Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On the Romney Will Raise Your Taxes Line

This assertion (that a President Romney would raise taxes on the middle-class), made by President Obama and now by wd, is based on one single highly flawed and biased study by the Tax Policy Center (a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute). THAT'S IT! And get a load of this, folks, the people who did this "study" freely admit that they didn't even score Governor Romney's plan directly. HELLO!..............................................................................................So, what exactly IS Governor Romney's tax plan? It's actually quite similar to the Bowles-Simpson plan in which ALL tax rates are reduced and in which loopholes are either eliminated or reduced (a burden that will disproportionately fall on the wealthy). Now, it's true, Mr. Romney hasn't specified what exactly these loopholes will be (politicians generally DON'T tip their hands before an election) and that is a legitimate criticism (as is his assumption of a 4% growth rate - though Mr. Obama assumes this rate, too). But to assume that any short-fall in the revenue projection will de facto cause Mr. Romney to raise taxes on the middle-class is nothing but conjecture and the President should in fact know better....Yeah, yeah, I know, the ends justifies the means.

42 comments:

Mordechai said...

highly flawed and biased study ???


The Tax Policy Center, a joint venture between the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, is led by Donald Marron, a former economic official in the administration of Republican President George W. Bush.

Two of the authors worked for the Federal Reserve, the third, William Gale, was an economic adviser to Republican President George H.W. Bush.

The central tenet of the plan boils down to this;

The key intuition behind our central result is that, because the total value of the available [tax breaks and loopholes] (once [tax breaks and loopholes] for capital income are excluded) going to high-income taxpayers is smaller than the tax cuts that would accrue to high-income taxpayers, high-income taxpayers must necessarily face a lower net tax burden.

As a result, maintaining revenue neutrality necessarily necessitates a shift in the tax burden of at least $86 billion away from high-income taxpayers onto lower and middle income taxpayers.

This is true even under the assumption that the maximum amount of revenue possible is obtained from cutting [tax breaks and loopholes] for high-income households.


Either Romney isn't serious about the plan he laid out, and plans on breaking the promise he makes with the plan, or he is going to raise tax costs to the middle class, since he takes corporate taxes, capital gains taxes off the table and lowers the rates of the rich beyond what the loop holes they have can return with the elimination of said loop holes.

To quote Peter Gleckman;

Of course, Romney doesn’t have to raise taxes on the middle-class. He could fix this problem with less ambitious rate cuts on ordinary income, or by raising taxes on capital income. He could pay for his initiative outside of the individual income tax system by increasing corporate taxes—though he says he’d cut them. He could cut spending even more deeply than he’s already promised, though that would hurt low- and middle-income households too. Or he could just add to the deficit.

Thus, the right question to ask Romney is not whether he wants to raise taxes on the middle-class. The right question to ask is which of his campaign promises he will abandon.

dmarks said...

Mord forgot to mention the fact that the Tax Policy Center is a left-wing pressure group that is a project of a well known leftist group, The Brookings Institution.

I'd like to see what a centrist organization says. As Will says, this assumption is based on " is based on one single highly flawed and biased.

The fact remains that Romney's plan includes tax cuts on the middle class, not tax hikes. As Mord detailed, the claims that it's really tax hikes comes from assumptions and guesses, not facts.

Will summarizes this correctly: " But to assume that any short-fall in the revenue projection will de facto cause Mr. Romney to raise taxes on the middle-class is nothing but conjecture"

...and what Mordecai provides details how they arrive at these guesses and conjectures, that is all. But it proves that the middle class tax hikes are conjured out of the Tax Policy Center's imagination, and are not in Romney's plan at all.

w-dervish said...

dmarks forgot to mention that the Brookings Institution is a "well known leftist group" in his imagination only. In reality they are nonpartisan and have members who are Republicans as well as members who are Democrats.

We already know what a centrist organization says about Romney's tax plan that steals from the poor to give to the rich: The centrist/nonpartisan Brookings Institution issued a study that says "[Romney's] tax cuts predominantly favor upper-income taxpayers. Taxpayers with incomes over $1 million would see their after-tax income increased by 8.3 percent (an average tax cut of about $175,000)... while the after-tax income of taxpayers earning less than $30,000 would actually decrease by about 0.9 percent (an average tax increase of about $130)".

