Tax-cut hostile New York Times reporters Michael Cooper and David Kocieniewski teamed up Thursday in a “news” article that assumed as fact (using a study from a left-of-center “nonpartisan” group) that plans by Republican presidential candidates for reducing tax rates would by design lead to widening deficits and "benefit the wealthiest the most": “Higher Deficits Seen In Romney’s Tax Plan, And His Rivals’, Too.” Yet the Times's own chart shows 80% of filers earning between $20,000 and $30,000 -- hardly "the rich" -- would get a tax cut as well.
(Kocieniewski’s hostility to tax cuts is well documented, while Cooper attacked Obama from the left on March 2, 2011 for signing into law an obscure tax break not even liberal economists have a problem with.)
When Mitt Romney suggested this week that he pays a lower tax rate than most wealthy Americans do, he refocused attention on his tax proposals -- which, like those of his major Republican rivals, would largely cut taxes for the rich while driving down tax collections and widening the nation's deficit.
Mr. Romney’s tax plan -- which calls for permanently extending the Bush administration’s tax cuts, reducing the corporate income tax rate and eliminating the estate tax -- would cut the taxes of people earning more than a million dollars a year by an average of $295,874, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group.
The Times put the most hostile spin possible on Romney’s plan, as if it was his foremost intention to “expand the deficit” (something the Times ludicrously denied would occur under Obama-care).
It is not unusual for Republican presidential candidates to call for tax cuts that would expand the deficit: They argue the cuts will spur the economy. But they are now calling for tax cuts in a year in which Washington and many Republicans have been consumed by talk about reducing the deficit. It was only last summer that House Republicans balked at raising the nation’s debt ceiling, citing alarm about high deficits -- a move that brought the nation uncomfortably close to a default and led Standard & Poor’s to lower the nation’s credit rating.
By reducing the amount the federal government collects in taxes each year -- at a time when federal tax collections are already a smaller share of the economy than they have been in more than half a century -- the Republican tax plans will make it harder to balance the budget, said Robert L. Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonprofit group that advocates fiscal responsibility.
The tax cuts proposed by the Republicans would more than wipe out the budget-balancing effects of the cuts that were agreed to as part of the compromise that was ultimately reached last summer to raise the debt ceiling. One part of that compromise called for a series of automatic cuts to begin next year with the goal of reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over a decade -- cuts that some members of Congress are trying to avert on the grounds that they are too onerous. The Tax Policy Center has calculated that by extending the Bush tax cuts, Mr. Romney’s tax plan would add $1.2 trillion to the deficit in just two years. The tax plans offered by Mr. Gingrich and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania would add more than that to the deficit in just one year, the center found.
“The amounts of revenue loss we’re talking about in one year is the kind of thing we’re used to seeing over a decade,” said Roberton Williams, an analyst at the Tax Policy Center.
Experts from across the spectrum acknowledge that the Republican tax proposals would benefit the wealthiest the most. Polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of Americans favor raising taxes on households earning more than $1 million a year to reduce the deficit.
Never mind that the Times's own chart, based on Tax Policy Center figures, shows that 80% of filers earning between $20,000 and $30,000 would get a tax cut.