August 02, 2012
President Obama derided Mitt Romney‚Äôs tax plan as ‚Äútrickle-down tax-cut fairy dust‚ÄĚ Thursday afternoon and told supporters that the millionaire businessman and presumptive GOP nominee would raise taxes on the middle class so ‚Äúpeople like him‚ÄĚ could get a tax cut.
For the second day in a row, Obama pointed to a study by a Washington think tank that said Romney‚Äôs call for a 20 percent across-the-board cut in income tax rates would require gutting popular middle-class tax breaks like the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
Senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom blasted the study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center as ‚Äúa joke‚ÄĚ that doesn‚Äôt take into account economic growth that Romney says his tax cuts would spur.
Romney, in addition to calling for the reduction in income tax rates, has said his plan would not be a net drain on the treasury because he would also broaden the tax base by eliminating unspecified loopholes and tax deductions.
But the Tax Policy Center concluded that paying for the rate cuts would require eliminating so many breaks that anyone earning less than $200,000 would end up with a higher tax burden.
In one scenario, the study estimates that those making more than $1 million would see an average tax cut of $87,117 while a taxpayer with children earning less than $200,000 would see a $2,041 tax increase.
Obama pounced on that figure while speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of 2,400 at Rollins College.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs not asking you to pay an extra $2,000 to reduce the deficit. He‚Äôs not asking you to pay an additional $2,000 to help care for seniors. He‚Äôs not asking you to pay an additional $2,000 in order to rebuild America or to fight a war,‚ÄĚ Obama said.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs asking you to pay more so that people like him can pay less.‚ÄĚ
The Obama campaign also featured the study in a new TV ad that began airing in Florida on Thursday with the line, ‚ÄúMitt Romney‚Äôs middle-class tax increase ‚ÄĒ he pays less, you pay more.‚ÄĚ
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, the Romney campaign‚Äôs Fehrnstrom noted that one of the Tax Policy Center report‚Äôs authors is a former Obama economic adviser. Obama countered in his speech that the director of the center, Donald Marron, was an economic adviser to former President George W. Bush.
Romney economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the Tax Policy Center report was based on a ‚Äústatic‚ÄĚ analysis that failed to account for the dynamic effects of economic growth.
‚ÄúIf you have 5 to 10 million more people, or even more, getting jobs because of the economic growth associated with a broad-based tax reform, then eliminating that from your analysis gives you a very biased result,‚ÄĚ Hassett said.
Obama mocked the idea of tax cuts fueling economic growth.
‚ÄúThey have tried to sell us this trickle-down tax-cut fairy dust before,‚ÄĚ the president said.
‚ÄúAnd guess what? It didn‚Äôt work then. It will not work now‚Ä¶It takes us back to a place we don‚Äôt need to be. We do not need more tax cuts for folks who have done very, very well. We need more tax cuts for working Americans.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúTrickle-down‚ÄĚ economics is the term frequently used to criticize the tax-cut policies of Ronald Reagan and subsequent Republicans who have made lower taxes a centerpiece of the party‚Äôs economic philosophy.
A recession during Reagan‚Äôs first term led the economy to shed about 2.6 million private sector jobs. But in the three years after that recession ended, the economy added 9.1 million jobs.
Obama took office in the midst of a recession in which private sector employment plummeted by 7.7 million jobs. The recession officially ended in June 2009 and private employment bottomed out in February 2010. Since then, about 4.4 million new private sector jobs have been created.
Private sector employment was 111.1 million in June, compared to 111 million in when Obama took office in January 2009. Before the recession took hold, private employment reached 115.6 million in January 2008.
As he often does in his campaign speeches, Obama asked for patience with the tepid recovery of the last three years and emphasized economic conditions before he was sworn in.
‚ÄúWe had gone through a decade of sluggish job growth and jobs being shipped overseas and going from surpluses to deficits, all culminating in a financial crisis on Wall Street. So we understood it was going to take some time to deal with challenges that didn‚Äôt happen overnight,‚ÄĚ Obama said Thursday.
Before Obama arrived at Orlando International Airport on Thursday, the Romney campaign deployed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to criticize the president‚Äôs economic policies at an Orlando business.
At that event, The Orlando Sentinel reported, Rubio said Obama does not believe in ‚Äúthe miracle of free enterprise‚ÄĚ and is ‚Äúwedded to the ideas of the old world.‚ÄĚ
Romney‚Äôs campaign, which rented 13 billboards in the Orlando area this week to blast Obama for his ‚Äúyou didn‚Äôt build that‚ÄĚ remark about businesses, also began airing a new TV ad in Florida on Thursday that accuses Obama of neglecting the economy so he could pass the federal health care law.
‚ÄúHe focused on Obamacare instead of jobs. Barack Obama ‚ÄĒ what a disappointment,‚ÄĚ the Romney ad says.
After landing in Orlando, Obama‚Äôs motorcade made a brief stop at a Lechonera El Barrio, a Cuban cafe on Orlando‚Äôs heavily Hispanic east side. The president ordered carry-out lunches and chatted with diners, owners and employees. He also visited with children at a church summer camp next door before heading to Rollins College.
Obama, who turns 51 on Saturday, was serenaded with Happy Birthday To You by the crowd in the college gymnasium.
‚ÄúWinning Florida wouldn‚Äôt be a bad birthday present,‚ÄĚ Obama said.
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