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    Posted February 16, 2012 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    Santorum Tax Returns - Still Connected to Washington D.C.


    Presidential  candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is running as a  blue-collar type of guy and a Washington outsider. But according to his  just released tax returns for the past 4 years, Santorum is less  blue-collar than he wants to appear and still connected with Washington  influence peddling.

    From  his congressional record and subsequent employment, consulting duties  and board positions after leaving office, there appears to be a  connection to those endeavors and legislation he sponsored as both a  Congressman and Senator.

    Republican  presidential candidate Rick Santorum released four years of federal  income tax returns on Wednesday night, showing a sharp rise in his  personal wealth spurred by his growing work as Washington-based  corporate consultant and media commentator.

    Santorum, 53, has  sold himself in the Republican primaries as both a social conservative  and a Washington outsider, stressing his family's coal-mining background  and his appeal to religious and working-class voters. His personal  finances tell a different story, detailing the trajectory of a  politician who grew more prosperous in the Senate and became a  millionaire afterward, at times capitalizing on his Beltway connections.

    The  former Pennsylvania senator's tax returns show that his annual income  surged from nearly $660,000 in 2007 to $1.1 million in 2009 before  slipping to $923,000 in 2010.

    His federal income taxes rose from  2007, when he paid $167,000, to $310,000 in 2009, then dropped to  $263,000 in 2010. Santorum paid a combined tax rate of 28 percent over  the four years, putting him in a high tax bracket but not in the top 35  percent. Gingrich paid an estimated 31 percent, according to his federal  returns, while Romney paid 14 percent because many of his earnings came  from investments taxed at a lower capital gains rate. Both Romney and  Gingrich recently disclosed income tax returns.

    Santorum's 2010  tax returns show he made more than $550,000 in media and consulting fees  — paid to him through a corporation he set up, Excelsior LLC. The  previous year, Santorum made more than $820,000 in fees, also paid  through the same firm.

    Last year, Santorum disclosed investment  and real estate assets totaling as much as $2.5 million. In his  presidential financial disclosure spanning 18 months between 2010 and  2011, Santorum also listed $1.3 million in income as a consultant — much  of it coming from media appearances and corporate work on behalf of  health care, energy and social conservative interests.

    Rising to  GOP leadership in the Senate as Republican Conference chairman, Santorum  pushed to expand the influence of Republican-leaning business  interests. As conference chairman, he headed GOP Senate communications  efforts and met regularly with GOP-leaning business and lobbying  figures. He raised more than $550,000 from lobbyists during his  unsuccessful 2006 Senate re-election campaign.

    After his Senate  defeat, Santorum did not register as a lobbyist, but he aided corporate  and other interests as a consultant. He was paid $142,500 by Consol  Energy, a Pennsylvania-based energy firm with numerous Appalachian coal  mines. The firm has lobbied against Obama administration efforts to  tighten limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

    Santorum also was  paid $65,000 by the American Continental Group, a D.C. lobbying firm  with an assortment of corporate clients, and $125,000 by the Clapham  Group, a Virginia firm that aids religious rights organizations. He  benefited from media work, earning $230,000 for appearances on Fox News  and more than $80,000 for stints as a radio commentator.

    Santorum  was also paid nearly $400,000 in compensation and stock options as a  board director at Universal Health Services, a hospital management firm,  after he left the Senate in 2006. He also owns up to $250,000 in  Universal stock. As a senator, Santorum had sponsored several  unsuccessful bills that would have secured more Medicaid funding for  hospitals run by Universal and other medical firms in Puerto Rico.


    From  the Cornfield, I do not think it makes a difference with releasing  Santorum's tax return any more than Romney or former House Speaker Newt  Gingrich releasing theirs.

    That  said, what the returns of Santorum reveal is that he is not the  blue-collar, Washington outsider he wants voters to believe.

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