OpinionTop of the Ticket

Do average voters care about Mitt Romney's tax returns?

ElectionsPoliticsMitt RomneyPersonal IncomeGeorge H.W. Bush

As Mitt Romney travels through South Carolina, fending off his opponents' charges that he is a vulture capitalist, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination may now need to battle a perception that he's just another out-of-touch rich guy.

On Tuesday, while campaigning as the guy who can create jobs for the jobless, he revealed to reporters that he paid about a 15% income tax rate last year -- a share of income that is a lot less than many average working stiffs shell out to the government. And, in a casual remark, he mentioned speaking fees that amount to "not very much."

As The Times reported, some quick research into his financial disclosure forms showed that "not very much" added up to $374,000 between February 2010 and February 2011.

Everybody already knows that Romney grew up wealthy and now is worth several hundred million bucks. Simply being rich, however, has never been much of a handicap for American politicians -- think FDR and JFK. On the other hand, appearing rich and disconnected from the concerns of average Americans has, indeed, handicapped more than one candidacy -- think George H.W. Bush and John Kerry.

Is Romney on the verge of alienating the struggling middle-income voters he needs to attract? Maybe we'll get a clue when South Carolinians cast their ballots on Saturday.

RELATED:

Romney freaks out Rush

Who wears the pants in Romney's family?

Mitt Romney fumbles common touch regarding money

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
ElectionsPoliticsMitt RomneyPersonal IncomeGeorge H.W. Bush
  • The good news about offshore oil rigs
    The good news about offshore oil rigs

    Never let it be said that Mother Nature doesn't appreciate irony. A new study led by researchers at Occidental College and UC Santa Barbara has found that the oil platforms dotting the California coast are fantastic for sea life.

  • There's a better way to do immigration reform
    There's a better way to do immigration reform

    Immigration is the definitive wedge issue in American politics, but it doesn't have to be. When the Senate's Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act failed to pass the House this year, it was the third such failure of comprehensive reform in a decade....

  • British war brides faced own battles during 1940s
    British war brides faced own battles during 1940s

    America's attitudes toward immigration have always been complicated. Influenced by world events, the U.S. embraces some immigrants and demonizes others, and it can be difficult to understand the logic. Take the story of 70,000 would-be immigrants from Britain during the 1940s who all...

  • Calm down, America, Ebola isn't about to kill us all
    Calm down, America, Ebola isn't about to kill us all

    A Texas university refuses to accept students from Nigeria, where there were a couple dozen Ebola cases before the disease was quickly stopped. Louisiana refuses to allow incinerated trash from the treatment of Texas' first Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, into its landfills, as though...

  • Can the U.S. healthcare system do as well against Ebola as Nigeria's just did?
    Can the U.S. healthcare system do as well against Ebola as Nigeria's just did?

    Two. That’s the total number of known Ebola cases in the United States today — the two infected nurses from Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Nina Pham and Amber Vincent.

  • Catholics, Africans, gays and the race card
    Catholics, Africans, gays and the race card

    The Roman Catholic Synod of Bishops that ended over the weekend was a remarkable exercise in transparency, with liberal and conservative prelates openly sparring over whether the church should adopt a more welcoming approach to gays and to Catholics who divorced and remarried.

Comments
Loading