How much did Romney make before 2010?This question maybe more than anything shows how meaningless the letter Romney's accountants put out is: It's supposed to make us stop asking questions, but we still don't know how much money he earned before 2010. Or really how he earned that money, for that matter. Another of ProPublica's questions is really an umbrella question:
While Romney has disclosed his average effective tax rate for the last two decades, he hasn’t said how much he earned in those years or how much—the dollar amount—he paid in taxes.
That’s an important distinction, said Daniel Shaviro, a tax law professor at New York University. Various tax-planning strategies may have enabled Romney to reduce his adjusted gross income in some years.
What about Romney’s investments offshore?Good question! We don't know how much money Romney has in which countries. We don't know whether he's consistently declared his foreign income to the IRS when and how he should. We don't know what taxes he's used foreign investments to avoid.
These questions just scratch the surface. We know Romney's average tax rate per year, but not his cumulative tax rate. We don't know how many people work for him as household staff, or how much he pays them. In short, Mitt Romney is running for an office for which it's traditional to release several years of tax returns, at a minimum, and he's released two. He's running for president on the basis of his business career and his supposed fitness to run the economy, but he won't let us see how he has managed his own business. Basically, Mitt Romney is asking you to vote for him because he's rich, but he's refusing to let you see the details of how he got that way.