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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gestures while making a point about children's education at The Latino Coalition during the Annual Economic Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, May 23,
"Look at me, I'm flying! Also, please ignore my tax plan."
Mitt Romney can't explain how his tax plan adds up—because it doesn't—so on the eve of the first presidential debate, he's trotting out what he calls a new "option" for his tax plan:
"As an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction; and you could use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others – your healthcare deduction. And you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket that way," he said during a visit with Denver's FOX31. "And higher income people might have a lower number."
This is nothing more than an attempt to distract attention from the core problem in his tax plan: Even if he eliminates every possible tax break on high income tax payers, his proposed tax cuts are so enormous that they'd end up getting a big tax cut. He'd have to pay for that tax cut by borrowing or by raising taxes on the middle class.

Romney has had months to explain how his plan adds up, but he's refused to do so—because it doesn't. This new idea changes nothing—it's just one more option that wouldn't add up.

Remember that to make the numbers work, Romney would have to fully eliminate all itemized deductions — and a few deductions beyond that — for wealthy taxpayers. This doesn’t go anywhere near that far. William Gale, of the Tax Policy Center, says the net revenue would likely be in the $1-$2 trillion range, while Romney’s rate cuts are in the $5 trillion range, though he cautions that that’s just a guess based on Romney’s description of the idea.
If Romney had any confidence that this idea would work, he'd have trotted it out long ago so that independent analysts could assess it. But he didn't do that—he's floating it on the eve of the debate just to give him a talking point that he hopes will let him muddy the water on his tax plan.

But it doesn't change anything. His numbers still don't compute.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mitt is still working out the details (9+ / 0-)

    of how he can distribute enough magic ponies for 53 percent of the country.

  •  "Another option is that... (12+ / 0-)

    ...monkeys may fly out of my ass - I'll give you more details on that this coming Thursday!"

    •  No, no (4+ / 0-)

      You're supposed to say "I'll give you the details after I am elected."

    •  Their October surprise! Flying Monkey Rectal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Cranium

      Expulsion (FMRE) Tax Deductions, Tax Credits and Healthcare Credit, suitable for rich man, poor man and middle class non-feminists!  And you well might wonder how a Healthcare Credit might work, but consider this, once that flying monkey flock is fully expelled, there's no more painful preconditions limiting your chances for coverage for FMRE, so you will, under this amazing all-American plan, get full credit towards your health care insurance as a 1040 Schedule E deduction.  Yes, we don't go half way or give partial credits or make this coverage mandatory like Democrats might foist upon you, but as soon as you qualify, we give you full and complete credit.  

      But wait, America, there's more. Today we can unveil the companion piece Offshore Formation Flying Swine Credits for the Middle Class (OFFSMC)! You too can now get in on the same offshore excitement that's been the buzz amongst billionaires!  This is purely a GOP program ensuring equal opportunity to OFFSMC for each and every American.

      Last week Romney sent Ryan & his policy wank squad into his back office to crank the adding machines that can handle the 16 digit numbers needed to figure out the full impacts of these new kingpins to reforming government to the national deficit. One thing we can tell you for sure is that nothing so far offered by Obama or the Democrats can possibly compare to this!  Billionaires and penniless folks will benefit alike!  And this will help to make America great again!

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 05:51:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Free cell phone or $17,000 tax deduction? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792, wwjjd, Losty, quinn, Leap Year, Mayfly

    Umm, isn't this mythical tax deduction just Romney attempting to buy votes? Where's the outrage from RedState over this attempt to buy votes with the government's money? I'm sure Erick son of Erick will be all over this outrageous and blatant attempt by Romney to buy votes. Right?

    If we got Mitt to be slightly less dishonest and gave him some personality he could pass as a used car salesman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:48:51 PM PDT

  •  But but but Drudge has a damaging tape of PBO (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792, wwjjd, Leap Year, Supavash

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:49:13 PM PDT

    •  Does he really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica, wwjjd

      Or is this just another shiny object that's supposed to give Mitt a subject for his "zingers" tomorrow?

      •  The tape will be revealed on Hannity at 9pm lol (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wwjjd, Leap Year

        "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

        by LaurenMonica on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:02:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  After nearly four years, Larry Johnson has (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          finally gotten his hands on that whitey tape he pomised. Lol.

