Both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney had a lot to say about taxes in last night's presidential debate. Some of it was true, and some of it was not.

OBAMA: "What I've also said is, for (those earning) above $250,000, we can go back to the tax rates we had when Bill Clinton was president."

THE FACTS: Not quite. The Bush tax cuts set the top
income rate at 35 percent. President Obama's proposal to raise taxes for those Americans making more than $250,000, he would be returning the top rate to 39.6 percent, which is where it was when Clinton was president.

He neglected to factor into that figure the new Medicare surcharge of 0.9 percent for households making over $250,000.  The healthcare bill also adds an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income for high earners. 

Therefore, the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans will be higher than they were when Clinton was president.

ROMNEY: "I'm going to bring rates down across the board for everybody, but I'm going to limit deductions and exemptions and credits, particularly for people at the high end, because I am not going to have people at the high end pay less than they're paying now."

THE FACTS: Romney's math really does not add up. He cannot do this without either shifting the tax burden further onto the middle class or adding to the deficit.

Romney's proposal is to cut taxes by 20 percent for every income bracket, eliminate the estate tax and alternative minimum tax, and maintain expanding tax breaks for investment income. He says he can do this without adding to the deficit by eliminating tax deductions. 

President Obama's $5 trillion number comes from the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group, which stated that Romney's reductions in federal tax would reduce revenue by about $5 trillion over 10 years because there are not enough deductions and loop holes to make up for the lost revenue.
 


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10/19/2012 11:31pm

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10/22/2012 5:23pm

I'm so glad you're continuing with the fact checks. I missed those on G+. In any case, great post. I'm very curious to see how Romney breaks down his math. He hasn't offered substantial details and, like you said, the math really doesn't add up.

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