The Brutal Numbers Behind Romney’s Tax Proposals

There’s a really informative piece up at TPM about how Mitt Romney’s tax plans simply don’t add up:

Romney’s tax cuts are projected to cost the federal government $5 trillion over 10 years, on top of the $4 trillion 10-year cost of making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Existing deductions and exemptions in the tax code, all together, reduce receipts by about $1 trillion per year, according to estimates.

Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said all the deductions Romney proposed to scrap “would pay for less than 20 percent” of the $5 trillion cost of his tax plan. “The deductions he unveiled would raise less than $1 trillion,” he said.

Romney’s mortgage interest proposal would yield “probably less than 1 percent of the total cost” of his tax cuts, Marr said, while axing the state and local deduction for everyone, which would be very difficult to enact politically, would yield about $800 billion to $900 billion over 10 years. “So that’d be a major step but still pay for a small share of his tax cuts,” Marr said.

It’s been said before, but it’s pretty remarkable how far the Romneys of the world will go, how much fiscal damage they’re willing to unleash, just to make sure that rich people’s taxes don’t go up appreciably.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.