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David Cay Johnston Sticks Up for Tax Nerds Being Picked on By the Romney Campaign

The Romney campaign isn't crazy about the Tax Policy Center's critique of their tax plan presumably because it casts a bit of an unflattering light on it (i.e. isn't mathematically possible, leaves out a lot of details). Yes, some people with the campaign or the Wall Street Journal editorial board might tell you different, that the plan's numbers do add up if you just make some simple, if not convenient, assumptions, but for the most part everyone is like, "Guys, come on. You can't make the numbers work until you start telling us, you know, the details."

Despite the TPC's simple declaration that Romney's plan lacks specifics and that they basically have to call things like they see them, David Cay Johnston reports that the Romney campaign still won't give these guys the time of day:

The Romney campaign told me it pays no heed to analyses by the Tax Policy Center, even though Romney cited its work when it favored him in the primaries. The nonpartisan center is led by Donald Marron, a former economic official in the administration of Republican President George W. Bush. The Romney campaign wrote me that the center's latest analysis is unfair and incomplete and "it's written by a former OBAMA staffer (Adam Looney)."
So, not only is the TPC a bunch of dishonorable jerks that do shoddy work, they've got some SOCIALIST writing the analysis. TYPICAL. Except DCJ checked on that:
Turns out Looney, listed last among three authors, was a Federal Reserve economist detailed to the White House Council of Economic Advisers because of his technical expertise. Looney is a technocrat, not a political operative. Looney told me he has never participated in any political campaign "and I am not sure I am even registered to vote."
In other words, this isn't Rahm Emanuel we're talking about. It's just an über-tax nerd that was called in precisely because he is an über-tax nerd. You haven't heard anyone in the Obama Administration giving Paul Krugman shit for working in the Reagan Administration* when he's criticized them, have you? Anyway, DCJ takes it home:
Attacking Looney's, and the Tax Policy Center's, integrity is a low blow. It is also a way to divert attention from the merits, or lack thereof, in the Romney and Ryan plans.

Yeah! Buncha jerks. Why don't you go get better at math!

*Krugman's boss was Martin Feldstein, btw, the author of this recent Journal op-ed, so nyah.

Romney & Ryan on Tax [DCJ/Reuters via TaxProf]

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