I strongly disagree with Mr. Mitt Romney’s assertion that interest in his tax returns is “small-minded.” Individuals of all political stripes know that fiscal restraint is needed to manage our national budget. Sacrifices will have to be made. Yet Republicans advocate spending cuts that will shred the safety net for those in our society who are less fortunate in order to give big tax cuts to people such as Mr. Romney and Mr. Barack Obama. Being able to examine tax returns of high-level elected officials will help in assessing the fairness of any changes to tax policies.
Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a great fan of cutting the size of government and letting people attend to their own problems with the help of family, church and local organizations. So it was informative to learn that in 2010, his adjusted gross income was about $215,000 yet he contributed just $2,500 to charity, a miserly 1.2 percent giving rate. Even in 2011, his giving rate, on a much larger adjusted gross income, was only about 4 percent.
Mr. Ryan is a big fan of Ayn Rand, so I guess he is just putting into practice her belief that selfishness is virtue. My adjusted gross income last year was lower than that of Mr. Ryan, yet I managed a much higher giving rate. I’m surely not alone in this.