Mitt Romney Left Tax Policy Wonks Feeling a Little Unsatisfied Today

Maybe you didn't hear about it, but last night Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were on TV engaging in a war of words. LOTS OF WORDS. The consensus is that Willard emerged the big victor while remaining pretty vague on details:

Romney fiercely objected to Obama’s characterization of his tax plan as a $5 trillion tax cut. After all, he says he’ll pay for all of it, somehow, later. And he won’t permit what is, on paper, a huge tax cut on the rich to cut taxes on the rich. So if you take what’s on the page, the cost is $5 trillion and it’s a huge tax cut for the rich. If you take what Romney says will eventually be on the page, the cost is…nothing.
But what about the tax deduction cap? Lots of people – but not everyone – thought it was a pretty swell idea, but it turns out it's still a vague idea since it appears that the $17,000 number is just something Romney pulled out of thin air. The Tax Policy Center's Howard Gleckman laments:
That was interesting, and more specific than he has been. But no sooner had the Tax Policy Center and others tried to figure out what it might mean, Romney changed up. In the debate, he mused about capping deductions, not at $17,000, but at $25,000 or $50,000. This is no trivial difference. A moment later he said he might not do this at all but, rather, target specific deductions. So what is Romney’s tax plan? We still have no idea.
You can't toy with these people. Who knows what can happen with all these itchy calculator fingers.
 

 

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