Entries in Tax Plans (4)


Obama: Romney Is 'Robin Hood in Reverse'; Romney Says Obama Will Raise Your Taxes

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(STAMFORD, Conn.) -- Unveiling a new zinger against his opponent, President Obama Monday night said Mitt Romney’s tax plan amounts to “Robin Hood in reverse” because it would take money from the poor to help the rich.
“It’s Romney Hood,” the president said to uproarious laughter and applause from supporters in Stamford, Conn.
The president pointed to a recent study by the Tax Policy Center that found Romney’s economic plan would raise taxes on the majority of Americans to give tax breaks to the super wealthy.
“The entire centerpiece of Mitt Romney’s economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut,” Obama explained. “Governor Romney’s plan would effectively raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of $2,000 to pay for this tax cut, not to reduce the deficit, not to invest in things that grow our economy … He’d ask the middle class to pay more taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year.”
Obama went on to say the Romney campaign has been performing, “all kinds of different gymnastics” to try and sell this “trickle-down, tax cut fairy dust.”
“And guess what?” he asked the rowdy crowd. “It doesn’t work … It’s not a plan to create jobs, it’s not a plan to reduce our deficit, and it is not a plan to move our economy forward.”
The new line of attack comes as the president faces increasing Republican criticism for the flailing economic recovery. And the fact he's on the attack proves Obama has no record to run on, critics say.
“President Obama recently said the biggest regret of his first term was not telling better stories. He’s trying to make up for it now, but his stories just aren’t true. There’s only one candidate in this race who’s going to raise taxes on the American people -- and that’s Barack Obama,” a Romney campaign spokesperson said in response to Obama’s remarks. “While he’s used taxpayer dollars to grow government and reward his donors, middle-class Americans have seen fewer jobs, lower incomes and less hope for the future. Mitt Romney has a plan for a stronger middle class -- and, unlike President Obama, a record of accomplishment behind it.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney's Tax Proposal Targets Higher Income Earners

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New details of Mitt Romney's plan to offset his proposed 20 percent across-the-board income tax cuts show that the loopholes he plans to eliminate would have the greatest impact on mid-to-high-income Americans.

The presumptive GOP nominee, who has been critcized for planning to add a car elevator to his already $14 million vacation home, told supporters at a closed-door fundraiser on Sunday that he would "probably eliminate" the tax deduction for mortgage interest on a second home for "high-income people," a deduction that already primarily benefits people earning more than $100,000.

The most recent data available shows that in 2009, the majority -- 70 percent -- of the tax break for mortgage income on both first and second homes went to people earning more than $100,000 per year, according to a Congressional Research Service tax expenditures report.

"I'm going to limit certain deductions and exemptions for high income individuals so that even as we lower the rates for all Americans we're not going to shift the burden from -- middle income people to higher income people," Romney said on Monday, in response to questions about the earlier remarks in an exclusive interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.

Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said eliminating the tax break will raise taxes primarily on upper middle class families, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000.  But it would have little effect on the very wealthy, Williams said, because "really wealthy" people are more likely to pay for more of their homes outright, rather than take out a large mortgage.

"You're trying to figure out ways to pare back deductions without hitting people who really need them," Williams said.  "The second home limit would be the same kind of thing that goes after people well enough off to have a second place."

And while the mortgage interest deduction is one of the largest deductions in the tax code -- costing the government about $94 billion in 2011 -- eliminating the tax break only for second homes is unlikely to bring in much revenue, Williams said.

"Relatively few people own these," he said, noting that an exact dollar estimate is not available because "we just don't really know" how many homeowners would be affected.

Romney floated the proposal in a speech at a closed-door fundraiser on Sunday, which was overheard and reported by NBC and Wall Street Journal reporters on the sidewalk outside the Palm Beach, Fla., event.

He also said he plans to cut the tax deduction for property taxes and state income tax, as well as reduce the size of the Department of Education and eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

But on Monday, Romney backed away from those proposals, painting them as options, not hard-and-fast policies.

"I'm not proposing any eliminations at this point," Romney told Sawyer, adding that he will first have to "do a great deal of analysis to see which agencies could be combined."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden Unloads on Romney’s Tax Plan, Personal Wealth

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(EXETER, N.H.) -- Vice President Joe Biden unloaded on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire Thursday, accusing him of trying to “sucker” voters into believing that tax cuts for the rich would spur economic growth and slamming Romney’s personal wealth.

“He offers his prescription as if somehow it’s a new idea, folks, like something we haven’t seen before, even worse, like something we haven’t actually tried before,” Biden said of Romney’s tax plan in a campaign speech in Exeter.

“Folks, we’ve seen the movie before....It doesn’t end well.  It does not end well.  Where has he been? ” Biden continued, “You know, could it be that he’s out of touch? I don’t know.”

