Will Republicans Drive Voters Away with Too Much Tax Talk?

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the American Legion convention in Indianapolis on Aug. 29, 2012

It’s not exactly a secret that Republicans hate taxes. The speeches at the Republican National Convention this week have been peppered with talk of tax cuts and the evils of “overtaxation.” And the Republican Party platform, approved on Tuesday, goes even further: in a passage that might as well have been written by Ayn Rand, the Repubs declare that “[taxes], by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom.”

Promises of more tax cuts go over big with the Republican faithful. But a new poll from the Pew Research Center suggests that Americans by and large aren’t as tax-averse as the Republicans (and most political observers) seem to assume. And the Republican love of tax-cut rhetoric could end up driving away potential voters.

It’s true that Americans aren’t exactly tax enthusiasts, at least when it comes to them personally: only 6% of those polled said taxes should be raised on those in the middle class. But most Americans don’t think that taxes are an intolerable burden on the middle class: half of those polled said those in the middle are paying their “fair share” of taxes; only 38% feel the middle class is paying too much. No, really.

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The picture was radically different when Americans were asked how they felt about the rich. Only 8% said the rich are paying too much and are thus deserving of the tax breaks Mitt Romney’s plan would dole out so liberally to that demographic. A solid majority of those polled — 58% — said taxes on the rich are too low. Heck, most rich people — 52% — think they pay less than their fair share.

These results suggest that Republican intransigence on keeping tax cuts for the rich may be misguided. And that the rest of Romney’s tax plan may not go over well once it becomes clear what it really entails.

While Romney has been happy to talk about his plan’s big cuts in tax rates, he has provided virtually no details about the tax deductions and other “underbrush” in the tax code that he’ll have to water down or eliminate to make his proposal, as promised, revenue-neutral. Trouble is, these deductions — like the home mortgage interest deduction and deductions for state income taxes already paid — mostly benefit those who aren’t rich, so eliminating them would mean higher, not lower, taxes for poor and middle-class Americans.

Working with the limited details provided so far by the Romney campaign, the Tax Policy Center estimates that his plan would mean a de facto $500 tax increase, on average, for all those earning less than $200,000 a year.

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That will probably go over well with the 6% of Americans who think the middle class should be paying more.

The Romney campaign, perhaps aware that endless talk about Romney’s tax plan may end up backfiring, seems to be adjusting its rhetoric. As Doyle McManus notes in the Los Angeles Times, the campaign seems to be trying hard to position Romney not so much as a champion of tax cuts as a friend of the middle class. That may be a hard sell: the Pew survey found that 71% of Americans thought a Romney presidency would benefit the wealthy; only 40% thought it would also help the middle class.

Still, McManus suggests, we should

[expect] to hear less about capital gains tax rates and more about jobs, higher take-home pay, even better training programs for the unemployed.

Indeed, as he points out:

The retooling of the Romney message began several weeks ago, when the candidate boiled his 59-point “Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth” down to a five-point “Plan for a Stronger Middle Class.” The proposals were the same, but the emphasis was different: more about help for small businesses, less about tax cuts.

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Another benefit of this strategy: it might help get media attention away from the questions surrounding Romney’s tax returns. Even if it turns out there’s nothing fishy going on in his tax filings, they’re yet another reminder that, as a rich guy, he personally would benefit far more from his tax plan than most of those he hopes will vote for him.

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Raymond Chuang
Raymond Chuang

Psst--our tax code is why we have so much corruption in Washington, DC, costs around US$400 BILLION per year in compliance costs, and why American residents and businesses have put nearly US$15 TRILLION in liquid assets in foreign banks for tax avoidance reasons. In short, it's WAY overdue we should massively overhaul our income tax code to something like what Steve Forbes proposed in 1996: a 17% flat tax with just about all tax loopholes removed except for a very generous initial earned income exemption to protect low-income taxpayers.

Obzervur
Obzervur

Only if the tax talk  is about raising taxes!

21Palms
21Palms

Can't seem to get anything past the "censor." Just wanted to test to see if my UN was blacklisted.

21Palms
21Palms

David, David, David, 

Couldn't get a real job so you sold your soul to the propaganda ministry.

"It’s not exactly a secret  that Republicans dislike taxes."

Republican's actually dislike spending that inserts the government into the role of a guardian. 

Republican's dislike borrowing $0.40 of every dollar spends. 

