February 21, 2012

Romney’s Tax Plan, Phase 2.0

Numerous observers (especially those of the supply-side persuasion) have eagerly awaited the release of Mitt Romney’s long-awaited addendum to his tax proposals. With a hat tip to James Pethokoukis, Larry Kudlow passed along the following:

Team Romney tells me there will be a bolder tax-cut plan released either at the debate tomorrow night (if Mitt gets it in) or more formally at his Detroit Economic Club speech on Friday. I’m embargoed from releasing details until tomorrow. But I can say that the new plan will be across-the-board with supply-side incentives from rate reduction, and that it will help small-business owners as well as everyone else.

Pethokoukis then offers some predictions regarding the proposal’s content:

– Romney has said he doesn’t want to raise capital gains tax rates, which Simpson-Bowles does.

– Romney wants to lower the corporate rate to at least 25 percent, meaning the top marginal tax rate probably needs to be in that vicinity.

– Romney is unlikely to suggest a net tax increase.

– Romney is unlikely to propose anything that would result in his own taxes directly being cut.

– Romney is unlikely to suggest “paying for” upper-income tax hikes by raising taxes on the middle class.

– Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard recently suggested “a progressive consumption tax, equalising the tax treatment of debt and equity, and drastically lowering tax rates on dividends and capital gains.”

A bold, supply side-friendly plan carries plenty of potential to make inroads among the party base, but it also further exposes him to class warfare attacks (“Gov. Romney wants to give more tax breaks to rich people like him, while the the middle class continues to struggle.”).

However, with the troubles he has recently encountered, this seems like a risk worth taking. Many have lamented that Romney’s campaign lacks “vision” – an overarching theme that clearly articulates the main goals of a Romney administration, or, phrased more bluntly, justification for its existence. By injecting some supply side into his campaign, Romney can take up the prosperity “mantle” and entice Americans with the prospect of a more dynamic and vibrant economy – and, consequently, country.

by @ 7:36 pm. Filed under 2012 Misc., Mitt Romney, R4'12 Essential Reads
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85 Responses to “Romney’s Tax Plan, Phase 2.0”

  1. Smack1968 Says:

    I’m suprised this speech will be done on a Friday.

    Very odd.

    I look forward to hearing the details.

  2. SixMom Says:

    This feels like Christmas and a breath of fresh air all at once.

  3. Jonathan Says:

    Good to see. I do like the idea of Romney unleashing a more detailed tax plan. The first version of the plan, while nice, did leave the policy wonk in me wanting more. Hopefully the Governor will give a plan worthy of a major presidential candidate.

  4. Boomer Says:

    I heard that Mitt was going to go with the “Satan is gonna get ya” vision but Santorum beat him to it. And then Santorum trumped him again with the whole Obama is a hidden Islamist thing.

    Alas, he will have to go with yet another detailed economic plan on top of his detailed defense plan.

    If only Romney would focus on the real issues like Santorum

  5. Matthew Kilburn Says:

    This still feels like gimmickry…not because the plan won’t be a good one, but because of they way he’s being forced into laying out bullet points like this.

    As I said in the earlier thread, I would much rather a candidate show me they understand the problem, have a coherent philosophy (or at least goals), and can prove they have the skill to fix things than come to me promising a detailed agenda which, even at best, has to go through the shreding that is Congressional law process.

  6. Common Cents Says:

    I actually think Romney should be careful about getting too wedded to supply side solutions. I’m completely for lower taxes, but I actually think the biggest problem right now with our tax code is the nearly 1 out of 2 Americans that doesn’t pay any federal income tax at all.

    I think we need to be focused on simplification and streamlining, especially at the corporate level.

    If Romney comes out for cutting top marginal rates and/or capital gains taxes, I think it’s just going to needlessly hurt him politically.

  7. Boomer Says:

    5.

