Monday, July 16, 2012

Romney and the Middle Class

The Tax Policy Center has released it's analysis of Romney's tax plans and Ezra Klein at the Washington Post created a little chart to compare Romney's vision to Obama's:

The numbers along the bottom are the income quintiles: lowest 0-20 percent, etc. The last two bars represent the effect on the top 1 percent and the top .1 percent. You're going to have to click on the chart to make it bigger in order to read it. Among the many jaw-dropping aspects of Romney's plan, please notice that taxes on the lowest 20 percent will increase.

Mike Lux at Crooks and Liars:
As someone in Romney’s opposing camp, I am enjoying the spectacle [of the increasing call for Romney's tax records]. But this whole mess with Romney and his financial secrets reminds us again of a bigger, deeper truth: the rich - at least people who got rich the way Romney did - really are different than you and I. The story of how Mitt Romney got so wealthy, and then how he hid all that wealth and avoided taxes on it, is also the story of the modern decline of America’s middle class.
Right around the time Mitt Romney went into business in the early ‘80s was the moment when, aided directly by Reagan administration policies and the kind of corporate sharks Romney became, the middle class in this country began to decline in size, strength and prosperity. Mitt Romney and his fellow Wall Street sharks became so stunningly wealthy precisely because most of the rest of us got poorer. The working and middle class in this country got laid off, down-sized, out-sourced; their wages went down or flat, their out-of-pocket health care costs went up, and their pensions disappeared; the price of energy and groceries and other necessities went way up; and when the bubble caused by the out of control speculation of Wall Street burst, their one remaining asset - their homes - lost much of its value.
Meanwhile, the guys like Romney who were doing the out-sourcing, lay-offing, wage and benefit-slashing, and financial speculating got filthy rich, and then because of our unprogressive tax laws and because they used Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts to hide their money, they paid a smaller share of their taxes than those hard-pressed folks in the middle class. [Bolding and paragraph structure courtesy of me.]
Back in January, Romney gave a different view of things:
According to Mitt Romney, the nation's growing focus on income inequality is all about envy.
"You know, I think it's about envy. I think it's about class warfare," the leading Republican presidential candidate said Wednesday on The Today Show.

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