(FLORENCE, S.C.) — Mitt Romney revealed for the first time Tuesday that his effective tax rate is “closer to 15 percent,” suggesting that he pays less in taxes than many middle income Americans despite being worth an estimated $250 million.
“What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,” Romney said during a press conference after an early morning rally. “Because my last 10 years, I’ve…my income comes overwhelmingly from some investments made in the past, whether ordinary income or earned annually. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. And then I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much.”
According to his personal financial disclosure report released in August, Romney was paid more than $370,000 for speaking appearances in the 2011-2011 filing period.
Under pressure by his rivals to release his tax returns, a move he said during Monday night’s Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate he will not take before April, Romney on Tuesday offered a rare glimpse into what the coveted documents may reveal. What Romney admitted is exactly what billionaire Warren Buffett has railed against — the fact that many multi-millionaires actually pay far less in taxes than the people who work for them.
In addition to hinting at his tax rate, Romney suggested that if he does release his returns, he will only release those from 2011 and not those from years prior.
In addressing his differing positions from former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Romney said that he is opposed to Gingrich’s plan to eliminate capital gains tax for high income individuals — the very tax he suggested he pays.
Romney also addressed how he accounts for the 120,000 jobs he claims to have created during his work at Bain Capital, a number he himself offered during last night’s debate.
“Let’s get the math, alright?” said Romney, who appeared irritated as he was followed to his campaign bus by a crush of reporters.
“Four companies created 120,000 jobs. It’s very simple,” said Romney. “Four companies created 120,000. Staples, Bright Horizons, Steel Dynamics, and…which one am I missing? Sports Authority. If you look up their 10Ks today, you’ll find that they have 120,000 jobs. Those were all businesses I helped get started.”
“So those four created about 120,000 jobs,” Romney continued. “And then all of those businesses that had been well-documented by various people over the years, when I ran in ’94, when I ran last time, when I ran for governor, those that have lost jobs, they end up being a little less than 10,000, those that were losers. So if you took the ones that were losers, and compare with the ones that were, those four, at least, why you end up with something over 100,000.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio