Mitt Romney's Tax Plan, Is it Revenue Neutral or Cost $5,000,000,000,000 - What Does It Really Do? [170*12]

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THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE generally went to Romney, most people say. I tend to agree, except regarding the regurgitation of stump speeches pertaining to Mitt Romney's tax cut proposals; there, I think, President Obama scored a victory. Why? Because, in my view anyway, he made Romney admit that if he couldn't make his tax plan revenue neutral, then he would dump it, he would find something else to do (maybe raise taxes on the rich? lol).

Consequently, I thought it was time to actually look at what Romney has proposed and analyze it for this particular subject isn't one which I haven't really written about it in any of my commentary up to this point. Fortunately, the Tax Policy Foundation has and did half the work for me; they accomplished a great analysis of the impact of the tax rate cuts Mitt Romney has proposed, but, not of the deductions.

Why only the rate cuts? Because that is all the Romney campaign has revealed to-date (update - see last section) with any specifics, something Obama tried to make clear in the debate. Although the analysts from the Tax Policy Center asked, the Romney campaign refused to provide any detail on what cuts in deductions are being considered to pay for the tax cuts, another point Obama tried to highlight. As a result, that part of the chore falls to me; to estimate something from nothing, but that sort of what "what-if" analysis is what we cost analyst do. (If you are into Meyers-Briggs, all but ESTJs, and ISTJs, accept this as reasonable; -STJs, who make up 19 - 26% of society find it hard to believe this kind of analysis is possible or meaningful.)

If you don't want to plow through the presentation and just accept or reject what I have to say at face-value, here is the bottom-line: "Mitt Romney's plan to cut taxes will not work. It will not work for these reasons: 1) It will not pass Congress, 2) the math truly does not add up, just as Obama says; it is not, and cannot be, revenue neutral, 3) it would not increase revenue; it is going the wrong way on the Laffer curve, 4) it would not increase hiring (the individual rate-cut part anyway), and 5) it is extremely regressive, in after-tax terms, to those making less than $200K.

What follows is a discussion of the Romney tax plan and each of those points I just highlighted.

WHAT IS MITT ROMNEY'S TAX PLAN, EXACTLY?

THE FOLLOWING ARE THE SEVERAL PARTS of Mitt Romney's tax plan which he proposes to submit to a divided Congress if he is elected (keep in mind, even if the Democrats lose power in the Senate, they still control what gets out of the Senate and to the President's desk using the Conservative-honed tactic of abusing the power of the filibuster):

  • a 20% cut in the individual tax rate for each tax bracket, that means a drop of 2 points for the lowest bracket and a 7 point reduction for the highest tax bracket (even thought the '2' and '7' seem unfair relative to each other, they are the appropriate result when you apply the 20% cut to each bracket)
  • reduce the corporate rate from 35% to 25% (I think the current effective corporate tax rate is 15%, however)
  • eliminate long-term capital gains tax and taxes on dividends and interest on couples making less than $200,000 (note - few people below this threshold derive significant income from these sources and the tax savings is even less)
  • eliminate the estate tax
  • increase tax revenue by letting the tax credits for education expire
  • increase tax revenue by letting the expansion of the earned income tax credit expire
  • increase income by letting the expansion of the child tax credit expire
  • repeal the AMT so that the rich can keep their tax savings
  • make the research and development tax credit permanent

Further, Romney "promises" (keep in mind we have a divided Congress) to "broaden-the-base" via a reduction in unspecified and vague deductions and by a theoretical increase in economic growth and hiring brought about by his tax cuts. The base is broadened from eliminating or reducing deductions and tax credits This brings in those whose taxable income dropped to zero because of these credits or deductions; these individuals will now have taxable income. For example, the deduction charitable deductions which might have let the very rich escape taxes, now will be limited and prevent such an outcome. But, in another example, many lower and middle class tax payers ended up paying no income tax because of the child, earned income, and eduction tax credits; these people will have now have to pay taxes because Romney's plan lets those credits expire. In fact, at the lower tax brackets, if we assume Congress does do its job and extends the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, these people will see a tax increase under the Romney plan. These examples are called "broadening-the-base".

Because, however, other than the above mentioned tax credits, these deductions are all vague promises and whose passage is very problematic, given the divided Congress, the Tax Policy Center chose not to guess their impact.

