't just about "envy."

Maybe there are actual policy issues that can't be so easily dismissed.

sal leone

Hi Andrew
I think the down to earth issue with Romney is Romney. He made some interesting comments that is only helping drive a wedge between him and the working people, and even those that don't work. I just never felt that he cared about the poor and those down and out on their luck.
There are those that feed off society, career welfare collectors, but I am sure the numbers are not that high. I dont think Romeny has any policy issue that is for America, he seems like the guy who will only take care of his own, rich and only rich. The sad part of this whole thing is can we deal with 4 more years of Obama and his failed policies and empty words.


and your effective rate is?

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