James Kwak calls it a "mathematical disaster:"
"There are several things about this plan that are either loony or deeply misleading. One is the claim that it would "address the debt crisis" because it will be paid for by $500 billion in spending cuts by 2016.
But the only proposals mentioned would (a) repeal the Affordable Care Act (increasing deficits, since the ACA has been scored as deficit-reducing); (b) convert Medicaid to a block grant (no deficit impact); (c) increase government efficiency (yawn); and (d) cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for "younger generations" (no impact until well after 2016). In other words, it's a complete fantasy."
Roberton Williams of the Brookings Insitute writes:
"Economists generally favor the principles behind Romney’s plan: Lowering rates and broadening the base is good policy. But a plan that cuts rates and only promises unidentified future base-broadening? Not so much."
Here's what we know. The "across the board" 20% tax cut as he has actually proposed it would:
A. Provide the largest break to the top 0.01 percent of earners, lowering their average annual tax bill by over a quarter of a million dollars.The GOP establishment reaction is predictable. Mitt Romney's most devoted water-carrier in the national press, WaPo's Jennifer Rubin, simply gushes:
B. Set rates radically lower for the wealthiest than the Bush Tax cuts did.
C. Add staggering amounts more to the deficit.
"Mitt Romney has rolled out the remainder of his tax plan that he previewed in part in September when he presented his jobs plan. A conservative tax policy wonk on Capitol Hill told me it is "in line with remarkable policy consensus built among conservatives over past couple of years." EMPHASIS MINE
Of course it is. The wagons circled around the worst revenue policies in American history are united in the cause of reverse socialism. That this plan might seem moderate when compared to the lunatic proposals of Santorum and Gingrich doesn't make it any less ridiculous.
Pat Garofolo observes today how the GOP plans to push the scheme:
"Today on ABC’s This Week, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) noted that Romney’s tax plan would exacerbate income inequality while causing the deficit to explode. Former Gov. John Engler (R-MI) responded by dismissing the numbers, saying that “voters aren’t analysts”:
GRANHOLM: Every analysts who’s looked at, for example, Mitt Romney’s tax plan, says it exacerbates income disparities. Even the deficit, between $2 trillion and $6 trillion he adds to the deficit.Engler's remarks are a big reveal. The GOP is depending on the electorate to remain uninformed.
ENGLER: Voters aren’t analysts. Voters are emotional, and it’s about leadership. And they know what they’ve got. If they like that, they can vote to keep it."
It's the only way they can win.