The attack comes as Democrats seek to expand Obama’s lead over Romney in recent polls, which show the president holding a strong edge among voters on such personal attributes as likability and perceived empathy.

Biden argued that Romney’s proposal to extend and expand the so-called Bush tax cuts, in tandem with repealing consumer financial protections imposed over the past three years, is “unjustifiable” to many in the middle class.

The cuts imposed under Obama’s predecessor reduced tax rates for individuals earning $200,000 or more, and families earning $250,000 or more.  Democrats have argued that they failed to “trickle down” and boost the middle class, and should be allowed to lapse at the end of the year.

“Mitt Romney wants to take us down that same road again,” Biden said.  “Let me state it plainly:  The president and I are determined to do all in our power to ensure we never go down that road again.”

Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the Obama-Biden campaign for higher taxes on the wealthy would not boost the economy, create jobs or solve the nation’s debt crisis.

“In the fourth year of his term, President Obama has made no serious effort to reduce our country’s debt and deficits.  Now, in an election year, he is using transparent political gimmicks to try and distract Americans from their failure to control spending and put Americans back to work,” Saul said in an email.

“Instead of the ‘Buffett Rule,’ the real issue is the ‘Obama Rule,’ which is President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on American families and small businesses to grow government and stifle free enterprise,” she added.

But Biden insisted Thursday his tax plan was a matter of  “fairness.”

“One thing we don’t like being played for is a sucker,” Biden said, waving his finger at the crowd. “So when you all pay your taxes next week, you and every citizen in New Hampshire ought to be able to know that everyone else is paying their fair share as well. The truth is you know they’re not.”

Biden also took a swipe at Romney’s personal wealth to refute charges by the Romney campaign that the president is most "out of touch” with voters.

“Gov. Romney calls the president ‘out of touch’ -- and anti-woman, by the way, but...out of touch...” he said. “Hey, how many of you all have a Swiss bank account? And how many of you have somewhere between $20 million and  $100 million in your IRA? All right, I got to meet you. Out of touch? He calls the president out of touch.”

Romney’s net worth is estimated to be at least $190 million, according to financial disclosures.  Obama is worth between $1.8 million and $12 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Team Obama Skewers Romney on Tax Fairness

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As part of a weeklong campaign around the Buffett Rule, President Obama’s re-election team is making Mitt Romney the face of income tax inequality.

On a conference call with reporters Monday, top Obama surrogates blasted the Republican candidate for keeping years of tax returns secret, using offshore bank accounts for some investments, and enjoying a lower effective tax rate than most middle-income Americans.

“Romney supports tax policies that reward people like him, and now he’s trying to obscure just how much he would benefit, by hiding his own financial records,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.

“Our message to Mitt is simple: if you don’t have anything to hide, release your taxes just like every other candidate for president does,” he said.

Romney has released his 2010 and 2011 income tax returns but fewer from previous years than any of his recent predecessors. The documents show he earned roughly $42 million over the two-year period and paid $6 million in income taxes -- or an effective tax rate of 14 percent.

The Buffett Rule, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett and backed by Obama, would ensure that Americans earning $1 million or more in adjusted gross income pay at least 30 percent in taxes.

While legislative versions of the rule are unlikely to pass Congress, Democrats hope their campaign on the issue will galvanize opposition to Romney, the likely GOP presidential nominee.

“People think that the system is rigged against them,” said Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who’s sponsoring a bill to enact the rule. “They see people like Mitt Romney paying 13.9 percent and hear stories about Warren Buffett and others and think there are two systems.  Middle-class families are taking it on the chin right now, and they don’t see others doing their fair share.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who’s also sponsored Buffett Rule-inspired legislation, said the bigger questions for Romney surround his transparency about his wealth.

“I disclosed my tax returns....It’s time to ask the question why he’s drawn the line at two years,” Durbin said. “And when is the last time a presidential candidate for the U.S. had a Swiss bank account? The answer is never.”

Romney has said his investment practices have complied with all U.S. laws and that his financial disclosure reports coupled with the voluntary release of two years' worth of tax returns should provide ample insight into his finances. His recent earnings were primarily derived from investment income, which are taxed at a lower rate than wages.

President Obama “wants to raise taxes on millions more [Americans] by taxing small businesses and job creators,” Gail Gitcho, the Romney campaign’s communications director, said of the president’s tax plan. “We appreciate the Obama campaign reinforcing Mitt Romney’s platform of lowering tax rates across the board in order to jumpstart this bad Obama economy.”

But Messina said Romney’s opposition to the Buffett Rule and support for the Bush-era tax cuts on individuals earning $200,000 or more will be a losing message in November.

“Mitt Romney’s tax plan doesn’t ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. It just doesn’t,” Messina said. “In fact, it doesn’t just the opposite. It gives every millionaire a $250,000 tax cut which is over 1000 times greater than the tax cut he’d give the average middle class taxpayer,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio