The Romney campaign says it is finally going to release his 2011 tax returns, as he has been promising for awhile. The campaign announcement about the release was accompanied by some basic facts about what is in them. For example, Romney paid an effective tax rate of only 14.1 percent in 2011.
In addition to facts about his 2011 tax returns, the Romney campaign for some strange reason also chose to use this moment to make some some big declarations about his past tax returns. From the Romney campaign:
Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:
- In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.
- Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.
- Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.
- Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.
- Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.
During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.
I don’t see what including this information is suppose to accomplish. It only serves as a reminder to everyone that Romney stubbornly refuses to release more than two years of returns.
Romney choosing to release only selective details about his past returns only gives credence to the idea that what is in past tax returns should matter. Yet that just makes Romney’s refusal to fully disclose his returns seem that much weirder.
This letter is a lot of effort to go through to create the veneer of disclosure while still keeping the actually information secret. It begs that question, if Romney is willing to disclose this much information about his tax returns, what is in them that he doesn’t want people to know about?