Tuesday, July 17, 2012

About that George Romney quote

You've heard the quote a hundred times by now but I, for one, never knew the genesis of the George Romney tax return quote. It's an interesting story. He initially refused when his biographer asked him for just one year. Hence the quote:
"Release of the document, while it might serve a political purpose, would not prove very much, he argued. One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show, and what mattered in personal finance was how a man conducted himself over the long haul." [...]

George Romney, however, called Harris back and surprised him.

"Stumped by this argument, I was not prepared for the move that it eventually led him to make: He ordered up all the Form 1040's that he and Mrs. Rome had filed over the past twelve years — including those profitable ones from when he saved the American Motors Company from bankruptcy and became a millionaire on the company's stock options."
The returns revealed an ethical businessman and a concerned citizen. Harris went on to write a glowing account of how George Romney became a self-made man of means who used his money to make the world a better place. Decidedly not driven by obscene acquisition and accumulation of power. He also paid his taxes without complaining.
Romney also payed an income tax rate several times that of his son's roughly 15%: He payed more than half of his income in taxes some years, and paid a total rate for the period over 50%.
Makes me wish we could retroactively replace the son with the father on this year's ticket.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll second that wish!

2:23:00 PM  

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