On Meet The Press this morning, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claimed that his tax plan — which provides a 20 percent tax cut for all Americans — would not “reduce the tax burden” on the rich, even as he has touted the plan as a tax cut for everyone and independent analyses show that it would, in fact, provide a massive tax break to the wealthiest Americans:
GREGORY: Give me an example of a loophole you will close?
ROMNEY: Well I can tell you that people at the high end, high-income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they’d get a tax break, and I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers. I’m bringing down the rate of taxation, but also brigning down deductions and exemptions at the high end so that the revenues stay the same, the taxes people pay stay the same — middle income people are going to get a break, but at the high end the tax coming in stays the same…
Romney’s plan, in reality, would provide the very richest Americans a $264,000 tax break. It also maintains current tax rates on investments that are otherwise set to expire at the end of the year, and it eliminates the estate tax, paid by only the richest one-quarter of one percent of Americans.
Romney is apparently arguing that he will raise enough revenue through the elimination of tax loopholes that benefit the rich to totally offset the tax cut he provides them, though an analysis from the Tax Policy Center found that to be a mathematical impossibility. There simply isn’t enough revenue to be generated through the closure of those loopholes to offset the massive cost of Romney’s plan, and even if it was possible, Romney again declined to provide host David Gregory a single loophole he would favor closing.
Romney also repeated that he would both balance the budget and reduce taxes on middle-income Americans, another mathematical impossibility. To provide the full tax cut, Romney would have to either abandon his pledge to maintain current revenue levels or raise taxes on middle-class families by as much as $2,000. Doing both, as Romney asserts he will, violates elementary laws of arithmetic.