    >>As I said in the earlier thread, I would much rather a candidate show me they understand the problem, have a coherent philosophy (or at least goals), and can prove they have the skill to fix things than come to me promising a detailed agenda which, even at best, has to go through the shreding that is Congressional law process.

    Why are you objecting to Romney doing both? He’s already laid out his entitlement reform plan and had Paul Ryan change his to adopt some of the proposals in Romney’s, Why is it a bad thing for him to have already laid out his broad principles and now lay out some more of the detail?

    Who cares if he is doing it to regain the narrative. Obama ran as a blank slate to many and look what we got stuck with. I’d rather know exactly what each candidate proposes to do. If Romney’s plan sucks then so be it. I wouldn’t buy a car without taking a test drive and seeing what it can deliver, why should I vote for a President to govern for the next 4 years with less information?

  8. John Mark Says:

    “A bold, supply side-friendly plan carries plenty of potential to make inroads among the party base, but it also further exposes him to class warfare attacks (“Gov. Romney wants to give more tax breaks to rich people like him, while the the middle class continues to struggle.”

    Oh brother, opposition to cutting taxes for the wealthy at a time when our national deficit is spiraling out of control and they already have a lower ETR than lower income brackets does not constitute “warfare.” This “save the rich” theme is getting out of hand. I saw where Santorum told folks in Detroit that income inequality was a good thing that he hopes we always have it. Well, of course, that’s true, and nobody but the most extreme Marxist would say otherwise. However, going to Detroit to remind people of this rather obvious fact is akin to travelling to a flood stricken town to remind them that rain is still a good and necessary thing.

  9. Tennessean for Mitt Says:

    Kudlow said tonight the new tax plan is : “Reagan-esque” , “able to be branded”, and “has a number”. http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000074532

  10. aspire Says:

    5 Romney needs a gimmicky plan to match the other gimmicky plans out there. Hopefully, he’ll come up with an 8-8-8 plan that involves post cards. ;)

  11. Jonathan Says:

    I do hope that the Governor talks about closing loopholes as well as cutting taxes. Paul Ryan had a great idea of closing all the loopholes in the tax code and then lowering taxes. That way the tax code is not lower, but simpler and doesn’t favor folks who can afford the best tax attorneys. It also could take away the Democratic talking point about how much the GOP favors the rich.

  12. aspire Says:

    9 Is that number 8?

  13. aspire Says:

    11 Cutting loopholes is what got him in trouble in Mass. Conservatards call it raising taxes.

  14. Jonathan Says:

    #13:

    Even the hard-right would have trouble going after Romney for following a Paul Ryan idea. The Gentleman from Wisconsin is essentially innoculated against right-wing criticism, at least for now.

  15. MarqueG Says:

    I’d hope that he calls for a tax on Satan references. But I doubt that he will, since his bots have made a cottage industry out of them.

  16. aspire Says:

    15 I knew you were for higher taxes. :)

  17. TruthBeTold Says:

    I bet Romney proposes getting rid of carried interest loophole.

  18. MarqueG Says:

    Cutting loopholes is what got him in trouble in Mass. Conservatards call it raising taxes.

    Eliminating loopholes and shelters while leaving rates unchanged is definitionally equivalent to raising taxes.

  19. MarqueG Says:

    The supply-side approach is, first, to make sure the general rates are low and apply to everyone. Secondly, it is to reduce the avoidance costs inspired by a complicated tax code with lots of loopholes and shelters.

  20. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    18

    No, it isn’t.

    The whole reason raising taxes is a bad thing is because it hurts the economy.

    Cutting loopholes HELPS the economy because it encourages competition in the market between companies on a fair playing field.

  21. Boomer Says:

    18.

    >>Eliminating loopholes and shelters while leaving rates unchanged is definitionally equivalent to raising taxes

    What was the definition when Reagan did it? He didn’t cut taxes every time he closed a loophole. But I’m sure you knew that.

