Under Rep. Paul Ryan's Tax Plan, Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent

| by Michael Allen

Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's choice for vice president, has received quite a bit of criticism for his tax plan that would cut taxes for the rich and place higher tax burdens on the middle and lower class.

The Atlantic recently reported and calculated that, under Rep. Paul Ryan's tax plan, presidential candidate Mitt Romney would pay 0.82 percent in income taxes, per the income taxes that Romney has provided, which so far, is just 2010.

The Atlantic reports:

In 2010 -- the only year we have seen a full return from him -- Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little?

Well, the vast majority of Romney's income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.

Romney, of course, criticized this idea when Newt Gingrich proposed it back in January by pointing out that zeroing out taxes on savings and investment would mean zeroing out his own taxes.

But what about corporate taxes? Aren't they a double tax on savings and investment, so Romney's "real" rate is higher than his headline rate? No. As Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has pointed out, Romney has structured his investments as "pass-throughs" that avoid corporate tax. In other words, the 0.82 percent tax rate is really a 0.82 percent tax rate.