Republicans don't need to reinvent America. America is the most successful political experiment in the history of the planet. 

It's funny to hear liberals like yourself quote a brilliant atheist like Ayn Rand in a derogatory tone since at their core liberals are atheists. As such they are inclined to do what all atheists do - start a new religion. Religion by the way is defined as a man centered system of rules and presuppositions which when followed make one righteous in ones own eyes.

The new religion is egalitarianism wherein everyone gets an equal cut of the pie whether or not they raised the wheat for the crust, picked the cherries for the filling or mixed things together and put it in the oven. The rationale for this 'distribution' is that if you didn't help make the pie it's because you were crowded out of the kitchen by those who did. 

Government is the tool of this new religion. Rather than take up a collection from like minded egalitarians liberals and distribute it according to their trendy philosophy want to confiscate other peoples pie and 'spread it around.'

That's good for everybody... right? 

21Palms
21Palms

David, David, David, 

Couldn't get a real job so you sold your soul to the propaganda ministry.

"It’s not exactly a secret  that Republicans hate taxes."

Republican's actually hate spending that inserts the government into the role of a guardian. 

Republican's hate borrowing $0.40 of every dollar spends. 

Republicans don't need to reinvent America. America is the most successful political experiment in the history of the planet. 

It's funny to hear liberals like yourself a brilliant atheist like Ayn Rand since at their core liberals are atheists. As such they are inclined to do what all atheists do - start a new religion. Religion by the way is defined as a man centered system of rules and presuppositions which when followed make one righteous in ones own eyes.

The new religion is egalitarianism wherein everyone gets an equal cut of the pie whether or not they raised the wheat for the crust, picked the cherries for the filling or mixed things together and put it in the oven. The rationale for this 'distribution' is that if you didn't help make the pie it's because you were crowded out of the kitchen by those who did. 

Government is the tool of this new religion. Rather than take up a collection from like minded egalitarians liberals and distribute it according to their trendy philosophy want to confiscate other peoples pie and 'spread it around.'

That's good for everybody... right? 

21Palms
21Palms

David, David, David, 

Couldn't get a real job so you sold your soul to the propaganda ministry.

"It’s not exactly a secret  that Republicans hate taxes."

Republican's actually hate spending that inserts the government into the role of a guardian. 

Republican's hate borrowing $0.40 of every dollar spends. 

Republicans don't need to reinvent America. America is the most successful political experiment in the history of the planet. 

It's funny to hear liberals like yourself a brilliant atheist like Ayn Rand since at their core liberals are atheists. As such they are inclined to do what all atheists do - start a new religion. Religion by the way is defined as a man centered system of rules and presuppositions which when followed make one righteous in ones own eyes.

The new religion is egalitarianism wherein everyone gets an equal cut of the pie whether or not they raised the wheat for the crust, picked the cherries for the filling or mixed things together and put it in the oven. The rationale for this 'distribution' is that if you didn't help make the pie it's because you were crowded out of the kitchen by those who did. 

Government is the tool of this new religion. Rather than take up a collection from like minded egalitarians liberals and distribute it according to their trendy philosophy want to confiscate other peoples pie and 'spread it around.'

That's good for everybody... right? 

Marcus Taylor
Marcus Taylor

Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, CBS, The Huffington Post, PolitiFact, the Washington Post, Slate and ThinkProgress all published a fact-check of the Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan's speech, finding that the speech was full of lies and misleading assertions. Republicans are defined by their willingness to believe whatever they want about the world. They are like children, playing in a make-believe world where 50%+ of marriages don't end in divorce, teachers unions are the prime cause of public financial imbalances, where tax cuts raise revenue and deregulation of finance and heavy industry promote responsible behavior within for-profit industries and "Free Markets" turn straw sub-prime mortgages into AAA certified Gold Bars. The ability to believe things without any evidence and the ability to believe fabricated evidence is demonstrative of mental derangement.

THE ABILITY TO "LIE THROUGH YOUR TEETH" IS  A REQUIREMENT IF YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN SEEKING POLITICAL OFFICE ....

r_m_reddicks
r_m_reddicks

Come on!  The guy saved the Olympics for Utah.  Or something.  Nice hair, I guess.   His father was at least willing to say that he was "brainwashed" on Vietnam.  Cost him a possible nomination.  Maybe that's why the Mittster went to France?  

