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Romney’s Three Biggest Lies (of the Week)

Romney’s Three Biggest Lies (of the Week)
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has a problem: he lies. A lot. It can be hard to keep track of all the many lies Romney tells on the stump, but in the last week, he’s told at least two whoppers and one lie by omission. In honor of the London Games, here are Mitt’s top three lies of the last week — starting with the bronze medal winner.

“I Have Paid Taxes. Every Year. A Lot of Taxes.”

Romney has been dogged by questions about his tax returns, exacerbated by his steadfast refusal to release more than one year’s worth of taxes. (He’s promised to release one more year in the fall.) Romney faced added scrutiny over the last week, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said that a reliable source told him that Romney paid no federal income tax for several years, and that is the reason he won’t release his returns.

Romney and Republicans have demanded that Reid retract the statement, but so far, Romney has been unwilling to release the tax returns that could prove Reid a liar. Instead, Romney chose to go before his supporters and declare that he has too paid taxes — trust him.

“Let me also say categorically: I have paid taxes every year. A lot of taxes. A lot of taxes,” Romney said Friday. That is, of course, almost certainly true. Romney likely paid sales taxes and property taxes and gasoline taxes, just like everyone else. Of course, Romney left a very important word out of his defense: “income.”

Romney was careful not to claim he paid income taxes every year, which are the taxes Reid was talking about. Does that mean Reid is right? Well, without seeing Romney’s tax returns, it’s impossible to say.

One other part of Romney’s statement is a lie: the part where he says he paid “a lot” of taxes. Romney only paid 14 percent of his income in taxes in 2010. That’s because most of his income was investment income, which is taxed at a far lower rate than job income is. Certainly, the dollar amount Romney paid was higher than your average Joe, but the percentage Romney paid is far from burdensome.

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541 comments

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11:18PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Thanks

6:22PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Thanks

3:23PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Thank-you for posting this article.

4:58PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thanks for the article.

5:45PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Cutting spending in the midst of a fiancial crisis such as President Obama inherited would have been disasterous and resulted in a full blown depression.

Also Social Security does not "add to the budget deficit," quite the contrary. It pays for itself, has enough money now to pay full benefits for the next 21 years, and is not even part of the deficit equation.

4:55PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Ivy T., thank you for the civility of your response. I cannot speak to your full analysis but note that the figures you provide for the Obama administration’s contribution to existing debt differ from those of factcheck.org:

http://factcheck.org/2012/02/dueling-debt-deceptions/

Part of the difference is no doubt that your analysis seems to separate interest costs from spending. But why should it? A responsible President must consider the existing financial situation when creating a budget. President Obama’s profligate spending would be acceptable (though unwise) were our country on sound financial footing, but in the context of a significant existing debt and increasing liabilities it can only be seen as irresponsible.

You blame the bulk of the debt on Republican Presidents and say that it is no good to implicate the Democrats in Congress who voted for more spending. I will agree that Republicans, both in the White House and in Congress, bear some responsibility for the spending that has gotten us where we are. But in almost every case these spending hikes were passed with more Democrat than Republican votes. And our problems with Social Security and Medicare, which now comprise about 41% of federal spending, were created by Democrat majorities more than 20 years ago.

As to President Obama’s relative responsibility for costs in 2009 I would also note the following link:

http://politicalmathblog.com/?p=1786

11:01AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Ivy T. and Don H.-Please take a handful of green stars out of petty cash, my treat!

10:05AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

David F, Just perhaps..., if the House and Congress actually didn't do the no no's on anything and everything Obama proposed, for their political gain, we might be even better off, ya think?? Did anyone notice that jobs ARE being created despite the Republicans efforts to that anything that might help? We are not losing jobs like with the Bush admin. yet the right wing news subtly titles their headlines when reporting jobs gained with "only" and tries to dismiss this fact.

9:17AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Ivy T. Thank you for taking the time and effort to lay out these facts. Well done!

5:33AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Ack, needed more room, this is 3rd part of my post continued-
Interest on $11.7 trillion after G. W. Bush: $0.3 trillion
(detailed calculation)
Grand Total Reagan-Bushes Debt: $12 trillion (as of Sept. 30, 2010).

If the Republicans had not run up this $12 Trillion debt, we could easily have pulled out of the Great Recession. Economist Mike Kimel notes that the five former Democratic Presidents (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Harry S. Truman) all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last four Republican Presidents (George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford) all oversaw an increase in the country's indebtedness.Economic historian J. Bradford DeLong, former Clinton Treasury Department official, observes a contrast not so much between Republicans and Democrats, but between Democrats and "old-style Republicans (Eisenhower and Nixon)" on one hand (decreasing debt), and "new-style Republicans" on the other (increasing debt). David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, as op-ed contributor to the New York Times, blamed the "ideological tax-cutters" of the Reagan administration for the increase of national debt during the 1980s. US had been downgraded since it was originally given a AAA rating on its debt by Moody's in 1917. According to the BBC, Standard & Poor's had "lost confidence" in the ability of the United States government to make de

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