Few of us probably know offhand what tax bracket we’re in, but if Mitt Romney is anywhere near correct about his, it’s a safe bet that most people aren’t in his.
Most people are in a higher one.
Romney told a news conference today that he’s “probably” in the 15-percent bracket.
What is it in dollars and cents?
The 15% tax bracket for an individual is a ataxable income between $8,500 and $34,500. For a married couple filing jointly, it’s between $17,000 and $69,000 of taxable income.
“Taxable income” is really regularly taxed Income minus adjustments, deductions, and exemptions.
How does a rich guy like Romney pull off paying taxes like a working stiff?
“Because my last 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from some investments made in the past, whether ordinary income or earned annually. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. And then I get speakers’ fees from time to time, but not very much.’ ”
Not very much would be about $362,000 in speaking fees. His net worth is about $200 million.
If just half of that is liquid (not likely) and he gets the miniscule 1% return each year, based on current rates, that’s $1 million a year. That is to say: It takes a lot of work to be that wealthy and be in that tax bracket.
The 15-percent tax bracket, by the way, is one of the few tax brackets that were not affected by tax increases in the last several decades. It was unaffected by the tax increase of 1993, which targeted the wealthy.