Not all of Romney's tax returns are public yet, but according to his 2010 and 2011 returns, the presidential candidate made way more income and paid less in taxes than any of the past five presidents, according to information compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.
The striking scatter plot above compares the effective tax rate and adjusted gross income of Romney, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. Sunlight standardized the data and consulted Tax History Project to make the chart. The red dots representing Romney's 2010 and 2011 returns float in the top left corner, as much larger incomes than any recent president ($21.6 million and $20.9 million) and taxed at a lower rate than other presidents, 15.4 percent in 2011 and 13.9 percent in 2010. Sunlight explains that Romney is so much higher because he makes his money from investments, which are subject to a lower capital gains tax of. But the president with the closest income to Romney is Obama, who made $5.5 million in 2009. Since that money mostly from book sales, he paid an effective tax rate of 32.6 percent in 2009 in his highest earning year. It's a fascinating, striking graph. Funny detail? The president who paid the highest rate: famous tax-cutter Reagan.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.