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Returns and reform: How Romney’s tax plan helps the wealthy at the expense of the middle class

Defying a precedent set by presidential candidates before him, Mitt Romney has only released two years of tax returns. Many unanswered questions remain, but what Americans have learned is that Romney continues to pay a tax rate “far lower than the rate most Americans pay.” One of the major reasons Romney is able to “amass a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars while paying a lower rate than people of lesser means” is because—by continuing to profit from Bain investments—he still benefits from the carried interest tax loophole, a form of compensation for wealthy private-equity executives.

Rather than working to reform the tax code so that all Americans pay a fair share, Romney wants to keep rewarding millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. Just take a look at his tax plan:

  • Give multi-millionaires a $250,000 tax cut: The wealthiest 0.1% of Americans, those making over about $3 million each year, would see an average tax cut of about $250,000 under Romney’s plan—even if Romney were to eliminate every tax break, except those for savings and investments, that they take.

  • Raise taxes by $2,000 for middle-class families: To ensure that his $5 trillion in tax cuts tilted toward the wealthy don’t add to the deficit, Romney’s tax plan would require a tax hike on families making under $200,000. Middle-class families with kids would pay, on average, $2,000 more each year.

  • Keep tax loopholes for the wealthy few: Keeping the carried interest loophole for wealthy fund managers like Romney allows them to make millions upon millions while paying a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans. While the President would end the carried interest loophole, Romney said he wouldn’t “single out” this loophole.

Romney’s tax plan makes it clear that his priority is to cut taxes for the wealthy while allowing millionaires like himself to continue paying a lower tax rate than many middle-class families. Unlike Romney, President Obama is fighting to simplify the tax code and keep taxes low for middle-class Americans. Learn how each candidate would affect your taxes here.