Mitt Romney is a wealthy man who paid a lot of taxes last year, but because most of his income came through capital gains, he paid at a lower rate than many other Americans.
That sets up a contrast between Romney, if he becomes the GOP presidential nominee, and President Barack Obama, who is making economic inequality a centerpiece of his campaign.
The president earned about $1.7 million in 2010, and paid an effective rate of 26.3 percent, according to The New York Times. Romney made $21 million in 2010, and paid an effective tax rate of just over 14 percent.
The debate is whether America’s wealthiest individuals, including those who make their money from capital gains, should pay more, as they would under Obama’s tax plan? Should they pay about what they do now, as they would under Romney’s plan? Or should people like Romney pay virtually no taxes at all, as he would under Newt Gingrich’s plan?
Romney’s tax returns may help Obama make his case.