resident Obama's campaign is hammering Mitt Romney's tax plan, citing a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that shows Romney would need to raise taxes on middle- and lower-income households to keep all his campaign promises. Romney has vowed to enact a raft of specific tax cuts, which would create a $360 billion hole in the budget, while promising to balance the budget. The Tax Policy Center found that it would be mathematically impossible to achieve those goals, but Romney has so far resisted pressure to explain how he could pay for his tax cuts. Does he need to provide more specifics?
Yes. Otherwise Romney's plan makes no sense: Romney has two options: He can "eliminate a wheelbarrow full of tax breaks" or "slash more spending," says The Washington Post in an editorial. But he refuses to do endorse either approach, offering the "feel-good temptation of lower taxes without the harsh medicine to follow." The "bottom line of this exercise" is that Romney "has a hole in his balance sheet," and he "needs to fill in the blanks of his tax policy, and soon."
"Mitt Romney's tax plan falls short"
No. Romney only needs to provide an outline: Romney's tax plan "is conceptual, not written in legislative detail," says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post. Viewed in that light, Romney's overarching plan — in which his tax cuts are paid for by closing tax loopholes and benefits for the wealthy — could certainly work with a few tweaks. Romney has provided as much as he needs to provide — "there is no requirement (other than from critics) that a candidate has to make a campaign proposal scorable."
"Tax plans and tax spin"
And Obama hasn't provided specifics either: If Romney's tax plan "sounds too good to be true, that's because it is," says Bloomberg in an editorial. But Obama's tax plan is "almost as sketchy." Obama has proposed to "soak the rich" by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those who earn over $250,000 a year, and imposing a new tax on millionaires. However, such measures will yield just a fraction of the $4 trillion in additional revenue the government must take in over the next 10 years to balance the budget. "Just as Romney must shed his pie-in-the-sky promises, Obama needs to come clean with middle-class Americans by telling them their taxes, now at record-low rates, will need to be raised."
"Obama and Romney tax plans are pie-in-the-sky"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- Here's how Iran is covering Russia's invasion of Crimea
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
Subscribe to the Week