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. Woman In California

    "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."

    I think by now, most people know pretty much all they "want" to know about Willard. However, the "need" to know certain things about him still linger, and that can only be cured by him releasing his tax returns – and since he CANNOT do that, because he PROBABLY PAID NO TAXES for ten years, I think it's safe to say President Obama will win a 2nd term, so I suggest that Congress starts to help the president get this country back on track and save their hate for their own failure to nomiate a candidate who doesn't posess so much baggage and having Ann by his side, certainly doesn't help the situation.

    August 1, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    According to republicans, a $5 trillion addition to the national debt is OK if it involves tax cuts for the wealthy. By the way wingnuts, the wealthy have not been creating jobs with their huge tax cuts.

    August 1, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. sonny chapman

    Unchecked Greed is the doom of all Great Nations. Repubs., if you love America as much as you proclaim, then help pay for it. You never send your kids or Grand kids to war, so why not chip in a little more. It won't kill you & might even bring you closer to the message of Jesus.

    August 1, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. michelle

    Are u serious? I am a mother of four and have actually never voted but if someone is trying to take my taxes that I work hard or to get at the beginning of the year...I will be dammned if I vote for him on anything.

    August 1, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. sonny chapman

    P.S.- Have Repubs. ever heard the story about the goose that laid Golden Eggs ? What happened to the goose when the owner got greedy & tried to get the same amount of eggs while feeding the goose less food ?

    August 1, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Jesus Christ Superstar

    Again, we see President Obama with real facts, and a plan, and the ability to counter his opponents plan with real information. While wannabe Mittens just says his plan is better than the presidents, yet the only stuff we know is that his healthcare plan was the model of Obamacare, and that his 'ideas' on Iran are VERY SIMILAR to those of Obama

    August 1, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. CommonSensePlease

    Wow that is a powerful statement
    "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."

    August 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Michael B.

    Obama... will do or say anything to get reelected, and I don't trust him. Romney 2012

    August 1, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    "Just today, an independent, non-partisan organization ran all the numbers. And they found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, he'd have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on to pay for your home, or your health care, or send your kids to college. That means the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000.
    So Obama speculates about how Mitt Romney's tax cuts work. The results of his 3 1/2 years of management show you first off that he is no economic wizard. But he is the most partisan politician ever to set foot in the White House. I'm sure Obama will have a chance to challenge Mitt Romney's tax cuts in the debates. This will be a more reliable explanation of what they are than speculation by his political opponent trying to save a losing campaign.

    August 1, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. charles

    My lord! Romney has gall and how many zombies are falling for it.

    August 1, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. SA in OO

    You shouldn't blame Romney for coming up with a flawed economic plan on his own. He's just parroting the trickle down economic theory the Republicans have used to sell giving more to the rich for decades.

    So the rich get to keep more of their disposable income, and the rest of us get "trickled" on.

    August 1, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. PaulCat

    Once again, all we need to do is re-elect this president and get a new working congress.

    August 1, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Boo

    Robmey HAS NO policies....what are his plans FOR ANYTHING if elected? Beats the hell out of me...

    August 1, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Montykoolaid

    "I was not responsible for what happened at Bain Capital after I left" – Mitt Romney
    "I was the sole shareholder, sole Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain until I resigned retroactively [huh?] in 2001" – Mitt Romney

    "The Arizona immigration policy is a good model" – Mitt Romney
    "I didn't really support the Arizona immigration policy" – Mitt Romney

    “The Massachusetts healthcare plan should be a model for the nation” – Mitt Romney
    “Healthcare reform should be left to the states” – Mitt Romney

    "Let Detroit go bankrupt" -Mitt Romney
    "I'll take a lot of credit for saving the auto industry" -Mitt Romney

    “I believe Roe v Wade has gone too far.” – Mitt Romney
    “Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years ... we should sustain and support it.” – Mitt Romney

