Mark Thoma: Broadening the Base and Lowering the Rates Is Good Policy, But Not a Short-Run Employment Booster
Finally Got My Copy of Noam Scheiber's "Escape Artists"

Romney Tax Plan: Gimmicky Proposal That Blows Huge Hole in the Budget

The bar is much lower for Republican Presidential candidates. While Democratic Presidential candidates get trashed in the press if their specific budget plans do not get the U.S. economy to long-run budget balance, Republican Presidential candidates are praised if they even have a plan--even a plan composed of nothing but tax cuts and magic asterisks:

Mitt Romney offers gimmicky proposals that rely on implausible levels of economic growth and blow huge holes in the budget:

Mitt Romney: A Tax Reform to Restore America's Prosperity: [D]eep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America. Today that promise is threatened by a faltering economy and a lack of presidential leadership….

My plan is conservative in a way that stands out not only from President Obama's failed approach of higher taxes and runaway deficit spending, but also from the say-anything-to-get-elected fiscal recklessness of some of my Republican rivals. Offering gimmicky proposals that rely on implausible levels of economic growth and blow huge holes in the budget is easy. Fixing our very serious problems is not….

First, I will make an across-the-board, 20% reduction in marginal individual income tax rates…. Second, I will reduce the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%, transition from a world-wide taxation system to a territorial one, and make the R&D tax credit permanent…. Third, I will promote savings and investment by maintaining the low 15% rate on capital gains, interest and qualified dividends…. Fourth, I will… abolish the death tax…. I will also repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax…. Fifth, I will bring stability to the tax code by making these changes permanent….

Stronger economic growth and reductions in spending will help to ensure that these tax cuts do not expand deficits. In addition, I will place some curbs on personal tax deductions, exemptions and credits, and I will also broaden the corporate tax base….

The plan I am proposing is far-reaching yet realistic. It will bring us a federal government that does what it needs to, that lives within its means, and that uses pro-growth tax policy to raise necessary funds and not a dollar more.

I don't know anybody with a tenth of a brain not playing for Team Romney--not Team Republican, Team Romney--who will dare say that this Romney plan brings us a "federal government that does what it needs to [and] that lives within its means". Nobody.

Middle Class Political Economist:

Romney Tax Plan Blows Hole in Budget, Remains Short on Specifics: Mitt Romney unveiled his tax plan today, but it revealed few surprises except for surprisingly few specifics. Via Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes), conservative economist Josh Barro estimates that the Romney plan consists of $5 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years…. As Barro points out, Romney has said before that he will increase American military spending (already tops in the world by far). This makes it even more difficult for him to offset the $5 billion in tax cuts without huge cuts to programs that the middle class depends on…