In 2010, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made $21.7 million on investments and paid nearly $3 million dollars in taxes. Romney released his 2010 tax returns yesterday along with his estimates for 2011. By any definition, the former Massachusetts governor is a wealthy, successful businessman and investor. He has reaped huge benefits from the American entrepreneurial system by working hard and investing well and has also benefited from the US tax code which favors investment income by taxing it a lower rate than earned income. As a candidate for president, Romney has to convince people that he represents their interests and their concerns especially in this time of economic uncertainty.
Can a candidate whose income far exceeds that of the average wage earner really be in touch with the trials and tribulations of the American voter? Does Romney’s great wealth insulate him too much from the people whose votes he needs or does his financial success make him the perfect person to bring this economy out of the doldrums? Can you be rich and still in touch?