Tax expert: John Boehner's fake fisca...

Tax expert: John Boehner's fake fiscal cliff proposal is fake

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Bob Schmahl

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Dec 4, 2012
The far right may be all "oh noes! John Boehner's fake fiscal cliff proposal is not nearly far right enough for us," but a tax expert tells Greg Sargent the real problem is that the proposal is fake, as in not real, as in couldn't be made to work as Boehner and his allies claim it would:

Republicans have said that the $800 billion in new revenues would come from eliminating loopholes and deductions in a way that only targets those over $250,000. That way, Republicans can argue that their plan doesn’t hit the middle class, only the rich.

The problem, though, is that you’d have to eliminate virtually every significant loophole and deduction that benefits the wealthy to make this possible, according to Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Worse, if you also want to lower tax rates, as Republicans say they do, it would become even harder.[...]

Williams added that to come within the ballpark of raising $800 billion in new revenues in this fashion, you’d probably have to pare back substantially or eliminate an enormous range of deductions, from the write-offs for employee provided health insurance, interest from municipal bonds, and money invested in retirement plans, to itemized deductions for charitable contributions, state and local taxes, and mortgage interest payments.

Because proposing tax plans that were short on actual details beyond "cut needed programs and don't raise tax rates on the rich" worked so well for Mitt Romney? Every detail of this is theater for the benefit of far-right billionaires like the Koch brothers and a compliant media that will report any proposal from Boehner as if it's serious. One group that's not buying it, though? The American public.

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