The Romney Campaign has been adamant in their refusal to clarify exactly what they would eliminate in the way of deductions and loopholes in the tax code in order to pay for the proposed cut in the taxes that rich Americans pay. Apparently, Romney’s stubbornness on this issue has even begun to get to FOX News. Their Gregg Jarrett repeatedly asked and challenged Romney policy director Lanhee Chen about those cuts, and Chen refused.
ThinkProgress kindly provided this transcript:
JARRETT: He’s not saying which of the loopholes and deductions and credits and exemptions he wants to close. That is huge. That’s significant. How can he not tell the American people those facts?
CHEN: Well, let’s back up for a second. This is a race about two dramatically different philosophies. [...] As you’ve said, they’re going to get rid of some of this underbrush, some of the deductions and some of the exemptions that are clouding our tax code.
JARRETT: But why won’t he explain how and which ones and by how much?
CHEN: Well, you know, a number of different bipartisan commissions over the years have told us exactly how we get there. The key is presidential leadership and that’s something that’s been lacking. That’s something that Governor Mitt Romney is going to provide in the White House.
JARRETT: But Mr. Chen, forgive me, you’re just not answering my question. So let me put it again: which loopholes and deductions and credits and exemptions the President’s going to get rid of would affect all Americans. Before they cast their ballot, don’t they deserve to know which ones are going, which ones are not, and by how much?
CHEN: Look Greg, Governor Romney’s been very clear that first of all we’re going to look to curb deductions for high-income taxpayers. And secondly, a lot of different deductions and exemptions are out there, we’ve got a lot of different ways to get there.
The Tax Policy Center has stated that Romney would have to eliminate all the deductions and exemptions for the highest income earners in order to pay for his tax plan, and that would still require a raise in the middle-class tax braket in order to just make the whole tax cut plan revenue neutral.
It has been a hallmark of the Romney Campaign that they are unwilling to discuss details of their economic plans except in vague generalities. A former staffer for John Kerry noted that it is important to run for something and not just against someone. Romney’s Campaign is trying to do spin and damage control in the wake of the Democratic National Convention where he and the Republicans were repeatedly hammered in various high-profile speeches.