    “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.” – Mitt Romney
    “I never really called myself pro-choice.” – Mitt Romney

    “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.” – Mitt Romney
    “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and represent our country there.” – Mitt Romney

    “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” – Mitt Romney
    “Ronald Reagan is … my hero.” – Mitt Romney

    “I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation.” – Mitt Romney
    "There’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.” – Mitt Romney

    “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” – Mitt Romney
    “I did not see it with my own eyes.” – Mitt Romney

    “I would like to have campaign spending limits.” – Mitt Romney
    “The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates without burdensome limitations.” – Mitt Romney

    “I supported the assault weapon ban.” – Mitt Romney
    "I don’t support any gun control legislation.” – Mitt Romney

    August 1, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Elucidated1

    Quite a few lucid comments here. . .but for Romney. . .if he doesnt release his tax returns. . this election is over. And if he does, this election will be white knuckles for him. . since the ONLY reason he hasn't release his tax returns is because there were years he DIDN"T pay any tax. After the GOP convention, though, he'll release them. .but it will be toolate.

    August 1, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Name Daniel,SF.

    Right on target. Romney paying around a13 per cent tax rate. Ridiculous. Great comment by Wire Palladin.

    August 1, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. BeHereAllWeek

    "Again, we see President Obama with real facts, and a plan..."

    Bwahahaha Thanks I needed a laugh. Love how his plans have worked out so far

    August 1, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. AqChicago

    What on earth!!! Corporations are not creating jobs because there isn't much demand out there for hiring people and to produce more things. The demand that existed pre 2007 was partially driven by an inflated sense of wealth thru housing and other loan means. Even today, we STILL have the tax breaks for the rich and for everyone. Where have they created jobs that MItt Romney is expecting to happen when he continues with this low tax rate in his term and also. How will jobs be created by cutting/eliminating the estate tax, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and reducing the corporate income tax?

    Think different!

    August 1, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Don

    Gotta commend the President for targetting R0mney effectively where middle class American voters are concerned. How many voters will let fear and billions in R0mney ads convince them to vote agains ttheir own best interests in November? Only time will tell – that and we will see how effective G0P voter suppression in many states is.

    August 1, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. AnnsTheMan!

    @Four-To-The-Floor – Read Romney's 57 points yourself, and check his proposed tax policy. Unless you're making serious cash, this will cost you money. No politics involved, it will increase the amount you pay out.

    August 1, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. demwit

    How do they research and attack a tax policy without all the policy details?
    Oh wait.., ROMNEY'S tax policy.., never mind.

    August 1, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. heavywords2012

    The bigger question is... How in the hell are hospitals supposed to manage an influx of 50 million people in the next few years when they are already seriously understaffed? Don't let the dog and pony show make "us" loose focus. Once he's out of office the only ones left to blame is ourselves for voting in bad policy without feasibility. He will write a book and be just as rich as Romney. Then what..? Were left with the bill and he will be relaxing on a private island with his family where Romney has a bank account.

    August 1, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    Romney, 2012. The only trusted way out of the uhbama disaster.

    August 1, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. TruthBeTold

    What many of the 98% dont' realize is that the other 2% already pays a higher tax rate. The problem is all the ways to get around paying taxes and that is true with all 100% of America. There are too many breaks period. I'm a middle aged male that was smart enough to cover my junk and only have a single child. But old boy down the road with 5 kids gets more tax relief...for what...over populating? Tax breaks for buying hybrid vehicles, which in 5 years are going to need new batteries, the old ones creating enviromental hazards...smart. I really wish more Americans would stop with the party affiliation and think for themselves. Rep, Dem...who cares lets get people in that actually want to make this country great again. Is that Obama...after 4 years I say no. Is it Rommey? Not looking good as an option either...

    August 1, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. You People Aint Seeing Our Tax Returns

    Tax Cuts for Millionaires + Increased Military Spending = Reduced deficit

    Source: Romney Economics

    August 1, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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