Romney, unlike most of us, earns most of his income through dividends and capital gains. Those are taxed at a lower rate (15%) than wages (25%). Capital gain taxes come after corporate taxes (35%). Business owners are effectively taxed in the 40-45% range. From the 1/20/12 WSJ Opinion page -- "How Much the Rich Pay":
The nearby table from the CBO report shows that in 2007 the average income tax rate paid by the 1% was 18.8%, compared to 4.2% for Americans in a broadly defined middle class from the 21st to 80th income percentiles. The poorest 20% on average paid a net negative income-tax rate of 5.6% because of the checks they receive for tax credits that are "refundable." These are essentially transfer payments redistributing income from the rich and middle class to the poor.Romney needs to be proactive and educate the American people. He is losing points because Gingrich, a phony to the core, gives the appearance that he is willing to take on the biased MSM. Unless Romney gets tough, he will have wasted 8 years of his life.
The main point is that the average effective tax rate on the richest 1% is already twice as high as that of the middle class. No matter how many times Mr. Buffett asserts it, secretaries and plumbers do not on average pay a higher tax rate or less in taxes than do CEOs. Here is what the CBO concludes: "Taken as a whole, the federal tax system is progressive."