WHAT ARE THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE TAX POLICY CENTER?

... THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS CORRECT in his debate assertion that Mitt Romney's tax plan will add $5,000,000,000 to the debt over 10 years. Mitt Romney countered, of course, that it wouldn't, that he wouldn't let that happen, because of this problematic "base-broadening" I just talked about. I am hoping, after perusing (please look up the definition of that word, most of you will be surprised as I was) the rest of this hub, that you will come away with the understanding that the Romney tax plan is simply a political and mathematical impossibility; there is no possible way it cannot add significantly to the debt.

The Tax Policy Center considered two baselines when evaluating Romney's most current proposal, 1) current law, meaning the Bush tax cuts expire and 2) current policy, meaning the Bush tax cuts do not expire.

CASE# 1 - THE CURRENT TAX CUTS EXPIRE

... AS DO ALL OF THE TAX CREDITS ROMNEY WILL LET EXPIRE. This is the beginning baseline, one where everybody's taxes have already gone up; in other words Congress failed to act between now, Oct 20, and Dec 31, 2012, and we all fall over the fiscal-cliff that is becoming such a popular catch-phrase. (The other baseline is where it is assumed Congress passed the middle-class tax cuts; we will not look at this scenario.)

Since the Tax Policy Center has already done the heavy analytical lifting, and you have a link to their web site, I will simply summarize some of their findings, first, at the individual level, then extrapolate them to the aggregate level; which is where Obama gets $5 trillion. In the table below, I present some of the numbers from one of their tables, then I will comment on them.

A - Income (2011$ 000)
B - # Filed (000)
C - % Filed
D - Avg Tax Cut (2011$)
E - % Chg in After-Tax Inc
F - % Share of Tax Change
G - % Chg in Fed Tax Rate
H - Avg Rate %
20 - 30 (~$9.00 - $14/hr)
20,164
79.9
-821
2.7 (e1)
1.5 (f1)
-2.5
7.1
75 - 100 (~$35 - $48/hr)
14,893
99.4
-4,571
6.2
7.4
-4.9
16.9
200 - 500 (~$96 - $240/hr)
7,059(b1)
99.9
-26,498(d1)
11.7 (e2)
20.2
-8.5
19.3
500 - 1,000 (~$240 - $480/hr)
1,187(b2)
100
-75,781(d2)
14.4
9.6
-10.1
19.8
1,000 +
603(b3)
100
-399,861(d4)
19.8 (e3)
26.1 (f2)
-12.7
23.3
 
 
 
-7,073
8.7
 
-6.6
17.4
TABLE T12-0038 ROMNEY TAX PLAN WITHOUT UNSPECIFIED BASE BROADENERS, Distribution of Income by 2015 (3/1/2012)

SO, WHERE DID OBAMA'S CLAIM OF $5 TRILLION COME FROM?

LET US PUT THIS ONE TO BED FIRST. What President Obama claimed in the first debate regarding Mitt Romney's tax plan, that it will add roughly $5 trillion over 10 years to the public debt, I find to be true, the CNN fact checkers not with standing. CNN actually labeled Obama's claim False (wrongly so, in my opinion, and you will see why in a bit) because of Romney's unspecified base-broadening measures to which CNN gave Romney the benefit of the doubt. Obviously Romney vehemently objected to Obama's characterization. So, where did the $5 trillion come from? They came above the above chart, or a similar one.

Consider columns A, B, and D.

  • Column A is the tax brackets and we want to focus on the top three of rich ($200K), very rich ($500K), and super rich ($1,000K).
  • Column B are the number of tax returns filed for each bracket in thousands
  • Column D are the average reduction in taxes paid per return

If you multiply the quantity (b1, b2, b3, respectively) by their respective tax reductions (d1, d2, and d3), sum them all together, you get the loss of revenue to the federal treasury, irrespective of any gain from base-broadening or increased economic growth; this is just the effect of the tax cut itself. When you do that with the numbers in the table above, you get $0.5 trillion for one year for the top brackets; or $.9 trillion for all tax brackets. When you multiply that by the standard 10-year time horizon, you get to Obama's claim of $5 trillion; which all must agree is an enormous amount of extra debt if it isn't offset by revenue from somewhere.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL?

