Paul L. Caron

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Romney Tax Plan, the Tax Policy Center, and the Wall Street Journal

Following up on yesterday's post, WSJ: The Romney Hood Tax Fairy Tale:

The Tax Policy Center’s latest research report went viral last week, drawing attention in the presidential campaign and sparking a constructive discussion of the practical challenges of tax reform. Unfortunately, the response has also included some unwarranted inferences from one side and unwarranted vitriol from the other, distracting from the fundamental message of the study: tax reform is hard.

The GOP establishment is in full attack mode after a Tax Policy Center report concluded that Mitt Romney couldn’t offset the effect of his proposed tax cuts by simply closing loopholes benefiting the rich. Either he would have to raise taxes on middle- and/or lower-income households, or his proposal will increase the deficit.

The Obama campaign ran with the first possibility and started saying that Mr. Romney was proposing a giant tax increase on the middle class. The Romney campaign attacked the study–perhaps not surprisingly (TPC was attacked from both sides for their analysis of the 2008 campaign proposals) and then its various surrogates started attacking the credibility of the TPC.

I’ll admit that I am certainly not unbiased on this issue as I was a co-founder of the TPC and served as its director until 2009, when I moved to Syracuse University. I’m enormously proud of TPC and think it has done a great deal to shed light on the tax policy debate, which had previously been incomprehensible to all but a few Washington insiders and academics. ... I should also point out that there has never ever been a political litmus test for employment at TPC, although there is a very high bar for competence.  Several top TPC affiliates, including director Donald Marron, have held high level  Republican appointments in the executive branch and CBO. Several have held positions in Democratic Administrations.

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take three years of no tax on people making under 75,000.00, and three years of the millionaires, and billionaires paying 45% that would offset a deficeit of people with nothing

Posted by: connie jackson | Aug 19, 2012 4:15:42 PM

Sid, compared to JFK, a darling of the left, I'm a liberal. The country was dragged to the left over the years, but I held firm to principles. Rather than the term "right wing," I prefer to think of myself as a "rugged individualist."

“We were challenged with a… choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. ...To a large degree we regimented our whole people temporarily into a socialistic state. However justified in time of war, if continued in peace-time it would destroy not only our American system but with it our progress and freedom as well.””

Posted by: Woody | Aug 10, 2012 2:06:11 PM

woody why don't you use "extreme right wing" as a handle because no matter what your comment is, it will always be right.........wrong!

Posted by: Sid | Aug 10, 2012 11:18:15 AM

What?! The "GOP Establishment's *Shameless* Attack on Nonpartisan Think Tank?" Did this guy miss the Obama ads attacking Romney for killing the steelworker's wife?

Perhaps the author and co-founder of the TPC is a little thin-skinned and unwilling to admit that the TPC made unfavorable assumptions on Romney's limited tax proposals, which do not constitute an entire plan.

Rather than attacking Republicans who want their positions reported accurately, he could do a little more analysis on the other side's mythical tax proposal that half of working people don't have to pay any income tax and that the top one-percent can pay for everything:

Forbes -- Paul Krugman and Robert Reich's Tax Deception

What about doubling the effective (average) tax rate of the top one percent, i.e., raising their overall tax rate to 47 percent? That would raise about $392 billion, leaving a deficit of $900 billion. Not so easy, it turns out, to cut the deficit and spend more money by raising taxes on the one percent.

One question -- why is it that professors who write partisan political articles include their position and their employer with their bylines? Are they saying that what they write represents the position of the colleges where they teach? If not, partisan political professors writing partisan political pieces are nothing more than political hacks and should not associate themselves and their views with their employers unrelated to that work and, especially, those institutions supported by the taxpayers.

Posted by: Woody | Aug 10, 2012 8:04:34 AM