Marcus Taylor
Marcus Taylor

THIS IS FROM A TV INTERVIEW WITH THE LAWYER THAT QUESTIONED MITT UNDER OATH WHEN HE WAS MAKING A CASE THAT HE ALWAYS FILED AS A MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT SO HE COULD RUN FOR GOVERNOR .....

" I have alway filed as a Mass resident when in Utah running the Olympics, Take my word for it". When he was shown a copy of his tax returns that listed Utah as his residence of record, Mitt said that must have been a mistake, and that he didn't read his tax returns, he just signed them. This was testified to under oath, when pushed further about his statement about always filling as a Mass resident he relented that the firm that does his taxes made a mistake and he would correct it by filling an amended tax return (ACTUALLY 7 YEARS OF TAX RETURNS, THAT'S THE MASS. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR). Mitt was also questioned as to why he was given a tax benefit on his Utah residence by filing as his residence of record. Mitts response was the clerk must have made a mistake and just given him a tax break because he was helping so much with the olympics; the lawyer said ... "kinda like a reward?" Well yes, Mitt responded.

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You just can't make this stuff up and this is what you will be getting if you vote for "Mittens".

WAIT I'M NOT FINISHED .... LET'S GRADE PAUL RYAN'S SPEECH

Fox News, CNN, The Huffington Post, PolitiFact, the Washington Post, Slate and ThinkProgress all published a fact-check of the Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan's speech, finding that the speech was full of lies and misleading assertions. Republicans are defined by their willingness to believe whatever they want about the world. They are like children, playing a make-believe world where 50%+ of marriages don't end in divorce, teachers unions are the prime cause of public financial imbalances, where tax cuts raise revenue and deregulation of finance and heavy industry promote responsible behavior within for-profit industries and "Free Markets" turn straw sub-prime mortgages into AAA certified Gold Bars. The ability to believe things without any evidence and the ability to believe fabricated evidence is demonstrative of mental derangement.THE ABILITY TO "LIE THROUGH YOUR TEETH" IS  A REQUIREMENT IF YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN SEEKING POLITICAL OFFICE ....

Opinionatted
Opinionatted

The current trend is questioning whether or not ordinary Americans understand/relate to Romney.  How could they?  Here's a guy who lives in a world where everyone around him is rich and powerful.  His perspective of ordinary America is from stage tops looking out over cheering crowds.

alanphillips
alanphillips

Sent: Thu, Aug 30, 2012 8:53 am

Subject: USA TODAY, FIVE THINGS TO WATCH AT GOP CONV, AUG 30, POST AGP

OMITTING THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTEThe five things to watch for at the GOP convention article  fails to include the most important component--authenticity. Much has been made by the media of Governor Romney's distance and personality coldness that 's untrue. Watch, listen, and you will discover an authentic, caring and empathetic leader. This man is equipped naturally to be from the first day in office one of the nation's greatest Presidents. On display for all to see is his wife and his sons and their families. They are all servants and care deeply for their country and ts citizens.You by watching tonight will quickly determine that this is a real, compassionate human being. He is authentic about public service and his love for country. He is the kind of individual of moderation and wisdom the founding fathers envisioned for leadership. He will serve in the tradition of Lincoln, Washington and other great leaders. He will value and obey the laws of this great land and its Constitution. He will treasure and retain his presidential oath, all this while retaining a personal level of authenticity rarely seen in government before. He is the gift of Divine Providence to a worn and weary America. Thanks to his authenticity and commitment America will return like the risen Phoenix from the dust. Godspeed Mitt, Mr. President.Alan G PhillipsBloomington, IL

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

I dont care about taxes. I care if the American people will have jobs. Will more jobs be send overseas? Will US companies be rewarded for sending American jobs away? Can President Romney bring jobs back to US? CEO Romney didnt.

Jim_Satterfield
Jim_Satterfield

Romney will change nothing about the jobs situation. The tax breaks he wants to give the wealthy will go into investments that won't produce any jobs except  a few in hedge funds and investment banks.

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

I pay 25% on thousands and he pays 14% or less on millions (that's personal income don't give me crap about business income, I'm not a sheeple).  I have said it a hundred times and it's true.  Romney won't ever answer a question asked of him and the fact he won't release his tax records prove he is hiding something.  He is a snake and as a salesman would be fantastic as his track record proves, as for running the country everyone who is not rich should be very very scared.