Obama attacks Romney over tax policies
August 1st, 2012
12:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama attacks Romney over tax policies

(CNN) - In his ninth trip to the battleground state of Ohio this year, President Barack Obama targeted Mitt Romney in a speech Wednesday, hitting the merits of his Republican challenger's tax proposals.

"Here's the thing, he's not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids' education. He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut," Obama said at a campaign event in Mansfield.

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Romney's tax plan includes a variety of proposals that primarily emphasize reducing rates and maintaining tax breaks for savings and investment.

Specifically, he calls for the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, reducing the individual income tax rate by 20%, eliminating the estate tax, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and reducing the corporate income tax.

The principle behind the policy butts heads with that of Obama, who calls for higher tax rates on the wealthy and urges everyone to pay their "fair share."

"We do not need more tax cuts for folks who are already doing well," Obama said. "We need tax cuts for working families."

Obama pointed to a new report by the Tax Policy Center, which concludes that a plan similar to Romney's proposal would give large tax cuts to high-income households while increasing the tax burdens on low to middle income taxpayers.


The study did not score Romney's plan directly, saying his plan lacks sufficient details to do so. Rather, the center said it selected Romney's plan because it represented a number of popular plans frequently put forward by the GOP.

"They found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, then he'd have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on," Obama said, listing mortgage deductions and health care deductions as examples. "That means the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000."

Obama further argued that only the rich would benefit under a Romney presidency.

"Folks making more than $3 million, the top one-tenth of one percent, would get a tax cut of a quarter of a million a year. Think about that," Obama said.

Hitting back, Romney's campaign took issue with the study and blamed the president's economic policies for the still-lagging economy.

“The study analyzes only half of Governor Romney’s tax program, ignoring the reforms that would make America’s corporations more competitive by moving from the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world to one that is comparable to our trading partners," Romney policy director Lanhee Chen said in a statement.

He continued: "And the study ignores the positive benefits to economic growth from both the corporate tax plan and the deficit reduction called for in the Romney plan. These glaring gaps invalidate the report’s conclusions. Unfortunately, President Obama and his allies are simply trying to distract attention from his failed record on the economy. And now, President Obama is doubling down on those failed policies by pushing for $2 trillion in tax increases on working Americans and job creators. The American people know better than to fall for these distractions.”

Obama’s speech Wednesday mirrors attack lines his campaign launched in a new television ad released, in which Team Obama blasted Romney for backing a tax plan that would raise the deficit by “trillions.”

For his part, Obama called for the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making $250,000 and for individuals making $200,00 or less per year–proposals, he said, that would affect 98% of Americans.

"If you're fortunate enough to be in the other 2% of Americans, all we're asking you to do is contribute a little more," Obama said. "This includes me by the way."

Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Mark from Louisiana

    CNN was down double digits across the board in July. Compared to July 2011, the network is -20% in Total Viewers and -23% in A25-54 in Total Day. In primetime, CNN is down -23% in Total Viewers and -26% in the demographic.

    The ratings for July 2012:

    Primetime (Mon-Sun): 488,000 Total Viewers / 149,000 A25-54
    Total Day (Mon-Sun): 355,000 Total Viewers / 109,000 A25-54

    Compared to the July 2011, Erin Burnett‘s 7pm hour — home last year to “John King USA” — is down -21% in both Total Viewers and younger viewers. “Piers Morgan Tonight” is down -18% in Total Viewers and -24% in A25-54 viewers. The 10pm edition of “Anderson Cooper 360″ is down -34% in Total Viewers and -36% in A25-54 viewers.

    August 1, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. maf

    Keep on him Mr. President! Can't wait for the debates!!

    August 1, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Thats a waste of time

    How can Obama attack Mitt's tax plan? I mean, first off you have to have a real tax plan... and secondly Mitt will deny every single thing.. listed in his tax plan... in not actually in his tax plan. Teflon Willard won't let any of his words stick with him, he denies and moves on.

    August 1, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Observer

    Mitt Romney favors Ryan's disastrous proposal where he pays no taxes at all on his income and gives even more unaffordable tax cuts to the rich by charging seniors $6,000 additionally for their Medicare.

    August 1, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. rs

    The one point Democrats can make that will resonate with a majority of Americans is on tax policy. It makes no sense whatsoever to continue to lavish the the rich (the only people not hurt by the recession) with gross, record tax cuts, while attempting to cut federal programs that improve things for the poor (including the elderly). Remember- Bush proposed these cuts as a one-time stimulous (that would let the rich buy a Lexus, while the rest of us could buy a muffler). This tax cut was NEVER meant to be permanant.
    Evidence is crystal clear, that the tax cuts for the rich did nothing for the American economy. The banks- sitting on the money the rich have depositied. The tax cut cash has gone no where in the economy- except perhaps to make a record number of millionaires and billionaires. Jobs- not so much.
    Continuing this policy is lunacy, and for that reason alone, the GOP needs to lose this election cycle. We need "conservative" economics, but not this insanity.

    August 1, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. mikle

    Rasmussen poll romney47 -- Obama 44.

    August 1, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. James

    When you use every tax loophole possible including off-shoring your wealth, it shows that you are guided by a love for money rather than a love for your country. Obama 2012!

