‘Romney Hood’ tax claims are wishful liberal thinking

Liberals have seized on a single study by the Tax Policy Center as proof that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would cut taxes for “the rich” and raise them on the rest of us. The study is a work of wishful liberal thinking.

First, it’s wishful liberal thinking because the study’s authors acknowledge Romney has not laid out his plan in detail. After reviewing Romney’s plans for cutting rates across the board by 20 percent, along with eliminating certain other taxes, the study states:

According to statements by Governor Romney and his advisors, the remainder of the plan will include policies to offset this revenue loss, although there are no details on how that would be achieved. (emphasis added)

Now, it may or may not be a good thing for Romney’s electoral prospects that Romney has yet to explain this part of his plan. It may or may not lead voters to believe his plan would “offset this revenue loss” by getting more money from them, via the closing of certain loopholes and elimination of certain tax deductions and exemptions that favor them. But it is clearly disingenuous to suggest one can demonstrate his unspecified plan would do so.

The study’s authors attempt to do so by making certain assumptions about which loopholes, exemptions and deductions Romney would cut. They justify these assumptions by explaining what it would take for Romney’s plan to be revenue-neutral — under a static scoring system. That’s key: A static scoring system assumes no growth comes about as a result of the policy changes in question.

But as an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal explains, not only does the historical record not support this key assumption of static scoring. Romney also explicitly does not rely only on base-broadening measures (though the editorial does point out that the Romney campaign “has been explicit in saying that the burden would fall most on higher tax brackets”). As the WSJ notes, his plan also includes an expectation that it would “increase revenues by increasing the rate of economic growth to 4%, up from less than 2% this year and in 2011.”

Now, one might criticize such an expectation as overly optimistic — though one would also have to note that the Obama administration has been (wrongly) forecasting just such a rosy future for 3.5 years now. But even if we accept the argument that Romney’s plan would not produce the growth needed to offset some of the rate cuts, the most reasonable conclusion, given what Romney has said about his plan, is that it would fail to be revenue-neutral. To suggest that the result would instead be middle-class tax hikes is to engage in partisan myth-making.

But that’s not where the wishful liberal thinking stops. The WSJ editorial explains:

Another reality is that more than one-third of Americans pay no income tax. Many in this group contribute payroll taxes, but for most their only connection to the income tax is to receive refundable tax credits (in the form of a check) that are effectively government payments. This is the basis for the Tax Policy Center’s wild claim that the Romney plan raises taxes on those who earn less than $30,000 — a group that now has a negative tax liability.

The claim is that reducing various refundable tax credits that are cash payments from the government are a “tax increase.” By this logic, reducing unemployment benefits or food stamps would also be a tax increase. Even the [Congressional Budget Office] and Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation acknowledge that refundable tax credits are government outlays not tax cuts. (emphasis original)

So, if one’s income-tax liability goes from, say, minus-8 percent to minus-6 percent, that’s now considered a “tax increase”? If that kind of thinking prevails, Washington truly cannot be fixed.

This wishful-liberal-thinking “study” is an exercise in redefining as many proposals and words as necessary to reach a desired conclusion, not a credible analysis.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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355 comments Add your comment

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:21 pm

there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.

See the pattern here? Mr Romney?

stands for decibels

August 8th, 2012
1:22 pm

So, if one’s income-tax liability goes from, say, minus-8 percent to minus-6 percent, that’s now considered a “tax increase”?

why not? I, fortunately, do not have to try to raise a family and make ends meet on such an income from my work. Millions, however, do.

Don’t tell me that it wouldn’t be a tax increase if they suddenly had a significant income shortfall, and had to cut back on even more of life’s essentials, if Mitt Romney were to succeed in implementing his plan.

Tell them.

Kyle Wingfield

August 8th, 2012
1:24 pm

stands @ 1:22: That’s the same Washington logic that says increasing spending by 3 percent rather than the scheduled 5 percent is a “spending cut.”

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:25 pm

Three months to go before election day and we still have NO DETAILS from Romney on anything. Does he think Americans will BLINDLY vote for a guy with no stomach for details?

Well, he’s right about 50% of the populace I guess.

Kyle Wingfield

August 8th, 2012
1:26 pm

Finn: And as I said, that’s a legitimate criticism of him. Claiming to forecast what his undetailed plan would do, however, is nonsense.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 8th, 2012
1:27 pm

Sorry Kyle.

The gloves are off this time. Obama will not allow himself to be ” Swift Boated ” like John Kerry.

