Visual source: Newseum
First, the facts from the Washington Post:
Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year — virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments.
None came from wages, the primary source of income for most Americans. Instead, Romney and his wife, Ann, collected millions in capital gains from a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments.
Yes, you read that correctly. Mitt Romney had zero wage income. Zero.
More from the NYT:
Mr. Romney said last week that his effective rate was “about 15 percent,” a figure lower than that of many affluent Americans. But his returns suggested that he paid an effective tax rate of slightly below that of nearly 14 percent. [...]
Referring to the fact that nearly all of his income is taxed as capital gains at a 15 percent rate rather than as earned income at rates of up to 35 percent, Mr. Romney questioned a proposal by Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, to reduce capital gains taxes to zero.
“Under that plan, I’d have paid no taxes in the last two years,” Mr. Romney said.
Yes, you read that correctly too. Mitt Romney is actually highlighting the fact that all of his wealth comes from capital gains instead of wage income.
Meanwhile, the New York Times on Gingrich's claim that he's an "outsider":
There is lot more than that to be learned from Mr. Gingrich’s documents, starting with the mockery they make of his claim to be an insurgent Washington outsider, the supposed anti-establishment candidate.
After he was drummed out of the House speaker’s office in 1998, Mr. Gingrich set about creating a lucrative living, by trading on his political connections. In 2010, he reported a total income of $3.16 million (including a tidy $76,200 Congressional pension).
Most of Mr. Gingrich’s income has come from helping corporate clients gain access and solicitous treatment from Washington’s power elite.
In Monday night’s debate, Gingrich characterized the end of his Congressional career after the 1998 midterms as wholly volitional, making his exit sound like a self-sacrificing blaze of glory rather than the acrimonious firestorm it was.
With Gingrich, the distance between reality and rhetoric isn’t shrinking but growing, and the incongruities mount. He has lately fallen in love with his rants against “the elites,” and casts himself as their most determined foe, but I can’t for the life of me figure out a definition of elite that doesn’t include him.
Amie Parnes previews the president's State of the Union address:
President Obama won’t be mentioning Mitt Romney by name on Tuesday night. But the subtext of his State of the Union address will be all about him.
Just hours after Romney is expected to disclose his much-anticipated tax returns, Obama will attempt — in a read-between-the-lines way — to portray Romney as an über-wealthy businessman who is anything but a champion for the middle class. [...]
“Every time he says ‘wealthy few,’ it almost implies ‘investor class’ and Mitt Romney,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communications and advertising, adding that it’s an “easy” association. One way Obama will implicitly highlight Romney in Tuesday’s speech will be in renewing his call for a tax code rewrite to codify what he calls the “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, to ensure wealthier people pay a higher rate than do the middle class and poor.
And then, we have this news nugget from Aaron Blake:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Sunday that he would consider being Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate if Romney asked him, but said he remained skeptical that he would ever be on the ticket.
Christie, who previously denied that he was ready to be president but then briefly considered entreaties to run, also appears to have softened his resistance to the idea of being vice president.
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