  22. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    18

    But anyway, cutting loopholes without lowering rates is not a solution to our problems, and we need to cut government revenues so there is a compulsion to cut spending.

  23. Boomer Says:

    19.

    >>The supply-side approach is, first, to make sure the general rates are low and apply to everyone. Secondly, it is to reduce the avoidance costs inspired by a complicated tax code with lots of loopholes and shelters.

    How do you do this when you have a non-compliant legislature? What would you suggest be done then? How about some solutions from the not Romneybots instead of just stating the obvious.

  24. Jonathan Says:

    #22:

    Eliminating the loopholes would also solve a lot of the problems with the perception of corruption in Washington. If those lobbying Congress know that their group isn’t going to get a special carve out in the tax code, the more insidious ways of influencing D.C. would go away.

  25. John Mark Says:

    “What was the definition when Reagan did it?”

    This raises that age old philosophical question is a policy good because Reagan does it, or does Reagan do it because the policy is good.

  26. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    25

    Ah, the Euthyphro.

  27. WA_Independent Says:

    22

    We need to cut government revenues at a time when we’re $15 trillion in debt?

    Every serious economist says we need to do both, increase revenues and cut spending. At the very least, cut spending and maintain the current rates.

  28. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    27

    “Serious economists” are usually Keynesians and certainly not concerned with the size and scope of the federal government as a political issue.

  29. John Mark Says:

    “But anyway, cutting loopholes without lowering rates is not a solution to our problems, and we need to cut government revenues so there is a compulsion to cut spending.”

    We already have a compulsion to cut spending, it’s called a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit. We could raise Revenue by 200 Billion dollars and we would still have reason to cut one trillion dollars.

  30. Boomer Says:

    25.

    >>This raises that age old philosophical question is a policy good because Reagan does it, or does Reagan do it because the policy is good.

    Some of us are old enough and cynical enough to have not only voted for Reagan but remember his actual record and not the one the el Rushbo crowd pretends he had.

    It’s been said many times but it keeps getting said because its true, if Reagan were running today he would be called a RINO be todays True Conservatives.

  31. DaveG Says:

    I really hope that Romney takes a step towards making the tax code flatter (lower rates and broader base, no loopholes). Ultimately though something has to be done about entitlements or the debt will overwhelm us. The debt is the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. The debt is being financed largely by America buying its own Treasuries from itself. So essentially we’re printing money to pay for all the government that we can’t afford. That will eventually lead to inflation, which will devalue the currency. As long as wages don’t keep up with the inflation, and how can they, given that the inflation is due to the U.S. randomly printing money as opposed to actual innovation or productivity, that means that each American becomes poorer. Ultimately you’ll have a situation where the currency is so debased that Americans will essentially be broke, and then an attempt to solve the problem will yield dramatic cuts in services that will further incense the people and lead to revolution, which leads to dictatorship, which leads to the new U.S. government using its weapons and military might to plunder the world in search of treasure. This chess game is very easy to play out.

  32. ClassyMitt Says:

    #5 Matthew…

    You have to understand that Mitt needs to dumb things down to the 9th grade comprehension level. That’s what people want and he’s just going with the trend.

  33. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    29

    I guess this comes down to where we want the government to be in size. I want the government to be less than 10% of the total economy, personally. That’s where I want it to BE, but in the short term, I’ll settle for 18-20%. However, if folks like myself want the government to play a drastically reduced role in our lives, we’re going to have to cut revenues long term in incremental steps.

    I’m sure we disagree on the paragraph above, but in the short term to solve our debt crisis, I’m willing to settle for slightly increased revenues if only by ending loopholes and special deals. Once the debt is paid off to where it’s self-contained, then my fantasy can be pursued.

