Colbert had a moderately funny clip the other night that asked a really good question.
RED-TIE STEPHEN: Hey, he is looking out for the middle class.
BLUE-TIE STEPHEN: He’s promising a 20% tax cut for the top 1%.
RED-TIE STEPHEN: Ah, but he’s also promising to close their tax loopholes, so they’ll still pay the same amount.
BLUE-TIE STEPHEN: Then… why cut their taxes?
Romney and Ryan are still insisting that they can cut taxes 20% across the board, repeal the estate tax, and repeal the alternative minimum tax without increasing the deficit or without increasing taxes even more on the middle class (which already shoulders the brunt of the tax burden). The most reliable study on the matter comes from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. In keeping with his strategy of not knowing where the fuck he stands on an issue, Romney has both cited the TPC as a reliable source (just the other day, but also in criticizing Rick Santorum in the primaries, at which time he referred to them as “an objective, third-party source”) and has also disavowed them as a biased, liberal think-tank when they pointed out that his financial plan was mathematically impossible (or, as laymen would call it, a “lie”).Anyway, the rebuttal from the Romney campaign is that six studies confirm that his plan would work. Josh Barro is having none of it.
They say they have six independent studies — six! — that “have confirmed the soundness of the Governor’s tax plan,” and so I should stop whining. Let’s take a tour of those studies and see how they measure up.
The Romney campaign sent over a list of the studies, but they are perhaps more accurately described as “analyses,” since four of them are blog posts or op-eds. I’m not hating — I blog for a living — but I don’t generally describe my posts as “studies.”
Snap. And the hits from Barro keep coming. He goes in depth on all the blog posts and one the lone actual study supporting Romney’s tax plan which came from former Bush adviser Harvey Rosen, which is hardly bipartisan.
But don’t worry about Mitt’s tax plan not adding up. I mean, it’s not like the guy has favored the wealthy his whole life and would ever lie to get elected. The guy’s a Mormon for crying out loud! God is watching!
If Romney wants to make this election about economics, the President should oblige him tonight by jumping on this fib from the Ryan campaign and on calling Romney out for not revealing any specifics when he’s clamoring for our vote less than a month before the election, and just ride that horse the rest of the night.
The other popular option is for Mitt to try his hand at foreign policy again. He might as well stick his hand in a political blender.