As far as this supposed "conjecture" is concerned: People in the real world call it math.

But flat-out denial is the typical Will Hart response when he's presented with facts about the class warfare being waged on the 99 percent by the wealthy. And tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by the rest of us most likely had dmarks jumping for joy.

Rusty Shackelford said...



WD,do you actually pay federal income tax.....now you notice I said federal income tax.

BB-Idaho said...

Whatever Romney's plan is , there is little detailed information. Am
reminded of Nixon's successful election based on his 'secret plan to end the war'.

dmarks said...

The Romney plan, WD, is in fact tax cuts for everyone...paid for by all of us paying less ( to use some of your words). And that doesn't sound too bad.

I researched the Brookings Inst... and yes it is left of center.

Mordechai said...

The question is not who the Brookings Institute is.

The question is who the Tax Policy Center is, since they were the study's author.

The Tax Policy Center is led by a republican economic official who worked by George W Bush, Donald Marron.

The study in question was conducted by two former officials from the Federal Reserve and a former economic advisor to president GHW Bush,


Interesting this gets ignored by some to try to spin the study for ideological gain.

Also interesting the fact Romney's economic plan does not add up is totally ignored except for those who did the study.

BB-Idaho said...

After a brief survey of conservative sites, there seems to be a agreement that the Tax Policy Center is biased. As more than one
explained, non-partisan = liberal.
Classic case of confirmational bias, IMO. Back in November, the
Romney campaign noted (of the Tax Policy Center, '..objective third party analysis of Governor
Perry's plan would raise taxes on
millions of families'. 'When they
agree with me, they are objective, when not, biased' is classic politics..and 2nd grade logic...

w-dervish said...

dmarks: The Romney plan, WD, is in fact tax cuts for everyone... paid for by all of us paying less (to use some of your words). And that doesn't sound too bad.

My words? You're the one who believes in the voodoo economic nonsense about tax cuts paying for themselves. It sounds extremely bad because it doesn't work. It's nothing more than self serving baloney.

dmarks: I researched the Brookings Inst... and yes it is left of center.

You have zero credibility on the issue of determing who is "left of center", you, an individual who believes that Obama and Clinton are/were "leftist" presidents, and that Conservative Democrat Jim Webb is Liberal. Now you're saying Republicans are "left of center"?!

I think BB-Idaho is right about your use of 2nd grade logic... or, more accurately, illogic.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

WD: both of those presidents are leftist when measured from the center. You are being stupid and uninformed two call Obama and Clinton, two liberal/leftists any sort of 'conservative'

And there is no man on Earth who is 'Conservative Democrat Jim Webb'. The real man Jim Webb is not a liberal from some wild guess of mine, but by comparing his conservative views vs his liberal ones. I already documented this quite well. And he is a lot more liberal than conservative.

As for Bb and Brookings and the tax pressure group, I surveyed liberal and centrist sites, I found the Tax Pollicy Center described as liberal quite often.
BB is usually better than this: his '2nd grade claim' is entirely false.

Sorry, BB. They are liberal because they are partisan, and because they are left of the political center (regardless of whether or not I agree with them). The silly lie of their talking about Romney's tax increases when his plan in fact has tax cuts is a good example of their partisan bias and lack of credibility. Will, a centrist, documents this well.

One can also look at how the people of the Brookings Institution donate to candidates. They give to liberals 98% and conservatives 2%. Check this article.

If Brookings were conservative, their donations would be the opposite.

The only one here doing the 'when they agree with me, objective. When not, biased' game is WD. He does it a lot. He frequently calls leftists he disagrees with 'conservative' just because he simply does not like them. I never do anything similar: I measure from the American political center, which I know happens to be to my left.

WD's own political viewpoint and 'likes' control and skews his viewpoint to the point of making him lie frequently about whether or not someone is liberal or conservative. I never do this.

I liked liberal Democrats Wellstone and Tsongas and Wolpe. And the Washington Post. I rather disliked/dislike Conservative Republicans Helms and Akin. And the Washington Times.

As for sources, I am informed enough to know that such sources, whether or not they agree with me, are usually biased. Objectivity is very rare, though some achieve it better than others. Or at least hide their bias better.

In general, when looking at whether or not something or someone is liberal or conservative, I only look at where they stand compared to the center, not my own point of view.

