Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Impossible

A recent look at Mitt Romney's economic plan has come to an interesting conclusion: It is mathematically impossible. According to the study, conducted by the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan group run by a former Bush economic advisor, Romney's tax plan simply does not add up. They even tried using unrealistically positive growth projections. It all came out to the same thing: at the very least, Romney would have to cut all non-military, non-Social Security spending by 49% by 2022. Since Romney has vowed to not cut the military budget and to maintain benefits for current retirees, he's left with no other option if he wants to keep his promise to cut all tax rates by 20% and reduce the deficit at the same time.

Romney has been very tight-lipped about his plan. In fact, while he's claimed to have his plan all along and berated the President for not being more open about his views, Romney has so far refused to give any specifics on what he would do to cut spending, reduce the deficit, and what tax loopholes he would close to reform the tax system. Yet, with the minimal information he has produced, the TPC was able to run their calculations.

Of course, Romney's campaign took issue with the study, at first calling it a liberal jab due to a former Obama staffer co-authoring the study, and then calling into question the validity of the numbers the TPC used, claiming they ignored major factors such as private sector growth due to planned tax cuts. But the TPC is led by a former Bush advisor, which negates the charge of partisanship, and the Center also points out that it is impossible to factor in things like private sector growth without knowing the specifics of Romney's cuts, and what their actual effect will be.

But none of this seems to bother Romney or his constituents very much. After all, he's planning to cut all taxes by 20%. The problem, though, is that those cuts will come at the cost of slashing programs that help the poor, and according to the TPC report will result in a tax increase for the middle class. That would be because of the closing of all tax incentives that would result in a net increase in the taxes paid by those in the middle class.

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