After facing months of criticism about whether he could successfully provide a 20 percent, across-the-board tax cut to all Americans while not adding to the debt, not giving the rich a tax cut, and not raising taxes on the middle class, Mitt Romney has finally admitted that he would need “flexibility” to make his plan work.
“There’s no question if you start off with that as the premise, the math fits the premise,” Romney told the Des Moines Register editorial board Tuesday. “Meaning, I don’t start off with the math and then say, ‘Oh, does this actually help or hurt?’ No, no. I start off with a very fundamental principle, which is we want to reduce the burden on middle-income taxpayers, and we’re not going to provide a tax break to high-income taxpayers. That’s the foundation. And then there’s flexibility as to how to do that.”
Romney has proposed various tax plans and outlined numerous principles his plan should uphold once it is in place, so ThinkProgress decided to put together a timeline of Romney’s tax proposals to see just how flexible he has been:
9/6/11: Romney’s First Tax Cut For The Rich
Promising not to cut taxes for the rich, Romney proposes a plan that would extend the Bush tax cuts, eliminate capital gains taxes for those making under $200,000, cut corporate taxes, and eliminate the estate tax. In all, it adds up to a $6.6-trillion cut that would have little benefit for the middle class, which doesn’t enjoy the same benefits from a capital gains cut as the rich.
2/22/12: Romney Introduces A New Tax Plan
Under pressure from conservatives, Romney scraps his first plan in favor of the current plan, which maintains the Bush tax cuts, provides another 20-percent rate reduction for all Americans, cuts corporate taxes, and eliminates the estate tax. Romney says he will eliminate unspecified tax loopholes and deductions to pay for the plan. Romney promises he won’t cut taxes for the rich. He also promises his plan won’t add to the deficit.
2/22/12: Romney Promises To Cut Taxes For The 1 Percent
After criticism from fellow Republican presidential candidates, Romney asserts at a primary debate that “we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent,” contradicting his previous assertion that he wouldn’t cut taxes for the rich.
3/1/12: Tax Plan Will Lead To $4.8 Trillion In Lost Revenue
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center scores Romney’s plan, finding that it would cost $4.8 trillion over the next 10 years. TPC does not take into account Romney’s plan to pay for his tax cuts, since he hasn’t yet proposed a specific way to do so. TPC found that Romney’s plan would give the average millionaire nearly $260,000 in tax cuts.