Fact Check: Obama Ad Challenges Romney's Tax Plan

By Steve Kanigher

Published 09/11 2012 08:11PM

Updated 09/12 2012 08:13AM

Claim: An advertisement endorsed by President Barack Obama that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 states: "Under the Romney plan a middle class family will pay an average of up to $2,000 more a year in taxes while at the same time giving multi-millionaires like himself a $250,000 tax cut. So Romney hits the middle class harder and gives millionaires an even bigger break."

Verdict: Misleading but part of the blame should be shared by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. The campaign of Democrat Obama repeatedly has used an Aug. 1 report and a previous study from the Tax Policy Center to hammer away at Romney's tax plan. The center, a partnership of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute think tanks, concluded that wealthier Americans would enjoy much greater tax cuts than would lower income individuals under Romney's plan. The center presented a scenario in which taxpayers who make less than $200,000 a year and have children could even pay $2,000 more annually in taxes. An earlier center report published in March included charts that showed how millionaires could enjoy tax cuts of at least $250,000 under Romney's plan. The problem with the analysis is that Romney hasn't fully disclosed all the details of his tax plan. He says he would reduce marginal income tax rates by 20 percent across the board, and eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for individuals with adjusted gross income below $200,000. But the center conceded that it couldn't score Romney's plan directly because "certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail." Instead, the center made an analysis based on what is known about the plan. Where Romney is at fault is that he has repeatedly dodged questions from the media about another aspect of his plan, one in which he would broaden the tax base by reducing tax breaks. He hasn't said which tax breaks he would reduce or eliminate. If he becomes more specific, the American public might get a better idea of whether his tax plan would benefit all taxpayers or only the wealthiest ones.

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