Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rmoney's Secret Taxes And The American Economy

Paul Krugman offers two current hypotheses... guesses, really... about why Rmoney refuses to release his tax returns:

... (There are two competing theories about his tax stonewalling. One is that he had one or more years of zero taxes. The other is that he actually made a lot of money in 2009, because he shorted the market. We may never know which is true.)
It doesn't matter to me what Rmoney's income was, per se, but it does matter very much how he obtained the money and whether he paid anything remotely resembling a fair share of taxes on it. As long as he refuses to release his tax returns, I have to assume two things:
  • Rmoney obtained the money legally but through various shady dealings,
  • He paid proportionately less in taxes than the proverbial "nail lady."
But Krugman, in the same post, talks about the real reason the American public stands divided, and it has nothing to do with Obama's allegedly "attacking capitalism." First, after-tax income from 1979 to 2007 grew in the first four quintiles, with increases ranging from roughly 20% to 50% (the growth was roughly proportional to the income level), while in the same period, the income of the top 1% grew by nearly 300%. Second, starting in about 1980, i.e., the Saint Reagan era, median family income began decoupling from average household income and, even more importantly, from productivity, such that the fruits of the productivity gain overwhelmingly went to the wealthiest, not the workers who created it. (When the average increases and the median doesn't, it means rich people are getting richer relative to everyone else.) To me, this has a real 19th- and early 20th-century flavor to it: Gilded Age II, here we come here we are. I'm sorry, but that is simply unjustifiable. Please see Krugman's charts, based on CBO data.

And Rmoney wants to double down on the policies that made all this happen. If Rmoney is elected, or if the GOP manages to steal yet another one for yet another wealthy scion of another powerful family, this is what we'll see much more of. I'd say "it's your choice," but as much effort as the GOP is putting into voter suppression, I don't know that it actually is your choice. One can hope... and fight... and vote.


  1. Not to be contrary, but I seriously doubt that there is any truth to be found in the income tax returns of any member of the 1%. They have tax accountants and attorneys to ensure that no one will ever figure out how much money they actually made, and how many valid expenses they actually had. This, of course, doesn't include any assets they have off-shore.

    His IRA account is clear and convincing evidence that Rmoney's tax returns are filed under Fiction.

  2. You're not being contrary, Bryan; I never expected Rmoney's tax returns to contain much truth. But we don't need much truth if either of the suggestions Krugman made turns out to be the case: can you imagine the scandal if Rmoney paid ZERO income taxes in any recent year? That will not sit well even with Republican voters. Not that anyone's vote is going to make much difference when the GOP is through with their suppression efforts...



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