As Al Sharpton rightfully noted in the segment above, this article from The New York Times isn't going to do much for Mitt Romney trying to paint himself as some ordinary "man of the people", not that he seems to be having much luck in that area as it is.
Last June, Romney joked that "I am also unemployed", even though, as Karoli noted, "with $200 million in the bank and a few houses around the country, maybe he's not quite as desperate" as the group he was speaking to."
Last September at a town hall event in Florida, Romney told a group of voters that he was part of the middle class as he threw out the canard that "almost half of Americans that are not paying income tax," as though that means those who are too poor to pay income taxes aren't paying any taxes at all.
And yesterday on Fox News, Romney again showed how out of touch he was when he told Chris Wallace he didn't think cutting $700 billion in aid to the states was going to harm the poor.
Now we have this story from The New York Times -- Buyout Profits Keep Flowing to Romney:
Almost 13 years ago, Mitt Romney left Bain Capital, the successful private equity firm he had helped start, and moved to Utah to rescue the Salt Lake City Olympic Games and begin a second career in public life.
Yet when it came to his considerable personal wealth, Mr. Romney never really left Bain.
In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.
The arrangement allowed Mr. Romney to pursue his career in public life while enjoying much of the financial upside of being a Bain partner as the company grew into a global investing behemoth.
In the process, Bain continued to buy and restructure companies, potentially leaving Mr. Romney exposed to further criticism that he has grown wealthier over the last decade partly as a result of layoffs. Moreover, much of his income from the arrangement has probably qualified for a lower tax rate than ordinary income under a tax provision favorable to hedge fund and private equity managers, which has become a point of contention in the battle over economic inequality.
An examination of Mr. Romney’s public financial disclosures, as well as interviews with former Bain partners, business associates and counselors to his campaign, reveals the extent of his financial relationship with Bain Capital and how it has allowed him to continue amassing a personal fortune while building a political career. [...]
Much information about Mr. Romney’s wealth is not known publicly. Federal law does not obligate him to disclose the precise details of his investments. He has declined to release his tax returns, and his campaign last week refused to say what tax rate he paid on his Bain earnings.
But since Mr. Romney’s payouts from Bain have come partly from the firm’s share of profits on its customers’ investments, that income probably qualifies for the 15 percent tax rate reserved for capital gains, rather than the 35 percent that wealthy taxpayers pay on ordinary income. The Internal Revenue Service allows investment managers to pay the lower rate on the share of profits, known in the industry as “carried interest,” that they receive for running funds for investors.
“These are options that are not available to the ordinary taxpayer,” said Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado who studies financial firms. “You continue to take your carried interest — a return on labor, not capital invested — and you’re paying 15 percent on it instead of high marginal income rates.” Read on...