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US President Barack Obama (R) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) participate in the second presidential debate, the only held in a townhall format, at the David Mack Center at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012, moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley.
Two major points of contention during last night’s presidential debate were the divergence between the two opponents’ tax policies and plans to increase employment. Some experts criticize President Barack Obama for exaggerating the benefits of taxing the wealthy, while others say Mitt Romney’s numbers simply do not add up.
In the debate and throughout his campaign, Obama has emphasized the importance making sure wealthy Americans pay their fare share in taxes. What he doesn’t seem to mention is that even if all Americans in the highest income bracket pay significantly more in taxes, it would only be a small drop in the bucket toward paying down the nation’s towering deficit. Meanwhile, Romney has proposed to cut taxes for all Americans, including the wealthy, but has not provided a detailed account of how to fill the gap left by the major loss in tax revenue that would occur under his plan.
The candidates have also expressed very different views on how to create more jobs. Obama seems poised to focus on fostering employment in newer and greener industries, while Romney supports increasing jobs in more traditional industries such as domestic oil production.
Which plan has the most holes in it? What more can be done to solve America’s financial difficulties for the long-term?
Michael Ettlinger, Vice President, Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress
Curtis Dubay is a Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation, where he specializes in tax issues