          Whatever the hell it is, NBC, MSNBC, ABC...had better not play it until they "verify the authenticity." That's why they claimed they didn't run the Romney 47% tape that AnneNonymous tried to spread far and wide for weeks. Can't wait to see the liberul media at work on this.

        •  Apparently, this is the video. It's been on (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, LaurenMonica, Supavash

          YouTube for five years.

          •  Sweet! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Does President Obama hug one of his teachers?

            •  It's a pretty good speech that I vaguely remember (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              from back then (2007). Quiet riots. Bush's colorblind incompetence on Katrina. Failed Iraq war. Rebuild at home. Drudge trying to dangle another shiny object before Mitt gets creamed tomorrow with this 17k deduction cap crap.

              Transcript of the video here.

              •  it closes with this - hardly radical (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                We're never going to forget there is always hope -- there is always light in the midst of desperate days -- that a baby can be born even with a bullet in her arm. And we can come together as one people and transform this nation. Our God is big enough for that.

                yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

                by annieli on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:27:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  what is controversial about this? this was already (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            discussed during the campaign; this was no secret and repeats a "take the bullet out" meme common to many BHO events particularly to AA audiences during that period

            "in many communities we haven't taken the bullet out"

            If Mitt tries to use this as a zinger, here's the answer the bullet still needs to be taken out, but it didn't stop Seal Team Six from doing its job

            yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

            by annieli on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:54:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not a damn thing. Drudge teased it as "Obama's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Other Race Speech" and something about "The Accent...The Sermon...The Anger...The Shout Out To Rev. Wright In The Audience..." Drudge generated plenty of anger on the right when he first ran this story in 2007. Very weak and desperate.

  •  Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to (4+ / 0-)

    just start taxing when people hit 10% over the established poverty levels?

    It doesn't make much sense to use man hours to comb through returns that total less than $20K.

    I would eliminate taxes on single people making $20K or less. $30k for married people, $35K for married with one child and add $5k for up to 3 children.

    Much simpler. Most people would spend more and pay local and gas taxes.

    That's what the net effect is anyway, why go through the convoluted process to arrive at the same result?

    •  Yep, that's about what I thought of too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Give people a bigger basic deduction, let taxes kicknina t a higher amount, and then just tax everything at the same rate. No cap gains. No deferred nothing.

      And a higher rate kicks in on income over 1 mil, higher still over 5 mil. Doesn't matter how you made it.

      Most people would get a break, those at the higher levels would pay a bit more, those at the highest levels would scream bloody murder.

      Good. Let them leave and renounce their citizenship if it bothers them that much.

  •  Let me just say the whole thing is a gigantic (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, Leap Year, ferg, Icicle68, noelcor

    hoax. However, the reason the people who control 90% of America's wealth have to be taxed is because they don't spend. If they spent the money and returned it to the current (where currency belongs), it wouldn't have to be taxed to get back to the start.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:57:16 PM PDT

  •  This campaign is reading like some (4+ / 0-)

    Yoko Ono book or Brian Eno game. "Do a random thing and call it art."

    We've been wondering how to get through the clutter and reach low-information voters. Mitt haz it.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:58:38 PM PDT

  •  a 17,000$ bucket to go with the 435$ hammers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and 832$ toilet seats that the Pentagon orders...yeah Mittens, that's gonna sell really well...


  •  This sounds like a preview of... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rennert, cassandracarolina, Leap Year

    ... what we're going to get during the debate tomorrow.  Shit made up at the last minute.  

    What's the President supposed to say to respond to this during the debate?
    "Ummm Mitt, it sounds like you just made that shit up yesterday"
    "Mitt, you realize that with your income your bucket is full 3 milliseconds into the new year?"

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:59:43 PM PDT

  •  So I can currently get a deduction for my mortgage (11+ / 0-)

    college tuition payments, child tax credit, extremely high medical bills, charity, and damage from a severe storm. Under a Romney admin I'd be limited to a $17,000 deduction? That can't be what he means. Is it?

    •  Yup, and Obama can hit this hard (4+ / 0-)

      in the debate. Mitt Romney wants to take away the middle class deductions for home mortgage, health insurance, child credit....?  Yup, nice try, Mitt. Democrats can hit this "tax increase" stuff too. HARD.

