“… and some will rob you with fountain pen”

The Tax Policy Center estimates that the Romney “lower rates, broader base” approach would take $86 billion a year from the middle and working classes and give it to the rich.

A Brookings-UI Tax Policy Center study drives what should be a stake through the heart of the Romney campaign:

[A]ny revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.

Total burden shifted from over-$200k households  to under $200k households:  $86 billion a year. No wonder the plutocrats are spending money to elect Romney.

And yes, Obama is all over it. And no, Romney doesn’t actually have any response, other than trying to change the subject.

Update Zach Hensel adds it all up.



Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

10 thoughts on ““… and some will rob you with fountain pen””

  1. It is too bad that we little people, who don’t understand how the system works, get to vote.

    But before I get too excited about that, there’s still Kansas.

  2. Note that the “current policy baseline” here includes the Bush-era cuts to marginal rates but not the Making Work Pay cut (now the payroll tax cut). Both were promised as permanent changes to tax policy. Both were passed as temporary legislation. Both expire at the end of this year. There’s zero reason to include one and not the other. If you include Making Work Pay in the baseline, it would look even worse as you’d cut an additional $400-800 in after-tax income from everyone (I do not know what the average value-per-tax-unit is of the Making Work Pay cut, but it’s definitely in this range and varies between quintiles).

    What’s more, Romney promises to repeal Obamacare and additionally cut Medicaid by $200 billion (with a b) per year. The first implies a huge lost in effective after-tax income for people covered by the Medicaid expansion (Medicaid is worth several thousand dollars per year to every beneficiary) and thousands of dollars of losses to many families slated to receive Obamacare subsidies. The second comes out to about four grand per Medicaid beneficiary (with a cash value per recipient that’s somewhat less)… truly gutting the program. I find the $200B number to be totally unbelievable, but it’s right there in Romney’s economic policy document.

    I tried to add all of this together some time ago, assuming he’d achieve deficit neutrality for his tax cuts only by cutting Medicaid (on top of other specific policies) since this is the only thing he’s proposed that’s significant enough to come close to paying for his ridiculous promises – http://somewhereinthistown.tumblr.com/post/18776302949/the-distributional-impact-of-mitt-romneys

  3. From the linked article: “President Obama continues to tout liberal studies calling for more tax hikes and more government spending,” said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams in a statement.”

    Ahh, yes, that liberal study issued by the liberal Tax Policy Center, headed by that liberal economist Donald Marron, who was appointed to the liberal Council of Economic Advisers by liberal president George W. Bush.

  4. A Brookings-UI Tax Policy Center study drives what should be a stake through the heart of the Romney campaign.

    The only thing that will in fact drive a stake through the heart of the Romney campaign is Romney waking up some morning looking like Xerxes in 300….

  5. I’ve come to realize that when the vast majority of the voting public hears the words Republican or Democrat, they automatically think in archetypes, not in terms of actual facts. These voters are fact-immune. The word Republican conjures up a hard-headed, no nonsense, financially prudent guy who looks somewhat like Mitt Romney. And the Democratic Party automatically conjures a hippie spendthrift willing to give people’s money away to anyone and everyone. These types are completely untrue, but until the Democrats can shake off that image, they’ll keep having close elections–despite the fact that a majority of Americans actually agree with the Democrats’ policies.

    People vote for the archetype rather than the reality.

  6. This study is complete bullshit and for a very simple reason: it assumes that Romney will actually pursue a revenue-neutral tax plan. Based on the actions of the Republican party over the last decade, I feel confident in saying that the chances of that are roughly zero.

    If elected, the program will be: tax cuts for the rich and maybe, just maybe, some tax hikes on some of those freeloading lucky duckies who currently don’t pay income tax (which they won’t like but they skew Democrat so who cares). Everyone else will be left alone and the resulting massive deficits will be another lesson in how government doesn’t work. The obvious solution to this problem will be less government, by which we mean, of couse, less social welfare spending. “Sure, we’d all like healthcare,” they’ll say, “but clearly we just can’t afford it. It’s a shame really but unlike the Democrats, we’re brave enough to face up to this reality.”

    I’m not sure why they’re spending time attacking the Tax Policy Center’s credibility when there’s a perfectly reasonable refutation of their work.

  7. But isn’t cutting taxes on the job-creators good because of all the jobs they will create? And since the middle class in a sense owe their jobs to the job creators, shouldn’t they be thankful to help the boss out? Oooh, this universe is so much fun!

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