Romney suggests $17,000 cap on tax deductions
October 3rd, 2012
05:44 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney suggests $17,000 cap on tax deductions

(CNN) – Mitt Romney detailed with fresh specificity this week how he would pay for large tax cuts he's proposed for all Americans, though his campaign says the suggestions were merely options and not a firm look into what policies he would seek to enact as president.

In the interview with CNN affiliate KDVR on Monday, Romney began by offering the broad strokes of his tax plan that he's been touting for months: lowering rates for all Americans and limiting deductions for higher income tax payers.

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Pressed for more specifics, Romney detailed a plan which would cap tax deductions at $17,000.

"You could do something, for instance, as an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction, and you can use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others – a healthcare deduction, and you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket that way. And higher income people might have a lower number," Romney said.

Those details are the first time the candidate has suggested such a plan, though in the interview with KDVR he did not specifically say he would push for such a measure as president.
He also offered another option he said could be achieved with Congress.

"You could do it by the same method that Bowles-Simpson did it which is limiting certain deductions, but that's the sort of thing you do with Congress," Romney said. "The key thing is bring down rates, broaden the base to encourage small business to hire more people."

Asked whether Romney was revealing a new part of his tax plan, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said the GOP nominee was offering only an example of how he would achieve his goals of cutting taxes on middle class Americans.

"Governor Romney's tax reform plan will jumpstart economic growth, cut the tax burden on the middle-class, and lower tax rates across-the-board," Henneberg wrote. "He will pursue revenue and distributional-neutrality in reforming the tax code. There are a range of policy options, and Gov. Romney referenced one illustrative example, to achieve these goals."

Romney's tax plan calls for 20% cuts to current Bush-era income tax rates, a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax, and a move to make investment income tax free for those earning less than $200,000.

To pay for the plan, Romney points to the deductions he would limit and other loopholes he would cut. However, he has long been vague on which provisions he would eliminate. Despite being pressed in multiple interviews to name specifics, Romney maintains he would negotiate those details with Congress. Citing his experience as governor, Romney recently stressed the importance of working "across the aisle" when it comes to outlining policy.

"You work together with them, but you don't hand them a complete document and say, "Here, take this or leave it." Look, leadership is not a take it or leave it thing. We've seen too much of that in Washington," Romney said in an interview with "60 Minutes" last week.

Democrats, however, point to a Tax Policy Center report released in August that determined Romney's plan would provide large tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans while increasing the tax burden on the lower and middle classes.

And after Romney made his comments Wednesday, Obama's campaign posted a response on its website saying Romney's $17,000 cap would mostly be taken up by health care deductions in a family of four, meaning little room was left for other claims.

"In fact, health premiums alone cost $15,745 this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. So if a family started there, Romney's plan would instantly wipe out nearly all other deductions-including mortgages, charitable contributions, and state and local taxes," the website stated.

A spokesman with the president's re-election campaign said that while Romney's latest comments may signal some specifics about this tax plan, the GOP nominee's policies would still spark a hike in taxes.

"Regardless of the twists and turns, Governor Romney has never been able to explain how he will pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without raising middle-class taxes. In fact, today's proposal suggests a plan even more generous to high-income taxpayers than the Tax Policy Center assumed – because it only caps certain deductions rather than eliminating a broader set of deductions and exclusions entirely – and would thus require even larger tax increases on the middle class than previously understood," campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said in a statement.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. 200 TON HAMMER

    No matter what your plan is no plan too help the middleclass republicans and democrats familes in all 50 states

    October 3, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Romney is such a salesman !

    Great timing , what about a free snow cone for full time residents of Death Vally ?

    Those details are the first time the candidate has suggested such a plan, though in the interview with KDVR he did not specifically say he would push for such a measure as president.

    The Flip Flop Kidd 2012 !

    October 3, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Proud American

    Mitt Romney 2012

    October 3, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. eric

    no specifics..... like always...

    October 3, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    What??? Where is your deficit cry then??? Is this a game??? You want me to believe??? How about the loopholes for rich??? Very pathetic. Just a drama. That's it. Obama12. Period.

    October 3, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Citing his experience as governor, Romney recently stressed the importance of working "across the aisle" when it comes to outlining policy.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    You will never see Obama working "across the aisle". He burned his bridges with Republicans in 2009 and 2010 and cannot go back. He has set himself up forever as a partisan politician, regardless of what gets the job done for the nation. This is unfortunate, but true. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    October 3, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    and why is that a good thing?

    October 3, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. ct

    He is just juggling tax revenue and raising taxes on the middle class without calling it a tax increase...What would Grover Norquist think? Haha

    October 3, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Easy to suggest now that he's got a $100M IRA that Amurika paid for.

