What Mitt Pays: Special Tax Rates for Millionaires

Want to know why Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns?

Well, one of the reasons is that he probably pays less taxes than you do. As a corporate buyout specialist, he’s made millions of dollars in income from investments, which are taxed at a far lower rate than the wages of regular Americans — as low as 15% for the richest Americans in the country. That means Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than many teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other middle class Americans, a policy he would continue if he becomes President. Use our tool to find out how much more you pay in taxes on your income than you would if you enjoyed the special millionaire investor tax rate that Mitt Romney gets.

Click here to find out how much more you pay in taxes than Mitt does

December 27: News Roundup

President Obama’s approval is surging in new polling. There’s more at Politico.

Congress really is as bad as it looks. Scholars call it the worst Congress in more than a Century and a half. There’s more at NPR.

U.S. durable goods orders jump 3.8%; indicate economy on the mend. There’s more at the BBC.

Republican security “advisors” are tied to $40 Billion in Federal contracts. There’s more at Bloomberg News.

Mitt Romney rebounds in the home stretch of the Republican contest leading into Iowa caucuses. There’s more at TPM.

Newt Gingrich compares his own failure to get on Virginia ballot to Pearl Harbor. There’s more at TPM.

Court documents show Newt Gingrich’s version of divorce is doubtful. There’s more at CNN.

Ron Paul disavows his own extremist past, while gleefully embracing the support of extremists for his 2012 effort. There’s more at the New York Times.

Ron Paul building box office trade in weird conspiracy theories. There’s more Reuters.

Texas taxpayers shell out millions for Rick Perry’s security detail. There’s more at the Texas Tribune.

Tea Party Express seeks to lift Michelle Bachmann’s faltering campaign. There’s more at Roll Call.

U.S. government investigation uncovers massive failures in Cleveland’s electronic voting machines. There’s more at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

House Democrats prepare for fresh Republican attacks on unemployment benefits. There’s more at The Hill.

Fact Check: Keystone XL would ship Canadian oil to foreign markets. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

A 93 year old woman who cleaned the Tennessee Capitol building for thirty years is denied voter ID  card. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

The leader of Arizona’s right-wing “sovereign citizen” crowd is arrested after a standoff with police. There’s more at TPM.

Frank Rich at New York  Magazine does a lengthy piece on the Republican Party’s extremism. There’s more at New York Magazine.

December 24: News Roundup

Department of Justice blocks South Carolina voter ID law. There’s more at the Washington Post.

Speaker Boehner’s hold on leadership slips after failure in the Republican tax increase fight. There’s more at the Los Angeles Times.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) try to downplay rift. There’s more at The Hill.

Open divisions among Republicans in Congress begin to surface. There’s more at the Washington Post.

A “K Street” lobbyist army heads for the countryside to work for Mitt Romney in primaries. There’s more at Roll Call.

Vice President Joe Biden tangles with Mitt Romney over failed Republican economic policies. There’s more at the Chicago Tribune.

Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann soldier on in favor of the Republican tax hike. There’s more at CBS News.

Newt Gingrich backs Confederate flag in South Carolina.There’s more at ThinkProgress.

Ten shocking quotes from Ron Paul’s newsletters. Read them at TPM.

Gingrich presses Ron Paul on racist newsletters. There’s more at Reuters.

Ron Paul’s ever-changing story on racist newsletter questioned. There’s more at USAToday.

More questions about Ron Paul’s extremism surface. There’s more at Politico.

Gingrich slams Mitt Romney for refusing to release tax returns. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

Iowa right-wing Evangelical leader who endorsed GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum asked for cash in exchange for his public support. There’s more at ABC News.

There’s no “flavor of the month” moment likely in Rick Santorum’s future. There’s more at the New York Times.

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s fading campaign stumbles on in the winter snows of Iowa. There’s more at the Washington Post.

Newt  Gingrich and Rick Perry get knocked off Virginia primary ballot. There’s more at MSNBC.

GOP presidential fundraising lags. There’s more at Roll Call.

Donald Trump quits the Republican Party. There’s more at Politico.

