GOP Strategist Says Romney Is Withholding Details Of His Tax Plan To Avoid Criticism

Republican consultant Mike Murphy, a former Romney strategist, said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that it is unfair to criticize Mitt Romney’s lack of specificity on how to pay for his proposed 20 percent income tax cut. Should Romney identify what loopholes he would cut to offset the tax cuts, Murphy argued, he would be criticized for doing so.

Murphy argued:

Here is the problem. You guys won’t give him any credit for closing loopholes, because like you guys, he won’t name the loopholes. Why? Because you’ll attack him for doing it. You attack him for not giving you a little target… and then you attack him when you get the target.

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Murphy’s argument is that if Romney is transparent with the American people about what tax loopholes he would close to offset the roughly $5 trillion such a 20 percent tax cut would cost — those proposals might be subject to scrutiny and criticism.


What sort of “loopholes” might Romney include? Murphy suggested perhaps it might include reductions in how much families with mortgages can deduct their interest payments from their taxes. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimates that those deductions save taxpayers an average of $559 annually.