Romney slams tax cut deal
December 14th, 2010
10:02 AM ET
8 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. GOP = Greed Over People

    I think I am seeing a new alliance emerging for 2012.

    Romney will be brains and missy will whip the racists "christian" zealots into such a frenzy, that they will forget he is a Mormon..

    Romney/Palin 2012!

    December 14, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Jeff

    It would be nice if Mr. Romney would elaborate a bit more on this point. Saying "But the long term health of our great engine of prosperity will remain very much in doubt." doesn't mean anything without him offering an alternative solution. It appears that Mr. Romney and Sarah Palin are objecting to this Bill entirely based upon the man behind it – a completely transparent political jab, rather than an actual position. Are they against tax cuts? Are they for tax cuts? I understand that CNN wants to sound objective on articles like this, but obvious questions aren't really being asked. Shouldn't someone be asking "when asked what he/she would have done, Palin/Romney said _____"? Or "Romney/Palin both declined to elaborate on what they would have changed in the Bill". Omission of information can be just as much of a story as the information that wasn't omitted....

    December 14, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    CONTINUED tax cuts for the rich is something they DON'T NEED. And they absolutely WILL NOT use the savings to create jobs. Theey haven't so far, they have a track record to prove that they will, in fact, just continue to ship jobs off shore.
    Continued tax cuts to people who will continue to spend that money in the day to day economy will help many to survive this current and substantial downturn.

    December 14, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. a in austin

    I am not in agreement with this "common ground" – I would use the word "compromise" but as Boehner stated the other night, he will not compromise for the good of WE THE PEOPLE. I do not have a lot of $$$ but I am willing to make the "sacrifice" of higher taxes to help my country.

    December 14, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "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."

    Nope, no cognitive dissonance there: Everyone knows that eviscerating the government's revenue stream has nothing to do with exploding the deficit. Magical thinking at it's finest.

    December 14, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. CRG

    Exactly what part of the legislation does he not like? These kind of meaningless, absurd comments are typical of politicians who care less about the people or the country, but rather their own political future. They disagree just to disagree without reason or substance.

    December 14, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Me

    Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. These people like Romney (who I thought had more sense) and Palin just have to have something to complain about. If the POTUS doesn't give them what they want, they complain he is sticking to party lines. If he does give them they still find a way to make it negative.

    I guess it's one way to get your mug on CNN. I guess Romney (and Huckabee) have been to the Sarah Palin school of "Getting in the Headlines". Pathetic!!

    December 14, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. JIMMY

    If Republicans want a bona fide challenger to President Obama, they had better nominate Romney. He is certainly the most qualified candidate they have. Everyone knows Sarah airhead doesn't stand a chance, if nominated Obama will win in a landslide. Having said that, it is doubtful at this stage Romney will get the nod. The evangelicals who run the GOP don't consider him a Christian, therefore he is an infidel to them.

    December 14, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Ronnie

    Who cares what Romney and Palin think? These 2 are not even part of the goverment and have no juice to do anything at all.

    December 14, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. Eric in RTP

    "tax cut extension is only temporary and that the deal adds to the nation's deficit' Is this dude crazy or what... do they not think about the words that come out of there mouths? hello? wouldn't making the tax cuts permanent add more to the deficit? If this guy, Palin, Huckleberry Finn, Sanatorium (with his smug mouth that needs a fist in it) or Trump is all you have.. Obama will not even need to campaign... you guys are a lost cause... I can guarantee you those trying to gain the WH or congress in 2012 will continue to push the anti-government.. no no no, bag of trix the GOP just did rather than actually trying to solve problems and govern. These people just oppose anything that may make Obama seem like great President he is. The anti-establishment card will only get you so far, esp when your party is now in power of the house, where legislation should originate in case you missed civics class, they;re not going to be able to sit on the sidelines and throw mud.. nope they're going to have to borrow Palin and Bachmann's cajones and man up.

    December 14, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. nick

    Anyone, I repeat, anyone who agrees with Palin on any policy whatsoever is a certified looser. Therefore, Romney, as he has shown before, is a certified looser.

    December 14, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Kyle

    I'm surprised. I'm a conservative, but I didn't think any Republicans agreed with me on this issue. Good call, Mitt Romney!

    December 14, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. kyle from ohio

    If Romney was not so busy trying to grand stand he would know that The new, more conservative Congress that should reach a better solution is not in session just Yet! And that if it help or hurt the President is not what is greatly important to the people, it sure seems important from this 2 Party rule point of view, what is more important is that We all the people of the USA have a Government that is working for the people.

    December 14, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. Mike, Albany

    "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." This is why Romney is an idiot who is not fit to run the country. Of course, the tax deal adds to the deficit because republicans would not budge on the issue of extending tax cuts to the extremely wealthy. So, when our deficit increases beyond that created by the policies of the Bush administration, you can blame the republicans, the party of fiscal conservatism.

    December 14, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. PK California

    OK. You don't like it. Let's hear your plan!!!

    December 14, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Bill

    Once again a republican hints at their only REAL crusades:
    1. Destroy Obama, regardless of the consequences to the country.
    2. Bankrupt the government so their friends on Wall Street and Corporate America can rape and plunder the earth and what's left of the middle class without interference from pests like the EPA or bank regulators.

    December 14, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Vito Corleone

    Isn't it funny and ironic that the only people that don't like this deal are the ones that will benefit the most from it.....just give me ONE honest millionaire who will come out and honestly say..."Thank You" to the American People for giving them eternal and unlimited opportunity to get even RICHER while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet AND fund their endless idiotic government bailouts!!!

    December 14, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Larry

    The majority of politicians like Romney go in whatever direction the wind is taking them. He is complaining about how the tax deal will add to the deficit, but at the same time he was also against Obama's tax proposal of eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which would have in turn have prevented an increase to the deficit. Romney wants to get political points for his opposition to any and all proposals, but doesn't want to be held accountable for putting his own proposal in writing. I hate politicians. They all suck!!!!!

    December 14, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. TeeParti

    But Mitt, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." -Dick Cheney
    and "Tax cuts don't add to the deficit." – John Kyl

    Every Republican knows this...

    December 14, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Duck Fallas

    Great hinds stink alike.

    December 14, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Me

    Mitt thought bubble – "Oh gee, the President has done something. I must speak out against it, no matter what it is." This incognito used car salesman may get the GOP nod but he won't beat Obama in 2012.

    December 14, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. ?

    both these idiots are simply posing for 2012! like they really give a rats a$$ about this tax deal! oh please give me a break!

    December 14, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. beevee

    This guy turned into an idiot too along with Ms. palin? It is mostly the GOP plan that the president was forced to accept you moron.

    December 14, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. ps

    According to Romney "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."

    So let me get this straight...he tihnks the tax cuts should be permanent, but is concerned the tax deal adds to the deficit.

    If this is his attempt to show his "fiscal discipline chops" then he doesn't understand basic accounting principles and thinks spouting buzz phrases is all one needs to gain the people's respect.

    Good luck with that logic Mitt.

    December 14, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. Dave Harris

    I don't understand this now. He and Palin want taxes to go up? How does that go over with the other Republicans? Or is it just that since Obama's on board they have to oppose it just to show how much they hate him? How can you complain both about it not being permanent and that it adds to the national debt? (Wouldn't it add even more to the debt if it were permanent?) This is just incoherent. Do Republicans even care whether their leaders make any sense?

    December 14, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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