Representative Paul Ryan said on Sunday that he would make his individual income tax returns from the 2010 and 2011 tax years available to the public. Ryan also indicated he had provided “several years” of returns to Romney’s vice presidential selection team for them to review in making their selection of him as Romney’s running mate.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also plans to release only two years of tax returns, with the 2010 return being released already and the 2011 return coming before the presidential election once Romney’s accountant has finalized the return.
Many from both the Democratic and Republican parties have previously stated publicly that they believe Romney should release more than two years worth of income tax returns. Although Romney has maintained that the two years of tax returns he released are representative of his tax situation as a whole, others believe the public has a right to know more about the financial past of any candidate for the presidency.
“It was a very exhaustive vetting process,” Ryan told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday. “It’s a confidential vetting process, so there were several years. But I’m going to release the same amount of years that Governor Romney has.”
But Democrats to this point are not convinced, citing the 12-year standard of releasing tax returns followed by other candidates for the presidency that was established by Romney’s father George in 1968. Even Republicans to a lesser extent are calling on Romney to release returns from additional years in an effort to take the spotlight off the topic.
Ryan also stated that he did not believe the public was truly very interested in his tax returns but would rather see the discussion return to policies the candidates plan to establish if elected to the presidency.
“What I hear from people around this country, they’re not asking, ‘Where are the tax returns?’ They’re asking where the jobs are. ‘Where’s the economic growth?’ Those are the issues that matter.”
The focus by the Democrats on Romney’s and Ryan’s tax returns “are more or less distractions to try and take us off the fact that the president has given us failed policies that aren’t working.” Ryan committed that the Republican campaign would “focus on what it takes to turn this country around and get people back to work.”
In the joint interview, Romney also indicated that those who earn the highest income will continue to pay the most in taxes.
“Fairness dictates that the highest-income people should pay the greatest share of taxes, and they do. And the commitment that I’ve made is we will not have the top income earners in this country pay a smaller share of the tax burden. The highest-income people will continue to pay the largest share of the tax burden and middle-income taxpayers, under my plan, get a break. Their taxes come down.”
Ryan added, “”What we are saying is: Take away the tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by people in the top tax brackets,” he said, “so they can’t shelter as much money from taxation, so that you can lower tax rates for everybody to make America more competitive.”
Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.