THIS IS MORE INTERESTING, IMPORTANT, AND DISTURBING, for it effects most Americans personally and highlights the gross inequity in Romney's tax proposal, which is looking very much like what ended up being Reagan's tax increase on the lower and middle class in the 1980s.

It is at this level where bumper sticker politics falls to pieces, where humpty-dumpty jumps off the wall where only those getting led around by the nose or have disengaged their brains are able to put him back together again. Why do I say such a ridiculous thing? Because Conservatives have managed to get 50% of American's believing that an across-the-board 20% cut is actually fair!

The fact is, such a change, whether it is a tax cut or a tax increase, is rarely, if ever, fair to all parts of a population. For that matter, there is only one case where it can be fair. In all other cases it is unfair, and I don't care what kind of change you are talking about.

The one instance when an across-the-board change impacts all parts of a population the same is when there are no identifiable stratifications to that population; in other words the population is homogeneous. This means that if you take random samples from the population, you cannot discern a difference in any respect, as it relates to the change, from one sample to the another; you can't "stratify' the population in statistical terms.

In the other instance, you can stratify the population because it is heterogeneous relative to what is being changed, taxes in our case. How can they be stratified? By subsistence income needs just to name one; basic creature comfort income levels to name another, etc. Here you cannot draw two random samples from this population and expect them to look exactly the same. As a consequence, you can't expect a peanut butter spread tax cut to effect each one equally either. And you can see from the chart above, the 20% across-the-board Romney tax cut doesn't either; it is HUGELY regressive in nature.

Just look at column E. Those of you who earn $30K or $50K/year and are planning on voting for Romney, you should study this column carefully to make sure this is what you are signing up for and that you truly agree this is what your philosophy about income equity in America actually is! Ask yourself, why is my after-tax income going up only 2.7% while the family earning a million bucks is going up almost 20%; didn't we both get our tax rates cut 20%? Why is he only seeing the 20% increase in after-tax income??

What column E suggests is that when you apply that "fair" 20% tax reduction to all tax brackets, when all is said and done, those whose taxable income is $30K will experience only a whopping 2.7% increase in after-tax income ... that does even keep up with inflation, most of the time!!. If you earn $50K, the your after-tax income streaks up to an increase of ... 3.9%; OK, so now you are beating inflation. As I just mentioned, by now, you should be asking yourself - "where is my 20% you promised Governor Romney, after all, I see you are getting it, why aren't I? Wasn't this supposed to equal?"

Of course it wasn't supposed to be equal and the conservatives running the show know this, they just don't want you to know or believe it. There are massive differences between the populations that make up the various tax brackets, they are extremely heterogeneous. That is why 20% means 20% to a millionaire and only 2.7% to those who live on Main Street.

That idea is borne out in column F, which portrays which level receives the most benefit; it is the rich, of course. Those who earn $100K or more receive 80% of the benefit. The rest of the columns tell the same depressing story.

There are clearly two mindsets in America who see the world from distinctly different perspectives, given the same set of facts. We see this in those who believe supply-side economics work vs those who think demand-side economics works better; personally, I am on the side of demand. We also see it in what role the federal government ought to play in helping its citizens; until the early 1960s, America and American's essentially ignored the plight of poverty or the devastation of depressions on society. This isn't saying there weren't those in the federal government who didn't try, but they were the minority.

Income equality is another of those battlegrounds, there are those who absolutely believe it is natural, proper, and desirable for society to be divided into various degrees of "haves" and "have nots"; Romney is one of those, so are most of those in Congress who declare themselves part of the Tea Party. Those of you who think the table prepared by the Tax Policy Center is satisfactory fall into this category as well because this is the kind of society it is designed to create.

HOW CAN ROMNEY PAY FOR THIS MASSIVE DEBT?

THERE ARE ONLY A FEW WAYS: 1) borrow money, more money than Obama procured to stop us from getting into a depression, 2) cut spending drastically on top of the $5 trillion already on the table or accomplished, 3) eliminate most or all personal deductions, credits, and exemptions as well as corporate welfare, 4) increase economic growth, or 5) some combination of the previous four possibilities. In the debate, Romney claimed that it would be choices 3 and 4 which would create the $5 trillion needed to offset the tax cut.

Let's consider reduction or elimination of deductions, credits and the like first.