  34. RayinRI Says:

    Kudos to Smack for breaking this earlier today, I had no idea what he was refering to now we find out from Romney very soon, thanks Smack, cant wait until Mitt secures the nomination, it will be nice having you on the same team :)

  35. Anthony Dalke Says:

    John Mark,

    I call your attention to this: http://blog.american.com/2012/02/more-evidence-the-buffett-rule-is-a-sham/

    “Now, as the above chart from the Tax Policy Center shows, the total average effective tax rate—including payroll taxes—for the top 1 percent is already 30 percent vs. just 12.6 percent for the middle 20 percent. The chart also vividly shows just how progressive the current tax code effectively is.”

  36. Not Your Severely Constipated Daddy Says:

    Good red meat for the base, but I am depressed by this plan.

  37. MarqueG Says:

    Cutting loopholes HELPS the economy because it encourages competition in the market between companies on a fair playing field.

    Um, no. While cutting loopholes helps tax fairness by eliminating tax-code favoritism, raising effective taxation takes money out of the private economy that could be used by the original earner. I wholeheartedly disagree that it has no negative effect.

  38. Anthony Dalke Says:

    MassCon,

    You may find this interesting: the Rahn Curve (basically the Laffer Curve concept applied to government spending) shows that the growth-maximizing level of spending falls between 15 and 25%. Pretty cool concept.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj6lRFXC5rA

  39. MarqueG Says:

    But anyway, cutting loopholes without lowering rates is not a solution to our problems, and we need to cut government revenues so there is a compulsion to cut spending.

    I can agree there, but a bit less on the latter part. Although it looks great on paper, the “starve the beast” theory was disproved most recently in the transition from the Repub to the Dem congress in 2006, and at the latest by the election of the Bamster.

  40. Jonathan Says:

    By the way, I know it’s too much to ask for, but I would get “Vote Romney” tattooed on my forehead if he took on Grover Norquist in his speech too. Norquist’s stupid pledge is essentially political blackmail against Members of Congress and candidates.

  41. Anthony Dalke Says:

    I would also like to add that people generally overlook one vital component of true supply side economics: monetary policy. People try to discredit the supply side school by pointing to the Bush years. However, that administration’s abject failure to promote a strong dollar discredits the claim.

    http://thesupplyside.blogspot.com/2010/05/was-george-w-bush-supply-sider.html

    http://thesupplyside.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-didnt-bush-tax-cuts-work.html

  42. MarqueG Says:

    How do you do this when you have a non-compliant legislature?

    Just for the record, I think Romney’s claim here is reasonable and rational. Yet the risk is that overstating it is to sound like you’re making excuses. But Mitt did face a legislature that was hostile to the idea of lowering rates, and he can humbly beg mea culpa that he couldn’t turn their thinking around.

  43. John Mark Says:

    33,

    I don’t what percentage the government should be. I think it should be large enough to provide security from foreign threats, and safety nets that are large to ensure nobody goes without basic needs, but I’m not sure what those numbers would look like. Whatever the case, I doubt there’s enough politically support to cut close to 1.2 trillion dollars and balance the budget just on cuts.

    35, Well it’s certainly not a sham for Mitt Romney, which is kind of the relevant point for this conversation.

  44. Anthony Dalke Says:

    40,

    I agree that Norquist causes more harm than good, mostly because his pledge wreaks serious political damage on its signatories.

  45. Jonathan Says:

    #44:

    He also reinforces the notion that any sort of revenue enhancement no matter what it is, is some kind of tax hike and should be opposed.

  46. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    37

    Taking the money out of the private sector and putting it into the public sector does not hurt the economy, it just doesn’t help. The only difference between money in the public sector and the money in the private sector is that money in the private sector gets allocated to natural resource extraction at a higher rate than it does in the public sector.

    But with that said, that difference in wealth extraction is easily made up by making the free market system operate more fairly with more competition.

    Anyway, I’ll leave this debate to those with the numbers.

  47. Anthony Dalke Says:

    To piggyback on what I wrote in 41, it really disappoints me that only half of the remaining candidates – Newt and, of course, Paul – seem to care about monetary policy. I don’t consider myself an ardent goldbug, but at the very least removing the Fed’s dual mandate should become a basic plank of Republican platforms.

