Bill Kristol: Mitt Romney's Low Tax Rate Is 'Kinda Weird'

08/20/2012 10:10 am ET

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Monday that he thinks Mitt Romney should pay a higher tax rate, calling the rate he pays on his investments "weird."

"I personally -- if I were designing the tax code -- would have a tax code in which Mitt Romney paid more than 13 percent, given what I know about the kind of investments he made money from," Kristol said Monday on C-Span.

The prominent conservative commentator added that he thought there would be no "economic detriment" to Romney if he paid more.

"I think it just seems kinda weird that he pays a lower rate than an awful lot of middle-class people," Kristol said.

Romney released his 2010 tax return in January after intense pressure, showing that he paid a 13.9 percent effective rate on $42.5 million in income. His tax rate, lower than that paid by most middle-class filers, was because most of his income came from investments. Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said the candidate would release his 2011 return by October 15. Romney has refused bipartisan calls to release more years' worth of tax returns.

Romney's tax plan would keep the current 15 percent rate on interest, dividends and capital gains, but eliminate such taxes entirely for filers with less than $200,000 in income. Under the plan authored by his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Romney would have paid an effective rate of just 0.82 percent in 2010, according to the Atlantic.

Kristol said on C-Span he would be in favor of tax reforms that "muted" the difference between capital gains and ordinary income and "especially" did away with the carried interest loophole.

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