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The Romney Tax Rate Debate Begins

GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is a man of the people.

On Tuesday, a reporter in South Carolina asked the former Massachusetts governor, what percentage he pays in taxes.

“What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying?” Romney began. “Its probably closer to the 15 percent rate then anything, because the past 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made from past rather than ordinary income or rather than earned annual income.”

Translation: He’s living off his investments, not off a salary from a job. Coolio. Moving on.

“I’ve 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.”

Aw! The Rom gave away proceeds from his book? Sweetest! And he speaks to people for money — but not a lot of money! It’s enough just to connect to the people, probably.

But just to be sure, HOH decided to click over to Romney’s latest financial disclosure forms to see how much money wasn’t “not very much money.”

For the nine speaking engagements he declared on his 2010 financial disclosure form — from February 2010 to February 2011 — Romney pulled in well over $300,000 in speakers fees alone.

Just for fun (and because we’re a couple of stinkers), we decided to see how much normal people pulling in more than $300,000 a year pay in taxes. Ready? Drumroll please…

Normals pulling in the same amount of cash money Romney did in his 2010 speakers fees will pay 33 percent to 35 percent in income taxes.

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