Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says Mitt Romney’s taking the right approach by offering a broad outline for tax cuts, but refusing to identify which “loopholes” he would end.
“It’s kind of stupid for anybody, including a presidential candidate, to say what loopholes he would close when there are hundreds of loopholes that can be on the table,” Grassley says. “What you want to do is say, ‘Everything’s going to be on the table and we’re going to negotiate with congress on what we can get done in a bipartisan way,’ and I think that Governor Romney’s very good at doing that.”
Grassley is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel that writes federal tax policy. Grassley says Romney’s right in asserting an income tax plan can be devised that would ensure the so-called “wealthiest” Americans still pay the same amount of taxes to the federal government.
“It’s something that’s very workable and very negotiable,” Grassley says. “…The rates can be adjusted and the loopholes adjusted, depending on the amount of money you want to bring in, so that you don’t lose any revenue.”
However, Grassley points out that during most of Bill Clinton’s presidency the nation’s wealthiest citizens were paying between 30 and 35 percent of all federal taxes.
“Today they’re paying 40 percent,” Grassley says, “so I kind of resent as an author of the 2001 tax bill — or at least one of the negotiators of it because I was chairman of the committee — I kind of resent the fact that our income tax might give wealthy people a better advantage than what they have even though they have a lower marginal tax rate of 35 rather than 39.6 (percent), they’re still paying 40 percent today of all the income tax coming into the federal treasury.”
Democrats charge the math for Romney’s tax cut pledge won’t work because there aren’t enough loopholes to close to ensure there’s not a tax shift to lower and middle income Americans.