President Obama plans to seize on a new report that shows presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s tax plan would shift more of the tax burden onto the backs of lower-income earners and away from the rich.
In a report released Wednesday, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says that in order to offset the loss of revenue from Mr. Romney’s proposed tax cuts, a slew of tax breaks that overwhelmingly benefit middle- and lower-income households would have to be eliminated.
The center concludes that Mr. Romney desire to cut taxes without adding to the deficit would “provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers” — a finding that dovetails with Mr. Obama’s message that the Republican is bent on protecting the rich at the expense of the “middle-class.”
“They found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, he’d have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on to pay for your home, or your health care or send your kids to college,” Mr. Obama told people at an event in Mansfield, Ohio.
“That means the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000. But here’s the thing — he’s not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids’ education. He’s asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut.”
The Romney camp brushed aside the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center report, dubbing it another “liberal” study, and blamed Mr. Obama’s policies for the nation’s tepid economic recovery.
“President Obama continues to tout liberal studies calling for more tax hikes and more government spending,” said Ryan Williams, Romney campaign spokesman. “We’ve been down that road before — and it’s led us to 41 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. It’s clear that the only plan President Obama has is more of the same. Mitt Romney believes that lower tax rates and less government will jump-start the economy and create jobs.”
Mr. Romney has called for extension of the Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003, a 20 percent across-the-board reduction in individual tax rates, and the elimination of taxes of the investment income of most taxpayers. He also wants to eliminate the estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” reduce the corporate tax rate and repeal the alternative minimum tax.
The report said that these changes would reduce revenues by $360 billion in 2015 and would require an “unprecedented” reduction in popular tax breaks, ranging from the mortgage interest deduction, to the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance and charitable deductions.