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During the presidential campaign, GOP candidate Mitt Romney was criticized for refusing to list which tax deductions and loopholes he would push Congress to eliminate in order to offset his 20% across-the-board tax cutting plan.
The 20% across-the-board tax cuts, Romney said, absolutely had to be revenue neutral...not adding anything to the national debt. Mr. Romney told Americans that he would offset the deep new tax cuts by closing tax deductions for the wealthy.
As it played out, closing tax deductions for the rich could not come close to offsetting the revenue lost by Romney's new 20% tax cut proposal....unless tax deductions were also eliminated for middle class tax payers. That fact eventually led Mr. Romney to abandon his 20% tax cutting plan altogether.....announcing that abandonment at the first presidential debate in a very special "never mind" moment.
But what Mitt Romney never did.....in spite of being asked repeatedly.....is specifically name which tax deductions he would eliminate, which loopholes in the tax code he would close. Americans were, apparently, just supposed to trust Mr. Romney on the tax deductions. Americans said thanks, but no thanks....and proceeded to give President Obama a blowout electoral college win with a 3.3% popular vote margin of victory in November.....all while unemployment still hovered at around 8%.
Refusing to give specifics on what stuff Republicans would cut if given their way....is a feature of the party, not a bug. As Paul Krugman states today...
While there has been a lot of bluster from the G.O.P. about how we should reduce the deficit with spending cuts, not tax increases, no leading figures on the Republican side have been able or willing to specify what, exactly, they want to cut.
On the other hand, the re-elected Kenyan Imposter, Barack Hussein Obama, has offered specifics in his soon-to-fail "fiscal cliff" negotiations. President Obama's plan would raise $1.6 trillion in revenue by refusing to renew income tax cuts on the top 2% of Americans while also trimming tax deductions for that same 2%. Spending cuts would include $400 billion over ten years.....mostly coming from cuts to Medicare providers, in particular, prescription drug providers.
As you may have noticed, Obama's opening bid has not been well received by oh-so-upset posers like Orrin Hatch, John Boehner and co-confederacy presidents Graham and McCain. Fool-of-the year, and former GOP representative, Joe Scarborough, called Obama's opening bid in negotiations..."an insult to Republicans."
Moaning, whining and bitching aside.....Krugman is correct when he says that Republicans have thus far refused to list the specific cuts they would make. Instead, the generic...."spending cuts".....just like Romney's generic "tax deductions".....absent specifics or details.....is all Republicans have been able to muster so far in "negotiations."
With one exception.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would raise the age of Medicare eligibility and call that a spending cut. The Kentucky Republican, bless his little obstructionistic heart, would raise Medicare premium costs for our nation's richest.....while simultaneously lowering monthly Social Security checks for the elderly by lowering the Consumer Price Index number by approximately one half of one percent.
Setting aside the fact that McConnell's specifics are an obvious attack on our oldest and most vulnerable citizens......what "savings" would the Minority Leader's specifics accrue?
According to Krugman this morning, McConnell's "specifics" would cut spending by $300 billion over ten years. Obama's plan would raise $1.6 trillion in new revenue over ten years.....or over five times the amount McConnell's plan would "save."
Once again, the Republican plan does not add up. Mitt Romney refused to name specific tax deduction eliminations....because his tax cutting plan didn't add up. After losing the election, Republicans refuse to list specific spending cuts.....and when they do....those spending cuts don't add up.
In general, Republicans do not believe in governance. They don't. That is why, often, policy specifics are lacking and official GOP plans don't add up. When elected,....and this is especially true in the last 20 years,.....Republicans use their elected positions to loot (starve) the government for the benefit of their wealthiest campaign contributors and buddies while simultaneously seeking to game our political system through attacks on Democratic entities and voting rights (ACORN, voter ID laws, union-busting, vote suppression), all the while obstructing everything Democratic from their minority perch.
In the 2010 mid-term election.....all I heard from Republican hopefuls was how really, really, no-kidding, serious they were about jobs, jobs, jobs. They didn't mean that either. What they meant then, and what they mean now.....is more tax cuts for the already-wildly wealthy.
If that means cutting geezer's SS checks and pushing 65-67 year olds to the curb......then so be it....
Even if none of it adds up.