Saturday, October 6, 2012

Magical Thinking

No Tough Choices Needed

Mitt Romney looking confused
 ~ Rather than Jim Lehrer, I'd rather see the next debate moderated by Socrates. He might would ask better questions.

Q: Governor Romney, you've said we should cut taxes. Whether it is by $5T or some other number, is it true you want to cut taxes?
A: Yes.
We ought to bring the tax rates down... both for corporations and for individuals.
Q: Won't cutting taxes add to the deficit and thereby increase the debt?
A: No, the intent is to lower the rates, while broadening the base.
But in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions...
Q: What does it mean to broaden the tax base?
A: Getting rid of tax breaks and deductions so we can all enjoy lower tax rates.
Let's get to the bottom line. That is, I want to bring down rates. I want to bring down the rates down, at the same time lower deductions and exemptions and credits and so forth so we keep getting the revenue we need.
Q: So it would be revenue neutral?
A: Yes.
My — my number one principle is there'll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit... I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit.
Q: So taxes will go down or stay the same for everyone, right?
A: "Absolutely."
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.
Q: Under your plan, the well-off will not receive a tax cut?
A: The rich will keep paying the same share of taxes.
I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.
Q: Under your plan, the middle class will not pay more?
A: They will pay less.
I will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families.
Q: To summarize what you say your plan is then, the middle class will pay less in taxes, the wealthy won't pay any more or less than they do now, and the overall effect won't add to the deficit.
A: Yes.

Q: How do you respond to economists who have studied your plan and say the numbers don't work?
A: Trust me.
There's no economist can say Mitt Romney's tax plan adds 5 trillion (dollars) if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.
Q: We should trust you because you say tax revenues will rise because tax cuts will spur more GDP growth?
A: Yes.
[I propose we lower rates but at the same time] lower deductions and credits and exemptions so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.
Q: We were told the Bush tax cuts would increase GDP and produce more tax revenues than were lost by those cuts, but GDP growth over the last decade was anemic and the budget went from healthy surplus to huge deficits. As the late Senator Patrick Moynihan memorably observed, "Every man is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Governor, you tossed the same barb in this debate at President Obama, and surely it applies to you too. Isn't it insane to further cut taxes and expect a different result?
A: [crickets]

Even if you believe in voodoo economics, more tax cuts won't work because we are clearly on the wrong side of the Laffer curve. It's insanity.

(All quotations are verbatim from Romney's responses during the debate.)

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