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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during his reaction to the Supreme Court's upholding key parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law during a rooftop news conference in Washington June 28, 2012. Romney sai
Maybe next time Romney should aim before he fires
I don't think anybody is really sure why Mitt Romney decided to reveal his average effective tax rate over the past 20 years, but one thing is for sure: it's given the Obama campaign an opportunity to release a statement questioning why he won't release the raw tax returns and calling on him to open the books:
STATEMENT: Romney Pays Lower Rate than Middle Class, Hides Wealth and Income

Chicago, IL—Obama for America released the following statement from Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter on Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax returns:

Today’s release of Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax returns confirms what we already knew – that people like Mitt Romney pay a lower tax rate than many middle class families because of a set of complex loopholes and tax shelters only available to those at the top. Yet, Mitt Romney still wants to give multi-millionaires an additional $250,000 tax cut at the expense of middle class taxpayers who will see their taxes go up.   While the tax return for the one year released today continues to mask Romney’s true wealth and income from Bain Capital, leaving the American people in the dark about critical details about his finances,  it does confirm that he continues to profit from millions of dollars invested overseas. These types of investments, the use of tax loopholes, and the resort to foreign blocker corporations enabling him to reduce his U.S. tax obligations, all raise basic and still unanswered question – why does Mitt Romney not just release the full returns , instead of the bare summary he has provided of the last 20 years, so voters can make their own judgments about Mitt Romney’s finances?   As Mitt Romney’s father said, candidates should release several years of returns, because one year could be a fluke.   President Obama, Vice President Biden and nearly every other candidate in recent memory has met that test, but Mitt Romney continues to fail it.

As even GOP strategists have conceded, Romney's strategy of releasing some of the information about the past 20 years but not all of it is sort of like saying he's "a little bit pregnant," raising more questions than it answers.

And one of those questions is, as Greg Sargent wrote earlier, what Mitt Romney's actual net tax rate was during that 20 year period. Remember, the figure Romney released was the average tax rate per year—not the cumulative tax rate. That means years in which he had lower income but a higher tax rate are weighted the same as years in which he had higher income and a lower rate. It's sort of a like a baseball player hitting .600 as a rookie in five games and then hitting .250 the next year in a full season, and then claiming a .425 lifetime batting average. It just doesn't add up.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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