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Please begin with an informative title:

Since the first 10 minutes of the first Obama/Romney debate, I've had a nagging question that I have expected to hear someone - whether the Obama campaign, the punditry, the smart folks at DK, anyone - ask.  Perhaps it is just too simple, or maybe I just don't understand the argument, so if it is the latter, I'm hoping that someone here can enlighten me...

Throughout the entirety of this campaign, we've heard the GOP argue that the prescription for healing the economy is to lower taxes on the "job creators" so that they have "more money in their pockets" to "create jobs," and that these tax cuts will therefore result in a pony, whoops, an explosion of economic activity which will benefit all.

Since early in the first debate, however, the Romney / Ryan position has been that they will lower tax rates but will, for high-earners, cancel out the cut in rates with elimination or limiting deductions, so that the upper income brackets do not pay less in taxes, i.e. their effective tax rate will be unchanged.

Can someone explain to me what the supposed economic effect of rearranging the furniture like this would be?  If we just monkey with rates and deductions so that the ultimate effect is the same effective tax rate on the "job creators," how can this possibly spur any job creation - even if one buys into this trickle-down malarky to begin with?


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