Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum
February 21st, 2012
11:59 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's re-election campaign on Tuesday issued a memo knocking the economic plans of Republican presidential frontrunners Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.

The memo, addressed to interested parties and sent to the press, represents the latest sign that the Obama campaign now considers Santorum a potential competitor for the president in the fall.

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Until Santorum's recent rise, national Democrats have almost solely trained their fire on Romney. But with Santorum surging ahead in the GOP horserace and now leading Romney in national polls, the Obama campaign appears to be shifting gears.

In this instance, the memo goes in depth on the economic plans presented by both Romney and Santorum, suggesting the campaign sees little difference between the two candidates

The campaign paints the plans, both of which focus on lower taxes and lower spending, as unrealistic.

Santorum has proposed cutting $5 trillion in federal spending in five years with the goal of reaching a balanced budget in the fifth year

Team Obama, however, said the numbers don't add up.

"Even if Santorum achieves nearly a trillion dollars a year in savings, nearly all of those savings would be needed to finance Santorum's tax cuts, leaving little or nothing for deficit reduction," James Kvaal, the campaign's policy director, said in the memo.

Citing the Tax Policy Center, the lengthy document claimed Santorum's tax plan, which includes a 17% corporate tax and zero tax rate on manufacturers, would raise the deficit by about $900 billion in 2015.

As for individual tax rates, Santorum would reduce the number of income tax brackets from six to two (10% and 28%) and triple what his campaign identifies as the personal deduction that parents can claim for their children. In addition, he would eliminate both the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax. And he would reduce the capital gains rate from 15% to 12%.

Romney's plan would get rid of taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for taxpayers who make less than $200,000. It also calls for an elimination of the estate tax, and a reduction in the tax rate paid by corporations from 35% to 25%.

But Obama's team said both plans would shift the tax burden to the middle class.

"Like their budgeting, the rest of Romney and Santorum's economic policies return to the trickle-down, boom-and-bust economics that failed in the past," Kvaal said.

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations


Filed under: 2012 • Economy • President Obama • Rick Santorum • Taxes
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    I never thought I'd see the day where America had a president that would make Jimmy Carter look competent, but Obama proved me wrong.

    February 21, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. he said what

    Maybe people will start seeing a trend that Santorum is pushing... large families. Give large families huge tax breaks, make contreceptives illegal.. Why is he wanting big families? How does a much larger population help our ecomomy? Think about it... this man wants our population to swell during a time when we can't support the people we have. Are more jobs coming open? What good comes from bigger families?

    February 21, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. B

    Santoum is not really a threat to Obama and inspires only the very extreme right end of the Republican party/ tea-party nuts.

    Santorum is left with nothing else to talk about except Radical religious and social issues because the economy and the stock market are coming back.

    February 21, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Like their budgeting, the rest of Romney and Santorum's economic policies return to the trickle-down, boom-and-bust economics that failed in the past," Kvaal said.
    -------------–
    I like that phrase, "boom-and-bust" economics. That perfectly describes my biggest criticism of "trickle-down" economics, which isn't a theory at, but rather a slogan dreamed by Reagan's political team to justify raiding the SSI fund. What I have noticed is that every time Republicans have aggressively enacted their supposedly supply-side economic polciies, we always see an almost immediate feeding frenzy in the markets that sustains itself until eveyone decides it is time to cash out, which invariably causes a recession.

    After the economic down turn it seems to take twice as long as the boom perioid of the feeding frenzy for the economy to get back to where it was prior to the original tax cuts that started it all. Applying that simple formula to our current financial crisis leads to some troubling numbers. The Bush Tax Cuts began in 2001, which was followed by an economic boom until the recession that began 2007. That means we had a six year feeding frenzy, which is unusually long. Most of the time the boom period lasts a year or so. Barring outside factors, this means it will take twelve years for the economy to recover to where it was prior to the original tax cuts, which would be the year 2019 before stuff gets back to "normal", an entire generation.

    February 21, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. mikle

    Carter better than Obama,even he (Carter) not competent.

