Romney’s tax plan laid out
Mere weeks after their official nominations, Republican presidential and vice-presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have released more details of their tax plan.
Crafted to adhere to the historically conservative Republican fiscal platform, this blueprint is built on three foundational goals, according to the New York Times: cutting the marginal tax rate, being “revenue neutral” and not raising taxes on the middle class.
Under Romney, the top tax rate would fall from 35 to 28 percent under President Obama, and the bottom tax rate would fall from 10 to 8 percent. Estimates suggest these cuts would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars per year.
To make up the loss of this important revenue for the federal government, the Romney administration would investigate standing tax laws and eliminate many existing loopholes and credits.
The New York Times pointed out that every loophole and credit has rabid advocates — leading Romney and Ryan to clarify that they would leave some major credits, such as the home-mortgage interest deduction which saves taxpayers more than $99 billion each year and encourages the growth of the economy’s struggling housing sector.
In addition to these tax cuts and reform, Romney has stated quite clearly that he will not raise taxes on the middle class. The Obama campaign has criticized him for this stance since Romney announced his run for the presidency, stating that it is impossible to cut taxes on every class and still be revenue-neutral.
President Obama mocked it publicly, saying to a crowd in Palm Beach that Romney and Ryan “did not take their arithmetic course. They need to stay after school. They need to get some extra study hall in there. No recess for you.”
Vice President Biden warned crowds in the swing state of Ohio that, under Romney, the middle class could have to pay $2,000 more a year on their taxes.
“Folks,” Biden said, “when you give these kinds of tax breaks out to the very, very wealthy, the money’s got to come from somewhere. And guess who? You.”
Perhaps in response to the criticism, the Romney-Ryan campaign has been frustratingly silent on the specifics of this plan. Which loopholes and credits, specifically, would Romney cut or rewrite? To what extent would he enforce them?
“People at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions,” Romney told Meet the Press earlier this week. “I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high income taxpayers.”
To further clarify, Romney mentioned that the plan, written to balance the budget over a span of eight to ten years, was designed to encourage small business to increase employment.
Ryan also pointed out that his ticket wasn’t interested in cutting “some back-room deal” in terms of reforming the tax code, but would instead make the issue public, debating and working together with Congress to decide jointly what loopholes should or should not go.
President Obama is currently polling a few points ahead of Romney with the general election less than two months away.