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Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Economy | 18 comments

Ryan Says Won’t Detail His Tax Plan Until He’s Elected

I am seriously asking now: is there a MOLE in the Romney campaign? Is Paul Begala calling the shots and advising Romney and Ryan? Is James Carville clad in a wig disguised as a Republican campaign consultant running around down there sandbagging the campaign? What other explanation could there be for Rep. Paul Ryan’s performance on Fox News — yes, on Fox News — which is an utter turn off to anyone who is not Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh or a member of Fox & Friends? It is stunning:

The Romney campaign is willing to discuss its proposals on taxes “in the light of day,” vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Tuesday evening — just not until after the election.

In case you think your eyes deceived you, let me run this again:

The Romney campaign is willing to discuss its proposals on taxes “in the light of day,” vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Tuesday evening — just not until after the election.


Multiple tax policy analysts have concluded that Mitt Romney’s tax plan — to close loopholes and reduce taxes for the wealthy — means higher taxes for most people in order for the math to work. Brit Hume of Fox News asked Ryan to counter that charge. “What we’re saying is get rid of special interest loopholes and deductions that are uniquely enjoyed by the wealthy to lower the tax rates for everybody,” Ryan said.

But lowering middle-class tax rates, if coupled with eliminating key deductions, could lead to an effective tax increase, the cornerstone of the analyses of Romney’s tax plan. Hume pressed for specifics.

“That is something that we think we should do in the light of day, through Congress,” Ryan told Hume, promising to “have a process for tax reform so that we do this in the front of the public. So no, the point I’m trying to say is, we want feedback from Americans about what priorities in the tax code should be kept, and what special interest loopholes we want to get rid of.”

One of the “loopholes” that costs the IRS the most money is the mortgage interest deduction. Another relates to municipal bonds. Hume asked Ryan if either would be on the chopping block. Ryan refused to say.

The mortgage deduction is enjoyed by millions of homeowners and is the primary policy by which the government encourages homeownership. Taxing municipal bond interest would drive up the cost of borrowing for local governments substantially.

Ryan’s refusal to lay out the ticket’s tax plan is in line with Romney’s earlier resistance to specify which programs, beyond funding for Planned Parenthood, he’d be willing to cut. During his failed Senate bid in 1994, Romney was open about programs he’d be willing to cut, and faced a backlash. He has cited that negative experience in explaining why he now won’t tell voters what spending he plans to eliminate.

I find it very difficult to believe the bulk of independent voters will vote for candidates who are so evasive. The GOP may greatly outspend the Democrats and Barack Obama but this kind of answer will a)have “legs” in news stories in the mainstream media, in social networking, and on non-conservative weblogs, b)generate lots of material for late night comedians, c)provide Jon Stewart with lots of possibilities.

If an avalanche of almost-one sided ads batter Democrats and Obama funded by corporations and certain rich casino owners reaches a “saturation point” where there is a law of diminishing returns, the bad taste left in some voters mouths won’t go away on election day.

Based on this, it now sounds as if both Romney and Paul Ryan are running away from the Ryan budget.

The Huffington Post also offers this statement from Camp Obama on Ryan’s interview:

First, he attacked the President for the very same Medicare savings that he includes in his own budget. In the same breath, he falsely claimed that the Romney-Ryan budget protects Medicare -– in fact, their plan would end Medicare as we know it, leaving seniors with nothing but a voucher in place of the guaranteed benefits they rely on today. Then, Ryan refused to name a single tax loophole they’d close to pay for their $5 trillion tax plan. We know what that means: as independent experts have confirmed, Romney and Ryan’s tax plan would either explode the deficit or raise taxes on middle class families to pay for their tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. As Romney and Ryan run away from the plans they have laid out — and in Ryan’s case, passed through the Republican House twice — they’re revealing that they’d take the American people back to the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place, and have zero interest in the bold, honest, substantive debate that they claim is at the center of their campaign.

It MUST be James Carville in a wig…