------------

WD said "My words? You're the one who believes in the voodoo economic nonsense about tax cuts paying for themselves. It sounds extremely bad because it doesn't work. It's nothing more than self serving baloney."

In actual fact, targetted tax cuts like this, in which the rulers steal less from the people, and as a result more money stays in the economy, have a historic track record not only 'paying for themselves', but resulting in strong increases in revenue. The cold hard fasts of the increase in money coming in for several years after the Bush middle-class tax cuts were enacted has been presented several times here.

If anything is voodoo here, it is your repeated insistence that the ruling elites stealing more from the people (tax increases) will help the economy at all.

w-dervish said...

dmarks is stupid and uninformed to call Obama and Clinton any sort of Liberals/Leftists when they are and were very clearly Moderate to Conservative Democrats.

There is no man on earth who is the "Liberal Democrat Jim Webb". I did not determine that the real man Jim Webb is a Conservative from some wild guess of mine, but by comparing his conservative views vs his liberal ones. Newsweek documented the fact that Jim Webb is a Conservative Democrat quite well in an 11/19/2010 article about Webb titled, "A conservative Democrat reassesses the political battlefield".

BB-Idaho's "2nd grade claim" is entirely true, as the Tax Policy Center is not Liberal or a "tax pressure group". Wikipedia notes that, "in 2002, tax experts who had served in the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton administrations established the Tax Policy Center to provide UNBIASED analysis of tax issues". Tax experts from two Conservative Republican administrations and from ONE moderate Democratic administrations did not come together to form a "Liberal" organization.

But they DARE criticize Mitt Romney's proposed tax plan, so dmarks is convinced they are "liberal". BB-Idaho said "When they agree with me, they are objective, when not, biased" and that very accurately describes dmarks' position on the Moderate Brookings Institute and the Moderate Tax Policy Center.

dmarks: They are liberal because they are partisan, and because they are left of the political center... The silly lie of their talking about Romney's tax increases... is a good example of their partisan bias...

They are nonpartisan. There is no "silly lie" concerning Romney's "steal from the poor to give to the rich" tax plan. They did the math.

dmarks: Will, a centrist, documents this well.

Will leans Conservative on many issues. This is one of them.

dmarks: One can also look at how the people of the Brookings Institution donate... They give to liberals 98% and conservatives 2%.

The Brookings Institute donates to Democrats because Democrats are the only politicians who are still Moderate; the Republican party having moved so far to the Right. But your denials regarding this are yet another example of how you have no clue about where the center is.

dmarks: If Brookings were conservative, their donations would be the opposite.

They would have to be Far Right Conservative to donate to today's Republicans. But they are neither Conservative nor Liberal, they are in the center... a space that is (today) only occupied by Democrats. There are almost no Moderate Republicans. The 98 to 2 donation ratio you gave sounds accurate for a Moderate group.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: The only one here doing the 'when they agree with me, objective. When not, biased' game is WD. He does it a lot.

I do it no more than the average person. You are the one who does it "a lot".

dmarks: He frequently calls leftists he disagrees with 'conservative' just because he simply does not like them. I never do anything similar...

[1] I've never done this. [2] You do this all the time. [3] You can't measure from the center, as you have no idea where the center is. I have documented this extremely well.

dmarks: WD's own political viewpoint and 'likes' control and skews his viewpoint to the point of making him lie frequently about whether or not someone is liberal or conservative. I never do this.

The opposite is true. You frequently refer to Moderate and Conservative Democrats as "Liberal", even though the facts clearly indicate they aren't Liberal at all. Now you're even lying about Republican tax policy experts from the GWb and Reagan administrations, insisting they are "Liberal" simply because they did the math and accurately concluded that Mitt Romney's tax plan would raise taxes on the 99 percent to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy.

dmarks: ...I only look at where they stand compared to the center, not my own point of view.

But, as I have well documented, you don't know where the center is. You ONLY look at where they stand compared to your own point of view. What you are claiming is laugh-out-loud demonstratively false.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: ...targeted tax cuts like this, in which the rulers steal less from the people, and as a result more money stays in the economy, have a historic track record not only 'paying for themselves', but resulting in strong increases in revenue.