  48. Boomer Says:

    27.

    >>Every serious economist says we need to do both, increase revenues and cut spending. At the very least, cut spending and maintain the current rates.

    This is true but it doesn’t mean we have to raise taxes. In fact, that is precisely the wrong prescription.

    Raising the amount of revenue the government takes in can be much more effectively realized by broadening the base than by squeezing more out of an increasingly smaller group. In fact, doing the latter is economic suicide.

    This was the singular genius of the Reagan years as far as economic policy. Lower the overall rates to stimulate the economy which gets more people working which in turn increases the amount of money to the government. Historical trends have show that tax receipts always max out at around 18% – 20% of GDP. Trying to bring in more just causes the system to fail. Thats the single biggest fact liberals fail to understand. Tax the rich more, the rich work less and there are fewer jobs and a spiraling down. It has never worked in the past and will never work in the future.

    Spending needs to be reigned in to balance the historical revenue of no more than 18 – 20%, and it needs to be done fast, or we will be looking at a crisis that will make the Greek failure, and make no mistake, the crap that is being peddled as a solution right now with the EU bailout is just that, crap, will like a day in the park. It can and will happen here and there is no entity on the planet big enough to bail us out.

    The next President will decide whether we go off the economic cliff or not. Thats just math. Maybe its why I’m a bit less interested in debating contraceptives at the moment.

  49. Anthony Dalke Says:

    45,

    Yep, of course, that, too. It seriously harms our negotiating posture (and the public’s perception of us) if we categorically refuse to entertain any forms of tax increases. The infamous “one dollar of tax increases for 10 dollars of spending cuts” question serves as the chief example.

  50. Jonathan Says:

    #47:

    I strongly disagree with any sort of gold standard scheme; it would cause a huge retraction in the money supply, beyond what is necessary. The dollar would be stronger, but that’s because there would only be 20 of them in circulation.

  51. John Mark Says:

    I know I’ll get crucified for saying this, but the Reagan years were debt based. It might have been fine back then because we hadn’t just gone through Bush and Obama and we could somewhat afford to splurge our way to prosperity, but can we really afford a Reagan now?

  52. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    38 Anthony Dalke,

    That “growth-maximizing level of government” is for the federal, state, and local combined.

    So my goal of 10% or less for the feds, when added to state and local government coincidentally puts it around that 15%-25% number.

  53. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    That is, if we cut state and local as well.

  54. Boomer Says:

    47.

    I’m not sure how you missed Romney’s repeated statement that on day 1 he would cite China as a currency manipulator at the WTO because of their refusal to float their currency but that is probably the single most important reason that Paul is friendly with Romney. Even Paul admits that a rapid return to the gold standard would be economic suicide for the US and no sane person would advocate it.

    This is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts. To many people focus on parsing each word of a candidates speeches without listening to what they are saying.

  55. MarqueG Says:

    Boomer #48. Good stuff.

  56. Hunter Says:

    This is definitely the sort of thing Romney needed to do to, and hopefully his tax proposals are bold enough to make sure the momentum swings back in his favor. No amount of coverage of Rick Santorum’s past statements is going to make much difference in the short term… Watching the discusson on Fox News tonight concerning Santorum’s “Satan” comments, it’s very similar to Gingrich’s responses in the South Carolina debates. It didn’t so much matter to right-wing pundits or GOP primary voters that his ex-wife’s claims were likely true; no, they just loved the way Newt lashed out at the media. It appears that Santorum is taking the approach (and maybe, all things considered, it’s the politically wise approach) that there’s nothing wrong with what he said, it’s just the mainstream media out to destroy him. I suspect that this will once again resonate with a good chunk of primary voters. Nevermind how toxic all of this will make him in the general election! This is the same sort of logic that lead to Herman Cain having great fundraising success after the sexual assault scandals were all over the media. -sigh-

  57. MarqueG Says:

    The gold standard is nearly pointless in today’s world unless you can figure a way to get other countries to join in. Can’t imagine what a gold-standard in one country would do. It looks sensible at a glance, but I’m sure there are unintended consequences galore. For one, our EPA would barely allow gold mining on the large scale that current gold prices would imply. Developing countries would be far less inhibited by environmental concerns, and might even attempt concerted hostile action to increase the global gold supply just to undermine an autarkic American gold standard.

