Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mitt Romney, passive entrepreneur

Mitt Romney is strangely insistent that he had no active management role in Bain Capital after 1999. Mitt Romney is strangely insistent that no one is getting to see his tax returns prior to 2010. Even though the former date is associated with the row about Bain Capital's job creation numbers, it would be irresponsible not to speculate that there is a close link between the Bain Capital departure date and the reticence about taxes.

Specifically: did Mitt pay self-employment tax on his Bain Capital income after 1999? If he was claiming to be a passive owner, as apparently he was, he wasn't liable for this tax. But any inkling that he still had an operational role in the firm would be tricky. By Mitt's standards, it's not even that much money given the cap on social security taxes. But it would be embarrassing for a party beholden to the cult of the entrepreneur to have its standard bearer someone who dodged a specific tax on that group. Incidentally, there have been issues before with Mitt's exact knowledge of this tax.