There is no "stealing" taking place. We vote for the representatives that we agree with regarding levels of taxation. The bush tax cuts -- those I consider stealing (they stole from needed government programs that would have helped the 99 percent to give money to the wealthy). And all the money that went to "contractors" to "rebuild" Iraq... that was also stealing. All of this was stealing because bush wasn't democratically elected, but anointed by the Supreme Court.

And, your claim that tax cuts have a "historic track record not only paying for themselves, but resulting in strong increases in revenue" has been disproved completely. The bush tax cuts DECREASED revenue and added massively to the debt. As the Washington Post points out, "tax revenue has historically averaged 18 percent of GDP. [However] The average from 2000 to 2007... was 17.6 percent. By contrast, the average during the 1990's [during the years of Clinton's small tax increases] was 18.5 percent".

Also, the argument that the bush tax cuts spurred economic growth is false because "the economy [did not grow] at a better-than-expected rate". The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that "the 2001-2007 economic expansion was among the weakest since World War II with regard to overall economic growth".

dmarks: The cold hard fasts of the increase in money coming in for several years after the Bush middle-class tax cuts were enacted has been presented several times here.

The cold hard facts show the "increase" was due to inflation. Revenue would have been higher if not for the bush tax cuts. And these "facts" (as you call them) have never been presented here. You've made this bogus claim before, but you've never presented any "facts".

dmarks: If anything is voodoo here, it is your repeated insistence that the ruling elites stealing more from the people (tax increases) will help the economy at all.

The small tax increases under president Clinton that resulted in a booming economy proves it helps definitively.

dmarks said...

WD said; "There is no "stealing" taking place."

Actually, in an earlier comment here, you directly called the supposed tax increase "stealing".

I was only going on your vocabulary...

"The bush tax cuts DECREASED revenue and added massively to the debt. As the Washington Post points out, "tax revenue has historically averaged 18 percent of GDP..."

The Post cooked the numbers by dividing them by something else. When you look at the actual tax revenues during these years (without deceptively cooking the numbers), the actual revenue went up.

"You frequently refer to Moderate and Conservative Democrats as "Liberal"

1) I have never referred to any conservatives as "liberal". Ever.

2) I only call moderate Democrats liberal if they are centrist, but happen to fall on the left/liberal side of the divide. This makes these individuals who are near the center both liberal AND moderate.

"Now you're even lying about Republican tax policy experts"

No, I have told the truth about them. And in terms of the facts of Brookings political donations, chances are only one in 50 that someone from Brookings is a conservative.

dmarks said...

WD said: "dmarks is stupid and uninformed to call Obama and Clinton any sort of Liberals/Leftists"

I am informed on them. You are lying when you claim that these t two leftists are conservatives.

"But they DARE criticize Mitt Romney's proposed tax plan, so dmarks is convinced they are "liberal"."

Their lying and fabricating stuff about the Romney tax plan is something else. This liberal pressure group was liberal long before this.

"BB-Idaho said "When they agree with me, they are objective, when not, biased" and that very accurately describes dmarks"

It never does. You have no evidence of me ever doing this.

"There is no "silly lie" concerning Romney's "steal from the poor to give to the rich" tax plan. They did the math."

Romney's plan, which decreases taxes (stealing less, in your words) on the poor has nothing to do with your description.

"The Brookings Institute donates to Democrats...."

Actually, most Democrats are liberals, and most Republicans are conservatives.

"the Republican party having moved so far to the Right."

There is no evidence of this.

"But your denials regarding this are yet another example of how you have no clue about where the center is."

It is not something I make up. I respond to where the center is.

"They would have to be Far Right Conservative to donate to today's Republicans."

Yet, the far right is not in fact present in the national debate.

"But they are neither Conservative nor Liberal, they are in the center... a space that is (today) only occupied by Democrats. There are almost no Moderate Republicans."

The most famous Republican of the day is Romney, considered a moderate by most.

And the realiy is that there are as many moderate Democrats as there are moderate Republicans.

"The 98 to 2 donation ratio you gave sounds accurate for a Moderate group."

Correction: this group donates 98% Left and 2% Right. Makes it strongly left wing.

BB-Idaho said...

My comment addressed the Romney
campaign dismissal of the report
as biased, ignoring any technical rebuttal ...
Previously the campaign had
termed the Center's findings
'objective' when they reported
on primary opponent Perry's tax
proposal. A minor flip-flop, but
just typical of politics: rather
than debate any findings-simply
brush them aside...unless the findings are in agreement. This is
so ubiquitous in political argument, yet so transparently
obvious..that it reminds of 2nd
graders arguing. My opinion, that's all.

dmarks said...

