Mitt Romney and His Magical Mystery Tax Policy

  • Published on October 5th, 2012

Well, it was quite a debate.

We laughed, we cried…we winced…we wondered: Did Obama really let that BS stand?…

We heard some surprising news from Mitt Romney too.  It turns out that what he’s been saying all along about his tax policy was incorrect!  Mitt Romney is going to cut everyone’s taxes by a lot, but not really, and even if he was, which he isn’t, it won’t actually add anything to the deficit because of all the deductions he’ll get rid of…

Confused?

Said Romney, in response to Obama’s mention of his proposed $5 trillion tax cut: “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.”  Oh, really?

The non-partisan (again, unless you are a Republican) Tax Policy Center  used information from Mitt Romney’s website and email communications with his advisors to crunch the numbers on his proposed tax plan, which include the following provisions (among others):

  • permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts, including for everyone with a net worth of more than $1 billion (who have suffered enough, I tell you!)
  • repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was set up to ensure that the highest-income individuals pay at least something after taking advantage of an inordinate number of loopholes and deductions in the tax code.
  • cut individual rates by an additional 20 percent.  With income taxes already at their lowest rates ever, what could go wrong?
  • repeal the estate tax…completely.  Don’t reform it, don’t maintain the current $5 million exemption.  Just repeal it.  I mean, how else can we protect the wealthiest families?
  • cut the capital gains tax rate…again.  Consider that the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans enjoy 50% of all capital gains in the U.S. (and ask Mitt Romney why he paid 14.1% on income of more than $13 million last year).  There is already a loophole whereby some of the richest Americans – Hedge Fund Managers, specifically – are able to report their income as capital gains to take advantage of the incredibly low 15% rate…This nets 25 men about $4 billion annually.  Fair?  Of course, these are the job-creators!!!

Estimated cost:  $480 billion/year.  Over the next decade:  A little under $5 trillion.

Mitt Romney also said:  “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.”  Well, that’s a relief, Mitt!  Yet completely incorrect.  Everything in your tax plan – cutting capital gains, repealing the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax — disproportionately benefits the wealthy.  How many deductions could there possibly be where this would net out to zero?  Should I also point out your statement in one of the 8 billion several Republican debates last February, you said “We’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent.”  If by “including the top 1 percent”, you misspoke and meant “NOT including the top 1 percent”, then I’m just nit-picking.  But then again, that was the February 2012 Mitt, not the October 2012 Mitt…  Let’s just keep shaking that etch-a-sketch, eh?“

More nose-lengthening statements?  “My — my number-one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that: no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”

Errr…so all we have to do is find spending reductions of $480 billion per year?  Consider that the 2011 budget was $3.83 trillion.  Defense spending, which Mitt Romney wants to increase (by more than $2 trillion over the next decade), comprised 24% or about $930 billion in 2011.  Social security, which Mitt Romney has promised not to cut for retiring or “near-retiring” seniors, is another $736 billion (projected to rise to $900 billion by 2015).  So, all you need to do is slash the remaining federal budget by 22% across the board and voila!  Piece of cake…  Mitt’s claim?  The savings is in the elimination of deductions…and the tremendous growth that will arise once the cuts are enacted (and essential government spending is slashed to ribbons)…and we all know how great tax cuts for the wealthy are for the economy.

Sigh…

As Obama said yesterday in DenverWhen I got onto the stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country all year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy. The fellow onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.”

Who will you be at the next debate, Mitt?

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Photo Credit:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Maassive

About the Author

Dan lives and works in San Francisco and is addicted to politics. Follow him on twitter: @heffbombs.

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