President Obama is hammering Mitt Romney‘s economic plan anew on the campaign trail, based on a just-released study by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center that found Romney’s plan would raise taxes on 95% of Americans, while delivering an $87,000 cut for millionaires. The Romney campaign pushed back by calling the study “biased,” and the Tax Policy Center a “liberal” group. As TPM points out, though, that same Romney campaign sang a different tune about the Tax Policy Center in November.
In a campaign speech in Akron, Ohio today, the President cited the Tax Policy Center report while attacking Romney’s plan, telling the vocal crowd “the centerpiece of my opponent’s entire economic plan is not only to extend the Bush tax cuts, but then to add a new $5 trillion tax cut on top of it. The bulk of this would go to the wealthiest Americans. A lot of it would go to the top 1 percent. Pay attention here — folks making more than $3 million a year — the top one-tenth of 1 percent — they would get a tax cut under Mr. Romney’s plan that is worth almost a quarter of a million dollars — $250,000 they would save under his plan.”
To boos from the audience, the President continued, “Hold on, it gets worse. My opponent says he’s going to pay for this $ 5 trillion plan, but under this plan guess who gets the bill for these $250,000 tax cuts? You do. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Just today, an independent, non-partisan organization, they crunched all the numbers. They looked at his plan. This wasn’t me, it wasn’t my team. This was an independent group. One of the guys who did the analysis used to work for Bush.”
The Romney campaign put out a statement this afternoon from Policy Director Lanhee Chen, which read, in part, “This is just another biased study from a former Obama staffer that ignores critical parts of Governor Romney’s tax reform program, which will help the middle class and promote faster economic growth.”
Their substantive problem with the study is that it did not assume unrealistic growth from Romney’s plan, but the study concluded that even assuming large growth, “revenue neutrality would still require large reductions in tax expenditures and would likely result in a net tax increase for lower- and middle-income households and tax cuts for high-income households.”
The study also calculated the cuts necessary to achieve revenue neutrality in a way that made the outcome as progressive as possible, yet still found that the very wealthiest would reap the benefits, while the rest of us picked up the bill.
While the Romney campaign tries to cast aspersions on the Tax Policy Center today, TPM points out that they gave the group their seal of approval as recently as November:
While the Romney campaign hasn’t rebutted the substance of the study, they claim the Tax Policy Center should be dismissed entirely as a biased source.
But the Obama campaign notes that Romney aides took a very different view of the group when they put out a similar analysis of Rick Perry’s tax plan during the Republican primaries. Here’s how a Romney press release in November described their work: Objective, Third-Party Analysis Showed Governor Perry’s Plan Would Raise Taxes On Millions Of American Families – But He Doesn’t Seem Interested In The Discussion.
That’s right, folks, Mitt Romney’s campaign was for the Tax Policy Center before they were against it.
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