ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – Politicians often use stories about real Americans as a tactic to get through to voters. During Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney did just that, by mentioning a St. Louis businessman’s taxation woes. FOX2’s Rebecca Roberts spoke with this small business owner about the whole experience.
It all started back in March, when Romney spoke to a group of small business owners during a St. Louis campaign rally. Among them was Reason Amplifier Company Owner Michael Bonadio.
“I just didn’t think it would balloon into what it’s ballooned into now,” Bonadio explains, “When we were kind of wrapping things up, he had mentioned something about taxes, and I said yeah, it’s a shame that we pay so much. And I think he made a comment about, 32 percent or 30 percent plus, or something like that and I said no, it’s closer to 50 or 60 percent. And then I told him my story.”
That story ended up live on national television in front of millions. During the debate, Romney stated, "I’ve talked to a guy who has a very small business. He’s in the electronics business in — in St. Louis. He has four employees. He said he and his son calculated how much they pay in taxes, federal income tax, federal payroll tax, state income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, gasoline tax. It added up to well over 50 percent of what they earned.”
Addressing President Obama, Romney added, “And your plan is to take the tax rate on successful small businesses from 35 percent to 40 percent.”
Bonadio says he was at home with his wife watching the debate when he heard Romney describe a man that sounded awfully familiar. He says, “I looked at my wife and said, that’s me. And she had heard the story before from my perspective, so she knew, and we had a good laugh over the whole thing.”
Later, Bonadio found out that Romney had been using the anecdote on the campaign trail as well. He says the whole incident has strengthened his confidence in the candidate: “You can see the clockworks move when he’s thinking. He’s trying to figure out, what’s the right solution to this problem.”
Bonadio hopes these solutions will land Romney in the White House, before sky-high taxes cause even more heartache. He explains, “Why would you work so hard, to only take home that 30-plus percent that you’d take home?