Human Events Blog

Princeton economist asks Obama to stop misrepresenting his analysis of Romney tax plan

The Obama campaign has been playing fast and loose with the truth to attack Mitt Romney’s tax reform proposals, in a desperate rush to get the public thinking that Romney wants to raise tax increases on the “middle class.”

The Weekly Standard reports that one Obama campaign press release declares, “In fact, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and Princeton economist Harvey Rosen both concede that paying for Romney’s tax cuts would require large tax increases on families making between $100,000 and $200,000.”

That’s kind of funny on its face, because one doesn’t get the impression that Obama is usually talking about six-figure incomes when he professes his undying love for the “middle class.”  And if you make one dollar above that $200,000 limit, Barack Obama can’t wait to raise your taxes through the roof.  $200k is the point at which the Sainted Middle Class instantly becomes, without transition, The Evil Rich.  If you make over $200k per year, Obama and his crew think it is immoral for you to raise objections when he “asks” you to “contribute your fair share.”

But the Obama claim isn’t true anyway, and one of those economists, Harvey Rosen of Princeton, wants Obama to stop misrepresenting his work.  As he noted in an email to the Weekly Standard, the only way he thinks Team Obama can claim Romney wants to raise middle class taxes is to assume he wants to keep the ObamaCare tax hike on the middle class in place. 

“The main conclusion of my study,” writes Rosen, “is that under plausible assumptions, a proposal along the lines suggested by Governor Romney can both be revenue neutral and keep the net tax burden on taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 about the same.  That is, an increase in the tax burden on lower and middle income individuals is not required in order to make the overall plan revenue neutral.”

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