From the get go simple math has exposed the ridiculousness of Mitt Romney's plan to increase defense spending, give massive tax cuts to the wealthy and cut the federal budget deficit. Even an eight year old should be able to figure this out yet it's apparently too advance a level of math for the GOP base. A new Tax Policy Center study - yes, the same group Romney cited when deriding Rick Perry - has analyzed Romney's tax policy proposals and found them to be a massive transfer of benefits from the working and middle classes to the very wealthy. Oh, and for added measure, the plan would increase government revenue short falls. In short, Romney's policy is smoke and mirrors for the cretins in the GOP base and a promise of massive benefits for the greedy wealthy. Here are highlights from the report:
This paper examines the tradeoffs among three competing goals that are inherent in a revenue-neutral income tax reform—maintaining tax revenues, ensuring a progressive tax system, and lowering marginal tax rates—drawing on the example of the tax policies advanced in presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Our major conclusion is that any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.This is true even when we bias our assumptions about which and whose tax expenditures are reduced to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible. For instance, even when we assume that tax breaks – like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance – are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality– the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households.Absent any base broadening, the proposed reductions in individual and estate taxes specified in Governor Romney’s plan would decrease federal tax revenues by $360 billion in 2015. These tax cuts predominantly favor upper-income taxpayers: Taxpayers with incomes over $1 million would see their after-tax income increased by 8.3 percent (an average tax cut of about $175,000), taxpayers with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 would see somewhat smaller increases of about 2.4 percent (an average tax cut of $1,800), while the after-tax income of taxpayers earning less than $30,000 would actually decrease by about 0.9 percent (an average tax increase of about $130) due to the expiration of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2009 and extended at the end of 2010.Offsetting the $360 billion in revenue losses necessitates a reduction of roughly 65 percent of available tax expenditures. Such a reduction by itself would be unprecedented, and would require deep reductions in many popular tax benefits ranging from the mortgage interest deduction, the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, the deduction for charitable contributions, and benefits for low- and middle-income families and children like the EITC and child tax credit.
And as the Washington Post notes, people like Romney are already paying a lower effective tax rate than most middle class families:
Romney certainly made a lot of money in 2010 — $21.7 million, according to his tax return — and yet his tax rate was about 13.9 percent. As we have noted before, he achieves this rate because much of his income is treated as capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at a preferential rate of 15 percent, and because he donates about 14 percent of his income to charity. (Reuters wrote an interesting article showing that Romney’s donations of appreciated stock to the Mormon church further shielded him from possible capital gains taxes.)
And who knows what ticking time bombs may be in the tax returns that Romney refuses to release. The man is all about greed and hoarding even more obscene wealth. Meanwhile, Romney expects the rest of us to subsist on dry dog food purchased in bulk at BJ's or Sam's Club.