WHAT ABOUT DEDUCTIONS?

In 2008, the latest data I could find, the table below shows some selected data from the Tax Policy Center's tax statistics:

 
2008 Tax Baseline
No Itemized Ded. for Any Taxpayer
No Itemized Ded. for Taxpayers Over $200K
# ALL FILERS (total returns)
142,450,569
142,450,569
142,450,569
Adj Gross Income
$8,262 B
$8,262 B
$8,262 B
Total Standard Deductions
$695 B
$1,170 B
$742 B
Total Itemized Deductions
$1,322 B
$0
$948 B
Reduced Deductions
 
$847 B
$327 B
Estimated Increase in Taxes (23.3% MTR)
 
$197 B
$76 B
Estimated 10-yrar Increase in Taxes
 
$1,987 B
$760 B

NOW, DOESN'T THAT MAKE IT ALL CLEAR? Of course it doesn't, just kidding; but the answer is in the table above.

I offer two extreme alternatives to changes in individual itemized deductions and their subsequent effects on standard deductions; the latter I assumed would not be repealed. I didn't address tax credits because I didn't quickly find any detailed data on that category. Further, I only picked two extreme examples because Romney won't reveal what his plans are to pay for his tax cuts, leaving it up to America to guess.

It is also somewhat mute in any case, since Americans appear to like Congressional gridlock as that is the outcome that seems most likely from the 2012 election; they do not appear to be on the path of voting in enough legislators who understand the value of the art of true compromise that will allow any legislation of substance to make it to the President's desk.

The first alternative considered is the case if Romney were to decide to pay for the tax cuts by not allowing ANY itemized tax deductions at all in any tax bracket, i. e., only allowing standard tax deductions; this alternative is in the second column. The second alternative allows no itemized deductions for those making $200K or more; they can only use the standard deduction, this is the third column. The arithmetic is straight forward, 1) calculate a the standard deduction per return, 2) convert the the appropriate number of itemized deductions from each tax bracket to standardized deductions, and 3) compare the totals.

What does this say in terms of off-setting the loss of tax revenue from the Romney tax cut plan? Well, we all should know that if you are able to increase your deductions, be they "standard" or "itemized", by $1, then your tax bill will be reduced by that dollar times your top tax rate. Let's say your top tax rate is 20%, then for each dollar in deductions you can come up with, your taxes are lowered 20 cents. If you are very poor or very rich, you can often drive your tax liability down to zero; although it is harder for the rich to do so because of something called the Alternative Minimum Tax, but, it can, and is, still done. As a result, by eliminating or reducing deductions, you reduce ones ability to lower your tax bill, and that is what the bottom two rows are all about.

The second row from the bottom simply multiplies Romney's highest average marginal tax rate, 23.3%, times the appropriate reduction in tax deductions. The highest rate is used to get a "best case" scenario (for Romney) and because Romney does not provide any information from which to make a more educated guess. The numbers you see there, $197 billion and $ 76 billion, respectively, are the estimated additional taxes taxpayers might pay to off-set the tax rate cuts Romney is proposing. The last row is simply the numbers from the row above extended for 10 years so they can be compared with the $5 trillion cost to Romney's plan.

From the data in the Table, we see that the best alternative for Romney to being truthful in his claim that he can pay for his tax cut plan by "closing loopholes, cutting deductions, eliminating tax credits, and growing the economy" is the one that eliminates all itemized deductions for all tax payers, not a likely scenario for sure. Nevertheless, if it did come to pass, Romney could shave a maximum of $2 trillion off the $5 trillion cost of his tax cut plan. (Actually, since I am using 2008 data, the $2 trillion would be slightly bigger). Now, all Romney has to do is find another $3 trillion in "closing loopholes, eliminating tax credits, and growing the economy"; if he can't, Obama boxed him into a corner by getting Romney to admit that he would not put forward his tax-cut plan at all.

Source

BACK TO THE REAL WORLD

HOW LIKELY IS THIS TO HAPPEN? My estimation is that it has a negative chance of occurring, if there were such a thing. My reading of the polls tells me America is going to return a Republican House, with more Democrats in it but still controlled by Conservatives who have removed the word compromise from their vocabulary. It is looking like the Democrats will keep the Senate, barely. But again, the Conservatives, who have lost the ability to govern with anybody but their own kind, will control the output, even though the Democrats control the input.

