Romney Tax Plan Reax

Feb 22 2012 @ 7:54pm

He says that under his new plan the rich will pay their fair share:

Frum can't make Romney's math work. Zeke Miller's expects that Romney doesn't mean what he says: 

Economic Advisor Glenn Hubbard briefed reporters on the "revenue neutral" plan, but offered few details as to how the 20 percent cut to marginal tax rates would keep revenues static. Hubbard said the plan would be partly "paid for" by unspecified spending cuts — which definitionally means the plan isn't "revenue neutral." More likely, the Romney team means for their plan to be "deficit neutral" and not contributing to the national debt.

Ezra Klein suspects that Romney will have to cut spending much more than he admits:

A Romney presidency will be tough on those who depend on government programs, and good for those who pay high taxes. That suggests a Romney presidency would, at least in its first few years, reduce the deficit by asking much more from the poor than from the rich. Is that really the narrative they want?

Chait makes the same point:

Romney’s plan essentially endorses the goals of the pro-rich right — supply-side enthusiast James Pethokoukis enthuses about Romney’s plan here — while trying to leave enough ambiguity to avoid getting pinned down against Obama. Indeed, Romney follows a similar strategy as the one employed by George W. Bush, who, while running in 2000, cloaked his regressive tax plan in all kinds of misleading language about helping the poor.

Alex Altman sees the tax plan as a political document:

It offers a compelling juxtaposition for a candidate who has made economic expertise the cornerstone of his presidential bid: While Rick Santorum tries to parry questions about prenatal testing and Satan, Romney is setting out a plan to shrink government and get the nation back to work. Never mind the fact that much of his plan is reheated from the fall, and that large parts remain opaque.

Reihan doubts the plan will affect the race:

I actually think there is much to be said for the new Romney tax proposal, particularly if it does a very thorough job of stripping out tax expenditures that benefit high earners. It bears close resemblance to the excellent Growth and Investment Tax Plan (PDF). I’m just not sure it’s going to change the dynamic of the race. 

Kevin Drum, who thinks the plan "seems like so much smoke and mirrors" looks on the bright side:

[Romney's] plan for corporate taxes actually has some promise. In theory, anyway. He wants to lower the statutory rate, which would be OK if it's done along with broadening the base. He wants to make the R&D tax credit permanent, which is a good idea. And he wants to shift to a territorial taxation system, where corporations are taxed only on the income they earn in the United States. With proper regulation, this is a perfectly fine idea too.

Josh Barro's initial reaction:

This tax plan does something that Romney had, to date, avoided: it promises Republican primary voters a big tax cut at a time when federal revenues are unusually low and projected budget deficits are very large. While the political impulse here is clear, I think Romney had been wise, from a policy perspective, to avoid making such a promise. This plan, therefore, is a negative development.