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Romney tax increases

April 16, 2012 - John Stack
I am beginning to think that the only way Mitt Romney can win election this fall is by saying NOTHING between now and then. And I mean only name, address and dog tag number. Any time he opens his mouth with something new, and not fed to him by his multi-million dollar machine, he says something to make you wonder how on earth he can win 51% of the electoral votes. And I’m not just talking the normal ‘Obama raises taxes, Obama made the recession and recovery last longer, he hates children and animals’. No, these are just typical political hogwash no one actually listens to from either party. No, I’m talking about when he actually tells us what he would if elected.

I guess my first point is double sided – what he would do in office, but what he won’t tell us. This past weekend, Romney laid out to a group of investors some of his plans. He said he might get rid of Housing and Urban Development (ironically what his father ran) as well as merging other departments and eliminating others. He also talked about reducing the Federal Education Department. No eliminate it, as others have called for, but that he would decrease its size so he would cynically have something to hold over education unions. I could go on about how getting rid of HUD is A0not likely to happen and B) a really bad idea and C) another reason to show how anyone outside the top 1% need not apply. But the problem is in what he didn’t say. He said he wouldn’t commit to eliminating or merging any agencies. He refuses to say what he would do. He even admits his opponents would just use those statements against him. I claim that if his ideas can’t stand the light of day on the campaign trail, why would they be acceptable after he was elected? This election has really come down to fighting the other side more so than explaining how you are better (except by showing the other guy is bad, so you must vote for me). Romney had a chance to actually outline some plans that many of us have been dying to find out. What substance does Romney have? What would he actually change? Instead he teased us but then retreated to the ‘I will make government more efficient’. Talk about a straw man argument. What elected official would ever say ‘I will make government even more inefficient? Anyone – Liberal, Conservative or Libertarian ALL say the same thing. Its not exactly distinguishing you from the pack.

Romney’s ideas about tax deductions are what got me the most. Romney said he would eliminate 3 federal income deductions. 1) the mortgage interest on second homes – uh, I have to agree with this one. I never knew you could deduct mortgage interest on a second home 2.) The deduction for state income tax and 3.) the deduction for local property tax. Now, numbers 2 and 3 have a higher taxpayer ratings than mom and apple pie. I would say the vast majority of homeowners apply the property tax deduction and are extremely happy about it, as one of the few ways they actually get a small break for the property taxes, which Mitt doesn’t seem to understand is a much bigger issue with taxpayers than the federal income tax. And as anyone who actually has a federal income tax bill, the deduction for state and local income taxes surely is a small respite that they would not give up willingly. I am at a complete bewilderment how he came up with the latter 2 deductions to be removed. For people on the right, a broad based tax break seems to be their calling card and those on the left also think these deductions are worthy. I can’t imagine him getting a majority of republicans to vote to remove these deductions, let alone the opposition. The only thing I can see is possibly he is catering to those millionaires and billionaires in states that have no income tax. Two states with the highest property taxes – New York and New Jersey would be hit hardest by this, but Romney isn’t worried about this as he has as much chance of winning New York and New Jersey as Glenn Beck has of winning a Pulitzer for investigative reporting.


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