If you make more than about $33,500 a year, your federal income tax burden is probably lighter than you think.
David Cay Johnston
For years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has pressed Congress to restrict securities class action lawsuits, saying they put a damper on economic activity. Securities lawyers argue that such suits act as a crucial protection for investors, who deserve their day in court when deceitful actions by executives cost them money.
When the Romney campaign disclosed in December that the couple’s five sons had a $100 million trust fund, I suspected that, in setting up the fund, the Romneys used a tax strategy that allows some very rich people to avoid paying gift taxes. But it was impossible to know if this was the case without seeing their tax returns going back years.
A tax return says a lot about a man, especially one aspiring to be president.
If Mitt Romney makes good on his promise during Thursday night’s Republican candidates’ debate to release “multiple years” of his returns, it will likely stir up rather than calm the political storm unless he makes public all of his returns from 1984 through 1999. Those are the years when he built a fortune of more than $200 million while running Bain Capital Management.
Big business is lobbying for a major cut in the corporate income tax rate, and both President Barack Obama and key congressional leaders are on their side. But the evidence that a rate cut will boost the economy is weak. What’s needed is comprehensive reform that includes a simpler, fairer and more transparent corporate tax code. But more on that later.