Romney thinks his low tax rate is fair

Romney's support from seniors collapses; Ryan sees death panels; Adelson speaks; and other top Monday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, Taxes, Paul Ryan, Sheldon Adelson, Brief, 2012 Elections,

Romney thinks his low tax rate is fair

Romney defends fairness of his tax rate: The Obama campaign is seizing on comments Mitt Romney made yesterday on “60 Minutes” in which he said he thinks it’s fair for his tax rate to be lower than that of someone making $50,000 a year because his earnings come from investments, which should be encouraged. Romney had an effective tax rate of about 14 percent in 2011, according to tax returns released Friday, well below the 35 percent top marginal tax rate for someone in his income bracket. “It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as 35 percent,” Romney said. He added: “I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth — to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.”

Romney support from seniors collapses: According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, “support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over President Obama to less than 4 points” since the Democratic National Convention.  ”Romney’s double-digit advantages among older voters on the issues of healthcare and Medicare — the nation’s health insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled — also have evaporated, and Obama has begun to build an advantage in both areas,” the poll found.

The percentage of respondents identifying themselves as Republicans has also dropped off precipitously since this spring, according to an average of 671 polls.



Ryan sees death panels: Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, D.C.’s most serious and preeminent policy wonk, according to some, suggested to a crowd in Florida this weekend that Obamacare “death panels” are real. At a town hall meeting packed with seniors, Ryan was asked, “Will you address the death panels that we’re going to have?” Instead of dispelling the myth, Ryan replied, “The death panels, well! That’s not the word I’d choose to use to describe it. It’s actually called. It’s actually called, so in Medicare, what I refer to as this board of 15 bureaucrats. It’s called the Independent Payment Advisory Board.” He didn’t exactly endorse the bogus claim, but he hardly dismissed it either.

Romney gets moving: After drawing criticism from nonpartisan observers and Republicans alike for a lackluster campaign schedule that often included only a small handful of public appearances a week, Romney is picking up the pace to try to turn things around. Romney is embarking on his busiest week of campaigning since August’s Republican convention today, with two days of events in Colorado before heading to a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. After that, it’s a bus tour through Ohio. Romney is also trying to roll out new messaging around more specific policy proposals than he’s offered thus far, part of a reboot he planned to launch last week, but then was sidetracked by the release of the “47 percent” video.

Adelson plays self-defense: In a rare interview, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has already spent more than $70 million backing Republicans this election cycle and plans to spend as much as $30 million more, told Politico that he thinks the Department of Justice is targeting him because of his political activity, and that he has given so much in part to fight back against this perceived attack. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. is reportedly being investigated for alleged violations by its Chinese subsidiary of an anti-bribery law. A second term would be even worse for him and his company, Adelson said.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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