    February 21, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Maybe Obama should be spending time on developing an economic plan of his own before he knocks others? He submitted a budget his own party refuses to vote on after the last one failed 97-0.

    So Obama's "economic plan" calls for trillion dollar deficits as far as th eye can see, high energy prices and high unemployment. SOunds great huh?

    February 21, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. jilli

    Really fair is fair? The Obama camp just detailed the disastrous tax policies of his opponents – how they'll increase the deficit and the burden on the working class – and you label Obama incompetent? Wow. Pretty twisted standards, or terminal bitterness, which is it?

    February 21, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. insight iowa

    Facts show already that Obama will go in history as one of the best presidents we ever had. Those who come on here trashing him including the GOP running party have a few issues of their own that they need to address first... like... Educating theirselves about how the government works... who debt is whos and who actually are to come up with "budget plans"... and what Obama's record truly looks like as of today.

    Signed: Republican voting Straight Dem Ticket 2012.

    February 21, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    jilli

    Really fair is fair? The Obama camp just detailed the disastrous tax policies of his opponents – how they'll increase the deficit and the burden on the working class – and you label Obama incompetent? Wow. Pretty twisted standards, or terminal bitterness, which is it?
    --------
    Keword "Obama camp". That's exactly what the "Obama camp" and every incompetent does – blame someone else for their incompetence.

    February 21, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair joked:

    I never thought I'd see the day where America had a president that would make Jimmy Carter look competent, but Obama proved me wrong.
    -------------
    Trying out for "The Five" are you? I guess you must have been off planet since the Carter administration, or something. GWB was by far the worst President in US history, enacting "boom-and-bust" tax policies and increasingly larger deficit spending that eventually drove the economy off a cliff. We were in free fall, losing close to a million jobs per month, which is an all time record.

    February 21, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Time for another change

    "The campaign paints the plans, both of which focus on lower taxes and lower spending, as unrealistic. "

    Not terribly surprising as Democrats have consistently pressed forward with their increased taxes and increased spending. If their spending were not completely out of control and fraudulent, then I would not feel that my trust was betrayed in the last election. There are simply too many negatives with Obama to warrant a 2nd term.

    February 21, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Both Rick & Willard's tax plans suck. They still think it's okay to give tax breaks to people who don't need them. How is this fiscally responsible?

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    February 21, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Time for another change

    jilli, "Really fair is fair? The Obama camp just detailed the disastrous tax policies of his opponents – how they'll increase the deficit and the burden on the working class – and you label Obama incompetent? Wow. Pretty twisted standards, or terminal bitterness, which is it?"

    And Obama has increased the deficit more than any prior administration. Sure sounds like that meets your standard of incompetent.

    February 21, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    Maybe Obama should be spending time on developing an economic plan of his own before he knocks others? He submitted a budget his own party refuses to vote on after the last one failed 97-0.
    ----------–
    Republicans didn't like it on general principle, it had Pres. Obama's name on it. Democrats didn't like it because they felf it was too moderate, giving up bargaining positions without a fight.

    Besides, a budget is not exactly law. It is a legal framework within which spending must operate. In other words, if the budget says "X" number of dollars for "Y", then you cannot spend more than "X" number of dollars for "Y". The final spending decisions are up to the House who is not committed to spending "X" number of dollars, they can spend less.

    February 21, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Democrat's economic plan during hard times: "We must borrow and spend our way to prosperity! Now is NOT the time to cut spending!"

    Democrat's economic plan during good times: "Look at all this money we have coming in! Time for a new government entitlement program! PARTY TIME!!"

    And the insanity cycle just contunues until the cliif arrives...

    February 21, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. PaOutOfWork

    The facts show Obama will go in history as the worst presidents we ever had. The large crowds are gone; the country knows what Obama is and his legacy of Failures is well documented. There has been nothing but a lack of leadership from the White House and the Democrats in Congress. The majority of Americans see president Obama; the Obama administration as a complete FAILURE, November 2012 is coming; the 2010 election for Democrats was a slaughter; the 2012 election cycle is going to be a massacre for Democrats.