This is what America seems to want, so this is what America will get, paralysis and gridlock in government; they have only themselves to blame, not the politicians they elected into office. Even IF "President" Romney were able to push through the kind of tax cut he is proposing, which, in my opinion is an impossibility in its own right, there is no earthly way he would be able to change the itemization deductions within the tax code sufficiently large to achieve a revenue neutral tax package, something he told Obama he would do; heck, his own party would stop him, it wouldn't even need the Democrats. And that is just "itemized" deductions.

Mitt Romney would have an even harder time with corporate welfare loopholes in the law and tax code; Republicans would balk in a heartbeat while Democrats would put the kibosh on any decrease to tax credits aimed to help the less well off in society. In short, Romney's tax cut plan is DOA from the standpoint of both Parties, not just the Democrats.

SO, HOW ABOUT GROWING THE ECONOMY?

NO TAX CUT HAS EVER LED TO LONG-TERM ECONOMIC GROWTH, except once. Just take a look at the following chart if you don't believe me.

SUSTAINED PERIODS OF GROWTH FOLLOWING TAX CUTS OR TAX INCREASES
SUSTAINED PERIODS OF GROWTH FOLLOWING TAX CUTS OR TAX INCREASES | Source

THIS IS A SIMPLE YET VERY POWERFUL chart. The arrows point to when there was a change in tax policy, the red ones being tax cuts, the blue ones being tax increases. The bubbles encompass the period of sustained economic growth before the economy started tailing off again for a long-term decline or a long-term period of instability.

Notice that the longest period of growth followed the Bush-Clinton tax increase. The next longest was after the Kennedy tax cut which brought huge reductions in top tax rates; unlike the second Reagan and Bush tax cuts which brought down already low top marginal rates; notice that the second Reagan tax cut had no effect at all and the Bush tax cut was transitory at best in terms of economic growth.

How anybody can use historic economic data to support the idea that tax cuts generate long-term economic growth is beyond me. So is the last bastion of conservative hope that cutting taxes actually is beneficial, the Lafer curve.

ONE ESTIMATED LAFFER CURVE

LAFFER THEORIZED THAT AS TAX RATES INCREASE, SO DOES REVENUE ... UNTIL IT HITS A MAXIMUM, THEN IT BEGINS DECLINING AS THE RATES GET HIGHER
LAFFER THEORIZED THAT AS TAX RATES INCREASE, SO DOES REVENUE ... UNTIL IT HITS A MAXIMUM, THEN IT BEGINS DECLINING AS THE RATES GET HIGHER | Source

THE LAFFER THEORY USING TAX RATES TO MAXIMIZE TAX REVENUE

ARTHUR LAFFER, AN AMERICAN SUPPLY-SIDE ECONOMIST, made an astute, yet obvious observation at a Nixon-Ford administration meeting one afternoon in 1974, or so the story goes, by drawing out on a napkin a new theory which looks like the curve to the right, but without the numbers attached. He told the audience, which included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, that if the tax rate were zero, the government revenue would be zero. Likewise, if the tax rate were 100%, there would be no incentive to work at legitimate jobs, and again government revenue would be zero (along with the possibility of the economy collapsing or having an anarchical economy). Laffer also suggested that it is reasonable to assume that as you increase the tax rate from zero, then revenue would increase, but, because the right endpoint is fixed at zero, there exist some theoretical point where revenue must reach a maximum and start declining again.

That is a simple, straight-forward, understandable theory for which Laffer himself does not take credit, the idea has been around long before him, but, because he explained it to the right people who then went on to use it, his name was attached to it. The trick, of course is to figure out what the "sweet spot" is for a tax rate that maximize's government tax revenue; it turns out computing this is extremely difficult. Personally, I buy-in to the Laffer curve theory, it makes absolute sense to me. Conservatives love to throw it, sans chart, because it implies to the unthinking that lowering taxes increases revenues; this has been pointed out to me several times by commenter's to my Hubs.

