I have this theory about a friend. See, I'm pretty sure his Facebook friends list is actually a carefully cultivated group of strongly opinionated people of varying stripes. When he's bored, he writes a line or two, throws in a link to something with controversy potential, and then eats popcorn as we explode all over each other.
Today he linked to a summary of Mitt's 2011 returns. One of the comments on the post was: "Or he could have simply taken his money and NOT invested it, thus not contributing to the improvement of the economy. Check out 'capital gains tax law' and why they are in place to encourage investment (which creates jobs). Besides, how can anyone say contributing 1.94M isn't paying a 'fair share'."
Fair share? I do not think those words mean what you think they mean. My reply to follow the swirley thingamajig!
Okay, let's consider $1.94 mil.
Say the Army needs another 108 Privates this year (only 108, well done Army!). E1 pay, <2 years service = $1491/mo, so $1491 x 12 = hair under $1.94 mil. We can get that by taxing 1000 people earning $13,700 at a 14.1% rate. FYI, $13.7k is roughly $2500 above the poverty line for a single person w/o dependents. After taxes, these 1000 people would have $11,768.30 to live on, not including SS/Medicare, state and local taxes. Alternately, we can tax Romney 14.1% on $13.7 mil and he'll still have $11.8 mil of this year's earnings in his pocket. I emphasize the earnings bit because investment income requires something invested.
I don't know Romney's rate of return, so I can't be sure how much capital generated his $13.7 mil. Let's assume an RoR of 10%, so that would be base capital of $139 mil. Say $800k spent this year on food, shelter and car elevators. Ergo, he would come out of this year w/ $150 mil in pocket to generate (assuming 10% RoR again) $15 mil income next year. You think the 1000 people hovering at the poverty line would have even $150 bucks to spare at the end of their year? How precisely is that equitable, Ayn Rand? You want to talk cutting costs, awesome, lets shave some fat from the budget (I nominate the TSA to go first), but the government doesn't run on sunshine. Someone has to fork over the cash. Isn't it fair that the burden go to those least damaged by carrying it?
And before you start about how those people at $13.7k per year just gotta stop being lazy and work harder, my last year before I moved to CA I made <$9k. I went to college and when I came home I applied for everywhere that wasn't crap Federal minimum wages (two jobs not being an option because I had to care for my grandfather), I asked at places that didn't have postings, and I begged for extra hours at the job I did have (or hell, the hours I was promised when I was hired). Hey, maybe I just wasn't good enough for a better job, didn't deserve one. Maybe I was a stupid leach on the system, just another victim looking for a handout from the gubmint? Except... After my move to CA I got a job where I was making almost 2.5 times what I'd pulled in IN the year before. Damn, who knew three days of driving on I-80 could improve a person so very much? I mean, I was a 250% better person after those 2200 miles! And in less than 7.5 years in the comp business, I went from the mail room to a senior claims examiner. I'm now making more than 7 times what I made in 2004, not including my employer's 401k match, 100% health insurance coverage, and employee stock ownership program. Oh yeah, and I'll be eligible for an end of year bonus as well.
Did I work to get where I am? Damn right I did. I did a good job, I played nice, I took classes and I kept pushing for every opportunity that came open. But I am not a different person than I was 8 years ago, I did my best to hustle in IN, I just got lucky and happened into a place with opportunity. Mitt Romney's worked too, but let's not forget - could he have done this in a place that's not America? Romney and people like him can damn well pay it forward then, make sure the system that let them flourish continues to function for the next guy. Hell, if they don't have that much kindness in their souls, they can consider it insurance to make sure the system doesn't collapse and destroy them with it.
Also, if he's not going to invest it to make more money, what the hell is he going to do with his $139 mil? Pardon me, it's now $150 mil. I don't think they make mattresses that size. Perhaps he could convert it all to gold, throw it in a cave, and call himself a dragon? Of course, because paying $1.94 mil in taxes while merely keeping $11.7 mil new money simply isn't worth it. God forbid, if he'd been taxed at 35%, he'd only have $8.9 mil after paying an exorbitant $4.8 mil in taxes. Nobody understands the demotivating factor of an income of less than $9 mil a year. Rich people got rough lives, you don't even know.
NB: Some edits to correct a bit of grammer fail.