There’s a great deal to chew on in Mitt Romney’s interview with Bob Schieffer, which just aired on CBS.
Romney repeatedly refused to say whether he’d repeal Obama’s order to halt deportations of DREAM-eligible youth. He confirmed that he would not agree to even one dollar in new revenues in exchange for 10 dollars in spending cuts. And he again reiterated that his response to the crisis would be to cut government, in order to “ignite growth,” even though economists say that more austerity now would make the crisis worse.
But I wanted to flag this exchange in particular, in which Romney seemed to confirm that he will not be detailing how he would pay for his proposed tax cuts for the duration of the campaign:
SCHIEFFER: You haven’t been bashful about telling us yo want to cut taxes. When are you going to tell us where you’re going to get the revenue? Which of the deductions are you going to be willing to eliminate? Which of the tax credits are you going to — when are you going to be able to tell us that?
ROMNEY: Well, we’ll go through that process with Congress as to which of all the different deductions and the exemptions —
SCHIEFFER: But do you have an ideas now, like the home mortgage interest deduction, you know, the various ones?
ROMNEY: Well Simpson Bowles went though a process of saying how they would be able to reach a setting where they had actually under their proposal even more revenue, with lower rates. So, mathematically it’s been proved to be possible: We can have lower rates, as I propose, that creates more growth, and we can limit deductions and exemptions.
Romney went on to pledge, as he has in the past, that under his plan, the wealthy would continue to pay the same share of the tax burden as they do now. “I’m not looking to reduce the burden paid by the wealthiest,” he said. In other words, the disproportionally larger tax cut the wealthy would get from the across-the-board cut in rates he’s proposing would be offset by closing deductions and loopholes the rich currently enjoy. But asked twice by Schieffer how exactly he would do this, Romney refused to say, beyond noting that this has been mathematically proven to be possible. And in his first reply above, he confirmed that the details would be worked out with Congress when he is president — which is to say, not during the campaign.
As you may recall, Romney made big news when he was overheard at a private fundraiser revealing to donors a few of the specific ways he’d pay for his massive tax cuts. Since then, details have been in short supply. And today, Romney seemed to confirm that he sees no need to reveal those details until he becomes president.
The message, in a nutshell: No, the rich won’t make out better than everyone else under my plan. No need to say how this would work in practice. Just trust me!
UPDATE: Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt responds:
Mitt Romney has made clear that — for political reasons — he’s not going to disclose how he would pay for his $5 trillion tax cuts. So he’s either secretly raising taxes on a whole segment of the population he won’t disclose, making even more devastating cuts to programs essential to the middle class like education or exploding the deficit by 5 trillion dollars.