    February 21, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    How typical of the GOP..."trickle-down" policies will balance the budget, create jobs, and cure all the ills of Amurka....what a joke. These guys just don't learn

    February 21, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Solus5

    Team Obama? What are they suppose to say.... Man! I wish we would have thought of that... Instead, Team Obama gives billions to failing green energy companies, stop oil pipelines, tell the American public that it's GOOD that gas prices are going up, (just wait - he also said that under his plan, electric rates would necessarily skyrocket) hoping that we swallow this crap!! Sorry... What ever Team Obama thinks is bad.. I see as a ray of hope...

    HE"S the burden on middle class!! During his campaign he said gas prices were keeping people from looking for jobs and it was HALF of what they are NOW, but NOW its a sign of a BOOMING ECONOMY??? WOW!!

    He is doing nothing but trying to save his own hide and keep his taxpayer funded vacation days to Martha's Vinyard.. While Michelle is stealing kindergarteners lunches, he's busy stealing money they haven't even made yet with this MOUNTAIN of DEBT!!! PLEASE OBAMA - RESIGN - PLEASE RESIGN - if you have any pity on the American people LEAVE WASHINGTON NOW!!!

    February 21, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Jules

    President Obama is the only one of the people running for president who really knows what challenges we face now and in the future economically and in foreign policy. He had to learn the hard way like every candidate does and that is when you're out campaigning for an office you have never held you really don't have a clue what is going on. And from my point of view, this GOP group is more clueless than any who have come before. I am pleased with what the president has done with the economy and how he has handled foreign policy. The market may hit 13,000 again soon – a long way from the 6,000 dregs of the Bush administration. Obama 2012.

    February 21, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. PJ/TX

    Santorum wants Federal and State monies out of the education programs. So, how will we pay for the
    children's education? Not everyone can have only one parent working, while the other one homeschools.
    And what about those one parent homes, they have to work- who will educate their children?
    Charter schools should be a choice, not the only alternative to homeschooling.
    He says each District should set the agenda, or something like that.
    Anyway, does anybody know how he plans to pay for our kid's education, from grade school thru high school?
    I really want to know, and I really do not understand what he means. Does he mean to eliminate property taxes,
    most of which go to education? I'm befuddled.

    February 21, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, where are their cuts. Santorum and Romney both claim to want to cut spending. My question is where do they plan on doing that and by how much. These pie-in-the-sky ideas of cutting taxes and watching the money flow in have never worked before. What would make them work now?

    February 21, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. macrasta

    so everyone can go on TV, radio, print and say whatever they want about the President..but when he responds to a policy of his opponent ..it's an issue?? OK...

    February 21, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    And the insanity cycle just contunues until the cliiff arrives...
    ----------
    That shows just how much denial that you have. We have already went over the cliff. All of this excess spending is the "golden parachute" that allowed us to land on the cliff face under control, without smashing to bits at the bottom. Pres. Obama snagged that parachute just as we were going over the edge, and the name of it is The Stimulus. Now Republicans want to get start texting and driving without seat belts again. Not going to happen.

    February 21, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wow. Pretty twisted standards, or terminal bitterness, which is it?
    ------------------------
    I'd say both, with a healthy dosage of amnesia.

    February 21, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Al-NY,NY

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, where are their cuts. Santorum and Romney both claim to want to cut spending. My question is where do they plan on doing that and by how much. These pie-in-the-sky ideas of cutting taxes and watching the money flow in have never worked before. What would make them work now
    -----

    Don;t you know where the cuts would come from? All those evil, unecessary costs like Planned Parenthood, the NEA, and all those other programs that would not even provide 2% of what is needed. Of course their buddies in the military would not lose anything!!!

    And to PAOutOfWork.....Can't find a job? Don't blame Obama. Old Herman Cain said it was your fault. You're a drain on society and are costing me $

    February 21, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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