Updated 09/21/2012 09:34 PM
Decision 2012: Romney Campaign Releases 2011 Tax Returns
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns Friday, which show the former Massachusetts governor paid $1.9 million in taxes on more than $13 million in income. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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The question loomed over Mitt Romney for several months. After being criticized for the tax rate he paid after releasing his 2010 returns, it seemed unlikely he would make any more of his tax information public.
But after a difficult week, the Republican presidential nominee released his 2011 returns and a summary of all the tax returns between 1990 and 2009.
"He's coming out of a tough week,” said David Birdsell, the Dean of School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. “This allows him to say that he's answered at least some of the questions. But the interesting thing is, they're not the questions from last week. They're questions from four and five weeks ago."
Last year, the Romneys paid $1.9 million in federal taxes on $13.6 million of income. That is an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent.
That rate is lower than what many people who earn a salary pay because Romney's income comes mostly from investments, which are subject to a lower tax rate applicable to capital gains.
Democrats say this raises more questions about his offshore holdings. Some believe this will not be the final word on this issue.
"If he believes that this gets this off the table and clears the air, it's too little, it's too late and it doesn't give the level of specificity about sources of income, even if it answers in broad strokes questions about tax rate," Birdsell said.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, President Barack Obama spoke by video to the AARP conference in New Orleans, where he spoke about Medicare.
"I have strengthened Medicare as President,” he said. “We've added years to the life of the program by getting rid of taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies that weren't making people healthier."
Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan also addressed the same conference.
"The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare because it represents the worst of both worlds,” he said.
In addition, both Romney and Paul Ryan released letters from their physicians, both of whom concluded that the two candidates are in excellent health.