Shift From Tax Returns to Tax Plans

The 2012 presidential election shifted again today, from tax returns to tax plans. Assisted by the Brookings Institute, Team Obama came out to say that Romney’s tax would amount to a tax increase for middle class Americans and a tax cuts for the rich.

Obama got considerable help — and new stump speech material — on Wednesday from a new study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that showed those earning more than $1 million could save about $87,000 in taxes under Romney’s plan, which reduces income tax rates by 20 percent across the board.

But those who earn less than $200,000 would actually see their taxes increase by as much as $1,339 under Romney’s plan, the study estimated, because they could lose popular tax breaks for employer health insurance, mortgage interest and state and local taxes.

Now I’m no tax accountant, but I do know BS when I smell it, and I smelled it around this story today. Turns out not only did one of the three people who put the study together, Adam Looney, work for the Obama White House, the plan they evaluated didn’t even have enough enough data yet to be effectively scored by the CBO. What it is is representative of plans that the GOP has been discussing for some time, and increasingly as the Tea Party has become the focal point of the party.

It doesn’t contain enough details to be properly scored, the way the Congressional Budget Office would. But it has several principles, which have been part of the Repub talking points for quite a while.

Romney wants the system to be simpler and flatter and he wants the effect of his program to be revenue neutral. Simpler means eliminate deductions and credits, although Romney hasn’t specified all the loopholes he would close. Flatter means the distance between the top marginal rates and the lower ones would decrease. Revenue neutral means the revamped tax code would raise the same amount of money as the current code, so — although it won’t help with deficit reduction, it won’t make the deficit bigger either.

The controversy surrounds the idea of closing loopholes–for individual taxpayers, higher income earners, and corporations–and lowering tax rates for those groups. According to Brookings, this will raise taxes on middle class Americans, but not on wealthier Americans. It did not, however, include the parts of Romney’s plan, just as broadly worded, for the record, that claims the tax adjustment will lead to a 9% rise in pay for workers, and will also cut the budget significantly. Why only part of a broadly worded plan was studied but the other parts weren’t is a matter for your conjecture.

Me, I’m waiting to hear more. I definitely like the ideas of simplifying the tax code, closing loopholes, and some leveling of the tax rate. To me that makes more sense than raising taxes, which is what the Democrats want to do, and if the ACA bill and other recent legislation is any indication, they won’t be careful about doing it. I don’t expect that Romney will just let this stand. Rather I expect he’ll be more specific about his whole economic plan, and that’s a good thing.

About Woke Lola

Bitch, please.
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17 Responses to Shift From Tax Returns to Tax Plans

  1. The most ridiculous part of this tit-for-tat is the spat over Looney.

    Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, criticized one of the report’s three authors, who had previously worked in the Obama White House.


    The Romney campaign hasn’t always criticized the Tax Policy Center, which it cited in a November email for providing an “Objective, Third-Party Analysis.”

    Just because an organization produces some less biased reports does not mean everything they produce is unbiased. And letting Looney anywhere near this study was a violation of research protocols. They had to know that. A Clinton official, sure, but a former Obama employee? No, not according to prevailing protocols.

  2. crawdad says:

    I don’t trust anything I read between now and November.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    Lola – check your Lola email

  4. myiq2xu says:

    According to Twitter the Chick-fil-A boycott has backfired.

    I said I thought it was a mistake.

  5. Remember this guy?

    He’s one of the two Republicans who refused to vote to hold Holder in criminal contempt a few weeks back. (he did vote for civil contempt, ftr)

    Now he’s retiring and trash talking Republicans on his way out the door. Guess he caught a lot of flack for that vote. But he came in on Gingrich’s revolution, and those folks were just as hardline as Tea Partiers are today. He’s forgotten.

  6. angienc says:

    Considering the “Romney might be a felon” lie plus the new Harry Reid “Somebody told somebody who told me tha Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years. His poor dead father must be turning over in his grave” smear, I’m going to automatically assume that anything and everyhing Obama says about Romney is untrue.
    And that goes for the moron Obots/ anti-Romney people too. You know the idiots who can state the only way a person can have $250 million is by stealing it, who obviously don’t have the first dogdammned clue how property rights works and who can’t comprehen the difference between a private equity firm and corporate raiders — you know, the kind of stupid you’d have to be to buy what Obama is selling.

  7. yttik says:

    Obama’s tax cuts have been just fabulous! By keeping everybody unemployed and facing foreclosure, we’ve been able to reduce our tax burden dramatically. Less income coming in, less taxes going out.

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