Romney slams tax cut deal
December 14th, 2010
10:02 AM ET
4 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. CathyinAZ

    Well the good Mr. Romney can thank his co-horts on the GOP side for this BAD deal. Trickle Down Economics DOES NOT WORK and these tax cuts, already proven, WILL NOT CREATE JOBS – just the rich getting richer

    December 14, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Bill

    Well, considering they're both millionaires who benefit from the tax, and neither serve in the government, these two clowns should both shut the hell up.

    December 14, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Jon

    Oh, bull. His whole problem with it is that the tax cuts aren't *permanent*? And this is what we call a "fiscal conservative"?

    December 14, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. sara

    I have to say, I am really not interested in what Romey or Palin have to say about this tax deal.. There will never be one that will make everyone happy. Something is better than nothing, adjust it as you go along, see what works, and what doesn't get rid of it. I find it a disgrace and very disrespectful that people work so hard to set our President up to fail. I am tired of every man/women for themselves in Washington. One party isn't any better than the other, unless they work for the people, and not their egos and power.

    December 14, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. MikeMazzla

    Unless I missed something I dont really see what his solution was other than saying he didnt like this solution.

    December 14, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. cel

    HUH ? A Republican against tax cut extensions that benefit his rich and super rich bretheren ? He stands NO chance of being elected president. The rich kids will disown him and the poor kids will hate him even more.

    December 14, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. MikeMazzla

    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.

    UMMMM...so he likes the good parts.. which are the parts the are adding to the national debt? Does that make any sense whatsoever? I like the parts that are contributing to the added debt which I dont like.. .HUH??

    December 14, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Quintus

    Both Romney and Palin have the advantage of being on the sidelines as commentators. Neither is in a position of having to actively deal with any of the unemployment, low growth, and deficit issues.

    December 14, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. HMF

    I would love to shelve this deal and wait until January 1 and shove through something more palatible like has happened to the GOP that last two years. Unfortunately that would not be best for the country as a whole. We have been run witihout regard to what is best for all of us for last 4-5 years. I cannot wait until January and the new untainted congressional members start slashing it all. That is going to be fun and we can return to fiscal sanity.

    December 14, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Publius13

    Okay. So Mr. Mittens is the same as Sen. McConnell. The only specific criticism he points out is that the compromise "could benefit the president politically." In today's conservative media echo chamber, that is a sufficient reason. But wouldn't it be nice if Mr. Mittens and the CNN writers would actually say what is wrong with the deal?

    December 14, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Mike in Texas

    Basically Mitt wants the tax cuts to be permanent including the estate tax and capital gains tax which don't impact the middle class.

    I say this. Keep the current tax rates permanent but go after all these tax deductions that have crept into the tax code since it was simplified back in 1986. Do this so the rich can keep their lower tax rate but lose all these deductions that they currently use that lowers their tax burden and allows them to pay a lesser rate than the middle class who don't have all these tax deductions to use.

    December 14, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. ELIZABETH

    I guess it's easy to sit on the sidelines.

    December 14, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. NVa Native

    The Queen od Posturing (Romney) is dillegently posturing – it's like OMG Palin just said something stupid – of course she did and of course she will.

    December 14, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. PKBIS

    CNN always gives a media blitz to people like Romney, Palin, and Gingrich when they as much as burp. These people do not have jobs. They are not elected nor or they electable. They fall into the same category as John McCain; if they didn't pay millions to a public relations firm to keep their faces in the media, they would fade away in a hurry. Why? Because no one cares what they think.

    December 14, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Chas in Iowa

    Romeny has a flat Earth philosophy that does not mesh with todays world.

    December 14, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. A True Centrist

    I'm not a huge fan of Romney politically but the man has proven that he understands economics and management. He cleaned up the issues with the Utah Olympics and balanced the budget 4 straight years as governor of MA (albeit at a huge cost to a lot of social programs). He would be a good consultant on these types of issues (note I did not say President Mr Romney) and I hope leadership on both sides of the aisle at least hear him out.

    December 14, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Pat

    This is the real reason he is apposed to it.

    "In his op-ed, Romney says the compromise, if enacted, could benefit the president politically"

    December 14, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    The tax deal makes for interesting political Kabuki theater when conservatives and progressives oppose it. Both sides are using the same argument that it will cause the deficit to rise.

    December 14, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Scott

    So you agree with it but it's bad and you offer no alternatives...thanks for saying nothing really!

    December 14, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Louisiana Man

    Romney's quote speaks volumes for his true intent. "The compromise [ lofty verbiage his future crone speaker refuses to acknowledge] if enacted, will benefit Obama politically" and quantify his leadership abilities.

    Romney's phony transparent facade is glaring. All of that beating of breast and artificial posturing is counterfeit. Tax cuts and a ballooning deficit are not on the tip of his cerebral flux.

    BULLETIN!! His only concern is if Obama is scoring points and acquiring political capitol-
    an up hill battle that Romney will have to wadge when he challenges Obama in 2012.

    December 14, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Peace

    This is why people like Romney, Sarah should not be allowed to smell where the White House is located.
    We all know that we are one nation and one people and we should all work together in order to move the country forward; i.e. by having a compromise. Those who are against the unity , should never be considered at all to lead the nation!

    December 14, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Jim

    I love it. First it's "We have to have the tax cut!!!" then it's "No tax cuts!" Well, Republicans, WHICH IS IT???????

    December 14, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. PalmReader

    "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."
    -----------–

    Yep. It's all about getting the economy going again, Mitt. Hasn't the working class already suffered enough? God forbid things should start to improve before the 2012 elections, yes, Romeny? Crickets, though, when it comes to detailing what he or any other republican candidate would do. Besides allowing the working class to suffer more, that is.

    December 14, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. blondemorel

    So, He seems to like everything about the deal, but he doesn't like that it costs us money. Hmmm, quite ingenius. If he could kindly explain how to keep tax cuts and not add to the deficit I'm all ears. Right now though all we have is political nonsense. Stating that all of the individual parts of the bill are good and then saying that the whole is irresponsible and bad is just a way to protect himself and win votes later on. Politicians need to start giving us some real ideas. Man up and tell us what you really think.

    December 14, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. fayse1

    Considering the fact that a vote of 83 to 15 represents a majority. Why is it that people can't accept Majority rules? President Obama won by a majority of the vote. The minority, or losers, the Republicans have been challenging that for two years. In my opinion, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are not only losers, they are sore losers.

    December 14, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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