Voters should cry foul on Romney obfuscation

info@islandpacket.comOctober 29, 2012 

In their debates with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made the same claim: Romney's proposed 20 percent across-the-board tax cut, costing $5 trillion over a decade, would be revenue neutral.

They haven't said how they would offset the revenue loss, other than to suggest that deductions would be eliminated. Romney has said that deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable donations will remain and that there might be a $25,000 cap on deductions.

Romney and Ryan cited five (now six) studies supporting their plan. The "studies" weren't all studies, and none of them was nonpartisan. Of the three that could be considered studies, Romney campaign advisers wrote two, and a former economic adviser to President George W. Bush wrote the third.

The Economist, a highly acclaimed British publication, says that Romney is "fudging the numbers." It stated, "Mr. Romney knows his numbers don't work, but he keeps insisting with bald-faced insouciance that they do, and using the most transparent used-car-salesman-style obfuscation to evade the question. He pulled exactly the same stunt during his debate with Barack Obama last week." And he did it again in the last two debates.

You can check out both campaigns' claims at:, which is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce deception and confusion in U.S. politics.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

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