The Republicans Romney and Gingrich and What Their Tax Returns Show and Don't Show

The Republicans Romney and Gingrich and What Their Tax Returns Show and Don't Show

Both Romney and Gingrich have released their 2010 tax returns.

After receiving a significant amount of pressure, Mitt Romney finally released his income tax returns from 2010. Guess how much money Mitt Romney earned in 2010? (Or at least how much Mitt Romney reported earning in 2010?)

Mitt Romney earned the paltry sum of $21.6 million for 2010. It might not sound like much, but when compared to the average American household, the sum of $21.6 million is pretty steep. According to mybudget360 , the median American household income for 2010 was $46,326.

Slate has a handy calculator that allows you (or anyone else for that matter) to determine how long it would take Mitt Romney to earn what you make in a year. According to the Slate Mitt Romney income calculator, it would take Mitt Romney 18 hours 44 minutes and 4 seconds to earn $46,326.  Mitt Romney’s level of earnings put him on par with pop stars and media moguls. If my calculations are correct--and please correct me if they aren’t--Mitt Romney earned more than 466 times what the average American family earned in 2010.

Newt Gingrich earned $3.1 million in 2010, but according to Reuters, there is a shadow over his tax return as well; much of Newt Gingrich’s earnings are from Gingrich Holdings--since dissolved. While Newt Gingrich did pay a higher percentage of taxes than Mitt Romney, some of Newt Gingrich’s clients--many of whom are still unknown to the public at large--are going to earn Newt Gingrich any kudos with any of the American voters. One of Newt Gingrich’s clients was Freddie Mac. (Now he is claiming that Freddie Mac was partially responsible for the financial meltdown, but it’s unclear what role, if any, Newt Gingrich, had in advising Freddie Mac.)
Mitt Romney’s tax returns show that he has a large income, but also that he has foreign bank accounts, that he only paid a rate of 15%, and that he his major charitable donations were to the Mormon Church. None of these things are illegal--Mitt Romney was not breaking the law--but they may be out of line with the voters that he is trying to get. As the Christian Science Monitor observes, Mitt Romney has a public relations mini-nightmare with his tax returns for the above-listed reasons.

Republican analysts are noting that Newt Gingrich is winning more votes among the Republicans who earn less than $200,000 a year and that Mitt Romney is more popular amongst the conservatives.