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Upon Release of New Poll, Veterans Call on Romney to Release Taxes

By VoteVets.org  |  Press Release
PUBLISHED: January 18, 2012

Washington, DC – A new poll being released today shows, among other things, that voters in key battleground states care more about raising taxes on the rich to avoid gaps in funding for troops, than they do as a simple matter of fairness.  VoteVets.org, which commissioned the poll, is calling on Mitt Romney to release his taxes to satisfy the military, veterans, and those voters, that he is paying his fair share.

The poll was conducted in 11 battleground states, and found that on many issues – including jobs, Social Security, and taxes – key voters are more moved about concerns of veterans and troops than they are by many traditional messages from politicians.  A summary of the poll’s findings can be found here: http://votevets.org/pages/?id=0048

VoteVets.org said that given the fact that nearly half of the voters in these states care about the rich paying fair taxes to prevent cuts in funding for troops, it is important for Mitt Romney to release his taxes, to prove he has made a fair contribution.  VoteVets.org has launched a petition to its over 100,000 members, asking them to join the group’s call in a petition to be delivered to Romney.

“At a time when our men and women in uniform are putting their lives on the line for America, and paying taxes, we need to know if Mitt Romney is making a fair contribution to America, our troops, and our veterans,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran, and Chairman of VoteVets.org.  “We need to know if, as a multi-millionaire, he is paying his fair share to provide for our troops in the field, and their care when they come home.  It would be extremely disconcerting to have someone running to be Commander in Chief who is paying a lower tax rate than the majority of our troops and military retirees.”

All indications are that Mitt Romney has no income other than on investments, and only pays taxes on those.  On his capital gains, for example, Romney could be paying as little as 15 percent in taxes.  That would put his tax rate on par with many enlisted personnel with six years or less of service, meaning he pays a lower rate than most career military members, enlisted and officers.  Of course, Romney may have a lot of money off-shore, on which he pays no tax, meaning as a percentage of his total income, he may pay less in taxes than any member of the military.

In comparison, while he’s been President, President Obama paid 31.3 percent, 31.9 percent and 25.3 percent in taxes in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively.

“These are questions that have to be answered.  It isn’t an outrageous request for military members and veterans to make – to ask someone running for President if he or she is paying his fair share to help troops and veterans, or if he or she is paying as little as possible, leading to talk about budget cuts that would hurt troops and veterans,” Soltz concluded.

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 100,000 members, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.  VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives.   VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

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Webby Award Official HonoreePaid for VoteVets Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. VoteVets Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization which primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf veterans and their families. VoteVets Political Action Committee is a federal political committee which primarily helps elect Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran candidates and educates about veterans and military issues aimed at influencing the outcome of the next election.

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VoteVets Political Action and Vote Vets Action Fund are separate organizations.