Mitt Romney in a television interview that aired Sunday sought to assure middle-class voters that he would not raise their taxes, as Democrats charge.
Romney proposes an across-the-board reduction of income tax rates but also aims to maintain current levels of tax revenue. He has not described in detail how he plans to accomplish both goals, except to say that he will broaden the tax base and close unidentified loopholes.
Without specifics, President Obama’s supporters and some independent analysts have concluded that some of the loopholes Romney would close had to include tax deductions enjoyed by middle-class Americans and that those people would actually suffer a net tax increase.
In a two-part interview with NBC’S “Meet the Press,” shown on Sunday, Romney insisted that will not happen on his watch.
“Contrary to what the Democrats are saying, I’m not going to increase the tax burden on middle-income families,” Romney said. “It would absolutely be wrong to do that.
“Everything I want to do with regards to taxation follows simple principles, which is bring our rates down to encourage growth, keep revenue up by limiting deductions and exemptions, and make sure we don’t put any bigger burden on middle-income people,” Romney added. “In fact, I want to lower the burden on middle-income people.”
But the Republican presidential nominee declined again to offer more details of his tax plan.
Asked to name one loophole he would close, Romney answered, “Well, I can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they’d get a tax break. And I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers.”
On ABC’s “This Week,” Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, said “the question is not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them” and explained why the GOP ticket has not been more specific.
“We want to have this debate in the public,” Ryan said. “We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them.”