President Obama has come out swinging against Governor Romney’s tax proposal ever since the Tax Policy Center ran its analysis on the plan. Even though the TPC admits that it is hard to give a good analysis because of the lack of details in the Romney plan when it comes to paying for certain reductions, their conclusion is that even under the best of circumstances, the Romney tax plan would be a major tax hike for the middle class and a major tax cut for the ultra rich. Now President Obama has a name for the tax plan. Obama said, “It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. It’s Romney Hood!”
Romney Hood! I’m not gonna lie, that is quite catchy. Not only is it catchy, but it is easy to remember and speaks to the point that Obama wants to make. Obama is claiming that Romney would take from the poor and give to the rich with his tax plan. The worst part is, while Romney can dispute this vehemently, he cannot actually produce numbers which disprove the analysis by the TPC. What? I thought Romney had a 50+ point plan?
Forget about Romney’s 50-whatever plan to fix the economy. The focus here is on Romney’s tax plan, which is the weakest of any other Republican that ran against him during the primaries. The problem with Romney’s tax plan is that it is too full of questions. Sure, Romney proposes to reduce marginal rates across the board by 20% and to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. Romney says his plan will be revenue neutral and that he will pay for those cuts by eliminating deductions and loopholes in the tax code. There is the problem. He doesn’t spell out what deductions and loopholes he wants to eliminate, making any analysis of his plan open ended.
So why didn’t Romney spell out what he wanted to eliminate to pay for his marginal tax rate reductions? Simple, as soon as he spells that out he will be open to attacks by both Democrats and Republicans because loopholes and deductions are all there because someone wanted them in the code. Eliminating them will cause an outcry from every person, group, business, etc… that is impacted by the elimination. With that in mind, it is obvious why Romney left out those vital details. Without them he can claim he will lower taxes across the board even though that may not be the case (it likely won’t be the case).
When you think about it, the strategy is quite clever. I am honestly surprised Romney wasn’t called out on this months ago, but then again that might have been campaign strategy on the Obama side, waiting until we got closer to the November elections.
So what happens now? Obama will no doubt try to pin the ‘Romney Hood’ nickname onto Governor Romney from here on out. I think it might work because it is not only catchy, but is easy to explain the meaning behind the phrase. Romney is really stuck. He cannot come out and specify which deductions he will eliminate because it will open him up to new lines of attack. My guess is that he will sit on his plan, without details, and hope the ‘Romney Hood’ thing blows over. If it does, he will be lucky. If not, he may have to change gears and actually provide details for his tax plan. I hope it is the latter, because our tax code in my opinion is the most important issue facing the nation today. I want full details, not a general outline from Governor Romney.
What do you think? Will ‘Romney Hood’ catch on or be forgotten in a month?