Romney slams tax cut deal
December 14th, 2010
10:02 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney slams tax cut deal

(CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is not a fan of the tax cut compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans.

In an op-ed Tuesday in USA Today, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate calls the plan a "bad deal" - making Romney the first possible 2012 GOP White House contender to come out against the proposal other than former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

While Romney points out what he calls the good parts of the deal, such as the reduction of payroll taxes, the keeping intact of the income current tax rates, and the extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, he takes issue with much of the proposal, saying the tax cut extension is only temporary and that the deal adds to the nation's deficit.

"Intermixed with the benefits are considerable costs of consequence. Given the unambiguous message that the American people sent to Washington in November, it is difficult to understand how our political leaders could have reached such a disappointing agreement. The new, more conservative Congress should reach a better solution," Romney writes.

The piece was published just hours before the Senate is scheduled to vote on final approval of the plan. The deal cleared a key procedural hurdle Monday, with an 83-15 vote to end Senate debate on the measure.  Anticipating final Senate approval of the measure, President Obama Monday urged the House to pass it quickly, despite the misgivings of many House Democrats who are opposed to the current deal.

In his op-ed, Romney says the compromise, if enacted, could benefit the president politically: "President Obama has reason to celebrate. The deal delivers short-term economic stimulus, and it does so at the very time he wants it most, before the 2012 elections. But the long term health of our great engine of prosperity will remain very much in doubt."

The op-ed may be an attempt by Romney to tout his fiscal discipline chops, and could be an attempt of outreach to fiscal conservatives and Tea Party activists, who will be an important constituency in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries and caucuses.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: Health care • Mitt Romney
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    Oh and you Mitt are not doing what you are doing and saying for political gain. It amazes me that you so called republicans are okay with extending the Bush tax cuts even though they are not paid for and never were paid for, but everything is a bad deal. You will never be president of the US, get that through your head. You are agreeing with Mrs. I don't have a clue because you know she is popular among the stupid so you want to try and ride that wave! You are so transparent!

    December 14, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Julie C

    Romney, like the rest of the GOP want permanent tax cuts for the wealthy, of course. No big surprise here. The wealthy simply need to pay their fair share as expressed by some of our country's wealthiest, Buffett, Gates. I don't think paying more taxes is even slightly noticed by these types; they earn that much in one day compared to the rest of us working stiffs. Do they deserve their wealth, of course they do. Should they pay their fair share? Yes. They continue to get a ton of tax write offs already. More needs to be done to help the middle class in this country. Where are the jobs, GOP?

    December 14, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Timbo

    LOL comical the Far Right hates is and the FAR LEFT hates it. Well i guess the idea of compromise is the dirties FOUR letter word in the room

    December 14, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. felix

    "Congress should reach a better solution." But of course, Mitt won't say what that better solution is. He likes the tax cuts for the rich, likes the extension of jobless benefits, but doesn't like that the deal adds to the nations debt. Maybe the tea party can have a bake sale.

    December 14, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Good for him. At least he recognizes that the spending in the "deal" exceeds the benefits of the tax cuts, entirely.

    December 14, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. KyleIM

    Romney is such a joke, and continues to follow Palin's lead–which is REALLY sad considering the fact that she is hardly a leader. How can you have a problem with the tax rates only being temporary (as opposed to permanent), then complain that they add to the defecit?! Well, duh! And if they were permanent, revenue would continue to be low, thus making it necessary to continue borrowing and adding more to the deficit. Romney is truly the epitome of a finger-in-the-air politician who will say/do whatever will best feed his ambition at any given time. If you truly care about the deficit, oppose the tax plan and stand by your belief that taxes should rise. If you really want lower taxes, support the plan and stand by the fact that you are adding to the deficit. You really can't have it both ways.

    December 14, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. GI Joe

    Did he get $arah'$ permission to speak?

    December 14, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. rs

    Ack! I find myself in complete agreement with a Republican! Romney no less!

    It is time for Americans to break their addiction to millionaire-making tax cuts, and begin to pay our way out of debt.

    Just say no!

