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Hey, Media, a $75K Mechanic Pays a Lower Tax Rate Than Romney
Townhall.com ^ | September 27, 2012 | Larry Elder

Posted on 09/27/2012 4:01:43 AM PDT by Kaslin

If "journalism malpractice" were a crime, Nancy Grace would not be able to keep track of all the trials.

ABC news reporter Jonathan Karl recently said: "Mitt Romney ... made $13.7 million last year and paid nearly $2 million in taxes. His effective tax rate -- 14.1 percent. That's a lower rate than an auto mechanic who made $75,000 in pay."

Not again.

Back in January, anchor Diane Sawyer teased "Mitt's millions" on ABC's "World News": "What Mitt Romney's taxes really show about wealth, taxes and fairness." Then correspondent David Muir informed viewers: "(Romney's) tax rate? In 2010, about 13.9 percent, perfectly legal under the current tax code, which allows Americans to pay a much lower rate, a capital gains tax, when their earnings come from investments, and not a job." Muir cut to a "tax analyst," who said: "If (Romney) were a doctor or lawyer with the same salary, he would be paying 35 percent (emphasis added)."

It gets worse.

NBC, through MSNBC, employs "civil rights activist" the Rev. Al Sharpton as a talk show host. He regularly rails against Romney and his fellow racist Republicans while supporting the President who wants to raise taxes on the "millionaires and billionaires" who "can afford to pay a little bit more." Sharpton is rich. But he has trouble with the "pay a little bit more" part. According to a recent profile in GQ, Sharpton lives large, in a ritzy Manhattan "bachelor pad." He belongs to an exclusive private club where -- after a television performance in which he rails against the top 1 percent -- he hangs with the top 1 percent.

Though he pushes for tax hikes on the wealthy and demands tax transparency for Romney, Sharpton himself has taken a respite from paying his own taxes. According to the New York Post last December, Sharpton owed $2.6 million to the IRS and almost $900,000 in state taxes. In addition, his nonprofit (in debt by $1.6 million) owed more than $880,000 in federal payroll taxes. But we digress.

NBC's Peter Alexander, on "Today," told his audience in January: "Romney appeared to be knocked off message, promising to share his returns in April and also disclosing that he pays 15 percent in income tax, like many wealthy Americans, but less than many middle class Americans (emphasis added)."

Over at taxpayer supported NPR, its "Morning Edition" co-host Renee Montagne said in January: "Yesterday, Romney did let slip a provocative tax detail. He acknowledged he's probably paying an effective tax rate of around 15 percent. And that's well below the rate that many middle-class families pay (emphasis added)."

One problem. It isn't true -- not even close.

First, as with the purchase of new car, almost nobody pays sticker price. To make Romney's "low" effective tax rate look bad, some news media irresponsibly compare his rate to that of a middle-class taxpayer's top marginal rate.

Just how misleading?

Assume Mr. Auto Mechanic is married, with two children. After offsetting income with exemptions, deductions for things like mortgage interest and assorted tax credits, Mr. Mechanic's effective federal income tax rate -- the percentage of income actually paid in taxes -- is much less than Romney's rate.

The liberal Tax Policy Center reports that 91.4 percent of individual taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $50,000 and $100,000 pay less than 15 percent in taxes. And 43.9 percent of the $50,000-$100,000 AGI taxpayers pay an effective rate between 5 and 9.99 percent, while 4.6 percent of this group pay no federal income tax at all.

Many in the media forget about all those pesky deductions and credits and exemptions. Income tax brackets are marginal rates. The top marginal rate in a taxpayers' tax bracket DOES NOT apply to his entire income from dollar one.

New York Times' David Leonhardt understands this and, to his credit, explains it properly: "This disconnect between what we pay and what we think we pay is nothing less than one of the country's biggest economic problems. ... All told, most households pay less than 15 percent of their income to the federal government because of tax breaks, like the exclusion for health insurance, and because marginal rates apply to only a small part of a taxpayer's income. On the first $70,000 of a couple's taxable income, the total federal income tax rate is only 13.8 percent."

Why does Leonhardt comprehend this, while so many in his profession do not? Consider this.