Court punishes Arizona’s Sheriff Arpiao for destroying records. There’s more at NPR.

Federal Court rejects Tea Party challenge to the Voting Rights Act. There’s more at WRAL-TV Raleigh-Durham.

David Gergen commentary: “Why the winds are shifting toward Obama.” Read it at CNN.

Payroll Tax Cut Passes

This morning, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the extension of the payroll tax cut, ensuring millions of Americans won’t see their taxes go up on the first of the year, and unemployment insurance benefits and Medicare payments will continue.

Speaking from the White House, President Obama said:

“Because of this agreement, every working American will keep their tax cut—about $1,000 for a typical family. And that translates into an extra $40 or so in every paycheck. Vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work. And when Congress returns, I urge them to keep working, without drama, without delay, to reach an agreement that extends this tax cut as well as unemployment insurance through all of 2012.

“Last week, I said that this should be a formality, and that’s still the case. So let’s make sure that we extend this tax break and unemployment insurance for a full year for our families, but also for our economy. It’s the right thing to do because more money spent by more Americans means more businesses hiring more workers. And that’s a boost for everybody, and it’s a boost that we very much need right now.

“Finally, I want to take a moment to thank my fellow Americans for bringing their voices to this debate. I met with several here at the White House yesterday. I really think it takes courage to believe that your voice can make a difference. And I promise you, the American people, your voices made a difference on this debate. Whether you tweeted or called or wrote, you reminded people in this town what this debate and what all of our debates should be about—it’s about you. It’s about your lives. It’s about your families. You didn’t send us to this town to play partisan games, and to see who’s up and who’s down. You sent us here to serve and make your lives a little bit better; to do what’s right. And fortunately, that’s how this week ended.

“So I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, a happy New Year to you and your families … I also want to make sure to send the warmest holiday wishes to all the men and women in uniform who are serving overseas right now and may not have a chance to see their families during this holiday season. We are grateful for everything that you do” President Obama said.

President Obama: “This is Good News”

For weeks, President Barack Obama and Democrats have pressed Congress to come to an agreement to extend the payroll tax cut into 2012. This afternoon, that’s exactly what happened. This afternoon House Republicans agreed to extend the payroll tax cut, extend unemployment benefits, and restore Medicare payments.

In a statement, the President praised the good news:

“For the past several weeks, I’ve stated consistently that it was critical that Congress not go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans. Today, I congratulate members of Congress for ending the partisan stalemate by reaching an agreement that meets that test. Because of this agreement, every working American will keep his or her tax cut – about $1,000 for the average family. That’s about $40 in every paycheck. Vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work.  And when Congress returns, I urge them to keep working to reach an agreement that will extend this tax cut and unemployment insurance for all of 2012 without drama or delay.

“This is good news, just in time for the holidays. This is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy, and create new jobs.  This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives. And I want to thank every American who raised your voice to remind folks in this town what this debate was all about. It was about you. And today, your voices made all the difference” President Obama said.

What $40 Means to Americans Across the Country

When the Senate voted to extend the payroll tax cut over the weekend, the bill got support from 89 Senators. That doesn’t happen all that often — most ideas just aren’t that popular. So why can’t this one get a vote in the House of Representatives? President Barack Obama calls on Republican members of the House of Representatives to negotiate a compromise on extending the payroll tax cut, which already has broad bipartisan support, because the American people can’t afford to see their taxes go up next year.

If Republicans in the House of Representatives fail to extend the payroll tax cut in the next nine days, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck. Over the year, that adds up to about $1,000.

Opponents of the payroll tax cut dismissed its impact by insisting $40 isn’t a lot of money. We know that’s not the case for many families who are already working hard to make ends meet, so on Tuesday, the White House asked them: What does $40 mean to you?

The response to the White House was overwhelming: more than 30,000 people have submitted responses through WhiteHouse.gov since Tuesday afternoon, and thousands more tweeted what $40 meant to them with the hashtag #40dollars. Responses came from all over the country and all 50 states. Click here to read some of those responses, and don’t forget to share your own story here.