The problem, of course, is that if you include a chart when trying to make your point, you end up looking like a fool. To see why, let's discuss the latest research by the NBER, from where I stole the chart. The three curves you see are Laffer curves for the U.S., the two dashed ones are what happens when using other than default assumptions. The vertical green line is the current U.S. labor tax rate. Without getting in to any details, observation makes clear that the current tax policy is well to the left of that which will generate maximum revenue and that, according to the conservative economic guru, any further cuts in taxes will cause a loss of revenue (meaning an increase in deficit and debt) to the federal government. This, folks, is the Romney plan.

This was also the Bush plan as well as the Reagan plan, and in each of those, as you will see shortly, the Laffer curve proved correct. It was only when President Kennedy cut taxes, a period where tax rates were to the right of the mid-point of the Laffer curve, did revenues increase.

WILL ROMNEY'S TAX PLAN INCREASE REVENUE?

APPARENTLY NOT, judging from the chart below. If you consider the 18 to 24 months following a tax cut, only President Kennedy actually achieved a revenue increase. Three other tax policy changes which increased tax revenue were the tax increases by the first President Bush and President Clinton and the second Reagan tax cut. The latter occurred as revenues were increasing, but the economy was falling which soon led to falling revenue.

Two years or more after the first Reagan and second Bush tax cuts, revenues did increase ... as part of the recovery from recessions. Did the tax cuts have anything to do with this? It is impossible to tell because too many other factors occurred in between the two events. As for President Eisenhower, he had the end of WWII and the recent Korean War playing havoc with his economy, keeping it particularly unstable throughout his whole administration.

TAX REVENUE FOLLOWING EACH TAX CUT
TAX REVENUE FOLLOWING EACH TAX CUT | Source

WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE TAX CUTS THE RICH GET?

WELL, I CAN'T TELL YOU WHAT everybody else who earns above $200k in taxable income (no capital gains, btw) will do with their extra $26,000, but I can tell you what I will do. Yes, I am in that group, from several different sources, however; partner in a business, two retirement streams, and stock investments (short-term).

In order to draw a comparison with the rhetoric you are hearing in the campaigns, let me say my business, an LLC, grosses over $5 million annually, employs around 33 people, and uses about 200 independent contractors. Now, I don't say all this to brag, I try not to do this although I am proud of my accomplishments since at one point in my life, I was broke. I do bring it up in order to use it as a reality check to the claims made by the Romney/Ryan ticket; to give substance to what my point is rather than some esoteric argument.

My business qualifies as one of Romney's small businesses, as do some billion dollar hedge funds (they are part of the 1,000,000 (3%) small businesses Ryan emphasized in his debate hurt by a tax increase, if you saw it), where the owners earn over $250K. OK, in reality, none of the three partners earn that much individually, but if there were only one owner, then that person would; so let's pretend that one person is me and the additional income replaces my retirement and stock market incomes. So, now my entire income is from my business and it is over $250K.

According to the Tax Policy Center's analysis, I will receive a tax savings of around $26,000! That will certainly make me happy. If I understand Governor Romney correctly, however, I am supposed to turn right around and either 1) hire people for my company with it, 2) invest it in such a way that other companies will hire people, or 3) spend it on things that will grow the economy such that companies will have to hire more employees in order to keep up with my, and others, demands; actually, I came up with the last reason, I haven't heard Romney or Ryan give it yet.

What Romney/Ryan seem to talk the most is the first reason -- that by making me pay less in taxes, I will have my company hire or, conversely, if my personal taxes go, I will make a business decision to either not hire someone or to actually fire employees. Well, as Biden likes to say - "Malarkey!".

Think about it, one of the mainstay Conservative arguments is absolutely illogical! My situation represents most true small business situations; as an owner, I go to work, do my job, pay myself a taxable salary, report taxable profit, pay myself non-taxable distributions of retained earnings, if there are any, then go home. Come April 15, I file my personal taxes and file informational returns for the business; I pay personal income taxes based on the going tax rates. That is the normal scenario for virtually all real small businesses.

Now, consider this. Next year, I face a tax hike of 5% on the excess over $250,000, maybe $1,250 in additional taxes. OK, the rubber-hits-the-question --- I go to work the next day and ponder, "who am I going to fire, or not hire, in order for me make up for the $1,250 in extra taxes I am going to have to pay next years"; THAT is what Romney/Ryan and Conservatives are suggesting you believe is what will happen in company board rooms around the country if Obama gets his way on letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire. REALLY! Do you actually think something like that is going to happen? Not in my company, I can tell you that.

