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Forgive me if anyone else has already mentioned this, but did anyone else notice that Romney repeatedly based his claim of not cutting taxes for the wealthy on a mathematical bait and switch?

Throughout the debate, when the subject came up, he'd say he wasn't going to lower taxes for the wealthy because 'the top 5% will still pay 60% of Federal taxes.' While a decent-sounding Zinger, it's complete junk.

Say the government collects $100 in taxes and the wealthy pay for $60 of it. If you cut taxes across the board by 20% so that the government collects only $80 and the wealthy only pay $48 guess what? You've given a massive tax cut to the wealthy and yet they are STILL PAYING 60% OF FEDERAL TAXES.

He never said that the AMOUNT of taxes paid by the top 5% would remain the same, only that the PERCENT of taxes would remain at 60%.

I know, I know. Math hurts.

I just couldn't stop my jaw from hitting the floor when he made this ridiculous promise, not once, but repeatedly. He reminded me of a snake oil salesman promising that his fancy new elixir will--when mixed with ordinary water--quench the deepest thirst.

Heck, if Romney's being that generous, why not cut everyone's taxes to zero? He can still make his bogus claim.

60% of nothing is still nothing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good diary, but once you start parsing the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluedust, polecat

    details - you might want to make sure things are 100% correct -eg. this:

    You've given a massive tax cut to the wealthy and yet they are STILL PAYING 60% OF FEDERAL TAXES.
    Methinks you mean 60% of federal INCOME taxes . . . .  (since about an equal about of $$s come in through payroll taxes, which the very rich definitely DO NOT pay 60% of.
  •  Yeah, I caught that, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat

    And let me add, a 20% cut in taxes across the board is not an evenly distributed tax cut.

    The lowest bracket is 10% - a 20% cut means a 2% advantage in a paycheck.

    The highest bracket is 35% - a 20% cut means a 7% advantage in a paycheck.

  •  I was dissappointed Obama didn't jump on this (0+ / 0-)

    There are only two possible outcomes to what Romney said.

    1) The rich pay 60% of a smaller pot and our deficit goes up.

    Or

    2) The rich pay 60% of the same pot in which case there's no point to the policy. Steven Colbert made this point last week - if it's revenue neutral and every one pays the same amount, why bother?

    Of course, it won't be revenue neutral so either the deficit will increase, the middle class and poor will have to pay a greater percentage, or we'll have to slash spending. My guess is it would be some combination of all three.

    I have to say, I thought Obama missed several really easy opportunities to attack Romney's math. That said, I'll take this performance over the first debate any day.

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