Independent study finds Romney’s tax plan would shift burden to middle class and poor

The headline may come as no surprise to many of you, dear readers, but it’s always nice to be able to point a Romney fan to an unbiased study which shows that his proposals are, quite frankly, full of shit.

Romney wants to cut income taxes by 20% overall – there would be reductions on income tax for everyone. Sounds great, right? Of course, this would suck a lot of money out of the coffers, so he plans to offset those losses by cutting unspecified tax breaks.

According to the study, the Romney tax cuts would produce a $360 billion revenue loss in 2015, and offsetting that would require a reduction of 65% of all available tax expenditures.

Such popular tax breaks include deductions for mortgage interest and state income taxes, the exclusion from income of employer-paid health insurance and lower tax rates on capital gains.

Basically, this would drive up prices on housing and medical care. Didn’t we just leave this party? Also, you may not even be aware you get a break on your Federal taxes for your state income taxes, but if you vote for Romney and then wonder why in a couple of years you’re not getting tax refunds anymore… yep, you were warned, so shut up.

This is something Republicans have always been good at. Back in the 80s, you could deduct credit card interest, car loan interest and loans for vacations, but Reagan gave us a tax cut and took away those deductions. The net result was that the middle class had less money in hand, but you had to know what was going on to figure it out, and everybody was on coke. Now nobody can afford coke, cars or vacations, and like half of us are unemployed, so you’d think people might find the time to do a little math on that one. Nope?

Fortunately, you don’t need to do the math. Someone did it for you:

The end result is that individuals who make less than $200,000 would actually have to pay $500 more, on average, in taxes — a 1.2% decrease in after-tax income, the study found.

Meanwhile, the after-tax income of individuals who make more than $1 million would increase by 4.1%.

There you go. Try to keep that in mind, folks. I know it’s harder to process than an emotionally charged soundbyte, so let’s convert it into one: Romney will make you poorer. Romney hates you. Romney wants to stick his big greedy slimy hand in your wallet and break your piggy bank.

If anyone comments that I’m a liberal and shit, it won’t get through, okay? Because I hate both parties. They’d both as soon shoot me as look at me, and I know it. But at least I’m not some simpering fool who thinks the Republicans gonna make me rich, or the rich gonna give me rich like a communicable disease if I just suck up to them enough. No, given the choice between a party that wants to steal all my money and chain me in a barn for procreative purposes and a party that just doesn’t quite get it, I’ll take “doesn’t get it” any day of the week and twice on Sunday. So shut up, theoretical commenter who’s going to open up a big can o’ whoop-ass if they don’t remain theoretical.

By the way, Romney’s camp says the study is flawed because it failed to take into account how much more money the US would make by lowering corporate income tax. Yes, you read that right. I assume it’s something like “if we cut their taxes, they’ll have more money to spend, so they’ll make more money, so we’ll get more tax income.” See also: the Underpants Gnomes.

Let’s face it. Trickle down doesn’t work:

  • Rich people are less likely to spend their money – particularly in the US. They hoard it and spend it abroad and get disgusting truckloads of freebies. And good for them, but don’t be telling yourself they’re going to shower money on you.
  • Corporations have decimated the number of jobs available per capita – they’ve outsourced and automated until entire sectors have dried up and blown away. Hell, entire towns.

The truth is, the pyramid’s getting pretty top-heavy. All the money’s at the top, and the people at the bottom are financially destabilized. The sustainable way forward is to fortify the lower economic classes so they can spend all that money collectively wield right here on US soil, creating the need for jobs to get the goods to them and all that jazz.


  1. sbg says

    This is a tangent, but I feel like it’s super appalling that the birthers went on for years about Obama releasing his birth certificate, only to claim it was faked when he finally capitulated to that stupidity (he’s capitulated to too much stupidity, IMO) and meanwhile Romney failing to provide tax statements from the one year he was required to disclose everything doesn’t bother many people to the same frothing obsession.

  2. says

    sbg, ‘s a good tangent, though. I heard someone discussing on the radio that there was some kind of amnesty for people who’d been breaking the tax laws and wanted to square it. That seems to be the leading theory for why Romney is so averse to giving up his 2009 tax records.

    This is not somebody you want deciding how your tax system’s going to function. Romney is yet another argument for why any church that involves itself in government should pay its taxes like everyone else.

  3. Gabbie says

    OK, ‘scuse the Aussie here, but is it just me thinking Romney sounds even stupider than the McCain/Palin ticket? And why should the US be leader of the free world under such idiocy?

