Romney: “obviously, I want to make sure that we maintain the progressivity of the code”
Yes, obviously. Because that’s what “severely conservative” candidates do: maintain “progressivity” — or, to put a finer point on it, maintain one of the 10 planks in the Communist Manifesto, the graduated income tax.
Romney has a long record of opposing a flat tax–even investing more than $50,000 of his own money during the 1996 presidential campaign to run newspapers ads attacking then-presidential candidate Steve Forbes’s flat-tax proposal as a “tax cut for fat cats.”
“What about the argument that you’re saying the same class warfare?” Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Romney. “And you hear this from a lot of people. The Wall Street Journal, which generally liked your plan, says it’s the same old Obama class war argument. Yes, you’re going to reduce capital gains taxes for the middle class, not for the rich.”
In questioning Romney about his plan, Wallace said critics say he is “playing the Obama class war game.”
“Well, we have a progressive tax code right now, and what I’m talking about are pretty significant reductions in tax across the board,” said Romney. “And the reason I’m talking about those marginal tax reductions across the board is to create incentives for small businesses to start growing and hiring again.
“I’m not trying to change the progressivity of the code,” said Romney. “I’m not trying to say that one group or another is going to get a better deal. But what I’m trying to do is to make sure that under no circumstances is the middle class going to end up with a larger share of the tax burden.
“It’s absolutely essential to me as a guiding principle that middle income Americans don’t get hit with a bigger share of the burden,” said Romney. “That’s the point that I’m making and I’m going to make sure that as we add it all up, that the middle income Americans are not getting a bigger burden.”
Wallace then asked Romney about the Wall Street Journal saying it “generally liked your plan” but “says it’s the same old Obama class war argument.”
“Well, obviously, I want to make sure that we maintain the progressivity of the code,” said Romney. “And I want to help people who I think have been most hurt by the Obama economy–and that’s middle income Americans.
In other words, Romney is hoping to match Obama’s pander to “the middle class” (which in Obama’s case is an attempt to position himself as the champion of that he’s seeking to destroy) — and in so doing, is providing yet another example of the GOP establishment’s ceding the narrative to the left, and trying to assume the electoral role of Democrat-Lite.
As I’ve argued for nearly a year now, the best way to blunt Obama’s “fairness” attacks on “the rich” is to bring the idea of a flat tax to the debates: a flat tax requires that those who make more pay more, though they do so by paying (in theory) the same rate as everyone else. A flat tax, too, would end the messiness of the tax code, and do away with all the tax loopholes that tend to benefit businesses like GE, while not particularly benefiting the small businesses that provide most of the country’s jobs.
What can be considered more fair than everyone paying the same percentage — that is, than everyone being viewed as equal before the law? What can be more “fair” than a completely simplified tax code that would maintain government revenues, require that everyone have “some skin in the game” (as Joe Biden himself calls for!), and that, as a matter of simple math would require that those who make more pay more by virtue of their having more income to tax?
Once again, Romney — the severe conservative — is showing himself to be anything but. Instead, he is a polished political pragmatist looking to a laundry list of stances to take that he believes make him most electable. Principle has little to do with it.
And that’s just not good enough anymore. For me.