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Tax Cut Man

Oct 15, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 05 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Romney has been attacked by Democrats and grilled by the press for not providing enough specifics on his tax proposals. But the same criticism can be made of Obama—and should. Obama has proposed corporate tax reform but provided few details of how it should be implemented. When I asked the Tax Policy Center after the debate how Obama’s corporate tax reform plan would work, TPC’s Roberton Williams replied in an email: “TPC has not tried to analyze his plan. He has not provided enough detail for us to evaluate its effects. So we have nothing that would help explain his plan or its effects.”

If it’s okay for Obama to offer a broad framework for corporate tax reform, why isn’t it okay for Romney to offer a broad framework for federal income tax reform? For that matter, what’s the logic of Obama favoring tax reform for big corporations but not for small business? Why does Obama want to lower the corporate rate to 28 percent but raise the individual rate—paid by many small businesses—to nearly 40 percent, while carving out more selective loopholes? Is that good tax policy?

During the 2012 campaign, most media have proven unwilling or unable to press Obama on such issues. But as the debate on October 3 showed, Romney can take the fight to Obama on the tax issue. He and his running mate, Paul Ryan, will have to continue to do so. It’s hard to see them winning the election if they don’t first win the tax debate.

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