Mitt Romney just can't get on the same page as working people, as his latest revelation of his taxes showed he's paying a lower tax rate than many workers because he lives primarily on income from investments not paychecks. Walking Gaffe Machine Romney said on Tuesday he would finally release his tax returns in April if he won the nomination, but he also revealed the rate he thinks he's paying: "What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything," Romney told reporters in Florence, South Carolina, according to Politico (Romney appears to be referring to the 15-percent dividend tax). To put that into perspective, the top tax rate for families making less than $100,000 a year is 26.5 percent, the Washington Post noted last year, as it reported that many millionaires pay less than 24 percent. In this case, Romney's referring to the 15-percent dividend tax, which he pays on the investments that now support him.
Romney continued: "Because my last 10 years, I’ve—my income comes overwhelmingly from some investments made in the past, whether ordinary income or earned annually. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. And then I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much.” In response, New York Times reporter Mike Barbaro tweets: "Romney's 'not very much' in speaking fees last year ($375K) alone put him in top 2 percent of American households, data shows." So if income from the dividends overwhelms that, it means Romney's making a huge amount of money. Last Friday, Business Insider pointed to a Wealth-X report that estimated Romney's net worth at "at least $250 million," making him the third-richest candidate to run for president. So yeah, that 15 percent in taxes is starting to sound pretty low.