Mitt Romney released his tax filings late last night as he desperately tries to run down Newt Gingrich's ballooning lead in Florida, telling a Tampa audience: "I'm proud of the fact that I pay a lot of taxes."
But in the harsh light of morning, it's hard to see how Floridians will be swayed by seeing Mitt's finances. They show Romney is insanely rich -- with more than $21 million just in investment returns last year -- that he pays crazy low taxes, gives millions to the Mormons and even had tax haven accounts from Switzerland to Ireland to the Cayman Islands. Just like your average voter!
Romney's tax filings are "voluminous and extraordinarily complex," according to CBS, with last year's return alone clocking in at more than 200 pages. That means the real dirt on Romney's cash may not come out for a few days as his opponents hire tax lawyers to comb through the papers.
But here are the most eye-popping revelations so far from the tax filings:
Romney is rich: Yeah, you knew that already, but the tax forms show he's not just wealthy, he's actually "one of the richest men ever to run for president," CBS writes. Last year he made $21.7 million, and the year before $20.9 million -- all in pure profit from investments, not working wages.
The Mormons get as much as the feds: Since 2010, the Romneys gave away $7 million to charity, with the vast majority -- $4.1 million -- going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The IRS, meanwhile, got just $3 million last year from Mittens.
Romney pays crazy low taxes for a rich guy: If you've got a couple mil in the bank, you might want to hire Romney's accountants. The guy pays a tax rate of about 15.4 percent, CBS reports, which is equivalent to the average Joe's rate. But it's a fraction of what other millionaires pay, leaving tax advocates like Warren Buffett fuming this morning.
Mitt had scores of offshore tax havens: Romney had dozens of accounts and investments in noted tax havens including Luxembourg, the Caymans, Ireland and Switzerland. Romney tells CBS that "these entities are not evading one dime of taxes," but then why have scores of investments in tax havens? It's not clear.
This is the first time Romney's ever released his finances: Yep, Romney's a career politician, and one who's financed his own campaigns with his personal fortune for decades, yet this is the first time he's decided to show voters how much cash he's got and what he does with it. Wonder why?
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