Mitt Romney’s Taxes and Barack Obama’s Record

Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns this afternoon, which should put an end to one of the many squirrels that Democrats have hysterically pointed to, in order to distract attention from Barack Obama’s dismal record. For 2011, Romney reported $13,696,951 in income, mostly on investments. He gave $4,020,772 to charity and paid $1,935,708 in federal and state income taxes. Romney actually paid more in federal income taxes than he owed, given his charitable contributions. He did this in order to conform to his statement, made in August, that he has paid at least 13% of his income in taxes each year.

Along with the returns, the Romney campaign released a statement from Price Waterhouse Coopers, based on PWC’s review of the last 20 years of the Romneys’ tax returns. The PWC letter says that the Romneys have paid both federal and state income taxes each year, with an average annual effective federal tax rate of 20.20%. For the 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus charitable contributions taken as deductions represented 38.49% of the Romneys’ total adjusted gross income.

So Harry Reid was lying. No surprise there. More important, from the Democrats’ standpoint, is that the media arm of their campaign can spend the next day or two chewing over Mitt’s tax returns rather than talking about the Obama administration’s domestic and foreign policy disasters. Squirrel!

The bottom line in politics, however, is probably the same as in boxing: Obama can run–from his record, that is–but he can’t hide. All the distraction in the world can’t make voters forget how disappointed they are in Obama’s performance. This chart, from the Senate Budget Committee, sums up just one aspect of the president’s comprehensive failure. Since he took office, the total number of nonfarm jobs has declined by 1.3 million, while those claiming permanent and total disability have increased by 5.7 million and the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 15.1 million:

Do voters really want four more years of failure? I don’t think so.