  58. Keith Price Says:

    18

    Eliminating loopholes and shelters while leaving rates unchanged is definitionally equivalent to raising taxes.

    A Loophole is where a taxpayer uses a tax reduction in a way it was never intended. Closing those loopholes forces the legal cheaters to play fair.

    So, true, it increases tax revenues, but it’s not fair to call it a tax increase.

  59. MarqueG Says:

    John Mark, you are right that Reagan left behind a high debt-load (now since long exceeded). One of the reasons for it was the supposed deal he, and subsequently Bush 41, entered into: To raise taxes in exchange for cutting spending. Both Reagan and Bush 41 were duped by majority Dem congresses because the tax hikes went into effect immediately, but the promises of future spending cuts were never enacted. This is one of the reasons that the small-government wing of the Teaper movement is on the brink of rebellion against the current GOP congressfolk who have failed to cut actual government spending rather than slowing the projected rate of spending growth.

  60. MarqueG Says:

    Keith: Loopholes are legal and intensional, even if sometimes arising from code ambiguity. I think you’re mistaken.

    Their complicated statutory phrasing makes them ripe for purposeful misconstrual.

  61. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    One thing I just thought of:

    Newt was fully intending to go into tomorrow’s debate and say, “I’m the only one with bold ideas. The other two are timid and their policies are too incremental.”

    Well, there goes that talking point.

    ————————————————————–

    Also, if Mitt and his camp have any clue, Mitt should be prepped to go into tomorrow’s debate and play good cop. There’s no reason to go into a debate and reveal a bold new tax plan, and then muck it up by arguing with Rick Santorum over the Olympic earmark or the polar bear zoo earmark. Mitt needs good soundbites out of this debate, not crappy ones where Santorum hammers him over petty issues.

  62. TruthBeTold Says:

    Just a thought on the politics, not the substance, of Romney tax plan.

    Releasing a new supply-side tax plan days before the primary is risky. If intended
    to recapture momentum it will have to be bold and creative, which likely means
    slashing top marginal rates. Romney has of course also proposed expanding the military.
    So the immediate question will be whether the plan cuts the deficit or is at least
    deficit-neutral. That will be unlikely unless Romney also proposes specific cuts (which
    is why the military expansion is relevant).

    The surest way for Romney’s tax plan to fail is if there is a credible argument that
    it adds to the deficit and debt by giving additional tax breaks to the upper income earners.

  63. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    62

    Yes, true.

    But among those who have seen the details, they appear impressed. Larry Kudlow has seen it, and Kevin Madden also has.

  64. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    And by the way, Larry Kudlow says that the plan is “brand-able” and it can be done with a “number” – but he was asked by the campaign not to reveal the details.

  65. Dave Says:

    Some thoughts:

    1. Reagan’s tax cuts dramatically increased income over the course of his Presidency.
    2. The problem was that when the Government takes in a dollar, it spends more than a dollar.
    3. The Rahn Curve would maximize growth at approximately 10% to 15%.
    4. Romney can’t cut taxes so much that he can’t balance the budget within a single term.
    5. Look for marginal rate cuts, and incentives to invest and reinvest.
    6. Whatever it is will be good, since Hubbard and Mankiw are the best.

    The good news is that by running on fundamental tax reform, he can build a consensus behind it during the GE, making it easier to implement. The bad news is that the Dems and the media can mischaracterize it, making it harder to get elected.