BB: I doubted your 2nd grade reference was the insult WD interpreted it as. I knew the truth would come out in the wash. Good point on the Romney campaign's flip flopping.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: I was only going on your vocabulary...

You don't remember calling the collection of taxes "like pirates on the high seas"? I remember you saying this and I'm sure you do too, so your claim that "I was only going on your vocabulary" is BS.

dmarks: in an earlier comment... you... called the... tax increase "stealing".

Because raising taxes on the middle class and working poor to give a tax cut to the wealthy is stealing. Even if Romney can trick enough people into voting for him so it is done "democratically".

dmarks: The Post cooked the numbers... When you look at the actual tax revenues during these years... the actual revenue went up.

The numbers went up because of inflation! Revenues would have been higher if not for the bush tax cuts. Looking at revenues as a percentage of GDP proves that to be the case, and in no way is "deceptively cooking the numbers". You are the one guilty of doing that by mendaciously claiming an increase due to inflation can be credited to the tax cuts.

dmarks: I have never referred to any conservatives as "liberal".

You're changing the subject. We were talking about Conservative Democrats, which you deny even exist. You have lied about Conservative Democrats being Conservative. Jim Webb, for example.

dmarks: I only call moderate Democrats liberal if they are centrist, but happen to fall on the left/liberal side of the divide.

OK, so you're admitting you allow your personal biases to wrongly label Moderate Democrats Liberal. So much for your claim that you "measure from the center".

dmarks: ...in terms of the facts of Brookings political donations, chances are only one in 50 that someone from Brookings is a conservative.

They are moderate and give to moderates. Since there are very few moderate Republicans, most of their donations go to moderate Democrats by default.

dmarks: I am informed on [presidents Clinton and Obama]. You are lying when you claim that these two leftists are conservatives.

You are very misinformed, regarding even who we are speaking about. There have never been any presidents named Obama or Clinton who are "leftists", only two moderates.

dmarks: Their lying and fabricating stuff about the Romney tax plan is something else. This liberal pressure group was liberal long before this.

There was no lying or fabricating. They took the proposals Romney has put forward and did the math. Although perhaps you're referring to some other study conducted by some other group, as Brookings/TPI isn't liberal, they are centrist.

dmarks: You have no evidence of me ever doing this.

There is a lot of evidence that you believe "when they agree with me, they are objective, when not, biased". The evidence is your ridiculous claim (completely refuted by the facts) that Brookings/TPI is a "Liberal pressure group".

dmarks: Romney's plan, which decreases taxes... on the poor has nothing to do with your description.

Romney's plan increases taxes on all but the wealthy.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: (stealing less, in your words)

THOSE ARE NOT MY WORDS!! You're lying!! Taxes that are designed to transfer money from the middle class and poor to the wealthy is stealing. Taxes used to benefit "we the people" is not stealing because that is what taxes are supposed to be used for.

dmarks: ...most Democrats are liberals, and most Republicans are conservatives.

Most Democrats are moderates, while most Republicans are far Right radical Conservatives. The Republican Party has been moving to the Right for some time now. You are extremely uninformed to not know this.

dmarks: There is no evidence of [The Republican party moving to the Right].

The Tea Party and election of Tea Party types to Congress is evidence, as is the refusal of Congressional Republicans to work with the president, even rejecting a budget deal that gave them most of what they wanted.

dmarks: It is not something I make up. I respond to where the center is.

You made it up completely. You have no idea where the center is.

dmarks: ...the far right is not in fact present in the national debate.

It very much is, as I have already documented.

dmarks: ...Romney [is] considered a moderate by most.

He was "moderate" when he was governor of MA. He has since moved to the Right to appease the primary voters. He has reversed himself on most of the moderate positions he used to hold. Everyone knows this to be a fact. And he also chose someone from the far right as his running mate.

dmarks: And the reality is that there are as many moderate Democrats as there are moderate Republicans.

This is a laughably false assertion. There are hardly any moderate Republican politicians left in Congress.

dmarks: ...this group donates 98% Left and 2% Right. Makes it strongly left wing.

