Slippery Mitt Slides Agan

From “How Romney Is Obscuring His Upper Income Tax Cuts,” Sahil Kapur, Talking Points Memo:

Seeking to neutralize the Obama campaign’s charge that his tax proposal will disproportionately benefit the wealthy, Mitt Romney has subtly changed the way he talks about his plan, in a way that obscures what its impact would be.

Before the general election, Romney consistently argued that he wanted the wealthy to pay the same share of the overall tax burden as they do today. Now, as often as not, he claims he doesn’t want to reduce their burden at all.

The two descriptions of his plan have wildly different implications — and he’s effectively using their superficial similarities to hide the real impact his proposal would likely have.

“Romney’s official proposal is to cut all marginal rates by 20 percent and to eliminate unspecified tax loopholes for high incomes. When nonpartisan experts analyzed the plan they concluded that under friendly assumptions his rate cuts will either require a higher burden on the middle class or an increase in the deficit.

That conclusion caught Romney’s campaign flatfooted — and so he changed the pitch. Now he promises that the middle class will see a reduced tax burden, the rich will pay the same amount, and the deficit won’t rise. But that describes an entirely new tax reform proposal — one which experts also say would increase the deficit.

“Yet despite this major change, Romney has been able to avoid direct scrutiny about it from the media, even as he bounces back and forth between insisting that high income earners as a group will continue to pay the same share of the taxes as they do now and asserting that individual high earners will pay the same proportion of income as they do now.”  Emphasis added.

Mitt is counting on the American people’s being both bad at math and too lazy to bother.  You’ll see Paul Ryan counting on that tomorrow night.  Short of a blackboard (borrowed from Glenn Beck?), I’m not sure that Biden can shame Ryan successfully.

It’s the Time Constraints, Not the Phony Numbers

Asked about charges that the Romney/Ryan tax plan doesn’t add up, Paul Ryan told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday today, “It would take me too long to go through all of the math.”

That’s because when your math is wrong, forever isn’t enough time to explain it.

Ryan and Romney are such a pair of slippery eels.  They really deserve each other, but we don’t deserve them.