      I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

      by rennert on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget the medical (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rennert, Clem Yeobright, wwjjd, noelcor

        People can have big medical expenses. Add those to a few k for mortgage, a few k for child care, interest on student loans...

        It would impact those who tend to support Romney the most. Lower income people just take the standard deduction, because they don't have enough to itemize.

        But that mythical small businessman who makes 500k, he'd get hit really hard.

      •  NO! you can choose which one you want (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, wwjjd

        in your bucket, for Pete's sake, up to $17,000.

      •  Wow! That's ridiculous. He probably should've (0+ / 0-)

        just remained sketchy. Then again, this has got to be a head fake--force POTUS to practice a response to this foolishness and Romney will come up with some other foolishness...cuz this 17k crap cannot be it and people who do their taxes each year and take these deductions know whether they're higher than that. My deductions are higher than that.

    •  Imagine a mortgage AND medical bills! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mitt's kids must all rent, because this is

      Renter's advance to Mediterranean, pass GO and collect $500!

      Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

      by Clem Yeobright on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:25:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many moderate income people have high deductions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All you need is to live in a state with a high real estate costs and/or property taxes (New York and California for example). Or have high medical costs. I'm on COBRA now and my insurance premiums alone are a good part of the $17K deduction limit. So a deduction limit will affect many people not at all, but quite a few people a hell of a lot, including people who do not have the means to just write the government a bigger check all of a sudden. And to what purpose? To avoid taxing the car elevator/dancing horse class of taxpayer any more?

    •  how do you deduct tuition? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Aren't these clouds lovely? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, Clem Yeobright

    What a lovely day!

    I'll watch the debate but only because i feel i must.  I wouldn't have thought it possible, but the man abrades my nerves even more than George W. Bush did.

  •  elevators for Mr. Bus! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:13:00 PM PDT

  •  What's missing from his list? (6+ / 0-)

    Hmmmm.... he's got all those personal deductions.  You know, the ones on schedule A.  The ones that you can take the standard deduction for, alternatively.  You know - the standard deduction.  That thing that makes a lot of the working poor fall in the 47%.  

    But wait.. what's not there.  Oh yeah.  Trade or business deductions.  Those aren't on Schedule A.  What you say, Mitt.. those really aren't' deductions, those are costs of doing business?  And therefore you should keep all your trade or business deductions on top of your new standard deduction.

    How many trade or business deductions do you think most of us have?


  •  This is just terrible (6+ / 0-)

    It sounds like he's proposing to raise middle class taxes by limiting tax deductions.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:48:22 PM PDT

  •  For years I've heard conservatives say (8+ / 0-)

    that you could tax the rich 100% and it wouldn't pay off the debt. Now suddenly all we have to do is close a couple of loopholes and our fucking troubles are over?

    Needlesstosay it's like arguing with a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:51:56 PM PDT

  •  This is the strategy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leap Year, Compost On The Weeds

    Here's some money! Love me! Love me!

    Is this what we're going to see at the debates?

    We're being punked before the debates, right? He can't be this unprepared.

  •  Fraud and felon n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I'd be happy if they just eliminated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, merrywidow

    the entertainment deduction. Why should skyboxes be a sheltered expense? It's a gimme for the super rich and that's all.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:54:27 PM PDT

  •  "I might give you $17,000! Okay, probably not..." (3+ / 0-)

    "... But I MIGHT!!"


  •  All Obama has to say is (5+ / 0-)

    "so big oil companies, hedge fund managers paying "carried interest" percentages, etc. all get to keep their tax goodies but you, Mr. Romney, are going to limit home mortgage, health care and child credit tax deductions that the middle class counts on??  And cut billionaire's tax rates by 20% on top of that???  I will NOT allow the deficit to be cut on the backs of the hard-working middle class. Not in MY presidency!"

    The end.

    Say goodnight, Gracie.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

    by rennert on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:58:02 PM PDT

  •  And I could say... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, lcbo, noelcor
    As an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction;
    .....I'm planning a mission to Mars by flying on the back of my 16 year old Bichon Frise.

    The republicans say a lot of things, and it's remarkable how not many of these things manage to make any fucking sense at all.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:59:13 PM PDT

  •  I Could Live With This If (0+ / 0-)

    It applied to deductions for business expenses such as wages, materials, advertising.  Why should we be giving tax incentives to people to engage in business activities when we don't give tax incentives -- deductions for, say the cost of food, education, vacations and housing -- to people who are engaging in family life and raising kids?