Correction: They donate to the middle because they are centrist. Because there are hardly any moderate Republicans left they can only give to moderate Democrats.

dmarks: I doubted your 2nd grade reference was the insult WD interpreted it as. I knew the truth would come out in the wash.

The truth is it still very strongly applies to you, even if BB-Idaho did not intend it to. And notice that he doesn't say it definitely does not apply to you, only that he was talking about Romney. You are disagreeing with their findings, and falsely labeling them liberal only because they dared to do the math and tell the truth about Romney's tax proposals.

dmarks said...

WD said "You're changing the subject. We were talking about Conservative Democrats, which you deny even exist. You have lied about Conservative Democrats being Conservative. Jim Webb, for example."

They exist, but Webb, with his voting record of being more liberal than conservative, is not one of them.

He's a liberal.

w-dervish said...

Name one.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

"We do not score Governor Romney's plan directly as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail." They admit that weren't able to score it and then they say that he's going to raise taxes on the middle class when he's never even once specified that. Now, one could feasibly argue that Mr. Romney's plan will possibly increase the deficit but NOT that the man would in fact raise taxes on any one group.

w-dervish said...

Will: ...one could... NOT [argue] that the man would in fact raise taxes on any one group.

They can make that argument because they did the math. Check Mordechai's comment for how they reached their conclusions.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And the Tax Policy Center based their claim on essentially one basic assumption; that Mr. Romney will not close certain loopholes, that the individual is lying in other words. And maybe he IS lying. But to say that he'll raise taxes on the middle class instead of simply letting the deficit increase is major-league tea-leaf reading and little more.

w-dervish said...

Will: And the Tax Policy Center based their claim on essentially one basic assumption; that Mr. Romney will not close certain loopholes...

Huh? Where do you think they say this?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Municipal bond interest, for example. They assume that Mr. Romney wouldn't do away with that expenditure. And maybe he wouldn't! But to flat-out ASSUME it, that's an entirely different story.......This a a balance piece from the Fair Observer, from the DIRECTOR of the tax Policy Center - http://www.fairobserver.com/article/criticism-romneys-tax-plan-misguided. I feel very comfortable with this analysis.

Mordechai said...

Will that analysis by Donald B. Marron Jr. also contains this line;

Like Howard Gleckman, I don’t interpret this as evidence that Governor Romney wants to increase taxes on the middle class in order to cut taxes for the rich, as an Obama campaign ad claimed. Instead, I view it as showing that his plan can’t accomplish all his stated objectives.

Whom is the person I quoted above.

Given the statements form all the individuals that state for the record, Romney's plan simply cannot work. The ball is in Mr Romney's court to explain what he would do either to make it work if he is serious about his proposal.

If Mr Romney chooses not to explain how he would try to make his plan work, assumptions by Mr Marron have no more credibility then the original study's authors or the response by the Obama Campaign.

In the end the plan is still Mr Romney's, it is up to him to either explain how it would work, or accept the fact, others will fill in the holes he does not see fit to fill in himself.

dmarks said...

WD said "Name one"

I am guessing that he is asking me to name an actually conservative Democrat.

Ben Nelson is one:

"Progressive Rating: 31/100
Conservative Rating: 41/100"

Being actually more conservative than liberal does it.

Jim Webb, of course, is not:

"Liberal Action Score: 38/100
Conservative Action Score: 15/100"

... as this is yet another index which reveals he is more liberal than conservative.

dmarks said...

Mord said: "In the end the plan is still Mr Romney's, it is up to him to either explain how it would work, or accept the fact, others will fill in the holes he does not see fit to fill in himself."

Which shows that the "Tax Policy Center" decision to fill in the holes in one particular way is a rather arbitrary decision. They could have just as easily chosen to fill it in another way rather than run with the typical liberal pressure group "raise taxes on the middle class" conjecture.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Mord, my beef with the study is that, while, yes, you can criticize Mr. Romney's plan for its lack of specifics and his 4% growth-rate projections, to say that, if in fact it doesn't add up, then he's going to raise taxes on the middle class - that, I'm saying, is speculation. My suspicion is that Mr. Romney, just like Mr.s Bush 2 and Reagan, will simply allow the deficit to rise.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

dmarks, I read that national Journal piece and was surprised to see that Mr. Webb had a higher liberal score than either Carl Levin or Claire McCaskill. Interesting (though they still had him in the "middle").

w-dervish said...

