Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romney Ain't Got No Plan

It's all fiction...

Romney’s offerings are more like simulacra of policy proposals. They look, from far away, like policy proposals. They exist on his Web site, under the heading of “Issues,” with subheads like “Tax” and “Health care.” But read closely, they are not policy proposals. They do not include the details necessary to judge Romney’s policy ideas. In many cases, they don’t contain any details at all.

So says Ezra Klein.  And frankly, so says our entire experience with Mitt Romney.  Tax returns?  Retirement from Bain?  PLANS?  That's not for you people.

He's running an opaque campaign, hoping that not being Obama is good enough.  Take taxes, Mr. Klein:

Take taxes. Romney has promised a “permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates,” alongside a grab bag of other goodies, like the end of “the death tax.” Glenn Hubbard, his top economic adviser, has promised that the plan will “broaden the tax base to ensure that tax reform is revenue-neutral.”
It is in the distance between “cut in marginal rates” and “revenue-neutral” that all the policy happens. That is where Romney must choose which deductions to cap or close. It’s where we learn what his plan means for the mortgage-interest deduction, and the tax-free status of employer health plans and the Child Tax Credit. It is where we learn, in other words, what his plan means for people like you and me. And it is empty. Romney does not name even one deduction that he would cap or close. He even admitted, in an interview with CNBC, that his plan “can’t be scored because those details have to be worked out.”
Compare that to Obama’s tax plan, which you can read on pages 37 through 40 of his 2013 budget proposal (though not, it should be said, on his campaign Web site, which is even less detailed than Romney’s). In these pages, Obama tells you exactly how he would like to raise taxes on the rich. He proposes allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for income over $250,000, capping itemized deductions for wealthy Americans at 28 percent, taxing carried interest as ordinary income and more. The total tax increase, compared to current policy, is $1.5 trillion.

This is at the heart of Mitten's problem.  He has run as a cipher for his entire political life.  Now, by making a panic pick of Ryan, he can no longer be a cipher.  He owns Ryan's plan, and so does the GOP.  Which has a lot of GOP strategists very itchy.

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