We know the other side is going to lie and make stuff up.

Obama is not going to take it and has thrown the first punch. Good for him.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:28 pm

So I have $400 a month to live on with a family of 4 and, after I elect Mitt, I will have $300 a month to live on?

Maybe you conservatives try once in a while to explain stuff in terms that your constituents can understand??? It’s not that difficult but I understand your desire to keep them stupid.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 8th, 2012
1:29 pm

100 or so days till the election and he still has not laid out a plan.

He is trying to run out the clock without taking a position

It isn’t going to work.

JKL2

August 8th, 2012
1:29 pm

Kyle- This wishful-liberal-thinking “study” is an exercise in redefining as many proposals and words as necessary to reach a desired conclusion, not a credible analysis

These are the people who came uup with obamacare. Simply keep adjusting parameters until you get the number you like. Reality means very little to these people.

Kyle Wingfield

August 8th, 2012
1:30 pm

Finn @ 1:28: Nice exaggeration.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:30 pm

That’s the same Washington logic that says increasing spending by 3 percent rather than the scheduled 5 percent is a “spending cut.”

Kinda sorta like saying supply creates it’s own demand.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

August 8th, 2012
1:31 pm

“Now, it may or may not be a good thing for Romney’s electoral prospects that Romney has yet to explain this part of his plan.”
.
They don’t call Romney…..”Fee Fee” or..”John Kerry Jr” for nothing.
That’s how a full-blown statist rolls.
.
You “less of two evil” dummies get what you deserve.

JKL2

August 8th, 2012
1:31 pm

Finn- Does he think Americans will BLINDLY vote for a guy with no stomach for details?

Obama says,”What?”

Keep voting based on skin color. I guess it’s working for you…

retiredds

August 8th, 2012
1:33 pm

Kyle, the key word in your article is “mythmaking”, and both the Democrats and Republicans have cornered the world on that notion. To believe that mythmaking is the domain of the opposing party is … well … mythmaking.

JKL2

August 8th, 2012
1:34 pm

cheesy- Obama is not going to take it and has thrown the first punch.

It’s all he can do. Isn’t like he is going to try and campaign on his record. His best chance is character assassination. Democrat playbook 101.

jconservative

August 8th, 2012
1:34 pm

“As the WSJ notes, his plan also includes an expectation that it would “increase revenues by increasing the rate of economic growth to 4%, up from less than 2% this year and in 2011.”

I trust we will not continue to base spending on such fiction, the projected economic growth.

Well I do not trust, I guess I pray. With the inability of Congress to agree on the time of day I hold out little hope that an actual plan will be sent to the President, whoever he is, for signature.

.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:37 pm

That’s right Cheesy – the Cons are upset they aren’t dealing with a Kerry or a Dukakis. Instead they are dealing with the campaign/election team that opened a can of Whoop on the formidable Clinton campaign/election team.

Let’s offer them some cheese with their whine!

stands for decibels

August 8th, 2012
1:37 pm

That’s the same Washington logic that says increasing spending by 3 percent rather than the scheduled 5 percent is a “spending cut.”

I get your point, and I get that it could be more honestly expressed as, say, “leaving you with 2,000 dollars less per year”, but I guess I have a hard time going any further than that. This is hardball, not beanbag, and given what the other side routinely dishes out rhetorically I wouldn’t be inclined to soften up the language if I were working for Team Obama.

SlickRick

August 8th, 2012
1:40 pm

Kyle’s conclusion, as applied to him:

“Conservative punditocracy and whatnot is an exercise in redefining as many proposals and words as necessary to reach a desired conclusion, not a credible analysis.”

Filter

August 8th, 2012
1:41 pm

If Romney does not want this sort of “wishful liberal thinking” then he should man up and publish some details about what he plans to do. This is a man that has believe, in effect, campaigning to be President for eight or more years and he cannot detail his tax plan in August before a November election.

This isn’t media bias and if the attack is unfair then put out some specifics other than “trust me.”

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

August 8th, 2012
1:43 pm

It’s all he can do. Isn’t like he is going to try and campaign on his record.

Actually that will come later. He will show how much of a turd of an economy he inherited and how he put the wheels back on the road.

Getting bin laden will be mentioned. As will saving jobs and the auto industry.

JamVet

August 8th, 2012
1:45 pm

Now, it may or may not be a good thing for Romney’s electoral prospects that Romney has yet to explain this part of his plan.

