Tara Wall, an adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign who has proven unable to outline policy specifics before, struggled on Monday to specify a single loophole Romney would close to pay for his proposed massive tax cuts. Romney has said he would eliminate loopholes that benefit wealthy taxpayers to avoid increasing the deficit or raising taxes on middle income families.
Wall continued that tradition on MSNBC. When asked by host Chris Jansing which specific loopholes Romney would close, Wall demurred, instead choosing to talk about “pro-growth policies,” “energy independence,” and Obamacare, none of which are tax loopholes:
JANSING: What are the loopholes you would close? Will you tell the American people how you’re going to to this better place that you say they have?
WALL: Well, again, the campaign has laid out a number of specifics relative to the principles that will guide the policies of a Romney-Ryan ticket. […] Again, the specification include policies that are pro-growth in nature, that reduce the deficit, that reduce the burden on taxpayers and small businesses, small businesses number one have been hit hard by a number of regulations that have stifled growth and job creation. And so number one, those are some of the things you have to start with.
JANSING: Well, with all due respect, a pro-growth policy is not specific.
WALL: The other part of that is energy independence. That’s an approach to energy independence that will create millions of jobs. There is a target of 12 million jobs by the Romney-Ryan target. Relative to those loopholes that you mention, I agree that Congressman Ryan pointed out taht have to be put out in a public debate. But I think, again, we have to look at the overall principles that are going to drive the policies and not ram through policy as we saw with Obamacare.
Neither Romney nor his advisers want to answer the question about loopholes because they understand the math: even if politics were such that closing every loophole that targets the wealthy was a possibility, it wouldn’t offset the trillions of dollars in lost revenue that Romney’s plan would cause. That means, as a recent Tax Policy Center analysis made plain, that Romney would have to abandon one of his core campaign promises by either raising taxes on the middle class or blowing a huge hole in the federal budget.