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Do the math: does Romney’s tax plan add up?

Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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In his nomination acceptance speech, George H.W. Bush famously promised voters “no new taxes.” Mitt Romney has a different promise: keeping Bush-era tax cuts in place, and adding even more, across all income levels.

How to make up the difference? By limiting deductions and exemptions and simplifying the code overall, closing loopholes and hopefully giving a break to small businesses. But in a recent study, the Tax Policy Center tested the plan and found it didn’t add up. Is this a math problem that just needs to go back to the whiteboard? Or is the overall plan flawed, as many believe?

It’s clear that Romney’s proposed cuts will be welcomed by those in the higher tax brackets, but what will this overhaul mean to middle and lower-class taxpayers?


Senator Ron Johnson, (R-WI) Member of the Senate Committees on the Budget and Appropriations

Representative Dennis A. Ross, (FL-12) Republican Congressman serving Polk, Hillsborough and Osceola Counties

William Gale, co-director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings