Taxed Enough Already (TEA)? Not Romney, Dems say

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy)

The “tea” in “tea party” is more than a reference to the historic Boston Harbor tax protest; it’s an acronym, meaning “taxed enough already.”

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is headed to Philadelphia Monday for a tax day summit with the Independence Hall Tea Party Association, and Democrats are planning to greet him, betting that many tea party sympathizers might be surprised to learn that they pay a much higher tax rate than the multimillionaire Romney.

Romney paid a 13.9 percent tax rate in 2010, the only year of tax returns the candidate has made public – much smaller bite than faced by the majority of middle class taxpayers, largely because most of his income that year came from investments, which are taxed as capital gains instead of wages (earned income).

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and city Controller Alan Butkovitz, both Democrats, plan a press conference for 1:30 p.m. at the Liberty Bell Monday to hit Romney for opposing the “Buffet Rule,” President Obama’s proposal that wealthy taxpayers should pay more, to avoid situations in which tycoons are assessed a lower tax rate than their assistants. The Democratic office holders also will whack Romney for not disclosing more of his tax information.

On Friday, Romney’s campaign announced he had filed for an extension to file his latest tax returns, delaying when they would be released to the public. Democrats note that Romney provided 23 years’ worth of returns to GOP nominee John McCain four years ago as part of the vetting process for potential running mates, but has only put out a year’s worth to the public, in contrast to Obama, who has released returns dating back to 2000, and other presidential candidates.

“We know from Romney's limited returns that he has made millions from investments in offshore tax havens, including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg,” the Pennsylvania Democratic Party said in a statement. “What else is Romney hiding?”