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Friday, September 14, 2012

Romney's 'Mathematically Impossible' Tax Plan

Jon Chait explains the latest Romney blunder as he retreats "into incoherence":

Romney: My Magic Tax Plan Will Repeal Laws of Arithmetic, by Jonathan Chait: Let’s stop this meme before it gets started. Mitt Romney did not say that a salary between $200,000 and $250,000 a year counts as “middle income.” I suppose you could say he asserted that if you used the truth standards of the Romney campaign — which allow you to clip phrases to change their meanings or even to present a person quoting something he disagrees with as his own position — but those aren’t truth standards I’d care to live by.
What Romney actually said, in his interview with George Stephanopolous, was that he would not raise taxes on people earning below that level. Here Romney is trying to wriggle out of a trap he blundered into. ...
What Romney’s doing here is retreating into incoherence. TPC examined his promises — cutting rates by 20 percent, not raising taxes on investment income, and not reducing revenue below Bush tax cut levels — and found they could only add up if you raise effective tax rates on income under $250,000 a year. Feldstein found the same thing, despite his partisan attempt to present his finding as a vindication of Romney.
Now Romney is saying he won’t raise taxes on any families earning less than a quarter million. But that just means his plan is completely mathematically impossible. ...
The basic problem for Republicans is that their highest policy priority is to cut the effective tax rate paid by the richest 1 percent of Americans, but the vast majority of the voters don’t share that goal. ... But Republicans care so much about this goal that they won’t give it up ... [and] this ultimately places them in the position Romney finds himself and Paul Ryan and George W. Bush have found as well — the only way they can get elected is to obscure the real trade-offs and make up a bunch of fake numbers.

    Posted by on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (16)

          


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