Over the last several weeks many of the candidates for the Republican Party have released their tax returns to be analyzed by the public as they determine who will be the eventual nominee for the Presidential race.
As I read the stories, the real question that comes to mind is, “Does it really matter?”
I think the only question that matters is, “Did the candidate actually pay his taxes?”
I feel most people are seeking the answer to how did this candidate earn his income, how much income did he have, and how much tax did he pay. The answer is pretty simple: he earned his income most likely from investments and speaking engagements and his taxes were paid legally through the system allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
If you are a candidate for a political office, chances are you have deep pockets, and have the money to spend on a campaign. Don’t miss understand that sentence. I ‘m not endorsing the current political system, making a statement that if you are running you have some money to spend or friends who will help you.
Do I think that it would be great to see a laborer, a small town farmer, or your local teacher up for election? Yes that would be wonderful! But, do you think there would be a great interest in seeing his/her tax returns?
When a millionaire, or even a billionaire, lowers there actual tax rate to below 15% should they be ostracized, ridiculed, or put down because they “didn’t pay their fair share?” The answer is simple. They are playing by the rules of the game, the same rules you and I have to play, and they are winning the game.
They have income, financial responsibilities that include taxes, and their job is to make sure their family reaps the most benefit from their financial successes instead of the government. Why should they pay the IRS more than their fair share just because they are up for election?
The media and the general public need to do a better job of determining what is valuable when it comes to selecting information that needs to be understood about a candidate. If the only reason in sharing a tax return is to prove that the candidate is a candidate follows the law then that is fine. But, the headlines tend to focus on the income amount only.
I want to know more about fiscal policy, social issues, and economical ideas to change the future for the United States, not how much someone earned in 2011.
How do you feel? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Or feel free to stop by your local Liberty Tax® office and have a discussion with us. We would love for you to come on in and talk taxes with us!
Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.