Monday, September 10, 2012

From Romney's Official Web Site - His Tax Plan explained

Romney and Ryan
While on the Campaign trail we hear a lot of platitudes and rhetoric from Romney and Ryan but very little factual information on how they plan to improve our economic condition.  The Romney tax plan has been one of these kinds of issues.  

So for this session, I will review the actual facts as presented by Romney on his official web site,  When I am done, I think you'll understand why he is so quiet about it on the campaign trail.  Those lines that are in quotes are extracted from Romney's web site.  Those lines that follow the quoted lines are my explanatory comments.

To repair the nation’s tax code, marginal rates must be brought down to stimulate entrepreneurship, job creation, and investment, while still raising the revenue needed to fund a smaller, smarter, simpler government. The principle of fairness must be preserved in federal tax and spending policy.”

Lower marginal tax rates secure for all Americans the economic gains from tax reform.”

The following paragraphs cite the various steps in Romney's plan.

Romney's Tax Plan For Individuals:

Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates"

Marginal rates have the greatest effect on the wealthiest of taxpayers. A twenty percent rate cut is a huge amount but only makes a real difference to the wealthiest among us.   Add to that the tax loop-holes that are only available to the wealthy and soon middle class America will not only be paying a higher tax percentage than the wealthy, but some may even pay more in absolute tax dollars than the rich.

Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains”

The categories of income included in interest, dividends and capital gains are used almost exclusively by the wealthy. The current tax rates for these are very low with capital gains as low as 15%. With the many tax loop-holes available to the ultra-rich, this tax rate is already lower than that for most wealthy taxpayers. The point is that this tax favoritism is again directed toward the rich. Most of the middle-class will have almost no tax savings at all because they do not have income from investments.

“Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains”

Again, these categories are already non-existent for most middle-class Americans. The estimated AGI income of the Middle class Americans is around $50,000. About 94% of America has AGI less than $100,000.  Ask yourself how much of your taxable income (not 401K investments) comes from cash stock trades done throughout the year.  Do you understand that Romney's plan is targeting benefits for the wealthy?

Eliminate the Death Tax”

This tax is already non-existent for middle class Americans unless an individual has over $5,000,000 in assets.  And who do you think would benefit from such a tax elimination? Let me give you a clue.  It is estimated that the heirs of the each of Koch brothers would benefit by nearly $8 billion dollars if this tax was eliminated

Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)”

The AMT is paid only if the regular tax amount would be less than the AMT amount. It is not used in addition to the regular tax rate, but as the name implies, as an alternative to the regular rate. It is normally required by individuals and Corporations with incomes over $200,000. Since Romney is proposing to make the regular tax rates for the wealthiest individuals much less, he must repeal the AMT, or his favoritism to the wealthy would be over-ridden by the AMT. So this strategy is not to benefit the middle-class, but instead to ensure that his tax favoritism for the wealthy stays in tact.

Romney's Corporate Tax Plan:

Cut the corporate rate to 25 percent”

Romney's tax plan for Corporations calls for a 10% reduction in tax rates. Similar to the plan for wealthy individuals it goes without saying that Corporate Tax initiatives would favor the wealthiest in America. It has very little benefit on the middle class. No jobs will be created because Corporations have their taxes cut unless demand increases. The American worker is the source of nearly 75% of the demand in America. Reducing taxes for the rich will only benefit the rich as it has for the last thirty years with very little improvement in jobs or take-home pay for workers. When more workers are employed and wages are improved, demand will increase. This starts from the middle-class out and not from the top down.

Strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit”

This tax advantage is intended to increase spending on Corporate Research. It is difficult to know how much of an impact that this tax credit has had on the economy but it is known what kind of tax advantages are had by Corporations because of it. A study by Ernst and Young in 2005 reported that 17,700 Corporations claimed $6.6 Billion in R&D Tax credits.

Switch to a territorial tax system”

This is Romney's way of allowing American Corporations to escape paying taxes on any business carried out in foreign countries. A territorial Tax system is one that only taxes income earned in the United States. This would be a huge loop-hole for Corporate America to escape paying their fair share of taxes. It is difficult to estimate how much revenue would be lost since it would likely change Corporate practices to take advantage to the greatest extent possible.  It is easy to say that the reduction in Corporate tax revenue would be extremely high and outsourcing of plants and jobs would likely be increased to the max.

Repeal the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)”

For the same reason as the individual AMT repeal, this would be necessary if Romney's other reductions in taxes are to be effective in reducing taxes for the wealthy.

Ultimately, Romney's tax plan would favor the wealthiest of Americans and do little for the middle class.  With a territorial tax it may even hurt the middle class by taking more jobs out of the country.  And who do you think will get stuck paying the taxes that are being lifted from the rich?  You guessed it...Middle-class America.

If you hear Romney and Ryan proclaim that they are for the middle class during their campaign tour, now you'll know that they are both compulsive liars who will say anything to get your vote.  

Like sheep to the slaughter, millions of our middle class American Republicans are being led astray by the slick double-talk of their so-called concerned Republican leaders.  

Save your vote and your job.  Vote a total Democratic ticket this November.

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