Another Sunday, and another week goes by where Mitt Romney is still refusing to give any details about his tax plan and which loopholes he'd supposedly close so the rich don't end up getting another tax break. As Think Progress noted a earlier this week, even the host on Fox was getting fed up with the Romney campaign failing to give specifics and as they wrote in their post about his proposals:
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.
But never mind that. Here was Romney himself spouting the same nonsense on Meet the Press: Romney Says He Won’t Cut Taxes on High-Income Earners:
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, said he’ll reduce the number of deductions and exemptions for high-income taxpayers.
Romney said he wants to bring down the tax rates while maintaining the revenues that the government collects. The goal, he said, is to not lower taxes on high income earners while lowering taxes for middle income earners by doing away with the taxes they would have to pay on interest, dividends and capital gains.
“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,” Romney said on “Meet the Press” airing on NBC today. “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.”
He said that he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income earners to reduce the nation’s deficit.
“My tax policy is designed to find a way to encourage more hiring in this country,” Romney said. “We encourage small business, because small business is able to keep more of what it makes and therefore hire more people, which is my priority.” [...]
The Republican nominee said he would balance the budget by the end of his second term as president. Doing so in the first term, would cause a “dramatic impact on the economy. Too dramatic.”
“We’ve put together a plan that lays out how we get to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years,” Romney said.
So that man who has spent decades of his life using every tax loophole and form of avoidance he could find to keep from paying taxes himself, now wants us to believe he's going to close those same loopholes for others if he's elected president. Gee, I can't imagine why anyone would have trouble taking him seriously.
Transcript below the fold.
DAVID GREGORY: So Governor, we talked last night about jobs and the economy and also the debt. And I want to begin there. You've called the debt and our deficit a moral crisis, and yet in addition to extending the Bush tax cuts you want to cut tax rates an additional 20%. You've rejected a 10 to one spending ratio when it comes to spending to increasing taxes. And, yet, you want to balance the budget. The math simply doesn't add up, does it?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, actually, it does. And the good news is that five different economic studies, including one at Harvard and Princeton and AEI and a couple at The Wall Street Journal all show that if we bring down our top rates and actually go across the board, bring down rates for everyone in America, but also limit deductions and exemptions for people at the high end, why, you can keep the progressivity in the code, you can remain revenue neutral and you create an enormous incentive for growth of the economy.
DAVID GREGORY: But you haven't specified where you'd cut loopholes in particular to make up the savings, because, in addition, you actually want to increase defense spending in addition to all of that.
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I want to maintain defense spending at the current level of the GDP. I don't want to keep bringing it down as the president's doing. This sequestration idea of the White House, which is cutting our defense, I think is an extraordinary miscalculation--
DAVID GREGORY: Republican leaders--
MITT ROMNEY: --in the wrong direction.
DAVID GREGORY: --agreed to that deal to the extend the the debt ceiling.
MITT ROMNEY: And that's a big mistake. I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it. The president was responsible for coming out with specific changes they'd make to the defense budget. It was supposed to have come out this last week. He has violated the law that he in fact signed. The American people need to understand how it is that our defense is going to be so badly cut.
My own plan, by the way, to bring down the rates of taxation while maintaining the revenues that come into the government is by making sure that we don't lower taxes on high income people. We're not going to have high income people pay less of the tax burden than they pay today. That's not what's going to happen. I do want to bring taxes down for middle income people. In particular I want middle income Americans not to have to pay taxes on interest and dividends and capital gains.
DAVID GREGORY: But Erskine Bowles, who is part of the Simpson Bowles commission, said that something's got to give. That your plan would not actually reduce the deficit. That indeed taxes would have to go up on the middle class. What gives if you're not right about your projections?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, because first of all I've got Princeton, Harvard, The Wall Street Journal and AEI all saying actually that we can bring down the rates. And if we limit or eliminate some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end, we keep the current progressivity of the code and we get the same revenue coming into the government. And one marvelous thing we get is more growth of the economy.
And my tax policy is designed to find a way to encourage more hiring in this country. I'm very concerned that we have 23 million people that are out of work or stopped looking for work or under-employed. And so everything I want to do with regards to taxation follows simple principles, which is bring our rates down to encourage growth, keep revenue up by limiting deductions and exemptions and make sure we don't put any bigger burden on middle income people. In fact, I want to lower the burden on middle income people.
DAVID GREGORY: But, Governor, where are the specifics of how you get to this math? Isn't that an issue?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, the specifics are these which is those principles I described are the heart of my policy. And I've indicated as well that contrary to what the Democrats are saying I'm not going to increase the tax burden on middle income families. It would absolutely be wrong to do that.
But you know I've had the experience of being a governor. I've demonstrated that I have the capacity to balance budgets. I balanced them four years in a row in Massachusetts and we cut the taxes 19 times in Massachusetts.
DAVID GREGORY: Give me an example of a loophole that you will close.
MITT 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 bringing down deductions and exemptions at the high end so 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. But we encourage small business, because small business is able to keep more of what it makes and therefore hire more people, which is my priority.