  4. says

    Gabbie, it certainly looks that way, but it’s important to remember there’s no lack of brains behind any of these seemingly stupid political strategies. Voters are lazy; they prefer getting all riled up about a single issue and basing their vote on that to researching their options fully and making a thoughtful decision. I don’t know if Bush was as dense as he seemed or if Romney is as out of touch with reality as he seems, but it doesn’t matter. Someone behind them is using these strategies because they work.

    No one’s done a fantastic study to figure out exactly why so many people support the rich even when doing that runs counter to their own well-being, but I suspect it just makes them feel sophisticated. Voting for the stinking rich is as close as they’ll ever get to having an actual relationship with the stinking rich.

  5. Cheryl says

    No surprise, just a deeping of the helplessness and anger I feel over the shit the GOP continues to pull, and an increase in my desire to move overseas, to the UK or Down Under.

  6. sbg says


    We’ve also been in nearly four years of extreme and growing division, for which everyone blames Obama. Funny how one man can turn brother against brother! It has nothing to do with our own hateful behavior and/or internalized racism.

  7. sbg says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Amnesty! That’s what I was looking for, and, yes, it was 2009. EVERYTHING is in those records and he wants no one to see it. As if his plainly visible extreme wealth isn’t enough… Sadly, I have to wonder if anyone would bat an eyelash to see everything, or if they’d just nod and say something ridiculous like, “There have to be poor people and rich people! That’s how it works. Good for him for earning all of that.”

    Missing the point that he didn’t earn it all, and he didn’t report it all, and he didn’t pay taxes or create jobs from this hidden wealth.

  8. says


    You horrid unpatriotic person, talking about wanting to move to another country! That talk is only acceptable if you want to move to avoid paying taxes! You disgust me! 😉

    sbg: Missing the point that he didn’t earn it all, and he didn’t report it all, and he didn’t pay taxes or create jobs from this hidden wealth.

    That is just exactly it. People just don’t think. Yes, some rich people really did work hard and did smart things, but a lot just had it handed to them. And guess what? Some middle class and poor people work really hard and make the smartest choices among the limited set available to them, and nobody’s impressed. Why not? Because it’s easier to measure the ends than the means?

    I just get so disgusted with humans. I mean, crows in Japan figured out they could drop a walnut in a pedestrian crossing, and one of those car things would drive over it, and they could retrieve their treat when it was the pedestrian’s turn. Within a year or so, crows in Brazil were doing it too. Sheep all over the world have similarly figured out how to roll over a cow grate to get loose. At the rate they’re figuring shit out and we’re declaring all critical thought to be “elitist!”, I reckon squirrels will be our overlords by about 2038. It’s not that we aren’t as smart as crows or sheep, it’s just that we’re too goddamn fucking lazy to trouble our brains.

  9. says

    sbg, before you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, you’d have to have your own boots. We don’t all start off on the same yard line. Some of that’s just life, but people need to adjust their expectations accordingly. Romney’s had everything handed to him, and all he can do is try to grab some more. Most of us here, OTOH, had significantly less handed to us, and even just our participation on this site constitutes a greater public service than anything Romney’s ever done.

  10. firebird says

    Everything I’ve read says the Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan and their analysis seems rigorous. I say that, because Romney has denounced this analysis of his tax “plan” as liberal and unfair. But what’s really fun is he praised the exact same institution as fair and balanced when they came out with a similar report on Perry during the primary.

    I also heard on NPR an interview with someone who explained how the Tax Policy Center people did the study. Romney – like most candidates – hasn’t been specific about what he would exactly do. He’s said he would cut the tax rates, but that he wouldn’t increase the deficits in doing so, and when pressed, he has said he would do away with deductions and credits to balance out the cuts. They took the rate cuts he has specified and started with deductions at the top and went down the line doing away with deductions until they balanced out the rate cuts. So they took away every deduction from the ones affecting the richest on down until they balanced out the rate cuts – Romney hasn’t been specific about what he would cut out, and to be honest, he probably wouldn’t cut out deductions because people would scream about their favorite deductions (or cut programs for needy rather than cutting tax deductions for anyone). Likely he would just run bigger deficits, and claim that the money would just come in magically because with lower rates people will make more money and pay more instead of less overall in taxes – I have libertarian friends who try to prove this with complicated tables of figures every couple of months. Unfortunately these same people refuse to believe anything on the internet is capable of being true and instead believe Fox News is the purveyor of truth and that anything printed in a book is true, while government websites are full of falsehoods and lies, so they are impossible to talk to about the subject.

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