Previous editions of a widely used high school textbook, "The American Pageant," by Thomas Bailey and David Kennedy, show charts on the federal deficit in historical dollars. When it came to the Ronald Reagan years, the graphic shows a rapidly increasing deficit. But as a share of the gross national product, Reagan's deficits are really much smaller than FDR's. By not showing the numbers as a share of the GNP, their charts make his deficits look outrageous. Of the textbook's depiction of the "outsized" Reagan deficit, University of Dayton history professor Larry Schweikart said, "The appearance to mislead seems intentional."

Well, ABC, NBC, NPR, is it intentional?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: dianesawyer; lamestreammedia; mittromney; taxes

1 posted on 09/27/2012 4:01:52 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Actually, the writer here is talking about something entirely different from what the average taxpayer thinks about ~ and that is that Romney's average rate for an enormous amount of money is FAR LESS than the top end rate most taxpayers end up paying.

Remember, the rate on earned income is PROGRESSIVE ~ so your first $40K might be taxed $0 because you have various exemptions and deductions, but the next $40 K is certainly going to be at what Mitt paid, and your third $40 K will be taxed at a rate far above anything Mitt paid.

I know there are all sorts of justifications for this disparity, but seriously, people don't look at their average rate, they look at their highest marginal rate when they compare their pitiful little quarter million dollar salaries against $20 million in capital gains!

The conclusion is that even if it's a neat idea and encourages investment ~ in something ~ whatever that is ~ talking about it in public doesn't win voters. Actually, it does this ~ I WANT MITT's AVERAGE RATE!

2 posted on 09/27/2012 4:13:36 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Capital Gains Taxes have been taxed once when the money that was invested was earned... why should it be taxed as income twice? Make Capital Gains taxes high and just kill off what little investment in America is left. I know “personally” what I am talking about. We already have the highest corporate tax rate in the world and it creates millions of new jobs... FOR CHINA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD!

LLS

3 posted on 09/27/2012 4:20:23 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Not all income described as capital gains has been taxed earlier.


4 posted on 09/27/2012 4:33:14 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: LibLieSlayer
BTW, you missed the point entirely. The people making the incomes taxed at those higher marginal rates DON'T GIVE A GOOD GOSH DARN about capital gains rates ~ they just don't want to pay a higher average tax rate than Mitt did!!!!

Just cut the rates ~ and don't be using Capital gains arguments to continue justifying a higher rate on personal earned income!

Best bet is to ELIMINATE the federal income tax!

5 posted on 09/27/2012 4:38:07 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Personally I don’t care what Mitt Romney’s tax rate is,

HE PAYS HIS FRICKIN TAXES.

Why isn’t Al Sharptongue in jail? Sharptongue and his crooked organization owe Millions, if he was white his ass would be in jail or broke like Willie Nelson was when they took his taxes.

What about all of Obama’s friends in the Government who didn’t pay their taxes.

What is Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosi’s tax rate?
What is Diane Sawyers tax rate? She is rich.


6 posted on 09/27/2012 4:56:15 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Venturer
There you go again, doing what I just condemned ~ using Mitt Romney's tax rate to justify a higher rate on ME!

Just give me Mitt's rate and be done with it.

And if those other people need to be put in jail, put them in jail.

7 posted on 09/27/2012 4:58:30 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Quit your crying and pay your taxes you Mitt Romney hating troll.


8 posted on 09/27/2012 5:04:44 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Venturer

Don’t start talking like a fascist pig again. Just cut the tax rates ~


9 posted on 09/27/2012 5:08:40 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Now I like that idea... but the commies would never allow it. We need to pay the least amount of taxes that we can... we cannot trust the government with more money than they need... they are like meth-heads.

LLS


10 posted on 09/27/2012 5:10:52 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
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To: muawiyah

Almost all of it is... almost.

LLS


11 posted on 09/27/2012 5:11:26 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Homes ~ sell your home you get to pay capital gains on the appreciated value. 401(k) ~ sell your stock, none of the gain from appreciated value is taxed until you take out the money and then you pay at your current federal personal income tax rate ~ and that BTW, is an argument for REDUCING the federal personal income tax rate to no higher than the capital gains rate!


12 posted on 09/27/2012 5:18:07 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin
So liberals basically created the tax policy in the country and if Mitt pays a lower rate than most middle class well, it's Obama's fault. Make it work out better, give the middle class a lower tax rate hypocrites and stop your bitchin' about "fairness!"

