How does Mitt Romney make money

If you want to get really rich, you should go with it private equity try. This means those corporations from whose boardrooms an increasing number of America's super-rich have been recruited over the past few decades. One of them is Mitt Romney, former head of the private equity firm Bain Capital and the most promising Republican candidate for the US presidential election this fall.

For a long time, the nomination seemed certain to him, but his opponents have discovered his weak point: his money. They portray him as a detached Croesus, who has nothing to do with the worries of the average American. Under this pressure, he has now made his tax rate public. Many Americans should envy him for that: on an annual income of more than $ 20 million, he paid a 13.9 percent tax in 2010. In 2011 it was 15.4 percent.

Romney's fortune could be his undoing. His long believed victory in the running for the candidacy seems to be in jeopardy since Gingrich clearly defeated him in South Carolina at the weekend.

In 2010 he earned $ 21.7 million and paid about three million in taxes. Last year it didn't come off that cheap, paying $ 3.2 million in taxes on $ 20.9 million in income, the company reports Washington Postwhose reporters have already seen the tax return.

The multimillionaire thus pays proportionally significantly less taxes than his toughest counterpart Gingrich, who paid 31 percent. The incumbent President Barack Obama published his tax returns for the past six years before the 2008 election. For 2010 he gave a rate of 26 percent.

Romney is under fire for his previous investing activities. His rivals had accused him of having enriched himself in companies as the head of Bain Capital. Romney, on the other hand, argues that he created tens of thousands of jobs in his role. His personal relationship to money is also a recurring topic in the media - among other things, because he offered competitor Rick Perry a bet of $ 10,000 as if it were nothing during a television debate.

How can Romney get away with such a low tax rate? The answer can be found in the United States' low capital gains tax. It amounts to a maximum of 15 percent on long-term investment income. In Germany it is 25 percent on interest and share profits. Romney's income is made up almost entirely of stock earnings and interest - not a penny comes from an ordinary employer salary. It's perfectly legal, but it also shows how America's financial elite makes its money.

The former Massachusetts governor's net worth is estimated at more than $ 250 million. His investments bring him more than 20 million annually. Seven percent return in difficult economic times - that is not bad, comments Kevin Drum from the US magazine Mother Jones ironic: "When it comes to managing large pots of money, Romney hasn't lost his old magic."