    October 3, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Phil Thomas

    This guy is the epitome of a flip flopper, put it out there and see what the reaction is before you claim its the idea you want to implement. This guy is not ready for prime time, the Tony Romo of presidential candidates

    October 3, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. Phil Thomas

    @Four and The Door or @truthhurts whaever handle you are using, you don't have to worry about Obama working with the RNC because thanks to Mittens and his fumbles the DNC is getting ready to break out the brooms on your clowns lol

    October 3, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. Pete

    Yup just another baseless promise,his whole campaign he's run with these, how ignorent of him thinking voters would vote for him strictly on face value,sorry republican voters did with Bush,I'm sorry in forgetting their ignorence!!But its inherient with them siding with politically incompetent fools then run in denile when it was they the ignorent republican voters who put the fool in that position of president in the first place, need I say more!!Everyone of their republican presidents since Hoover has done nothing to help the people of these United States,the only ones ever benefitting is big business,Wall Street,corporations and military complex resulting from wars,nothing to brag about I can tell you...They want deregulation but run when it goes afoul,remember Bush,it was his last term,he definitly didn't care,neither did Cheney did he,but then again he made money off of innocent lives right!!

    October 3, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. SusieTX

    Romney – the man with no plan. "You could do something, for instance, as an option, you could say...blah blah blah." Mitt, we want to know what YOU are going to do, not what someone could do or what 'we' could do. Give us your plan if you want our vote. End of story.

    October 3, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. blue19

    So now when Mitt speaks he's only presenting options and not policy; kinda of like when he speaks he's making statements not necessarily tied to facts.

    October 3, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. 1twinsfan

    Sorry, Mitt. This ain't my idea of a bucket list.

    October 3, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Rocky

    I make way less than 250k on whom Romney promised not to raise taxes. This is a 25% tax hike on my family.

    October 3, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "He burned his bridges with Republicans in 2009 and 2010 and cannot go back."

    What, pray tell, did Obama do to burn his bridges instantaneously upon inauguration that had the GOP/Teatrolls promising that their number one priority would be maknig him a one-term president the very next day? Fact is, Obama burned no bridges. The GOP had already set fire to them all in November 2008, the day after he won and they were ash by the time he took his oath of office. They knew going into it that he was largely a centrist who actually would meet them in the middle (where it existed at the time) in order to get things done. They reasoned that the only way to survive the next 4 years with a shot at taking back the WH was to move to the extreme right, shifting the middle with them, in order to justify obstructing everything and thereby deny him as much success as possible...then turn around and disingenuously blame him for all of it. Enter the Teatrolls as political cover for the exodus to the extreme right and poof, you have the GOP/Teatroll 4 Year Plan.

    October 3, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. Are you kidding me?

    Tell me exactly who that helps? The rich. Sorry Willard I cannot stop laughing.

    October 3, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. cali girl

    It will only be for the middle class. Robmey wants his taxes along with his millionaire friends to have zero taxable income. And to boot Rayn's budget plan would do exactly that.

    October 3, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. krehator

    ""Governor Romney's tax reform plan will jumpstart economic growth"

    How many times have we heard these promises? For 8 years withe GOP..........nothing improved.

    October 3, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Grow up already...

    Yeah.. Mitt's selling a bucket alright... I doubt it full of deductions though.....

    October 3, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    SusieTX
    Romney – the man with no plan. "You could do something, for instance, as an option, you could say...blah blah blah." Mitt, we want to know what YOU are going to do, not what someone could do or what 'we' could do. Give us your plan if you want our vote. End of story.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    In American federal government, the administration cannot do these things without congress. That is exactly what he said here. He is very honest about what he can promise. Everyone knows these details depend on congress as well.

    October 3, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. Slowgu

    @Four and The Door

    You will never see Obama working "across the aisle". He burned his bridges with Republicans in 2009 and 2010 and cannot go back. He has set himself up forever as a partisan politician, regardless of what gets the job done for the nation. This is unfortunate, but true. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    ________________________________________________________________

    and for that we all owe Obame a HUGE thank you!

    October 3, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Slowgun

    @Four and The Door

    In American federal government, the administration cannot do these things without congress. That is exactly what he said here. He is very honest about what he can promise. Everyone knows these details depend on congress as well

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    What a crock..He's made a ton oof promises. 12 million new jobs, repealing ObamaCare, Keeping the Bush tax cuts...there is nothing preventing him from providing details of the plan he wants to implement, except for the fact that he has no plan..

    October 3, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    krehator
    ""Governor Romney's tax reform plan will jumpstart economic growth"
    How many times have we heard these promises? For 8 years withe GOP..........nothing improved.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Except in the 3 years after the Bush Tax cuts government revenues increased $750 billion and 6 million new jobs were created. Of course, the housing market collapse because of other bad decisions in the federal government and on Wall Street erased these gains, but the tax cuts on their own worked as predicted. Fundamental economics which have worked over and over through history. Just not the stuff Obama practices. His economics are based on whatever theory lets him spend more money.

    October 3, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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