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February 1, 2015

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Election 2012:

Obama campaign to unleash new attacks on Romney tax plan


J. Scott Applewhite / AP

President Barack Obama greets event participants after announcing his plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 9, 2012.

As the U.S. House prepares for a contentious vote on a pair of tax cut extension bills, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is ramping up an effort to convince voters that Republican Mitt Romney’s tax plan is designed to protect the rich.

In a multipronged attack, the Obama campaign is releasing a series of state-based reports interpreting how Romney’s tax proposals would affect middle-class Americans, launching a new television campaign attacking the proposal and even unveiling a new smartphone application to help organizers push the message on the ground.

With smartphones in hand, door-to-door canvassers and campaign organizers, for example, will tell voters how many Nevadans might lose their mortgage interest deduction under Romney’s plan and what would happen if Romney ended the charitable giving deduction.

The problem with many of their attacks is that they are still theoretical.

While Romney has put forward a somewhat detailed tax plan — permanently extending the Bush tax cuts, further cutting individual tax rates and the corporate income tax, and eliminating the estate tax — he hasn’t detailed how he would keep the plan deficit neutral.

Instead, he’s said he would eliminate some deductions and credits but hasn’t been specific as to which ones he would actually target.

Click to enlarge photo

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a campaign rally at a local business, Tuesday May 29, 2012.

That leaves Romney open to attacks from Obama, who, drawing on interpretations from various economists, says Romney would eliminate some of the most popular deductions, including those for mortgage interest, charitable giving and employer-provided health care.

“Mitt Romney would take us back to the top-down economics that failed us in the past,” says a report the Obama campaign will release today on Romney’s tax policies. “He would enact budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest while cutting investments that grow our economy and our middle class.

“And Romney claims that these tax cuts wouldn’t add to the deficit, which is only possible if he raises taxes on middle-class Nevadans.”

A television ad on Nevada airwaves is a little more blunt.

“Mitt Romney’s plan: a new $250,000 tax cut for millionaires,” the announcer says.

While Romney hasn’t specified which deductions he would target, he believes everything must be on the table to ensure a true debate over how to reform the tax code and would work with Congress to figure out which deductions make the most sense to eliminate.

The campaign push comes as the House is preparing to vote on two bills. One, backed by Obama, would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all income earners under $250,000. The second, backed by Republicans and Romney, would extend the tax cuts for all earners.

In a twist, the Obama campaign is accusing Romney of supporting a tax increase on the middle class unless he gets a tax cut for millionaires, too. Romney actually supports the tax cuts for all income levels.

Romney’s campaign fired back that Obama’s timing for eliminating tax cuts for those who earn more than $250,000 a year couldn’t be worse for Nevadans who are suffering under the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Romney’s Nevada spokesman, Mason Harrison, argued the tax increase would hit small businesses, not just individuals.

“Those are the folks who need to be hiring people right now,” he said. “Why would we want to raise taxes on them? And now (the Obama campaign) is trying to use the class warfare angle to try and paint Romney as someone who wants to protect the wealthy?”

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  1. Reason #978 that President Obama will win in a LANDSLIDE...

    A Tax Plan that makes sense for THE MAJORITY of Americans, as opposed to the Rmoney Plan that makes sense only for the top-bracket folks, who've been living high off the tax-cut hog for years now...

    Hey, if those HUMONGOUS tax breaks for the wealthy were so 'VITAL' to job growth, some of those trillions being socked away by Corp America should have been REINVESTED by now!

    From Forbes...

    "the GOP meme suggesting that tax cuts equals jobs while, conversely, tax increases on the so-called "job creators" mean less work for the rest of us, simply does not survive any reasonable scrutiny."

  2. I guess Obama has nothing of substance that I can actually make a choice on, who is the best to lead this country. He has not talked about Plan 1 during his commercials, instead just taking pot shots at his rival. Is nothing but petty partisan politics. We are part of a capitalist republic (...and to the Republic for which it stands). Has been that way since the US was colonized. People with power, in power. And as long as there is division among the people, those in power will remain.

  3. "He has not talked about Plan 1 during his commercials"

    You don't listen to his commercials.

  4. After his last trip abroad, it is clear that Romney does a fair enough job of calling an air strike on his own position without waiting for Obama to take aim.

  5. <<About 250,000 unemployed people in Senator Reid's home state haven't paid taxes since he become leader of the Senate in 2007 either>>

    I don't know if you mean by unemployed, you mean those on unemployment or if you mean those who do not work at all or if they do work, make so little that the money is not taxable.

    Unemployment benefits are taxable. You have a choice: tax it right away like if it was your "paycheck" or wait until you file your taxes. You do get a "W2" along with any other W2's you may get from any work you did. The IRS knows. I didn't pay fed taxes while I was getting unemployment but I sure as hell paid taxes when I filed my tax returns.

  6. <<This seems to be his strategy: Just don't say anything, don't admit to anything, don't divulge any specifics about anything--and hope that people just dislike the President enough to vote for anyone else>>


    Good analogy. Hasn't anyone who just loves this guy noticed he hasn't said anything about anything yet?

    At this stage of the game, he should be providing the American people on what his game plan will be or what he hopes it will be, and not keep bashing Obama. Even though I'm a (and PLEASE I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANY SMART ASS COMMENTS)...I'm a Cook County Chicago democrat and have been all my life, but I like to hear what ALL the candidates, both parties, have to say, what they plan to do if elected, especially in presidential elections. I listened to Romney in 2008 and liked what he said at the time (totally different candidate then he is now), listened to McCain and almost voted for him because I didn't think Obama had enough experience...but then came Palin. But this go round - Romney hasn't said jacksh*t about anything! It's obvious he will protect that "1%" at all costs on the backs of the middle class. He will make lives harder for the Seniors no matter what he decides to do. But even with this stuff, he is not being specific. Yeah, repeal "Obamacare" but what are you going to do in it's place? Let all the hardworking Americans who do have insurance pay for those who continue to not have any by rising insurance premiums, more costly tests?

    This man couldn't even get through a 3 country trip to Europe without messing up.

  7. Mr. O and campaigners have all this time to take pot shots but no time to explain what he plans to do to the middle class? Rather clear he plans to increase taxes on middle class to pay for dependents who can't work full time or above minimum wage level jobs. And to pay for all that aide for Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Guam, Germany, Great Britain--you know, the large military bases where we send hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to stimulate other economies. And to pay for health care for all of Africa and central America. And to pay for all the needs and jobs of they can have more illegal anchor babies to deplete our social welfare programs and lower benefits for American citizens.

  8. It's probably much easier to end the Bush-era tax cuts that try to pass legislation that would do the same thing: DECREASE earned income credits and such.