Political Animal


April 16, 2012 2:10 PM The Brutal Numbers Behind Romney’s Tax Proposals

By Jesse Singal

There’s a really informative piece up at TPM about how Mitt Romney’s tax plans simply don’t add up:

Romney’s tax cuts are projected to cost the federal government $5 trillion over 10 years, on top of the $4 trillion 10-year cost of making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Existing deductions and exemptions in the tax code, all together, reduce receipts by about $1 trillion per year, according to estimates.
Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said all the deductions Romney proposed to scrap “would pay for less than 20 percent” of the $5 trillion cost of his tax plan. “The deductions he unveiled would raise less than $1 trillion,” he said.
Romney’s mortgage interest proposal would yield “probably less than 1 percent of the total cost” of his tax cuts, Marr said, while axing the state and local deduction for everyone, which would be very difficult to enact politically, would yield about $800 billion to $900 billion over 10 years. “So that’d be a major step but still pay for a small share of his tax cuts,” Marr said.

It’s been said before, but it’s pretty remarkable how far the Romneys of the world will go, how much fiscal damage they’re willing to unleash, just to make sure that rich people’s taxes don’t go up appreciably.

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.


  • T2 on April 16, 2012 2:33 PM:

    seems to me that the entire reason the GOP exists is to keep taxes low on rich people. I don't know what kind of money is behind Grover Norquist, but he sure runs the roost.

  • Rick B on April 16, 2012 2:51 PM:

    These Republicans are people who are still angry at the Civil Rights movement, the feminism movement and the current movement to give GLBTQ's equal rights. They blame the federal government for the results of those movements and for enforcing them on the states. So they are out to take all the federal government's revenue away and prevent them from interfering in the state's business - like segregation and anti-homosexual laws.

    You'll notice that as angry as they are about the federal government, they are giving the states new powers to block contraception, abortions and health care for women.

    Grover Norquist is the point man for the Koch mob trying to destroy the federal government.

  • boatboy_srq on April 16, 2012 2:53 PM:

    @T2: it's a two-fer. Taxes on "rich people" hurt them for being Successful[tm], Elect[tm] and Righteous[tm], and shredding the safety net for everyone else is good because if they deserved help they wouldn't be "poor."

    Captcha: "avetrice blockhead," - yep, that IS Romney/Ryan/Pick-a-GOP-wingnut.

  • jjm on April 16, 2012 2:59 PM:

    All he can think about is how to divert taxpayers' money from the people into the pockets of the rich.

    There is absolutely no other rhyme nor reason to his proposals, which aren't about governing, only about extracting and exploiting the huge revenue streams going to the government that he can't stand seeing 'going to waste' on the people, ordinary people.

    Someone on Benen's page just asked if this is Mormon Church doctrine? Apparently if a Mormon deviates even one tiny bit from its doctrine, they are ex-communicated and then, guess what? no planet to rule after you die.

  • Ron Byers on April 16, 2012 3:13 PM:

    You raise taxes on the rich people for the same reason Willy Sutton robbed banks. That is where the money is.

  • Hedda Peraz on April 16, 2012 4:04 PM:

    Over the doors to the Internal Revenue Service are inscribed the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

    Judging from the current state of society, we need more, not less, taxation.

  • hells littlest angel on April 16, 2012 4:46 PM:

    @T2: I would love to hear Democratic officials say, "We work for the people; the Republicans work for Grover Norquist." We need to take a play from the Republicans' book and thoroughly demonize Norquist, even if it makes Jon Stewart sad.

  • G.Kerby on April 17, 2012 12:08 PM:

    Very astute post, Rick B.

  • carl Davis on April 28, 2012 5:08 PM:

    "We can have democracy in America or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the very few but we can't have both." - Chief Justice Louis Brandeis

    When a nation decides it must go to war that means appreciable spending will occur. To counter this new spending an equally appreciable source of revenue must occur. (economics 101)

    Woodrow Wilson and FDR understood this basic economic premise but the "Republicans" of today apparently do not or they simply want America to fail.

    It has to be one reason or the other.

    Which one is it?