Will: Municipal bond interest, for example. They assume that Mr. Romney wouldn't do away with that expenditure.

Where? Can you quote them?

Will: ...then he's going to raise taxes on the middle class - that, I'm saying, is speculation.

Is "speculation" what people who don't like math call math?

dmarks: They could have just as easily chosen to fill it in another way...

What way? If it's something that can be done "easily", then it should be easy for you to be very specific.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, if the numbers don't add up, that doesn't de facto mean that he'll increase taxes on the middle-class. He could simply allow the deficit to increase and/or further cut spending. The people at the Tax Policy Center do not have a crystal ball to determine what Mr. Romney would do given a certain situation.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

from the American Enterprise Institute - "For example, a couple of items that TPC assumes are off the table are the exclusion of interest on tax exempt bonds and the exclusion of interest on life insurance savings. While Governor Romney has professed a desire to keep rates on savings and investment low, maintaining these exclusions is not necessarily what he meant. In fact, both of these exclusions largely benefit the wealthy, and, according to the Treasury Department, added together their repeal would net upwards of $90 billion that could be redistributed to lower-income individuals. That would go a long way towards balancing out the supposed $86 billion windfall for the rich and tax hike on the middle class and poor, and it could make the impossible suddenly possible."

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Here's the link. It's a pretty good article that's probably more constructive than critical - http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/08/how-the-tax-policy-center-could-improve-their-romney-tax-study/

w-dervish said...

Will: wd, if the numbers don't add up, that doesn't de facto mean that he'll increase taxes on the middle-class. He could simply allow the deficit to increase and/or further cut spending.

So you're criticizing the report because they crunched the numbers WITHOUT taking into account the fact that Romney may be lying? They assumed he is telling the truth, which is the assumption they should make.

As for further cutting spending: The one area where the budget could be cut the most is the military... and Romney says he will increase military spending. Looking at the rest of the budget... there isn't that much cutting that can be done there.

The Brookings/TPC report is, I think, based on good assumptions... unless Romney is lying.

Will: from the American Enterprise Institute - "For example, a couple of items that TPC assumes are off the table...

I asked where in the Brookings/TPC report it says they assume some items are off the table, NOT what AEI says they're assuming. Are these assumptions in the report or not? If so, please quote me the passage.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

No, wd, I'm criticizing the report because it ASSumes what Mr. Romney would do if in fact his numbers fail to add up. They're ASSuming that he would raise taxes on group A instead of raising them on group B and/or simply allowing the deficit to expand (as Mr.s Bush 2 and Reagan both did). That's why I'm criticizing it.......And I trust the AEI and the Wall Street Journal not to make stuff up. I mean, seriously, what do you think they are; Hannity and Maddow?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And why don't you show me where in the Tax Policy Center's study where they DO include interest on tax exempt bonds and the exclusion of interest on life insurance savings as a part of their analysis. Prove to me that the AEI and Wall Street Journal are lying. Two can fucking play at this game.

w-dervish said...

I was not playing a "game", I was asking a question. Also, I asked you first. Since you can't quote me where they say this in the report I'll assume it isn't in there.

And assuming Romney would allow the deficit to go up would be an assumption that he's lying. They are assuming that he's telling the truth, which, due to the fact that they're analyzing the tax plan he's actually proposing, is the assumption they SHOULD be making.

Also, as I understand it, Mitt Romney's plan lowers taxes for everyone. The "raising" part comes into play when deductions are taken into consideration. When the deductions are eliminated for everyone who isn't rich a tax cut becomes a defacto tax increase.

They aren't making the assumption you assume they're making.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Romney, to his detriment, HASN'T been specific. But to say that he would ONLY eliminate deductions for people who are rich is something that the man has never said. And I went through the lines of that study and found no scenario in which they take into account an elimination of the deduction for interest on tax exempt bonds and/or interest on life insurance savings as a part of their analysis. They do ASSume and utterly look foolish while doing so.......But, go ahead, look, maybe you can find it.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And, yes, given a choice between letting the deficit increase and raising taxes on 98% of the American people and ruining his chances for a second term, I'm pretty sure that he'll let the deficit increase. I mean, he is a frigging politician, correct?