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I keep thinking of that old saw about buying a pig in a poke. How arrogant is this? Ryan will deign to tell us what he has in mind for the rest of us after the election. Just like Richard Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam war! Good times!
I was talking to a journalist last night who told me he didn't see how Ryan was going to help Romney win. I told him I didn't think that was the point. I said I think the Republicans already expect Romney to lose, so Ryan is just bait to get out the screaming-meemie base for the down ticket races. I don't think it'll work, though, because Ryan is getting out our base, too - especially when he says insane crap like this:
WASHINGTON - The Romney campaign is willing to discuss its proposals on taxes "in the light of day," vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Tuesday evening -- just not until after the election.
Multiple tax policy analysts have concluded that Mitt Romney's tax plan -- to close loopholes and reduce taxes for the wealthy -- means higher taxes for most people in order for the math to work. Brit Hume of Fox News asked Ryan to counter that charge. "What we're saying is get rid of special interest loopholes and deductions that are uniquely enjoyed by the wealthy to lower the tax rates for everybody," Ryan said.
But lowering middle-class tax rates, if coupled with eliminating key deductions, could lead to an effective tax increase, the cornerstone of the analyses of Romney's tax plan. Hume pressed for specifics.
"That is something that we think we should do in the light of day, through Congress," Ryan told Hume, promising to "have a process for tax reform so that we do this in the front of the public. So no, the point I'm trying to say is, we want feedback from Americans about what priorities in the tax code should be kept, and what special interest loopholes we want to get rid of."
One of the "loopholes" that costs the IRS the most money is the mortgage interest deduction. Another relates to municipal bonds. Hume asked Ryan if either would be on the chopping block. Ryan refused to say.
The mortgage deduction is enjoyed by millions of homeowners and is the primary policy by which the government encourages homeownership. Taxing municipal bond interest would drive up the cost of borrowing for local governments substantially.
Ryan's refusal to lay out the ticket's tax plan is in line with Romney's earlier resistance to specify which programs, beyond funding for Planned Parenthood, he'd be willing to cut. During his failed Senate bid in 1994, Romney was open about programs he'd be willing to cut, and faced a backlash. He has cited that negative experience in explaining why he now won't tell voters what spending he plans to eliminate.
Taking the basic contours of the tax plan that Romney has laid out, the Tax Policy Center concluded that for people making less than $200,000, Romney's plan leads to a tax hike.