Paul Ryan, sitting next to Mitt Romney on 60 Minutes, claims the GOP ticket wants to force wealthy people to pay more taxes by taking away their tax shelters:
What we're saying is take away the tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by people in the top tax brackets so they can't shelter as much money from taxation [unintelligible] lower tax rates for everybody to make America more competitive.If you didn't know anything about the tax code, Ryan's statement might sound good: close tax shelters for the rich so that everybody can get a tax cut. But there's a catch: The tax cut he wants to give to the rich would cost more than the amount that would be generated by closing the tax shelters. The result: Either the middle-class would pay more or the tax cuts would explode the deficit. Either way would be a disaster.
Oh, and just in case you had any doubt about whether or not Ryan is completely full of it: His own budget plan would have eliminated all taxes on investment income. Under that plan, Mitt Romney's 2010 taxes would have been 0.82 percent. In other words, Paul Ryan wanted to give Mitt Romney the mother of all tax shelters, the flattest tax imaginable: a tax rate that begins with a zero.