Great Caesar’s ghost, Kyle! How could it be a good thing?! Informed voters want specifics. They want information, In black and white, that can be corroborated and verified.

NOT flip-flopping grandiose proclamations.

As the WSJ notes, his plan also includes an expectation that it would “increase revenues by increasing the rate of economic growth to 4%, up from less than 2% this year and in 2011.”

Hmmmm. That’s sounds kinda familiar.

Oh yeah, it’s been part and parcel of Republican economic “strategy” (LOL) since The Anointed King of Trickle Down first used it!

Old man Bush was right – voodoo economics.

No sale…

stands for decibels

August 8th, 2012
1:46 pm

Actually that will come later.

Actually, Obama’s adverts and stump speeches and web pages already point to accomplishments.

I’m not sure where anyone gets this “he can’t run on his record” folderol.

MiddleClass

August 8th, 2012
1:47 pm

Filter, you are 100% correct. How much time does Mr. Romney need to put a plan into place? If he takes this long to create a plan, I guess we know it would never be implemented.

One year??? Two years?? or Five or More?????

Will the “real” Mitt Romney please tell us his plan?????????

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:47 pm

Mitt’s shopping list the other day is the only concrete thing we really know about him and his plans.

Just sayin’.

Tealiban Party

August 8th, 2012
1:47 pm

“….Romney has not laid out his plan in detail.”

Romney has not defined anything about his candidacy or his plans if he becomes president. That is one of his biggest problems.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 8th, 2012
1:52 pm

I heard Romney knows how to cure cancer but won’t share unless he is elected president..

Details to follow…….

ghostcommander

August 8th, 2012
1:53 pm

Amazing! The Taxc Policy Center is not the only group that has critiqued Romney’s so-called tax plan.
What is Kyle Wingfied doing by using Rupert Murdoch’s Wall St. Journal as a source to reinforce his conclusion.
Don’t you realize the Romney’s think that “You People” should just accept anything they say and be satisfied with that.

[...] Read More… [...]

SlickRick

August 8th, 2012
2:00 pm

ghostcommander – Kyle is nothing more than a conservative hack; he provides it daily (and sometimes more than just once per day). Lord help us.

SheeshLouise

August 8th, 2012
2:00 pm

Romney: ” I HAVE A PLAN!…”

Oh sorry, that was John Kerry. Same thing.

SheeshLouise

August 8th, 2012
2:04 pm

Romney commercial:

“Mitt Romney will increase jobs, and see to it that wages increase” (paraphrased)

Really, do i get a magic genie lamp with that too Mitt?? You can’t make this stuff up.

Tealiban Party

August 8th, 2012
2:07 pm

The Romney Campaign in a nutshell:

I am a SEVERE CONSERVATIVE. Just pay no attention to my views and opinions of X number of years ago, but I am a conservative. I have no plans, and no details, but I oppose everything Obama does, so that makes me a SEVERE CONSERVATIVE.

JamVet

August 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

Oh sorry, that was John Kerry.

Romney is the only politician in my lifetime who actually makes Kerry look like the Rock of Gibraltar.

Unprincipled and spineless, the man will say anything – even reinventing himself on the spot – to get a few more votes.

No wonder that even the Republicans can’t stand him.

Unfit to lead.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.
there are no details on how that would be achieved.

See the pattern here? Mr Obama?

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

“We know the other side is going to lie and make stuff up.”

Funny how ignorant left wingers always forget that the Swift Boat Vets actually served with Kerry.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

“Unprincipled and spineless, the man will say anything – even reinventing himself on the spot – to get a few more votes.”

Sums up Obama quite well.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:10 pm

““Mitt Romney will increase jobs, and see to it that wages increase” (paraphrased)”

Obama said the same thing.

Shine

August 8th, 2012
2:12 pm

Well I am no liberal so what are the specifics of his tax plan? I am no liberal and I want to know what Mitt Romney is ashamed of in his tax returns. If Romney doesnt answer then it leaves me and people like me little choice but to go with the speculation and vote to reelect Obama.

JDW

August 8th, 2012
2:12 pm

@Kyle…”Claiming to forecast what his undetailed plan would do, however, is nonsense.”

Not really…there are only so many ways to squeeze a balloon. If you cut tax rates by 20%, increase GDP growth to 4% you still have to eliminate tax expenditures to fill the gap to remain revenue neutral. Just because Romney, as usual, has omitted the specifics it doesn’t take a genius to come up with the menu and model the results…

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:12 pm

“Liberals have seized on a single study by the Tax Policy Center as proof that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would cut taxes for “the rich” and raise them on the rest of us. The study is a work of wishful liberal thinking.”

