Liberal non-profit slams Romney economic plan

10/11/12 Janelle Irwin
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A political think tank studied the economic plan pushed by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and didn’t like what they found. At a town hall meeting this morning in Tampa, the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s president predicted higher taxes for the middle class and higher healthcare costs for seniors if Romney is elected.

Tom Perriello, president of the political advocacy group, said retired Floridians could expect to pay $11,000 more a year on their healthcare costs under Romney’s plan for Medicare vouchers.

“You are going to get a coupon that does not track with the market value of the benefit that I’m guaranteed and pay into every week. I then am being asked to make up the difference between their coupon and the benefit I’m guaranteed based on the payroll tax I pay every week. That rises over time so that someone in Generation X like myself will pay $214,000 more out of pocket over the course of my retirement.”

And as many Obama campaign ads point out, Perriello’s study shows a huge disparity between tax effects on the middle class and wealthiest Americans. Perriello said the study called “The Real Cost of the Romeny-Ryan Plan to Floridians” shows that there’s no logical way to pay for the massive tax cuts and increases to military spending Romney has proposed.

“Every independent analyst has shown this is a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the Bush tax cuts and voters are smart enough to know, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. We all learned that as kids, you can’t lose weight by eating tons and tons of cake, scotch and not exercising.”

So if Romney is going to have his cake and scotch former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink said there are only two options.

“It’s going to either increase our deficits or it’s going to be paid for by hurting middle class Americans.”

And if it falls on the middle-class, the former Democratic candidate for Florida Governor said it’ll be costly.

“There are 19,000 people who reported incomes of over a million dollars in Florida and they would get an average tax cut of $87,000. Well, the total cost of that $87,000 – just multiply it out – is about $300 million. That’s what the middle class families are going to have to make up - $300 million.”

The Romney-Ryan economic study also shows another hit for working Floridians – outsourcing. That topic came up in last week’s debate too. President Barack Obama argued that Romney’s policies would incentivize companies who send business overseas. Romney denied that claim.

“You said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant. But -- but the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.”

But The Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Perriello said Romney is a pro at sending jobs out of the country.

“In the tax code right now, there are provisions to protect from people being able to go and hide money in the Cayman Islands and Swiss accounts and other places that go into tax havens and therefore have an incentive to build the factories and keep the factories there verses here. Mitt Romney wants to get rid of that in a way that would allow these people to then go and shove all their money into the lowest tax havens and build factories there instead of here.”

Romney has talked up tax cuts throughout his campaign, but he’s done little to specify how the cuts will be paid for. Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teacher’s Association, was one of about 40 Tampa Bay area voters at the Town Hall. She said the lack of details is troubling to her because education funding would likely see some cuts if Romney is elected.

“We don’t know if it’s all of our Title 1 programs that help all of our schools that have high poverty students. That’s over half the schools right here in Hillsborough County who get significant dollars from the federal government through the Title 1 programs that help us meet the needs of the most disadvantaged kids. Special Education is a huge budget. We don’t know how significantly that’s going to be cut, but we know that some of these programs would have to be cut in order for them to balance the budget the way they’re talking about.”

The economic study also points out losses for women who could wind up paying more for healthcare by allowing health insurance companies to charge them more. In addition, the study outlines the effects to young adults if Romney were to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Those individuals wouldn’t be able to stay on their parent’s insurance policies anymore. Walt Seely of the group MoveOn thinks people with deep pockets are being considered more than the average American.

“I see this election as a battle between, do we want government of, by and for the people or do we want government that is leading us into a plutocracy where we really already are where the corporate structures, the rich, the so-called job creators – that’s a myth – are the people who get the priorities in America?”

The study of Romney economics breaks down projected costs to middle-class Floridians over ten years. The group based their research on information found on Mitt Romney’s campaign website and public statements from the campaign trail.
The information is on the action fund's website. A spokesperson for the Romney campaign declined to comment on the study, saying that the group’s information were blatant lies.

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