People with common sense know it's great Mitt "only" supposedly paid 14% tax rate, but also believe the rate should be much lower!

13 posted on 09/27/2012 5:28:58 AM PDT by sirchtruth (Freedom is not free.)
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To: Kaslin

Journalism = Fiction


14 posted on 09/27/2012 6:36:00 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: LS
Hey, looks like you've got a fan in Larry Elder.

Of the textbook's depiction of the "outsized" Reagan deficit, University of Dayton history professor Larry Schweikart said, "The appearance to mislead seems intentional."

15 posted on 09/27/2012 6:48:10 AM PDT by kitchen (Over gunned is better than the alternative.)
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To: muawiyah
Just give me Mitt's rate and be done with it

might be hard to get your brain wrapped around this thought but I'll try anyway...

EVERYONE in the country has Mitt's tax rate. Period, end of story. The tax code is complicated, but anyone and everyone who (acurately) fills in all the little boxes on thier tax forms with the same numbers as Mitt would end up with the same taxes.

I consider my tax "rate" to be how many dollars per hour I send to the government. You know, REAL MONEY. Roads aren't built with percentages, they are built with dollars. Anyone thinking Mitt is skating and a freeloader because he paid a lower percentage of his earnings than someone else, can pound sand. Get back to me when they've forked over more DOLLARS. You know, those spendy things.

16 posted on 09/27/2012 6:53:48 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: kitchen

Thanks. BTW, our new one, “A Patriot’s History of the Modern World, to 1945,” is out on Oct. 11. Hope you’ll pick up a copy.


17 posted on 09/27/2012 7:02:46 AM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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To: muawiyah
BTW, you missed the point entirely. The people making the incomes taxed at those higher marginal rates DON'T GIVE A GOOD GOSH DARN about capital gains rates ~ they just don't want to pay a higher average tax rate than Mitt did!!!!

BTW, you missed the point entirely. They don't!

18 posted on 09/27/2012 7:05:29 AM PDT by CMAC51
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To: muawiyah
You are right.

Now, I don't think Mitt did anything illegal (he is to smart for that). Can't blame a man for following the tax code.

But I pay double the rate (much less the total money). The argument that is made is either the rich pay more in total so they should pay less as a percentage, or that the rich deserve to keep more because they will possibly use that extra money to hire people.

Both have merits, neither will fly with the guy who can't make ends meet. That is why I said Mitt releasing his returns was bad idea. He did nothing wrong according to the tax code, but he handed the left a HUGE amount of ammunition. I honestly can't understand why he thought it was a good idea.

19 posted on 09/27/2012 7:09:15 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: CMAC51

Try $250,000 ~ normal exemptions and deductions for a family of 4.


20 posted on 09/27/2012 7:26:33 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BlueMondaySkipper
Funny, my average rate has always been higher than what Mitt claims ~ and he made an awful lot more money than me.

Just give me his rate and no jive talk ~ a lower rate is a lower rate, capice? He can pay the same rate.

21 posted on 09/27/2012 7:28:13 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BlueMondaySkipper
Funny, my average rate has always been higher than what Mitt claims ~ and he made an awful lot more money than me.

Just give me his rate and no jive talk ~ a lower rate is a lower rate, capice? He can pay the same rate.

22 posted on 09/27/2012 7:28:30 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Try $250,000 ~ normal exemptions and deductions for a family of 4.

That was not the topic under discussion. If you want to go down that rathole, then start with the full facts. Romney paid 14.1% in taxes. He deducted 2 million in charitable contributions, other wise his rate would have been 19.6%. As a side note he made an additional 2 million in charitable contributions for which he did not claim a deduction. Between income taxes and charitable contributions, he paid 43% of his income. Now give me the comparable number for $250,000 ~ normal exemptions and deductions for a family of 4.

23 posted on 09/27/2012 7:59:32 AM PDT by CMAC51
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To: Kaslin; All

24 posted on 09/27/2012 8:01:19 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: CMAC51

Charitable contributions are not taxes.


25 posted on 09/27/2012 8:10:23 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BlueMondaySkipper

The amount sent in by an individual is palpable, but REAL MONEY starts after many billions of dollars!


26 posted on 09/27/2012 8:13:33 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Just give me his rate and no jive talk ~ a lower rate is a lower rate, capice?

