Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mitt Romney Flips on Flat Tax

He is For It Under Conditions That Can Never Be Met

Herman Cain has come out with a Flat Tax Plan, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry came out with a Flat Tax Plan after Steve Forbes told him what a Flat Tax was, and Mitt Romney has come out on both sides of the issue.

Mitt Romney, who has a long record of criticizing such plans and famously derided Steve Forbes’s 1996 proposal as a “tax cut for fat cats.” Lately, though, his tone has been more positive. “I love a flat tax,” he said in August. 

So how to explain the contradiction (Mitt must be getting good at that by now).

Mr. Romney also is always careful to emphasize — as he did in his comments two months ago — that he would never support any plan that hurts the middle class and helps the wealthy. 

But see, that is what a Flat Tax does.  Why does Mr. Romney think it is being put forth by his fellow Republicans.  A Flat tax lowers the rate and broadens the definition of taxable income.  Low and middle income people pay more.  Is it possible to have a Flat Tax where everybody pays less and the same amount of revenue is raised?  Not in this world.

So here is a spokesperson for Mr. Romney

 Gail Gitcho, a Romney spokeswoman, said there was “no inconsistency” in his position. She said he could support a flat tax that did not raise taxes.

Which has to be the first time anyone ever said that there was "no inconsistency" in Mr. Romney's position on an issue.  But what about the flat taxes that do not raise taxes

But when asked about the many flat-tax plans that have been floated in the last two decades, Romney aides said they could not recall any that might pass muster with Mr. Romney’s requirements. Nor would they venture the outlines of a new plan that might meet his test. They also do not dispute the notion that a flat tax could never generate the same amount of tax revenue while also maintaining the same relative burdens on the wealthy and the middle class.

So there you have it, Mitt Romney is in favor of the Flat Tax, except for an Flat Tax proposal that doesn’t meet his criteria, which is all of them.  Mr. Perry has tried to trap Mr. Romney by proposing an optional Flat Tax, so that no one's taxes would increase as they could choose the lower or the current system or the Flat Tax system.  Let's see how Mr. Romney replies to that.

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