CBS Face the Nation asked David Axelrod why he and the President are now calling Governor Romney a liar (“dishonest”) about his tax cut promise for everyone being deficit neutral … and yet don’t call President Obama a liar for his 2008 unfulfilled promise about cutting the deficit in half by the end of his term (didn’t happen) and closing Gitmo (didn’t happen.)
Why is one candidate promiser (Gov Romney) a liar and the other promiser (Pres Obama) is not?
Apparently when it is his guy (Pres Obama) who makes promises that are unrealistic and or unfulfilled, Axelrod doesn’t think it a lie. (As an aside, Axelrod went further and blamed Congress for failing to close Gitmo. He did not explain the 1/2 cut in deficit unfulfilled promise.)
When it is Axelrod’s OPPONENT (Gov Romney), the campaign promise is a lie and the Governor Romney a liar.
I’m gonna disagree with Greta here. This is not about a campaign promise, it’s about the effect of a proposal. A broken promise is only dishonest if you never intended to keep it. That’s not the issue here.
I am not a beancounter and I have not reviewed Mitt Romney’s tax plan, but as I understand it he plans to lower the top rate and eliminate some deductions, which he says would have the effect of being revenue neutral.
Some pro-Obama economists say this would be a $5 trillion tax cut. Romney denies this. I don’t know who is right but either way we’re talking about opinion rather than fact. It may be an educated, informed, professional opinion but nonetheless the outcome of the proposed plan is not an incontrovertible fact.
This is more like the Stimulus. When the Stimulus was being debated, Obama claimed it would have certain effects on the economy and on unemployment. It didn’t work out as promised, but I would not say that Obama was dishonest, just that his plan failed.
If Obama and his underlings want to attack Romney’s plan on the basis that it is a bad idea that’s fair game. But they have no reasonable basis to call him dishonest.
What is dishonest is for Axelrod to suggest that Romney blindsided Obama with lies about his tax plan. Here is the relevant exchange:
OBAMA: When it comes to our tax code, Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high, so I want to lower it, particularly for manufacturing, taking it down to 25 percent. But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States.
So all of this is possible. Now, in order for us to do it, we do have to close our deficit, and one of the things I’m sure we’ll be discussing tonight is, how do we deal with our tax code? And how do we make sure that we are reducing spending in a responsible way, but also, how do we have enough revenue to make those investments?
And this is where there’s a difference, because Governor Romney’s central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut — on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts — that’s another trillion dollars — and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn’t asked for. That’s $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign.
ROMNEY: First of all, I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They’ll do fine whether you’re president or I am.
The people who are having the hard time right now are middle- income Americans. Under the president’s policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. They’re just being crushed. Middle- income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a — this is a tax in and of itself. I’ll call it the economy tax. It’s been crushing.
At the same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric rates are up. Food prices are up. Health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family. Middle-income families are being crushed.
The second area, taxation, we agree, we ought to bring the tax rates down. And I do, both for corporations and for individuals. But in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions, so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.
And finally, with regards to that tax cut, look, I’m not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the — the revenues going to the government. 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.
But I do want to reduce the burden being paid by middle-income Americans. And I — and to do that, that also means I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans. So any — any language to the contrary is simply not accurate.
Save this link. When somebody tells you Romney lied, tell them to show you where it is in the transcript.
But you better sit down while you’re waiting.