Monday, October 1, 2012

Smoke Versus Clarity: Romney V. Obama Tax Plans

It’s still the economy stupid.

In a run-up to Wednesday’s first Presidential debate it’s important to keep this in mind. And equally important, the issue is not the past but the future.

The core components of the economy issue are twofold – economic growth to provide jobs and the reduction in Federal indebtedness.

The Democratic approach is essentially to increase growth through expanded spending on infrastructure, education and social services financed by the return to Clinton era tax levels on those earning more than $200,000 per year ($250,000 for families). Debt reduction is achieved through increased tax revenues from increased income growth as well as elimination of prior ongoing expenditures that are carry-overs from the Bush Administration such as the unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Medicare drug expansion.

The Republican approach, hidebound by their pledge never to increase taxes, is to claim that revenues can be increased by additional reductions in taxes that will supposedly stimulate job creation (despite 30 years of historical evidence to the contrary) while eliminating tax loopholes and deductions, not one of which they have been willing to name.

The Romney/Ryan campaign’s lack of specificity was starkly illustrated yesterday morning. The Republican budget guru and Vice-Presidential candidate, Representative Paul Ryan, appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Fox News can hardly be regarded as hostile territory for the Republican candidates. Therefore, it is to Chris Wallace’s credit that he refused to allow Rep. Ryan to escape with the constant evasiveness that has characterized the Republican ticket on this issue.

Contrast that response to the following infographic provided by the White House outlining the President's tax plan:

Infographic: President Obama's Tax Plan

Perhaps you should keep these differing illustrations in mind as you watch the Presidential debate. They should also bear on your thinking regarding your votes for members of the US House and Senate that will determine the adoption of one plan or another. OR, God forbid, just more gridlock.

For further perspective see the latest article by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone.


  1. A really clear, and simple, explanation of why the math of the Romney/Ryan tax plan doesn’t work is provided by the New York Times blog “Economix” in an article titled, The Math on the Romney-Ryan Tax Plan.

  2. According to Robert Reich, a political economist, the Romney/Ryan Economic Plan would prove disastrous for America. Do watch this 2:55 minute video illustrating his reasons why:


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