What is Mitt Romney’s real tax plan?Apparently we got a rare glimpse of this when reporters overheard a private conversation Sunday night with supporters at a fundraising party: “I’m going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction,” Romney said, adding that he would also likely eliminate deductions for state income and property taxes as well. “By virtue of doing that, we’ll get the same tax revenue, but we’ll have lower rates.” Okey dokey. If Romney could actually get Congress to agree to this, I figure it would bring in roughly $100 billion in revenue. That’s assuming a complete elimination of the deduction for all state, local, and property taxes. In return, this would allow tax rates to go down across the board by about one percentage point. Maybe one and a half. Or, alternatively, it might allow tax rates on the rich to go down by five or ten points. I wonder which he has in mind? [Kevin Drum]
A reminder from ABL: “Conservatives seem to think that even though the highest court in the land ruled the mandate constitutional under Congress’s taxing power, it doesn’t matter because nyah! nyah! —President Obama said it wasn’t a tax! […] Actually, I’ll be fair. I don’t know if he was lying when he said it was not a tax. Maybe he thought it was a tax, but knew the word “tax” causes immediate brain meltdowns among the wingnut class. Or maybe he thought it was a penalty. Or maybe he understands the difference between a tax and a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power. (I’m betting on the last option.)”
Video: Mitt Romney explaining the “personal responsibility principle” (individual mandate) in Massachusetts (Romneycare)…
Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed points out Romney’s flip-flopping, caught on tape, from April 2010: “Mitt Romney yesterday said in an interview with CBS News that the individual mandate was a tax, while the plan he put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty, and not a tax. In a video from April 2010, Mitt Romney praised some similarities between his plan and President Obama’s. Romney said he liked the individual mandate, the portability of the insurance, the requirement that insurers cover people with a preexisting condition, and the similar exchanges. Romney said his plan was different because it was state plan and his plan did not raise taxes, and did not cut Medicare. (As a Governor, Romney had no authority to cut Medicare.)”
“One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.” — George Romney in 1967 when he released 12 years worth of tax returns.