Conversely, I get my $26,000 increase after tax income from Romney's tax cut, the vehicle for the millions of new jobs he says this will create. Does he think I am going to run to my board room with my $26K in my fist and tell my HR manager to go hire someone with it? Of course not. Do you think I am going to give a dime of my new found wealth to my company? Of course not. Do you think I am going to go to the board room and tell everybody to cut my salary so we can hire more people now that I have all this extra money? Of course not. Me getting that $26,000 is not going to affect my hiring or firing decisions one iota! And it isn't going to affect any other business owners either!!

So, as I said, 1) is Malarkey, how about 2) and 3)? In order for 2), investing, to work, that must be investing big money into a business, not just buying stock of a business. All the latter does is, for the most part, trade ownership among people; it does not, as a general rule, infuse new capital into a business. One must buy original issue bonds, Class B stock or other such things; things the rich and famous do, not small business owners.

The last idea, 3), the one I mentioned, not Romney/Ryan, has potential for creating jobs, but not much either. Why? Because it to is moving who the purchaser is from the public sector to the private sector. Again, when the government receives tax revenue, it doesn't keep it. Instead, it spends it, it puts it back into the economy by paying salaries and purchasing goods and services. Here, instead of the government spending the $26,000, I will; and what is the real impact on job creation? Not much if any.

The ONLY thing that creates jobs in the long run is a growing economy and businesses expanding to increase output; it is not in reaction to the change in an owners tax liability.

QUICK UPDATE

SINCE STARTING THIS HUB, the second debaate came and went. In it, Governor Romney tossed out a hypothetical maximum deduction that the rich might be able to take, $25,000. The Tax Policy Center did some quick calculations and determined this might bring back in $1.3 trillion over 10 years, between the high and low of my two extreme alternatives.

IN SUMMARY, I refer you back to the top where I outline the bottom line; Romney's tax plan can't work, period. In spite of all my grand analysis, it will, in my view, have the same fate has President Clinton's Universal Health Care plan in 1993. Regardless of the make-up of the Senate, it will not, cannot, get through that body for the reasons I have explained previously.

YOUR OPINION IS DESPERATELY NEEDED!

WILL GOVERNOR ROMNEY'S TAX PLAN DO WHAT HE SAYS IT WILL IF PASSED?

  • CONSERVATIVE - YES
  • CONSERVATIVE - NO
  • MODERATE - YES
  • MODERATE - NO
  • PROGRESSIVE - YES
  • PROGRESSIVE - NO
  • NOT SURE
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IF GOVERNOR ROMNEY WINS THE PRESIDENCY, WILL HE BE ABLE TO PASS HIS TAX PLAN SUBSTANTIALLY AS ADVERTISED?

  • MODERATE - YES
  • MODERATE - NO
  • CONSERVATIVE - YES
  • CONSERVATIVE - NO
  • PROGRESSIVE - YES
  • PROGRESSIVE - NO
  • NOT SURE
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DO YOU THINK GOVERNOR ROMNEY'S TAX PLAN IS GOOD FOR AMERICA?

  • PROGRESSIVE - YES
  • PROGRESSIVE - NO
  • MODERATE - YES
  • MODERATE - NO
  • CONSERVATIVE - YES
  • CONSERVATIVE - NO
  • NOT SURE
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DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #1

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF MOST CLOSELY ALIGNED WITH

  • MODERATES?
  • PROGRESSIVES?
  • CONSERVATIVES?
  • NONE OF THE ABOVE
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DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #2

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JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Thanks for this thorough analysis of the "campaign promise that isn't." There are still die-hard Republican followers who will insist it is wrong even without facts to back up their claim.

What amazes me is the power of the GOP propaganda machine to snow so many people who will be figuratively shooting themselves in the foot financially if they vote for Romney and IF he gets elected. I can only hope that sanity will prevail!

Voted Up+++ and shared

Jaye


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 4 years ago from Los Angeles

This is so complex and technical that made my head spin, BUT I very much appreciate the information. I especially liked the personal examples you gave to clarify the two opposing alternatives and explain what will happen in the real world.

That even I can understand; it is clear and eye opening and it shows the inconsistency of both Obama and Romney in terms of being capable to "fix" the economy and create jobs through tax cuts.

