Mitt Romney on Taxes

Last Updated : Jul 13, 2012

Summary

In numerous interviews, debates, and political literature, Governor Romney has stated that he opposes any and all tax increases and that he favors the lowest tax rate possible. Governor Romney supported the Bush tax cuts and making them permanent. In 2008, he stated that the Bush tax cuts helped get our economy going again when we faced the last tough times.

One item that Governor Romney has consistently supported is allowing families making below a certain amount to save their money for retirement without being taxed on it. The usual amount quoted by Governor Romney is around a family earning less than $200,000 to $250,000.

In the 2008 and 2012 elections, Governor Romney was asked about his support for the Fair tax system. He noted that a consumption tax did have a lot going for it in a number of areas, but he does not support the system. The main reasons for his opposition were the high rate needed to bring in the approprate amount of revenue and the application of the tax on items like new houses and not on already built houses. He notes that this would be devasting for the housing market.

2008 Tax Plan

Governor Romney's 2008 tax plan promised a specific set of tax cuts for individuals and businesses that mirrored his statements in debates and op-eds. The pledges included:

  • Permanently Reduce The Lowest Income Tax Bracket to 7.5%
  • Permanently Eliminate Payroll Taxes On Employees Over The Age Of 65
  • Make Middle-Class Savings Tax Free
  • Make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent
  • End the Death Tax
  • Patch or permanently end the AMT
  • Make The Research And Development Tax Credit Permanent
  • Oppose Any Increase In Social Security Taxes
  • Reduce The Corporate Tax Rate To 20% Over Two Years

2012 Tax Plan

Governor Romney's 2012 tax plan is less specific. The plan calls for the elimination of the estate tax, the lowering of the corporate tax rate to 25%, and making the Bush tax cuts permanent. However, beyond that it promises only a flatter system with corporate taxes moved to a territorial system.

  • Individual Taxes
    • Maintain marginal rates at current levels
    • Further reduce taxes on savings and investment
    • Eliminate the death tax
    • Long term goal - pursue a flatter, fairer, simpler structure
  • Corporate Taxes
    • Lower the corporate income tax rate to 25%
    • Transition to a "territorial" tax system

 

Fox News Appearance

In March of 2007, Governor Romney appeared on Fox News and spoke about his support for lower overall taxes, and his support for the Bush tax cuts. He stated that he would like to see zero taxes on capital gains and dividends. (comments start at 3:05)

 

South Carolina Debate

In May of 2007, Governor Romney participated in the South Carolina Presidential debate. He noted during that debate that he would not raise taxes.

 

Iowa Presidential Debate

In August of 2007, Governor Romney participated in the Presidential Debate in Iowa. When asked about the Fair Tax, Governor Romney states that he opposes the measure, and gives a number of reasons why.

 

Des Moines Register Interview

In December of 2007, Governor Romney was interviewed by the Des Moines Register and stated that he was opposed to any tax increases and that he would support tax simplification, but that establishing a fair or flat tax was not feasible.

 

CNN Interview

In a January 2008 interview on CNN, Governor Romney was contrasting himself against Senator McCain. He noted that Senator McCain opposed the Bush Stimulus while he supported it, and Senator McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts and Governor Romney supported it.

 

California Debate

In January of 2008, Governor Romney participated in the Presidential debate in California at the Reagan Library. When asked, Governor Romney did acknowledge that he raised fees on business expenses.

 

Florida Debate

In January of 2008, Governor Romney participated in the Presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida. When asked about the Bush tax cuts, Governor Romney stated that he did support them when they passed and that he would support making them permanent.

 

New Hampshire Debate

In January of 2008, Governor Romney participated in the Presidential debate in New Hampshire. He states that Democrats would raise taxes while he would lower them and he reasserts his views that tax rates on capital gains and dividends should be lowered.

 

Campaign Commercial

One of Governor Romney's 2008 campaign commercials dealt exclusively with taxes. Governor Romney pledged to end the estate tax, roll back all tax rates, and remove taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains.

 

ATR Pledge

While running for the Presidency in 2008, Governor Romney signed the taxpayer protection pledge. This pledge simply stated that he would not raise the marginal rates for individuals and/or businesses, and that he would oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

 

2008 Economic Plan

In January of 2008, Governor Romney put forth an economic plan as part of his 2008 Presidential campaign. The plan consisted of tax reform for individuals and businesses, and relief for homeowners.

  • Individuals
    • Permanently Reduce The Lowest Income Tax Bracket to 7.5%
    • Permanently Eliminate Payroll Taxes On Employees Over The Age Of 65
    • Make Middle-Class Savings Tax Free
    • Make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent
    • End the Death Tax
    • Patch or permanently end the AMT
    • Make The Research And Development Tax Credit Permanent
    • Oppose Any Increase In Social Security Taxes
  • Business
    • Institute Immediate 100% Expensing Of New Equipment Purchased By A Business For A Two-Year Period Retroactive To January 1, 2008
    • Reduce The Corporate Tax Rate To 20% Over Two Years
  • Homeowners
    • Reform And Expand Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan Portfolio Limits

 

 

Tax Deal, Bad Deal

In December of 2010, Governor Romney wrote an op-ed in USA Today in which he stated that the recently struck deal to extend the Bush tax cuts along with unemployment benefits was a bad deal because the temporary extension of lower taxes only adds uncertainty.

 

Iowa Debate

In August of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Republican debate in Ames, Iowa. He was asked about raising taxes in Iowa and stated that he never saw a reason to raise taxes.