    Mitt shouldn’t change his status as the ONLY Republican who can beat Obama.

  66. TruthBeTold Says:

    #63 – Yes, I saw that, which suggests a flat tax, but that would really
    surprise me, unless his follow’s Gingrich’s lead and makes it optional.

    #65 – But Reagan’s tax cuts did not pay for themselves, which is an important
    lesson.

  67. Dave Says:

    What Mitt is coming out with tomorrow is just what he’s said all along he WOULD come out with during his first term….fundamental tax reform. The difference is that he’s going to get specific.

  68. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    66

    It’s not going to be a flat tax, I promise.

    By the way, those who have seen it seem to be indicating that the plan is something new and original. They said how you look at Paul Ryan and you think “entitlement reform” and you look at Steve Forbes and you think “flat tax” and you look at Jack Kemp and you think “empowerment zones.” The fact that Kudlow even said this suggests to me that Mitt is doing something new and exciting. I hope so. I’ve been begging for him to do it now for 2 weeks. We’ll see if it’s the kind of thing I had hoped he would release when I began suggesting this is what he needed to do.

  69. aspire Says:

    Rick Santorum told a crowd of Arizona Republicans today that he was “an outsider when he was inside” Washington, arguing he fought corruption and wasteful spending during his 16 years in Congress.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/21/10469704-santorum-says-he-was-outsider-during-time-in-congress

    Rick, Rick, Rick…didn’t anyone tell you? You can only be an “outsider” for your first 15 years in Washington, then you’re officially in “insider”. If we went by Santorum’s definition (17+ years), there would only be about 100 Washington insiders at any given time.

  70. Tennessean for Mitt Says:

    Kudlow seemed excited about it. He has been pushing Romney to do this for awhile also. Mitt had a good interview with Kudlow about a month ago. I wish he could always be that relaxed in an interview.

  71. aspire Says:

    65 I don’t think it’s just about taxes, you need to set the barriers to success and competition as low as possible.

  72. MarqueG Says:

    MassCon #68: It isn’t so much that Mitt’s plan should promise newness or originality. It is that it should be coherent and of a piece with Mitt’s vision for the country. I hope that, in case he is the nominee, it is of a larger philosophy for governing this country.

    BTW, Jack Kemp was the one that promoted the “supply side” idea that Reagan glommed on to and got elected for.

    Mitt needs a vision for the country that people can get behind. Yes, he should underpromise and overdeliver, as they say. But it should be a vision that he can sell consistently and that voters can support.

  73. aspire Says:

    18 You only mentioned “rates”, what if other cuts are made that lower the tax collected per person in real dollars? Besides, what if those loopholes only serve to screw your state to the benefit of neighboring states?

  74. aspire Says:

    72 Even people who are educated in economics don’t agree on economics. Romney needs a slogan, not a vision. Sad to say, but true. I think he needs to start talking about all the things he’s “turned around”, then say he’ll turn the economy around too. Something like this:

    I was asked to take over as CEO of a financially unstable, scandal ridden Winter Olympics…and I turned it around.

    I was asked to return to Bain Consulting as CEO when they had financial problems…and I turned it around.

    I was elected Governor of Massachusetts when they had a disastrous financial shortfall…and I turned it around.

    Elect me as president, and I’ll turn this economy around.

  75. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    72

    Yes, his plan must be coherent. But let’s face it. Jon Huntsman’s solid economic plan received little buzz, just some praiseworthy remarks from beard scratching media operations. Mitt’s appeal needs to be revolutionary and buzzworthy if he hopes to change his image and change the narratives of this race.

  76. My Man Mitt 4 President Says:

    Robo calls of Santorum endorsing Romney as a true conservative http://thecompetentconservative.com/on-a-robocall-santorum-endorsing-romney/

  77. aspire Says:

    76 Classic.

  78. Boomer Says:

    72.