How about this: You pay his tax bill. Perhaps you can trade with him. He paid in millions last year alone, how much have you contributed to supporting the government?

If you want to eliminate the "jive talk" perhaps you should quit posting. A lower rate is indeed a lower rate. a higher tax bill is also a higher tax bill. Tell you what, I'll give you triple whatever your tax rate is (20%, 30% ??) in cash, if you will give me what Mitt paid in real dollars in cash. Since Mitt was skating in your opinion, that's fair, right?

The problem here is that I'll never change your mind. You constantly show up bashing Mitt every chance you get. No one will ever be able to present a logical case that makes you change your mind, mainly because you didn't use logic to form your opinion in the first place.

Mitt paid over $3M in taxes in 2010. A year has 8760 hours. That means Mitt paid over $342 per hour to the government. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. what a deadbeat /sarc

27 posted on 09/27/2012 8:23:27 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: BlueMondaySkipper
Just give me the money and I'll pay everything he paid.

glad we got that out of the way.

28 posted on 09/27/2012 8:43:02 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BlueMondaySkipper

BTW, it’s too easy to bash Mitt and he should do something about that.


29 posted on 09/27/2012 8:46:19 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin
I have an idea. Lets lower taxes for all.

Start by dramatically reducing the size of government, eliminate tens of hundreds of thousands of government employees at all levels, reduced those lottery style government employee pensions of those already retired by 35 percent.

Eliminate dozens of bloated government programs costing hundreds of billions, eliminated government unions....etc..

This isn't complex.

30 posted on 09/27/2012 8:52:51 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: muawiyah
Charitable contributions are not taxes.
31 posted on 09/27/2012 9:05:31 AM PDT by CMAC51
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To: muawiyah
Just give me the money and I'll pay everything he paid.

You are either a liar or too dense to understand the offer. Perhaps both...

32 posted on 09/27/2012 9:08:22 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: dragnet2
You could probably eliminate most local governments. Just hire on a couple of dozen deputy sheriff's and buy them some RPGs and light machine pistols, and there you have all you'd need ~ plus a good barret law so your sewer system would work ~ don't want to give up the sewers Fur Shur.

What you say?

33 posted on 09/27/2012 9:09:51 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: CMAC51
You said: "Between income taxes and charitable contributions, he paid 43% of his income" which was an obvious attempt by you to slide past his tax rate into some other number. Just give me the rate on the income ~ and the money ~ and that's all it takes.
34 posted on 09/27/2012 9:13:16 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BlueMondaySkipper
Regarding your question of how much have I contributed to government, it's probably pret'near a trillion bucks over 40 years ~ that's an amount in salaries equivalent to the number of employees USPS didn't need to hire on account of a device I came up with and began the use of that reduced the costs of moving/processing mail.

And you?

35 posted on 09/27/2012 9:17:34 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

The original post was “Hey, Media, a $75K Mechanic Pays a Lower Tax Rate Than Romney” becasue that is what the media wa trying to misrepresent. The author then presented the imformation to validate the claim. You didn’t like that result, so you tried to change the premise to something else as if that is more meaningful. I called you on the bait and switch. If you are going to change the argument and paraamaters, then all of the meaningful paramenters are relavent.


36 posted on 09/27/2012 9:35:24 AM PDT by CMAC51
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To: CMAC51

Just like fixing a poll.


37 posted on 09/27/2012 9:42:17 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Regarding your question of how much have I contributed to government, it's probably pret'near a trillion bucks over 40 years ~ that's an amount in salaries equivalent to the number of employees USPS didn't need to hire on account of a device I came up with and began the use of that reduced the costs of moving/processing mail.

I see, you can't win the argument so you change the subject. Typical

By your NEW standard, how much did Romney contribute? BTW, how pray tell do you calculate your trillion in savings? Hard numbers please.

38 posted on 09/27/2012 9:53:18 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: CMAC51
I called you on the bait and switch

Ding!! Ding!! Ding!! we have a winner. I'm done with that troll.

39 posted on 09/27/2012 9:55:20 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: BlueMondaySkipper
Doufous, you changed the subject by asking what I'd ever done for the government.

So I told you.

Now, 'splain why you don't want folks to get a tax cut.

