The Romney campaign has so far refused to clarify which tax deductions and loopholes it would eliminate in order to make its huge proposed tax cut for the rich revenue neutral. Despite repeated requests, the campaign and candidate have refused to budge, content to say that the tax plan “can’t be scored” due to its lack of detail.
And even Fox News has apparently had it with the campaign’s consistent dodging of this question, as Fox’s Gregg Jarrett repeatedly asked Romney policy director Lanhee Chen about it during an interview on Friday:
JARRETT: He’s not saying which of the loopholes and deductions and credits and exemptions he wants to close. That is huge. That’s significant. How can he not tell the American people those facts?
CHEN: Well, let’s back up for a second. This is a race about two dramatically different philosophies. [...] As you’ve said, they’re going to get rid of some of this underbrush, some of the deductions and some of the exemptions that are clouding our tax code.
JARRETT: But why won’t he explain how and which ones and by how much?
CHEN: Well, you know, a number of different bipartisan commissions over the years have told us exactly how we get there. The key is presidential leadership and that’s something that’s been lacking. That’s something that Governor Mitt Romney is going to provide in the White House.
JARRETT: But Mr. Chen, forgive me, you’re just not answering my question. So let me put it again: which loopholes and deductions and credits and exemptions the President’s going to get rid of would affect all Americans. Before they cast their ballot, don’t they deserve to know which ones are going, which ones are not, and by how much?
CHEN: Look Greg, Governor Romney’s been very clear that first of all we’re going to look to curb deductions for high-income taxpayers. And secondly, a lot of different deductions and exemptions are out there, we’ve got a lot of different ways to get there.
According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, even assuming that Romney eliminates all deductions and exemptions for high-income individuals, he would still have to raise middle-class taxes in order to pay for his tax plan. Romney, of course, is not going to completely eliminate all tax preferences enjoyed by the wealthy, so his plan will either raise middle-class taxes or bust the budget. And even Fox News, it seems, wants Romney to divulge the details sooner rather than later.