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:03:59 PM PDT

  •  Flat tax needs flat income, investment same (0+ / 0-)


    Then a flat-ish tax would work

  •  This may work because of "how" this is being (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Romney is "suggesting" not promising.  Romney says "UP to $17K" he isn't saying every filer WILL get a $17K basic deduction.  He says "it's a bucket" to be filled with what are currently itemized deductions - mortgage interest, property tax, charitable deductions -  

    There is a HUGE difference between an automatic basic deduction of $17K per person, and UP TO $17K automatic basic deduction.  On the latter, he might was well say "UP to $117K" because if you only have $12K in deductions it doesn't matter if the Romney cap is $17K or $117K, we'll still only get $12K in deductions.

    But my guess is that Romney Ryan are COUNTING on the average white middle class 47%er hearing this as a promise of a new $17K automatic basic deduction.    And THAT is the shiny new object.

    "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:11:45 PM PDT

    •  Nope, people will hear, correctly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, Compost On The Weeds

      that he wants to "limit" deductions that middle class people count on; home mortgage interest, child credit, health insurance, medical expenses, college expenses.... to pay for a 20% tax cut for the wealthy. That's how they will and should hear it if Obama and the Democrats frame it correctly.

      I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

      by rennert on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:17:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The frame is the thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Compost On The Weeds

        The issue about "limiting" deductions to 17K matters only to those who pay income tax above that amount.  

        While you and some others here may have incomes higher that the US median of $50K, the average deductions for married filing jointly in 2011 was $11,600.  With one child, add $3,700. (Average size of US household is 3.)  That is, the average standard deductions for the median US household is still less than the $17K cap.  

        Half of the US households make less than $50K.  Romney's proposal is meaningless.  It makes no difference to half of the US households.  It is in this income strata that Romney's 47% stings, a significant percentage of whom are the Reagan working class Republicans.  I suspect this is the group that the 17K cap is meant to appeal, as if this will be an increase in standard deductions - it will not.

        You may fall into the households above the median income.  And that $17K cap means a reduction in the actual amount of deductions you will be allowed.  

        The questions for Romney would be these:

        1. Are current "personal exemptions" included in that cap?  or are the current personal exemptions excluded from the $17K deductions cap?  2011 personal exemptions was $3,650.

        2.  Is the $17K cap in place of "standard deductions" of 2012 $5,950?  

        Romney's Achilles Heel is simple:  Details.  

        I think we ought not to simply believe that "Nope, people will hear, correctly, that he wants to "limit" deductions" - because for half the American people, for folks like me, his proposed cap is not a "limit", but a meaningless gas bag number that offers nothing different.   For the other half, for folks like you, it is a "limit", that should be exposed.  

        "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 06:06:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, for "folks like me" it's not (0+ / 0-)

          a limit. I do not have anything near $17,000 in deductions. I'm single, no children. I do have a house so mortgage interest but that doesn't come close to $17,000.

          What I mean is, details are sketchy to most people. It's all about the framing. They may hear "$17,000" but the number may not mean as much as the notion that deductions they may count on or think they will some day count on (mortgage interest, child credits, health care, college credit, medical expenses....) may be cut in some way. It's a slippery slope argument. Even if they don't think this particular limit would apply to them NOW, it may apply to them at a later date OR the  threshold may be changed. It's the notion of the limit to those deductions AT ALL that gets through, as long as the deductions are named and people recognize them as ones they use.

          I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

          by rennert on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:31:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Limits on deductions greater than any deductions (0+ / 0-)

            you currently take or can fathom that you will take is meaningless, unless you mishear the Romney plan as one that increases your standard personal exemptions TO $17K.  For folks like me, Romney could propose a $17million dollar cap for all the good it would do me.

            The alarm here on the $17K limit is for folks whose income they believe is on an upward trajectory or whose incomes already afford them higher than $17K deductions.  

            However, I know a swath of married (to women) male Reagan Democrats who are in the skilled trades (high school graduates in the skilled or licensed trades) who are married and have kids - this proposal kicks them in the ass, along with the 47% snub, mostly because they have deductions for kids that amp their deductions above the $17K.  This is not about "a slippery slope" of future college payments or future medical deductions, this is about a direct hit on the Republican ideal traditional family with kids whether they go to college or have medical issues.

