Here’s the full text and video of Romney’s remarks in Florence, S.C. this morning, in which he admits that he pays an effective tax rate of 15 percent. He also explains his own position on capital gains and why he opposes the position of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) —and most of the 2012 GOP presidential field—to eliminate the capital gains tax entirely.
ROMNEY: I also think that the Speaker’s plan to eliminate the capital gains tax for high-income individuals--capital gains, interest, and dividends--would not only be a very expensive decision in terms of having to fill an even larger budget, but would provide people with very high income the possibility of no tax at all. You’d have individuals -- the Warren Buffet argument -- Warren Buffett, Bill Gates would probably pay no taxes at all. And today they probably pay 15 percent. Very high-income people in this country probably pay 15 percent taxes if their resources are coming from investments. And under their plan it would go to zero.
I just don’t think that’s the right course. With our precious dollars, we should focus on providing relief, tax relief, in two areas: one is for middle-income Americans, who have been hurt the most, and the other is to bring our corporate rates to a level where we could draw people from other countries to bring their funds back in this country.
QUESTION: What’s the effective rate you’ve been paying?
ROMNEY: What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything, because my last 10 years, I’ve, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income, or rather than earned annual income. I get 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. (Laughs.)
Earlier today, I explained why Romney’s paying this 15 percent effective rate.