Fact Check: Obama Ad Bashes Romney's Tax Plan

By Steve Kanigher

Published 09/14 2012 11:43AM

Updated 09/14 2012 01:00PM

Claim: An advertisement sponsored by President Barack Obama that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 states: "Mitt Romney, he won't reveal what's in his taxes and he won't tell you what he'd do to yours. To pay for huge new tax breaks for millionaires like him Romney would have to raise taxes on the middle class. Two thousand dollars for a family with children, says a nonpartisan report. You could lose the deduction for your home mortgage, college tuition, health care. How much would you pay? Romney just won't say."

Verdict: Partially true and partially misleading. The ad from Democrat Obama accurately quotes from the Tax Policy Center's Aug. 1 report that claimed Republican presidential nominee Romney's tax plan would benefit wealthy taxpayers but hurt lower income wage earners. The center, a partnership of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute think tanks, reported that taxpayers who make less than $200,000 a year and have children could pay $2,000 more annually in taxes. The flaw in the study, which the authors conceded, is that they couldn't score his plan directly because Romney hasn't revealed certain details about his tax plan. Specifically, Romney has said he would broaden the tax base by reducing tax breaks but hasn't said which ones he would target.

The ad's claim that taxpayers could lose deductions such as for home mortgages is purely speculation but Romney is fair game on that point until he offers more details. That said, it is misleading to say that Romney won't reveal what's in his taxes. He released his income tax return for 2010 and his estimated return for 2011. It's just that Democrats want him to release returns for prior years, claiming he has something to hide by refusing to do so. It's also misleading to say that Romney won't tell people what he would do to their taxes. His tax plan, minus the details about which tax breaks he would reduce or eliminate, is on his campaign website.

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