Elections 2012: Mitt Romney Defends Tax Rate in ’60 Minutes’ Interview

Mitt Romney defended his plan to cut taxes — including the “low” rate the candidate paid on his own federal income— as the best way to create workplaces.

Appearing on 60 Minutes Sunday night Republican nominee defended paying a low effective rate on his, investment income arguing that it is “fair for people to pay lower rates on capital gains”. Photo: Mitt Romney/Flickr

“It is a low rate,” the candidate replied when asked whether it’s fair that he was taxed only 14,1 percent on the millions of dollars he earned from his personal portfolio when people earning a $50,000 salary pay higher rates.

“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%,” the former Massachusetts governor added.

As The New York Post writes, Scott Pelley asked Romney, who follows his rival President Obama in most polls with a slight difference, whether his lower tax rate was “fair.”

“Yeah. 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 replied, adding that corporations pay taxes before their shareholders profit from dividends or higher stock prices.

Obama’s rival finally released his last year’s returns Friday after months of pressure from both parties.

“Romney’s income was $13,696,951 in 2011, and he paid $1,935,708 in taxes. Romney’s income for the year was more than 263 times larger than the U.S. median household income of $51,914,” reports The Huff Post.

Both candidates were interviewed separately by “60 Minutes” — but some of the questions coincided. However, in the interview to Pelley the Republican nominee dismissed claims he had flip-flopped on issues, such as the health-insurance law he signed during his term as governor of Massachusetts.

“Have I found that some things I thought would be effective turned out to be not effective? Absolutely. If you don’t learn from experience, you don’t learn from your mistakes, why, you ought to be fired,” he said.

Romney repeated his vow to cancel ObamaCare if elected and asked whether uninsured Americans would be left without health care.

“If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die,” he said. “We pick them up in an ambulance and take them to the hospital and give them care.”

The candidate also promised “to concentrate one’s thoughts, to meditate and to imagine what might be.” Romney noted that his prayers are “between me and God,” but said he asks for “mostly wisdom and understanding.”

Obama who faced similar questions from Steve Kroft said that his prior aim was to fix the economy.

“I think there’s no bigger purpose right now than making sure that if people work hard in this country, they can get ahead. That’s the central American idea,” the President said. “That’s how we sent a man to the moon.”

He went on, adding that his vision of America is one of fairness: “Everybody’s got a shot. Everybody’s treated with respect and dignity in which the divides of race and faith, gender, sexual orientation, those are not the determining factors in terms of whether people succeed, but instead it’s how hard you work.”

President Obama also explained how his last campaign of “hope and change” has disappointed: “I haven’t fully accomplished that. Haven’t even come close in some cases.”

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