Really, both parties are running on raising taxes. In fact this is the first time in a long time major parties are doing so. Obama is quite specific about letting the Bush cuts expire for the top two brackets.
The Romney campaign offered two responses to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis, one more misleading than the other.
First, the campaign called the analysis “just another biased study from a former Obama staffer.” That jab refers to Adam Looney, one of the study’s three co-authors, who served in a staff role on the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama. But the Tax Policy Center is directed by Donald Marron, who was one of the principals on George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. Calling the Tax Policy Center biased simply isn’t credible — a point underscored by the fact that the Romney campaign referred to the group’s work as “objective, third-party analysis” during the primary campaign.
Then the Romney campaign said, “The study ignores the positive benefits to economic growth from both the corporate tax plan and the deficit reduction called for in the Romney plan.” There’s a reason the study ignores those “positive benefits”: Romney has called for a revenue-neutral corporate tax plan that brings the rate down from 35 percent to 25 percent while also promising to balance the budget. He has not said how he will achieve either goal. Until he does, those positive benefits — if they exist — are impossible to calculate.
If Romney tries to pay for his tax cuts by reducing spending, the results, as the Tax Policy Center notes, would be even more regressive. Romney has promised to increase defense spending and hold benefits steady for the current generation of seniors. The only remaining big spending programs are those that help the poor; that’s where Romney’s cuts would have to be concentrated. Paying for tax cuts for the rich by curtailing programs for the poor is even more of a reverse-Robin Hood act than paying for tax cuts for the rich by cutting the tax expenditures (deductions and the like) of the middle class.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities produced its own analysis of Romney’s plan, based on an assumption that Romney pays for half of his tax cuts through spending cuts. The conclusion: By 2022, Romney would need to cut all non-defense, non-Social Security programs by 49 percent. That is not plausible, to say the least.
If the citizens’ representatives are elected by an increasing percentage of voters who pay no income tax, how long will it be before these representatives respond more to demands for yet more entitlements and subsidies from non-payers than to the pleas of taxpayers to exercise greater spending prudence?
As the LAT describes it, Mitt submitted one proposed reassessment, claiming their home on the beach in La Jolla had lost almost 45% of its value. After that didn’t work, they got a lawyer to submit a new appeal; he came up with a more modest claim that the house had lost 27% of its value in the first year, or 39% over two years. San Diego County responded by assessing the home had lost 7% of its value. And only after two more years of declining home prices did the county agree with Mitt’s lawyers amended appeal of a 27-29% loss.
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