The lie: Mitt Romney pays a far lower income tax rate than the average person.
Why it’s a lie: Where do I begin? Depending on which data you look at:
---the IRS shows that about 97% of Americans pay less than Romney’s rate.
--even when you include payroll taxes, the CBO estimates the rate to be under 15%.
--households making over $1 million will pay an average of 29.1%. That is higher than 15%.
Examples of the lie: This list is far from exhaustive, if you see any others, feel free to leave them in the comments and maybe I’ll update.
"How in the world do you, Mitt Romney, justify making more in one day than the median American family makes in a year -- while paying the same tax rate as the guy who scans shoes at the airport?"
This is a pretty good question. How in the world would he justify something he is not doing? I don’t know how that works. What I do know, is that he is most certainly not paying the same tax rate as someone scanning shoes, leaving this question pretty much unanswerable. Between 87-97% of Americans pay below 15% (depending on which income measure you use). You could say this is another blatant lie from Jon Stewart, but don’t worry! He’s just doing comedy and therefore should be universally praised because he is so incredibly adorable.
"The average middle class American — Warren Buffett’s secretary pays 30 percent about. Is that fair?”
The average middle class American pays nothing close to 30%. Neither does Warren Buffett’s secretary, if she earns $60,000 as he claims. In fact, half of the country pays no income tax at all, which would make it hard for the “average middle class American” to pay 30%. That would mean the top half would have to pay an average of 60%, which isn’t happening…yet.
“I think that something is fundamentally wrong if a person of his great wealth is only paying 13.9 percent effective tax rate and most of Americans are paying 28- 30 percent and they make far less.”
No, “most of Americans” are not paying 28-30 percent in taxes. Even if you use income numbers to get the most beneficial results possible, only about one half of one percent pay those rates.
“What do you think they're going to say when they say, God, I pay 28 percent effective tax rate and here's a guy who is worth $250 million and he's paying significantly less percentage-wise.”
Well, considering “they” don’t pay a 28 percent effective tax rate, it’s hard to know what “they” would say.
“Romney makes more than 99.9% of us and pays less tax than 99% of us.”
This might be the worst of the entire bunch. Does Romney make more than 99.9% of us? Approximately, yes. Does he pay less tax than 99% of us? Sorry, you’re only off by 96%.
“Romney says he pays a tax rate of “about 15 percent.” That’s lower than the tax rate most of America’s middle class face and far lower than the 35 percent top rate after the Bush tax cut.”
Nope. Most of America’s middle class pays less than that. Aren’t you an economist?
Romney pays “14 to 15 percent in taxes compared to what most people who work hard, do well in this country pay about 35, and above if you count state and local almost 50.”
Chris is a little careful and includes “do well” in his statement. Nice slight of hand, Tingles. What is “do well” mean in this sentence? Certainly well into the seven figures. Strange that MSNBC is finally starting to believe that millionaires work hard. When did that start?
“Romney told reporters in South Carolina he pays tax at a rate of around 15 percent. Compared to the 2012 IRS Tax Brackets, that's 20 percentage points lower than what most wealthy Americans pay. In fact, an individual making as little as $8,700 per year could pay the same tax rate as Romney.”
Eeesh. This is a little sad. Whoever wrote this just doesn’t understand how to read tax tables. No, you can’t pay 15% on $8700. It’s impossible. Even without deductions. That’s just where the 15% BRACKET starts. You pay 10% on the first $8700. You’d have to earn around $40,000 to get to a 15% effective rate without any deductions, a position that literally no one is in.
“The tax rate that Romney paid both in 2010 and 2011 is less than what most middle-income Americans were required to pay, mainly because a majority of Romney's earnings were derived from investments rather than wages.”
No, Huma. No. Most middle-income Americans pay less than that. Why didn’t you fact check this stat like I spell checked your name?
“That means Romney—estimated to be worth between 190 million to 250 million dollars according to the New York Times—pays a lower effective tax rate than millions of Americans who aren't close to being millionaires.”
Unlike a lot of these people who just don’t know the facts, Mother Jones does a solid job with good old- fashioned spin. Look at the wording: “millions of Americans who aren’t close to being millionaires.” That’s true if you don’t think people who make between $200k and $500k aren’t close to being millionaires. Since that’s subjective, I guess he’s safe.
"He (Romney) doesn't go and put on a hard hat and go to work anywhere, presses a couple buttons I'll invest in this, I'll invest in that and for that he pays less taxes than the average guy does."
You’re probably going to be stunned by this, but some guy on Current TV isn’t telling you the truth about the rate that the “average guy” pays. Shocker.
"The multi-millionaire Romney confirmed today that a lot of middle class Americans have to pay a lot more of their income in taxes than he pays of his."
I actually like Diane Sawyer. COME ON Diane. Unless you are using bizarre definitions of both “middle class” AND “a lot” –this just isn’t true.
“They reveal he (Romney) paid about 15 percent of his multimillion-dollar fortune in federal income tax, well below the national average.”
Nope. The average tax rate is about 11%. 15% is not “well below” 11%.
“His (Romney's) tax rate is close to 15 percent. That compares well to most Americans paying up to 35 percent on income from wages and salaries.”
This is a great one. Look at the wording: most Americans pay “up to 35%.” They don’t pay 35%. But they do pay “up to 35%.” He manages to attack Romney by just pointing out that most Americans could, in theory, pay as high as 35%. They don’t…but they COULD.
“It's not fair that Mitt Romney pays less taxes than actual humans.”
That’s true. We should totally jack up the cyborg tax rates.