Then we can laugh and laugh and laugh. I do believe Romney already promised that ~ Fur Shur, Obamugabe didn't ~ but you probably know that.

40 posted on 09/27/2012 9:55:38 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: CMAC51
Amazing how easy you were to have you fess'n up to wanting a tax increase on people who make less money than Mitt.

You sure you're on the right board?

41 posted on 09/27/2012 9:58:14 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Amazing how easy you were to have you fess'n up to wanting a tax increase on people who make less money than Mitt. You sure you're on the right board?

What are you reading? I don't advocate tax increases on anyone. I support tax cuts for everyone. I called you on your attempt to argue by distortion. It is an unaccptable methodology here or anywhere else.

42 posted on 09/27/2012 10:09:11 AM PDT by CMAC51
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To: CMAC51
You did no such thing ~ you stepped into the middle of a different side conversation wherein it was proposed to ABOLISH federal incomet axes.

I favor that option which makes it absolutely irrelevant how much Mitt pays, or what he does with his money. He can give it all to his church if he wants ~ they'd probably like that! But gifts are not taxes.

Currently the system is inherently inequitable and cannot be fixed. The federal income tax system is a failed federal program ripe for abolition.

43 posted on 09/27/2012 10:51:52 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin

ROMNEY did NOT write the millions of pages of US TAX CODES.

EVERY person I have ever met in 65+++ years who is wealthy has the very best accountants & bookkeepers available. They don’t want any trouble with their books, because they know how long & tiresome audits can be.

The audits done of returns of wealthier persons is far more diligently done by the IRS than the audit of the mechanic.

A friend of mine just went thru a 18 month long audit of her 2 businesses.

The IRS wanted to not recognise ANY of the expenses of the secondary business & many legitimate deductions of the primary business. They did want to tax her on the income from BOTH sources, tho. Just NOT let her use the expenses getting that income!!! I don’t even want to ask her how much it cost her in legal & accounting fees. These accounting fees were on top of the normal accounting/bookkeeping she has always done. She hired a 2nd firm to review ALL of her records for the past 6 years ++. They found nothing wrong. They even found a couple of small items she could have deducted, therefore she overpaid a few years back.

She does very clean & detailed records and always has. She doesn’t discard any receipts and keeps them in an orderly fashion.

A few of us who are also involved in businesses like her secondary business wrote letters in her behalf, explaining the details of what we were doing.

Long & short of this story?

She won—beat the IRS on both businesses.

The letters some of us wrote were very informative to the IRS agent—he even complimented her on those letters & the details he never knew about such activities.

I don’t for one little second believe that Mitt Romney would not have the experience & ability of very good bookkeepers & accountants working for him.


44 posted on 09/27/2012 1:20:50 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: muawiyah

Funny, my average rate has always been higher than what Mitt claims ~ and he made an awful lot more money than me.”””

It isn’t how much money is made-—it is the category of the money made which determines the rate.

MOST money made on INVESTMENTS has already been taxed at the company which made the income in the first place.

Therefore, the same beginning income got taxed TWICE.

There is EARNED income & PASSIVE income.

Have your local CPA explain this.


45 posted on 09/27/2012 1:25:21 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Venturer

Just ignore him


46 posted on 09/27/2012 1:48:21 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Good move.


47 posted on 09/27/2012 2:00:28 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: ridesthemiles
Why should I do that? There's a world of information on the internet if I need to access it. One example is I sell my house I will be hit with capital gains tax unless I immediately buy into a property of equal or greater value (or I reach the magic age where they give me a half mil, or is it a mil, exemption)

Note, if you take earned income and put it into a 401(k) plan, once you reach the appropriate age you can begin withdrawing those funds and any investment income you may have earned inside the fund, and pay taxes at the personal income tax rates.

Which means, of course, that there's investment income that's NOT eligible for the capital gains rate. Rather inequitable eh!

Frankly the Constitution says INCOME, and the courts say they can carve out income any way they wish, and use variable rates, flexibile rates, progressive rates, or no rate at all!

The federal income tax is an antiquated vehicle that's outlived its usefulness. Time to cut back government expenditures and cut back on taxes.

Starve the Beast.

The income tax is a failed federal program. Do not imagine tax lawyers, tax accountants and cpas are the only people who know something about how it works.

48 posted on 09/27/2012 2:59:55 PM PDT by muawiyah
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