The Romney Tax Returns, and His Insanely Low Heart Rate

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 21 2012 5:19 PM

The Romney Tax Returns, and His Insanely Low Heart Rate

Here they are, for 2011, as Romney promised during the primaries. And here is his physician's guide to the Romney medical history, which should shame anyone who smokes or imbibes. Romney's resting heart rate is "in the 40s."

I'm traveling, and my colleagues are hacking away at the returns to explain their meaning. The speedy liberal reaction to them was shock that Romney willfully paid higher taxes in 2011, skiping some deductions, when his charitable donations could have lowered his effective rate to 9 percent. That seems just as likely to have been a mistake or been a trap laid for Romney's critics -- go ahead, attack him for giving more money to the government. My favorite immediate irony in these numbers? The $3 donation Romney gave to the public campaign fund for presidential elections. Neither he or no Obama is tapping it. So Romney effectively donated to Gary Johnson.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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