    December 14, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Richard Komi

    I do not know what the president should do to please republicans. The tax cut deal is something Senate republicans insisted must happen if any other business of the people will be talked about but here is Mitt Romney saying it is bad for the country. Is Mitt Romney in touch with his fellow republicansat all?

    December 14, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. james Miller

    Sounds like double-speak. Just pandering to Tea partiers with no real examples of exactly what he thinks is wrong.---- Just more political hot air-–

    December 14, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. SAY WHAT!!!

    Romney wants permanent Tax Cuts for his friends and this is NEWS...

    December 14, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    The new, more conservative Congress should reach a better solution," Romney writes.
    _________________________________________________________________________
    He really is correct. But if this would have gone to the new congress it may not have passed without having some spending cuts along with it. Perhaps this is Obama's final gift to the Democratic House for giving him such blind, unwavering support ( i.e., rubber stamp approval ) over the last 2 years. This whole," We can't accept the estate tax decrease" whining is not convincing in light of what they actually did get in the deal.

    December 14, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. carlos

    The new, more conservative Congress should reach a better solution," Romney writes.

    this idiot does not realize that we do not want any more CONServatives anywhere, they are putrid and evil.......so please stay away from politicas, you are a washed out already.....

    December 14, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. TruthAndBeauty

    Another magical thinker. Or huckster. Take your pick.
    The wise businessman (leveraged buyout dude, I mean) tells us that revenue doesn't matter and that sometimes you cut it and it increases. Well, what happened to all the revenue and jobs for the last 10 years that all this magical thinking was in place and being practiced by the Republican-Hogwarts students? Somehow we ended up with a massive banking and fiscal disaster that (yes, once again) a democrat has to come in and clean up and restore some degree of reality-thinking.
    But as we see at the box office, Harry Potter and similar magic wand epics are what the dumb and suckered American public wants.

    December 14, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. michael

    Wonder how long it will take the infamous flip flopper to change his tune on this one? Has he ever taken a position he didn't change later?

    December 14, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Dean

    Yes please pass the bill quickly. We need cheap rum, cheap movies and more training in mine safety that our future generations can pay for us to enjoy.
    Extension of temporary increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax revenues to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The bill extends for two years (through 2011) the provision providing for payment of $13.25 per gallon to cover over a $13.50 per proof gallon excise tax on distilled spirits produced in or imported into the United States.

    Extension of special expensing rules for U.S. film and television productions. The bill extends for two years (through 2011) the provision that allows film and television producers to expense the first $15 million of production costs incurred in the United States ($20 million if the costs are incurred in economically depressed areas in the United States).

    Election to expense advanced mine safety equipment. The bill extends for two years (through 2010) the provision that provides businesses with 50 percent bonus depreciation for certain qualified underground mine safety equipment.

    December 14, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Nhan

    He's happy that tax cuts are extended but upset that it adds to the deficit? Huh? How do you get one without the other?

    December 14, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Jump on the bandwagon Mitt. Can any of these politicians make an opinion on their own?

    December 14, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. tim

    this clown (as well as palin) would have slammed the tax deal no matter what it said.

    December 14, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Ben Ben

    two I will not vote for

    December 14, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Debby

    Well some deal is better than no deal. I disagree with Palin and Romney on this. If it works to be good down the road they can extend it further but to poo poo it before it even begins is stupid.

    December 14, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Marty, FL

    Mitt Romney again contradicts himself by disingenuously decrying deficits at the same time wanting temporary tax cuts extended permanently, which would only add to deficits. Credibility please.

    December 14, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. mgc florida

    Its not saying much if he is on the same page as the hag from alaska, he should be very afraid lol.

    December 14, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. johnkc

    Personally, I would hate to have anything in common with Sarah Palin!

    December 14, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Joe in PA

    REALLY? You agree with increasing the deficit by extending the taxes but are concerned that they weren't extended permanently, while at the same time railing the deficit? REALLY? Is thatt your concern? REALLY?

    Let's talk about your hair, it would likely lead to a more meaningful dialogue.

    December 14, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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