19/81: Fate of the Republic

by Phil

Mitt Romney: “I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13%. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that.” It ought to go down in history as one of the most inane comments ever made by a Presidential candidate. Rather than get all worked up again myself, here’s what David Simon — who wrote The Wire — had to say.

Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.

Stunning.

Am I supposed to congratulate this man? Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college. If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter. Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly: Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent. I swear. And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail. But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits. I’m just not that kind of guy.

God.

This republic is just about over, isn’t it?


By way of adding insult to our injury, back in 17/83, Paco commented

you notice he never says the words “income tax” What kind of taxes does that 13% a year include? Sales tax? Real estate tax? Excise tax? Inheritance tax? Who knows?

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