    August 1, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. MIDDLE CLASS creates JOBS....

    The whole republican theory is that it is the rich that create jobs - tell me Mr. Romney - how many jobs did you create on your way to your millions?????

    August 1, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Larry L

    It's important for senior citizens to know Romney supports handing Social Security over to Wall Street – a Wall Street with no regulations or controls! His "free market" idea to fund Medicare is nothing more than giving insurance companies a blank check.

    He plans to double the defense budget but won't explain how he'll pay for that huge expense. He promises everybody a tax cut but again, gives no specifics on what he'll cut to make up the lost revenue and prevent a tremendous increase in our deficit.

    I'd actually listen to the man if he wasn't hiding his own tax returns. He wants us to trust him with our financial future but won't let us determine if he has honest or principled business practices. Based on Bain Capital I'd have to assume he's just another slimy crook.

    August 1, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. pastorjimc1

    This is a time for we the people to get behind our President and demand changes be made in this USA, by giving President Obama 4 more years to complete his agenda for change. There is no doubt we are headed toward a better economy with more jobs and security for our country. A President Romney will have us in a war and tax increase will be assured, to pay for this and many other wars. Support President Obama and we will be a better America in the coming years.

    August 1, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    "But here's the thing – he's not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids' education. He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut."
    You forgot to point out that Mitt Romney won't even tell you what impact the plan would have on his own taxes.

    August 1, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Victor

    Good for you Mr President!
    It's to bad that there are many working, middle class republicans that still believe that giving tax breaks to the top 1% will good for all the of us.

    August 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. pastorjimc1

    I agree with the President, that Mitt Romney Tax policies will not help America, and we the middle class will suffer from what he propose. Lets put our President back in office for 4 more years and I believe we will see the country grow and the critics will be closed mouth, for we are now in position for greatness like we never seen before, and I can say I guarantee that. I seen it when President Obama first came into office, and if congress would stop fighting greatness we will be better off in the next few years.

    August 1, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Patriot Awesome

    It's not too late republicans. There's still a chance for you to nominate Ron Paul. Romney is going to lose big time due to chronic douchiness.

    August 1, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. SomeoneSomewhere

    This election is not even going to be close. I can't wait for the debates. Romney is going to get OBLITERATED! Everything he's running on are things he refuses to talk about.

    August 1, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. California Gary

    Romney has so many "soft" targets, it's hard to know where to hit him next. His tax policy is as good of a place as any. After the Poland stop, I guess Romney won't be able to credibly attack Obama on the unemployment rate anymore. He praised the Polish economy, in which they have 12% unemployment........so by extention, we must be doing really good at 8.2%. Romney panders to whoever he is speaking to at the moment with little thought about how that impacts positions he has taken elsewhere. Can't get away with that in this day and time.

    August 1, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. george of the jungle

    all the president has to do is keep telling the truth about romney and the repo machine. Romneys trip overseas was a disaster and peolple still want to know about his hidden tax forms. Forward 2012

    August 1, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. pntherpaw86

    Way to go Obama! Keep hitting Romney where it hurts and you'll win in a landslide this November. Romney is a joke!

    August 1, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. kakaraka

    fair enough. I see why he refuses to release his tax returns. He's hidding something. Period.

    August 1, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. Core republican Values

    As a millionaire republican, I find myself unable to get off the couch unless my taxes are reduced. It just isn't worth the effort anymore if all I can bring home is 85% on the dollar (15% capital gains taxes....I avoid virtually all income taxes with loopholes).

    August 1, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Romney is proposing a 5 Trillion Dollar Tax Cut? So what. Nobody has any money anyhow so for all practical purposes it appears that "Tax cut" has already been spent eh? The Obama plan is for the people to get a high paying job with all the benefits from the company and then the Company sending the rest up to Obama. Join the Red Ink Express. Borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar can't last forever. You may become a slave again with no slave owners. Are we past the point of no return?

    August 1, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. mcskadittle

    Gee that sounds reasonable, come on you republican commentors defend paying for the tax cut for his rich cronies with a tax increase for you

    August 1, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Greg

    Show us the audits Mittens. Why were you audited?

    August 1, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. The Elephant In The Room

    The truth of the matter is that through regressive taxes and laws that allow companies to shift costs to workers, The GOP has facilitated a great REDISTRIBUTION of WEALTH away from the middle class for 30 YEARS. All those people that called themselves Reagan Democrats or that voted for No. 43 in 2000 & 2004, You fell for the GOP`s Svengali act and did it TO YOUSELVES.

    Vote straight Democratic ticket in 2012 .. Congress / Senate / Governor / President. Then if you don`t like the results, FIRE THEM ALL in 2016.

    August 1, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. king

    americans need to stop giving the rich tax break money to buy robots, computer systems, and cheep chineese labor, to get around expensive middle class wages. for the last 10 years this policies have ruined out budget, now their candidate wants to put the bush tax cuts on steroids. lesson we are living in a new world now. this means technology is the future not human labor. the only way that human labor is still required is that old fashion elbow grease, that uses traditional american trades and injunity to rebuild america's infrastructure. lets boycott congress and let them pass the american jobs act given to them by the president.

    August 1, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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