August 18, 2012 in Nation/World

Ryan follows Romney’s lead, releases two years of returns

David Lightman McClatchy-Tribune
Obama’s compromise

WASHINGTON – The Obama campaign, undeterred by Mitt Romney declaring that interest in his tax returns is “small-minded,” is ready to make a deal.

In a letter to the Romney campaign Friday, Obama campaign chief Jim Messina asks for a total of five years’ worth of Romney’s tax returns, from 2007 through 2011. In return, Messina pledges the campaign will put down its sword on the issue – but only to a point.

“I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more – neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign,” Messina wrote.

WASHINGTON – Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his wife paid taxes at effective rates of 20 percent last year and 15.9 percent in 2010, according to returns released Friday.

The couple reported $323,416 in adjusted gross income last year, about half of it from Ryan’s salary as a Wisconsin congressman, and paid $64,764. The previous year, Ryan and his wife, Janna, reported $215,417 in adjusted gross income and paid $34,233.

The Ryans amended their 2011 tax return to include more than $61,000 in income from a one-third interest in a family trust that Janna Ryan inherited after her mother died.

The release of the returns, made quietly and without any formal announcement on a Friday night, is the latest chapter in an ongoing drama involving the Republican ticket’s financial disclosures. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has released his 2010 return and estimates of his 2011 taxes.

But he – and now Ryan – have released no earlier tax filings.

Romney paid at a 13.9 percent rate in 2010 and an estimated 15.4 percent rate this year. Virtually all of his income came from investments.

The Ryans reported a large amount of income from investments. In 2010 they reported $39,013 in income from estates, trusts and elsewhere. Last year, the same sources brought $116,143. They gave $12,991 to charity last year and $2,600 in 2010.

Ryan has been pushing to collapse the current income tax system, with a top rate of 35 percent, into two rates of 10 percent and 25 percent. It was not immediately clear from their tax filings how he and his wife would fare under that system.

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