Romney Wins Round One
The overwhelming consensus is that Mitt Romney won the first debate. Romney appeared clear, concise and confident, while Obama seemed to wander and ramble a bit. So, from a style perspective, Romney performed better. But when you consider how Romney was able to accomplish this, his performance was much less impressive.
When a debater points out some of your unpopular or controversial positions, it forces you to defend them. Doing this can make you appear defensive or lacking in confidence or conviction. Last night, Mitt Romney found another way to deal with the issue – Just Deny It™.
The centerpiece of Mitt Romney’s plan to create jobs is his tax cut plan:
America’s individual tax code applies relatively high marginal tax rates on a narrow tax base. Those high rates discourage work and entrepreneurship, as well as savings and investment. With 54 percent of private sector workers employed outside of corporations, individual rates also define the incentives for job-creating businesses. Lower marginal tax rates secure for all Americans the economic gains from tax reform.
- Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates
- Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains
- Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains
- Eliminate the Death Tax
- Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
Romney claims that his tax cuts won’t add to the deficit. The only way that can happen is if they are revenue neutral. But if you lower rates for the 53% of people who currently pay income taxes, the only way to offset that revenue loss is by getting the 47% to start paying. That’s what “broaden the base” means. His plan couldn’t be any clearer – he wants to cut taxes for the top 53% and raise them for the bottom 47%. Trying to defend this position would be very difficult, so he simply denied it:
And finally, with regards to that tax cut, look, I’m not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the — the revenues going to the government. My — my number one principle is there’ll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit.
I want to underline that — no tax cut that adds to the deficit. But I do want to reduce the burden being paid by middle-income Americans. And I — and to do that that also means that I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans. So any — any language to the contrary is simply not accurate.