Fox's Paul Gigot today claimed that Mitt Romney's tax plan was not overly friendly to the wealthy because it would eliminate deductions on the rich. But Gigot's claim is pure speculation, since Romney has said that he will not release specifics as to what deductions would be eliminated under his tax plan before the election.
On ABC's This Week, Fox News host and Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot claimed Romney's tax plan was not regressive because it it will "eliminate deductions" on "the well-to-do" and attacked the Tax Policy Center's analysis, which found that his plan would reduce the tax burden on the wealthy and increase it on middle-income taxpayers, as "made on false assumptions."
The Tax Policy Center and FactCheck.org have both found it impossible to concoct a revenue-neutral tax plan based on Romney's desire to dramatically reduce marginal income tax rates without increasing the tax burden on middle-income taxpayers. They have been hindered in their efforts because, as FactCheck.org noted, while Romney has said he will pay for his tax cuts by reducing tax deductions and credits, "he has steadfastly refused to say which tax preferences would be cut or reduced."
Indeed, Gigot himself is forced to base his glowing review of Romney's plan on assumptions, because Romney has released few specifics. The types of deductions Romney has said he wants to reduce have no chance of offsetting the benefits the wealthy receive from his tax plan. The New Yorker noted:
Two things he has stated are that he favors a progressive tax system and that he would mainly target loopholes enjoyed by the rich. But here he runs into some internal contradictions. As his own finances demonstrate, some of the biggest tax benefits enjoyed by the rich come in the form of ultra-low tax rates on investment income--capital gains and dividends--and tax-favored savings accounts: I.R.A.s, Keogh accounts, 401(k) plans, and so on. And these goodies, Romney has no plans to eliminate.
In a June interview, Romney told CBS' Bob Schieffer that more specifics would not be offered during the campaign:
SCHIEFFER: You haven't been bashful about telling us you 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.