Libs don’t even understand the tax code let alone how much a person is taxed. Romney paid more in taxes in one year than every one of us on this blog combined.

Obama is over

August 8th, 2012
2:12 pm

Cheesy Finn,

So Obama’s first punch is a partisan study from a liberal think tank that has been against tax cuts for years? Even Keynesians would argue that the Obama tax increases (aka the expiring Bush tax cuts) would be idiotic in a recession. Romney issued a 52 point plan over a year ago. Then there is the Ryan plan and the Obama ordered Simpson-Boyles plan and of course the Reid/Pelosi/Obama Federal budget plan (or lack thereof) .You seem to be more concerned about Romney’s tax returns than the economic health of the entire country. If Obama were head of the Olympics, every athlete would get a medal because it isn’t fair for the poorer countries to have to compete with the U.S., Russia, and China who are faster, smarter, and make more money. “You didn’t earn that” defines Obama’s poltical philosophy and plans for the future of America. The Obama campaign has spent twice as much on negative advertising as Romney, yet Obama still can’t get over a 50% approval rating from a poll that doesn’t rely on tainted sample pools. Americans have been so disgusted with some of the Obama negative campaign messages that the DCCC had to publically apologize last week.” In press statements issued on June 29 and July 2, 2012, the DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party. This was wrong. The statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them. The DCCC extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in an unusual statement released on Thursday afternoon. Wash. Post 8-2

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:13 pm

“I am no liberal and I want to know what Mitt Romney is ashamed of in his tax returns. ”

I want to know where you got the idea that Romney is ashamed of his tax returns.

JDW

August 8th, 2012
2:14 pm

@JKL2…”His best chance is character assassination. Democrat playbook 101.”

Actually that was Republican playbook 101 as implemented by Newt, Saxby, Duhbya and now Mittens…Obama has simply chosen to fight fire with fire.

getalife

August 8th, 2012
2:15 pm

willie robme’s numbers are tanking because of his horrible summer and refusing to show his papers. Raising taxes on the middle class is a sure loser.

“Poll: Pessimistic Voters Don’t Blame Obama For Country’s Woes” Aol.

Sane Americans do not expect a booming economy after a collapse.

Thank you sane Americans.

SheeshLouise

August 8th, 2012
2:16 pm

Go ahead and vote for me for President. To earn your vote I will:

Cut all foreign aid by 50%.
Reduce our land based nuclear arsenal by 35%
Give amnesty on the first 25 cents of every dollar repatriated into the U.S.
Uphold the traditional definition of marriage, but recognize legal domestic partnerships between same sex couples, with survivor/insurance benefits, etc.
Cut defense spending by 20% and eliminate no-bid contracts.

See, I have just offered the American people MORE of a plan than Mitt Romney has, and I just did it with the $37 dollars I have in my campaign “war chest” (AKA my pocket). I’m SheeshLouise, and I approve this message.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:16 pm

“Three months to go before election day and we still have NO DETAILS from Romney on anything. ”

4 years in and we have NO DETAILS from Obama about when he will create jobs and lower unemployment rates like he promised in 2008.

“If I can’t turn the economy around in my first term then I don’t deserve to be re-elected” – BHO

Well, we now know the moron is also a liar as well.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:17 pm

““Poll: Pessimistic Voters Don’t Blame Obama For Country’s Woes” Aol.”

Link please, getalife. Unless you want to get banned by Kyle.

Logic was never intended for libs

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

Most voters blame President Obama for the bad economy, a new poll revealed yesterday.
A 53 percent majority think Obama took the wrong actions and slowed down the economy, a poll by Pulse Opinion Research found for the Hill newspaper.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/bam_to_blame_on_econ_poll_GqZWSCGJqH7IcS6VbvVuIO#ixzz22yp6qaBK

JDW

August 8th, 2012
2:19 pm

From Bill Gale…

“what I want to emphasize is it’s a matter of arithmetic. It is not some incredibly fancy calculation.

It’s simply that, if you cut tax rates for high-income households, you lose so much revenue there, that you can’t make it up by shutting down the tax exemptions that high-income tax households have”

It’s not rocket science folks it’s a mathematic impossibility…just like amassing a $100 million 401K using only legal means.