 

Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Republican debate at the Reagan debate. He talks about his general tax policy, and his plan to allow those making less than $200,000 to save their money tax free.

 

TEA Party Debate

In September of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the TEA Party debate and was asked about the whether or not he supports the FAIR Tax. He states that while the system has a lot going for it, it is flawed in that it disproportionately affects lower income earners.

 

Believe in America Plan

On September 6, 2011, Governor Romney came out with his Believe in America economic plan. The 160 page plan had a 5 page summary. Governor Romney's plan consists of 5 bills that he would call for upon assuming office, and 5 executive orders that he would give after assuming office. These bills would include lowering the corporate income tax rate, implement free trade agreements, greater domestic energy production, cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, and return retraining programs to the states.

The five orders that Governor Romney would issue on his first day as President would be the ending of Obamacare, a reduction in regulation started by President Obama, rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records, sanctions on China for unfair trade policies, and reversing unfair labor practices put in place by President Obama.

  • Tax Policy
    • Individual Taxes
      • Maintain marginal rates at current levels
      • Further reduce taxes on savings and investment
      • eliminate the death tax
      • Long term goal - pursue a flatter, fairer, simpler structure
    • Corporate Taxes
      • Lower the corporate income tax rate to 25%
      • Transition to a "territorial" tax system
  • Regulatory Policy
    • Repeal and replace Obamacare and Dodd-Frank
    • Review and eliminate Obama-era regulations
    • Cap new regulatory costs at zero dollars
    • Require Congress to approve all major regulations
    • Reform legal liability system
  • Trade Policy
    • EXPANDED MARKETS
      • Implement pending Free Trade Agreements
      • Conclude Trans-Pacific Partnership and pursue additional agreements
      • Create Reagan Economic Zone
    • CONFRONTING CHINA
      • Increase enforcement of existing law
      • Impose punitive measures if unfair trade practices continue
  • Energy Policy
    • SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY REFORM
      • Streamline and fast-track approval processes
      • Amend Clean Air Act to exclude regulation of carbon
    • INCREASED PRODUCTION
      • Conduct comprehensive survey of the nation’s reserves
      • Open reserves to exploration and production
    • RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
      • Focus investment in basic research
      • Utilize DARPA-like funding mechanisms
  • Labor Policy
    • Appoint experienced and even-handed arbiters to the NLRB
    • Guarantee businesses the right to allocate capital as they choose
    • Protect right of workers to choose whether to unionize
    • End funding of union political campaigns through paycheck deductions
  • Human Capital Policy
    • RETRAINING WORKERS
      • Consolidate unwieldy sprawl of federal programs
      • Return authority, responsibility, and funds to states for retraining programs
      • Support private-sector participation in the process
    • THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST
      • Raise visa caps for highly skilled foreign workers
      • Give permanent residency to eligible advanced-degree recipients
  • Fiscal Policy
    • Cut federal spending and cap it at 20 percent of GDP
    • Block grant Medicaid and pursue further entitlement reform
    • Reduce the federal workforce
    • Restructure the federal government
    • Pursue a Balanced Budget Amendment

Day One Job One

When Mitt Romney says that fostering job creation through economic growth will be his top priority from his first day in office, he means it. While some elements of his plan will take time to set in motion, much can be done from a running start. On Inauguration Day, he will submit a jobs package to Congress consisting of at least five major proposals and will demand that Congress act on the package within 30 days, using every power at his disposal to ensure its passage. He will also take immediate and specific steps within his sole authority as president by issuing a series of executive orders that gets the U.S. government out o f the economy’s way. The goal: restore America to the path of robust economic growth necessary to create jobs.

FIVE BILLS FOR DAY ONE

The American Competitiveness Act

  • Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent

The Open Markets Act

  • Implements the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements

The Domestic Energy Act

  • Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration

The Retraining Reform Act

  • Consolidates the sprawl of federal retraining programs and returns funding and responsibility for these programs to the states

The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act

  • Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, reducing the annual federal budget by $20 billion

FIVE EXECUTIVE ORDERS FOR DAY ONE

An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare

  • Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them

An Order to Cut Red Tape

  • Directs all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy or job creation, and then caps annual increases in regulatory costs at zero dollars

An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production

  • Directs the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areas

An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices

  • Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency 

An Order to Empower American Businesses and Workers

  • Reverses the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor, including the one encouraging the use of union labor on major government construction projects 

 

Mitt Romney's PLan for Jobs and Economic Growth

The book released by the campaign underscores President Obama’s failed approach to each policy area crucial to turning around the economy, and lays out precisely how Mitt Romney will address the issues as president

TAX POLICY

Mitt Romney will push for a fundamental redesign of our tax system. He recognizes the need to simplify the system. He also recognizes the need both to lower rates and to broaden the tax base so that taxation becomes an instrument for promoting economic growth. As president, Romney will hold the line on individual income tax rates and eliminate taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains for low- and middle-income taxpayers. He will eliminate the estate tax. And he will pursue a conservative overhaul that applies lower and flatter rates to a broader tax base.Romney will also reform the corporate tax system. He will immediately lowe rthe corporate income tax rate, and then explore opportunities to further lower the marginal rate while broadening the tax base. He will also begin the process for transitioning to a territorial corporate tax system. A territorial system must be designed to encourage multinational companies to bring their profits back into the U.S. and it must avoid the creation of incentives for outsourcing.

References

[1] Website: Americans for Tax Reform Article: Mitt Romney Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge Author: ATR Accessed on: 06/30/2011

[2] Website: CNN Article: CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER Author: NA Accessed on: 06/30/2011

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