The authors of a report showing Mitt Romney’s tax reform proposal would raise taxes on the middle class aren’t backing down from their findings, even after Mitt Romney derided the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center study as “garbage”.
The Tax Policy Center addressed a number of criticisms from the Romney campaign and his supporters in a detailed Q-and-A posted on its website Thursday. None of the complaints affected its conclusions, which the group said were based on running simple numbers around Romney’s previously stated goal of revenue-neutral tax reform that would lower income tax rates while eliminating tax deductions, starting with those that benefit the wealthiest Americans.
“[I]t remains true — as we showed in our paper — that a reform proposal that meets the five goals stated above would have to raise burdens on middle-class households,” they wrote.
That finding remained true, as they reiterated from their initial study, even when they assumed higher-than-expected growth based on formulas written by the Romney campaign’s own economic advisers.
Despite criticizing the report as biased and inaccurate, Romney has not released any details as to how he would pay for his tax plan instead. Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, recently said that the campaign would not fill in the blanks until after the election. The study’s authors noted that there was nothing preventing Romney from scaling back his goals for tax reform in a way that would not require a middle-class tax hike.
The Obama team has made the study a centerpiece of its campaign, citing it prominently in ads like the one below:
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.