            This should be framed as "Mitt Romney hates middle class traditional American families"


            "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 04:04:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The Pres will have the math done by debate (0+ / 0-)

    time, so why "release" this now...why not wait until tomorrow.

  •  There's that marketing '7' again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rennert, Supavash

    There are studies, and the number 7 outsells other numbers ( unless you are selling in Asian markets, and then including the #8 is important ).

    When you buy information products online, you may have noticed that most prices are $7, $17, $27, $47 or $97 .  

    Well... our politicians are on to this too.  

    Remember Herman Cain's 7-7-7 plan?

    Now we have Romney with a $17,000 deduction.

    All marketing....

  •  What a Flim-Flam Man (0+ / 0-)

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:18:58 PM PDT

  •  Oh, Mitt, I think I'm in love with you! (0+ / 0-)

    Can I have my bucket with $17,000 now?

  •  "Bucket" (2+ / 0-)

    seems to be another one of those buzzwords that gains popularity for a while among Important People In Charge, usually disseminated at large business seminars.

    I first noticed the bigwigs at the company for which I work using (or over-using) the word "bucket" earlier this hear.

    They were trying to explain how great an idea it was to take away our sick time (because too many people were "abusing" it, presumably by having the audacity to, you know, get sick). Instead of sick time and vacation time, they said, we would now be alloted "personal time" that would go into a BUCKET. From this BUCKET of time, we may use it for anything we want--for a vacation, say, or maybe a nice hospital visit. And wasn't it wonderful of them to give us each a BUCKET?

    Even after that, it was "bucket, bucket, bucket," all the time. I kept thinking, Why do they keep saying "bucket"? It was distracting.

    Now I'm sure these fuckers all go to the same seminars where, no doubt, they hatch their next scheme to (legitimately) rape the middle class.

    There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

    by Phil T Duck on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:33:28 PM PDT

  •  $17,000. that's less than 2 primary bets. (0+ / 0-)


    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -Abraham Lincoln

    by jexter on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:54:08 PM PDT

  •  I don't want this dude anywhere near my bucket. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  well, he did go to a private school... (0+ / 0-)

    sorry, couldn't resist...

  •  The headline on Google News says.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rennert, slinkerwink

    Romney suggests cutting mortgage deduction

    This guy is just a bad politician.  If there is any available third rail to touch...he's on it.

    There's room at the top, they're telling you still, but first you must learn how to smile as you kill. -J Lennon

    by noelcor on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 05:50:47 PM PDT

    •  Yup, that's the headline that cuts (0+ / 0-)

      through the noise. He can talk all he wants about "$17,000". All people hear is "he's cutting deductions I count on in order to give a 20% tax cut to the rich."

      I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

      by rennert on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:33:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Other Words... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Compost On The Weeds

    ...Mitt's plan is to cut your tax deductions down to the size of the tax deduction he takes on his dancing horse's ass.

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 06:02:33 PM PDT

  •  Quite frankly I like it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think a $17,000 cap on itemized deductions, which I assume is what Romney is talking about, is a great idea.  I would exclude the deduction for medical expenses from the cap (which only kick in above 7.5% of your income, which makes them rare).  

    I have not been able to the exact breakdown of the average itemized deduction for each income quintile, but did see that on average folks at the median income level or lower get $2000 back from their deductions, which corresponds to a $10,000 deduction.  So a level of around $17K is going to start affecting people around double the median family income level, in the ball park of $100K.   For comparison, my wife and I had $26K in itemized deductions in the range of 3.5-4 times the median family income, so this cap would have cost us an extra $2500.  By comparison, going back to the Clinton rates and leaving everything else where it is would cost us an additional $8000 in taxes.  

    Taxes need to go up, and capping itemized deductions in this fashion are a very progressive  mechanism to do it.   I like that it is a simple mechanism make taxes dramatically more fair (Romney loses 99.9% of his tax deduction).

    Now, contrary to Romney's plan, what I'd really like to see is a increase in tax rates on the top quintile of earners AND a cap on deductions.  But I think people are foolish to criticize the cap on deductions out of hand, and it is the type of easy to understand, hard to demagogue idea I'd like to see out of the Obama administration.

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