Thank you Sir. for pointing out how both candidates are trying to get us drank on pure water.


Southernmapart 4 years ago

Any time a politician says the words "revenue neutral," hold on to your pocketbook and look for cover. Those two words simply mean that the stream of revenue coming into government cofers will remain the same, but that there will be changes from where the money is collected.

In my area, we just went through a "revenue neutral" reassessment of property values for tax purposes. In our declining economy, almost all rural properties were declared under-valued, and the new lake-front homes of people moving to the area were declared over-valued. The reassessment raised the value of rural property, without comparable sales to justify the increase in values for tax purposes. The rural owners will lose! The county is collecting the same, or more in property taxes.

"Revenue Neutral" means "Heads I win" and "Tails you lose."


J. Frank Dunkin profile image

J. Frank Dunkin 4 years ago from Foley, Alabama

What really un-nerves me is that literate people are generally branded as liberal minded. Well, I beg to differ. I AM literate, but still I have chosen to not abandon my common sense. I Will be voting for Mitt Romney. The rest of you "literates" might want to have your credentials checked at the door. BTW, I thought political discussions were verboten on HubPages. So the question is, are YOU forbidden to post polarizing articles likc this one, or is it just that I am forbidden from dissenting?


J. Frank Dunkin profile image

J. Frank Dunkin 4 years ago from Foley, Alabama

And by the way, this election is less about economics than it is about ideaology. Want muslim, socialist leadership? Then go ahead... there are two guys dying to meet you: One of them is named Harry, and the other is named Karry.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

Every finance specialist I've seen has said that Romney's plan won't work. Now I know why. Thanks!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you Jane and Timetraveler. I wish I had had this hub out sooner but I lost my Director of Accounting and ended up moving my accounting operations from AR to FL, been busy. I love working on these kinds of things because they are in my comfort zone and provides much enjoyment trying to shed light under the mushroom.

Your dissenting opinions are very welcome as well, J. Frank. I had never heard of any Hub rule prohibiting political opinion, just the opposite, they encourage it and is what many of my hubs are about. I absolutely agree with your this election is about ideology because there are stark differences between how today's Conservatives believe things should be run and the rest of us. As to the muslim, socialist comment, I propose you reread the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the philosophies of those great minds our writers of the Constitution used to frame such a unique document. In them, you will find that they left plenty of room for leaders of that faith or economic persusion to be elected if that is what the American people want; isn't that what liberty and freedom of choice is all about ... or does that only apply to Christians?

Thank you for you comment as well Petra, I am glad to see you are still reading me. Yes, neither side has the perfect answer for sure, but, until I saw a CNN article, I thought the Democrats came pretty close to having a workable plan; now I have to go back and look at what Obama is proposing.

I know what you are talking about, Southernmapart; I appreciate your comment. My home value in rural FL decreased a noticable amount, but my property tax actually increased!


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Great analysis as always, My Esoteric. I believe that you have fully and substantially proved the total falsity of Mitt Romney's tax cut claims. The only way for him to make this revenue neutral would be to eliminate the favorite middle class deductions such as the mortgage interest deduction and more. That would be political suicide and it would prove his contempt for the middle class.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, HS. Even that cut wouldn't help, he is still $2 trillion short.


tammybarnette profile image

tammybarnette 4 years ago

My Esoteric, Wow, now that is the way to show proof! I only understood vaguely until now, thank you so much for your research, hard work, and unbiased opinion:)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

This is one of the best hubs I have ever read, and I thank you for it. I will be sharing it with everybody I know because I think people really need to see this one, especially BEFORE the election. I have done some research in the fairly recent past about what our corporations are doing with their money, and NONE of them are hiring...even though they are holding billions of dollars idle. EXCELLENT JOB!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you Tammy and Time Traveler, I appreciate your comments and for sharing. I do hope lots of people do read this and I am very happy you found it understandable.


adjkp25 profile image

adjkp25 4 years ago from Northern California

Numbers aren't supposed to lie but some will refuse to acknowledge what the numbers say.

Nice work, voted up and interesting.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

No, numbers don't lie, Adjkp, but people will lie with numbers; I try not to. It is sort of like a "guns don't kill, people do" kind of thing; I do my best not to kill people while politicians make great hunters.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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