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On a cold winter day in January of 2012 Republican presidential candidate hopeful Mitt Romney released his tax returns, and it turned out his effective tax rate for his 2010 taxes worked out to be about 13.9% of his income of more than 42 million dollars.

13.9% is only slightly more than what self-employed people had to pay in 2011 for “self employment taxes” on their business income and about twice what most people paid for Social Security and Medicare, taxes Mitt Romney and other wealthy individuals do not have to pay. Then, on top of our self-employment, social security, and Medicare taxes, middle-class taxpayers then pay their income taxes, which typically work out to around 18% for my wife and I. If you add our Social Security and Medicare taxes into the mix, our effective tax rate jumps to 23-24%, and, I promise you, our income was a small fraction of Mitt’s 42+ million dollars.

How is it that Mitt Romney pays taxes at less than two-thirds the rate my wife and I, and most other members of the middle class, do? It is because Mitt Romney, like most of wealthy and politically influential people, get to pay their taxes at a special, low rate that is not listed in the IRS Tax Tables that people in the middle class have to use: The Capital Gains Rate.

The truth of the matter is that the wealthiest Americans have rigged our political and tax system to work for them and against us. Using their political and media influence, they have played a game of bait-and-switch on the American middle class, complaining all along that they pay such very high taxes when, in truth, they do not. For the wealthy it is the Golden Rule: Those with the gold get to make the rules . . . And both you and I get to pay their bills.

Insanity1040’s mission is to draw attention to the issue of unfair and inequitable taxes in America. We feature short and to-the-point documentary pieces (under 500 words each) that feature the use of direct quotes and references to reliable sources that make a point about how our tax system works for the wealthy and against the middle class, and combine that narrative with a headline and graphic image that drives our point home. Tax laws and codes are written in a way that cloaks and hides who the true beneficiaries are; our objective is to help people understand who the winners in the Tax Code Lottery are, and give them the information they need to demand change.

It is time for a change. Please support Peter Harrison for Congress in Southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District (WA-3). He supports sound fiscal policies that invest in a strong future for our country.

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The Tax Equity Forum