Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan was recently interviewed on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” and spoke about the need for closing tax loopholes used by high-income earners to allow for lower tax rates for the rest of the country.
“Here’s the point I’m trying to make here, George,” Ryan said. “We think the secret to economic growth is lower tax rates for families and successful small businesses by plugging loopholes.”
“Now the question is, not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them,” Ryan explained.
“High-income earners use most of the loopholes. That means they can shelter their income from taxation” he said.
Sounds like a good proposal on the surface.
But there is a major problem with Ryan’s proposal after closer examination.
Ryan’s Republican presidential running mate, Mitt Romney, is a high income earner and is the subject of much speculation and media reports that involves him taking full advantage of tax loopholes by moving his money to offshore accounts (Swiss bank accounts and Cayman investments) to avoid a higher U.S. tax rate.
Ryan’s credibility to speak about the issue of closing loopholes is seriously diminished due to the serious current allegations of Romney’s tax dodging record and his lack transparency with the American public by refusing to release all of his tax records.
There is hypocrisy at the center of Ryan’s proposal.
Tax experts claim that Romney benefited from highly questionable tax avoidance tactics employed by Bain Capital, a private equity firm that Romney helped to found.
Bain Capital is currently under investigation for tax evasion by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Read more about the investigation at Daily Kos.
Bain’s financial records show that Bain partners used “waivers” to save more than $200 million in federal income taxes and more than $20 million in Medicare taxes, the New York Times reported.
Romney’s campaign has responded by claiming that Romney’s investments are kept in a blind trust completely out of his control.
But Romney’s failure to disclose all of his tax records in the middle of a heated presidential campaign where the discussion of tax policy comes routinely to the forefront is the big white elephant in the living room.
Romney has a reported net worth of about $250 million.
He claims that he paid taxes at the rate of 13.9% in 2010, a level that would not qualify him to be among the top rate for capital gains.
Despite the ambiguity, what remains clear in this cloudy picture is one important fact; namely, if Romney continues to not disclose all of his tax records, he will likely face more heated questions from Presidential Obama next month during the presidential debates.
And Ryan’s recent comments on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” will likely be used against him to show that his presidential platform has a serious credibility issue with the American public.