    >>BTW, Jack Kemp was the one that promoted the “supply side” idea that Reagan glommed on to and got elected for.

    True. Its a damn shame that Kemp gets so little credit and Reagan gets so much.

    >>Mitt needs a vision for the country that people can get behind. Yes, he should underpromise and overdeliver, as they say. But it should be a vision that he can sell consistently and that voters can support.

    And false. Reagan had no such vision. He just wasn’t Carter. Reagan didn’t do his Shinning City On The Hill shtick, which was a rip off, until his nominating speech.

    Lets get back to the primary where everyone hits each other in the face as hard as they can and save the vision stuff to the general where it always plays.

  79. haner Says:

    Erick Erickson is now out there defending Santorum’s throwing 25 million mainline Protestants under the bus, and trying to paint mainline Protestants as not believing that Jesus resurrected and died to atone for our sins.

    Christ Almighty.

    http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/02/21/a-primer-for-the-media-and-i-agree-with-rick-santorum/

  80. Keith Price Says:

    60

    Loopholes are legal and intensional, even if sometimes arising from code ambiguity. I think you’re mistaken.

    Yes, they’re legal and intentional — but NOT for the purpose they’re being used for. That’s what makes it a loophole.

    For a silly example, let’s pretend the gov decides it’s beneficial to encourage people to hire babysitters, so they offer a tax credit to families who hire them.

    But, the law is badly written and thus families can “legally” get the credit for hiring a dog walker.

    That’s a loophole. Anyone who takes the credit for a dog walker is not breaking the law, but it’s also not the original intent of the tax credit.

    Closing the loophole rewrites the law so it excludes dog walkers, while still allowing the original intent.

    They could also remove the original credit, but that’s not the same thing as closing a loophole. That’s just flat out removing deductions and credits.

  81. Colorado Guy Says:

    If Romney wanted to propose bold, conservative reform he would have done so already. The fact that he hasn’t and is now proposing changes around the edges to his already announced changes around the edges tax plan speaks volumes.

    His new tax plan, which his surrogates and friends in the media are drumming up, is being done for political reasons. Put bluntly, Romney’s new tax plan is driven by the same motivation as his original one – politics.

    Romney had a real chance to win over conservatives the last 3 years if he simply proposed bold, far-reaching conservative reforms. He opted instead to play it safe and tailor his policy proposals around what would make for good politics, what would inoculate himself against the expected Obama/MSM class warfare bulls**t. And you all think THIS guy would make a good president?

  82. Ryan60657 Says:

    So with the addition of these tax ideas, does Romney’s 59-point plan now become a 67-point plan?

  83. Ryan60657 Says:

    80. “Yes, they’re legal and intentional — but NOT for the purpose they’re being used for. That’s what makes it a loophole.”

    Is the home mortgage interest deduction a loophole? The HMI deduction is universally panned by economists as bad policy and a misallocation of resources. Although I benefit from it, I think I would probably be ok with eliminating it, if we could reduce rates across the board by an equivalent amount.

  84. Keith Price Says:

    82. Ryan, you’re mixing arguments.

    No one is saying Mitt did or will close ONLY loopholes. But, the discussion of loopholes should be separate from the removing of deductions, such as home mortgage interest.

    My comment was in response to someone (you?) saying closing loopholes IS raising taxes. I say it’s not (though it does raise revenue). But, I agree that closing deductions such as mortgage interest should be considered raising taxes.

  85. 2012 Tax Brackets Says:

    God I love that photo! I think it is a great summary of some of the tax benefits of owning a business. In fact, there are probably many more available depending on your circumstance and your business. Mike King, you are correct that there are many regulations to be wary of and many hurdles to clear but, in the case of the vacation, if the travel is for a business purpose and a few days of vacation are tacked on, you can definitely deduct the cost of the travel. It always pays to do your research and plan ahead; or pay someone else to do it for you!

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