Mitt Romney has a new definition of “not much”: $374,327
Ryan Grim and Luke Johnson
January 18, 2012
On Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate finally admitted that the effective tax rate he has been paying for the last several years is likely below that of middle-class workers, which would also include military servicemembers.
In Greenville, S.C., Romney was asked directly what his effective tax rate is. It was a hot topic of discussion at Monday night’s debate, at which Romney repeatedly declined to fully commit to release his tax returns.
“It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,” said Romney on Tuesday. “For the past 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income or earned annual income. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. Then, I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much.”
Not very much? According to his personal financial disclosure, from February 2010 to February 2011, Romney earned $374,327.62 in speaking fees. A few months later, Romney joked that he was “unemployed.”
His rival, Newt Gingrich, said that he made $60,000 per speech — defending himself against the charge that he served as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, for which he was paid over $1.6 million for strategic advice.
Romney has an estimated wealth of between $190 million to $250 million, according to financial disclosure reports. Upon leaving Bain Capital in 1999, he negotiated a retirement package guaranteeing him a percentage of the firm’s profits.