Celebrities have certainly been doing their part to get their beloved President Obama elected – including parroting wild speculations from Democratic politicians about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s taxes.
Hip-hop artist Kanye West took a shot at Mitt Romney in “To the World,” a song on his new album Cruel Summer. West referenced a speculation by some on the left that Romney is a tax dodger saying: “I’m just trying to protect my stacks / Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.”
West’s line echoed the wild speculations of Democrats such as Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who infamously claimed that a Bain Capital investor told him Romney paid no taxes. Reid’s claim was completely “unsubstantiated,” even according to media outlets like ABC. But that didn’t stop the Obama campaign from running with it.
Aside from being grammatically flawed (the double negative suggests Romney does pay tax), West’s claim is factually untrue. He has released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, both of which show him paying taxes to the federal government. Romney’s returns revealed that he paid effective tax rates of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.3 percent in 2011 respectively.
West is also hardly a model for fiscal transparency. Forbes recently estimated that West, who walked through an Occupy encampment wearing gold chains, made an annual income of $35 million. And according to Fox News, in 2010, West’s own charity [the Kanye West Foundation] spent more than a half-million dollars while donating no money to actual charitable grants and contributions. Perhaps West should be concerned with his own tax returns, instead of rapping false rumors about Romney.