Mitt Romney Shreds The Study That Tore Apart His Tax Plan: 'They Made Garbage Assumptions'

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Mitt Romney blasted a Tax Policy centre study that found his tax plan would effectively raise taxes on the middle class and cut them for higher-income earners, saying the researchers made “garbage assumptions” about his plan. Romney sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Fortune magazine. Here’s his harsh criticism for the centre’s study.

I indicated as I announced my tax plan that the key principles included the following. First, that high-income people would continue to pay the same share of the tax burden that they do today. And second, that there would be a reduction in taxes paid by middle-income taxpayers. Those are the key principles of my plan that the Tax Policy centre chose to ignore. Instead they made various assumptions about what they thought I would do which are not in fact accurate. They made an assumption that I would reduce the home mortgage-interest deduction. I will not do that for middle-income taxpayers, as I have already indicated. There’s an old expression in the computer world: garbage in, garbage out. They made garbage assumptions and they reached a garbage conclusion. My tax policy will continue to have a very clear direction. We are not going reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income individuals, and we’re certainly not going to increase the taxes paid by middle-income taxpayers. 

The problem: Romney doesn’t really offer many specifics to his tax plan, which was a major criticism from the TPC. The TPC went out of its way to be fair to Romney and found that under a revenue-neutral model, Romney’s tax plan is mathematically impossible.

The only new information he offers in this answer about his tax plan is that he would not reduce the home mortgage-interest deduction for “middle-income taxpayers.”

The part of his tax plan that Romney is always quick to offer up is the enticing claim that he will reduce marginal tax rates by 20 per cent. He slammed the TPC’s “assumptions,” but failed to offer, for example, what deductions he would eliminate and what loopholes he would close to make that plan revenue-neutral. 

The TPC study concluded that that Romney’s plan would end up cutting taxes by about $87,000 on millionaires under a revenue-neutral model. The top 0.1 per cent would see their after-tax revenue income rise by 4.4 per cent. Meanwhile, the study estimates that the bottom 95 per cent would see about 1.2 per cent less after-tax income. They’ll see taxes rise about $500, according to the study. 

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