Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is apparently seeking to become president without telling voters how he will improve the economy.
Romney has offered a vague economic plan that doesn’t add up.
In an interview broadcast Sept. 9 on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Romney said he would offset his proposed tax cuts by closing loopholes for high-income taxpayers.
When pressed Romney declined to provide an example of a loophole he would close.
“I can tell you that people at the high end, high-income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they’d get a tax break. And I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers,” Romney said.
Romney said he wants to reduce taxes on all Americans, including lowering the tax breaks on the wealthy in the highest tax bracket. He said he would make up for the lost revenue by closing tax breaks, but he won’t say which ones.
In a speech two weeks ago at the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton explained how Romney’s plan does not add up.
“They’ll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle-class families will see their tax bill go up $2,000 a year, while people making over $3 million a year will still get a $25,000 tax,” said Clinton.
Even some leading conservatives have been critical of Romney for being vague.
Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, said on Twitter that “Romney must draw clear line: offer specific path to restore American dream … to win, Romney must open big tent to sympathetic families. Stop fearing far right, which has nowhere else to go.”
The Wall Street Journal, which has been supportive of Romney, warned that ‘vagueness carries its own political risks.”
In an open letter to Romney posted by the Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, Peter Hansen wrote: “The assertion that you are more competent than President Obama strikes many people as merely that—an assertion. It would be supported by your speaking in more detail about a range of financial issues.”
Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” wrote an Op-Ed in Politico last week called “The Problem With Mitt,” where he sums it all up: “And the lesson is clear: If we want to win the battle of ideas in the long term, we should be willing to face the fact that Mitt Romney is likely to lose—and should, given that he’s neither a true conservative nor a courageous moderate. He’s just an ambitious man. Nothing wrong with that, except when you want to be president.”
Some conservatives may counter that Obama has not been overly specific in his economic plan for the future. However the president has been in office for 31/2 years has presented budgets before Congress, passed a stimulus bill, bailed out the auto industry and has a comprehensive jobs bill now before the House.
Whether they agree or not, voters know the economic policies and approach of the Obama administration.
As the challenger, Romney has the responsibility to not just criticize the incumbent president, but to offer a better plan.
Romney appears to believe he can win election by ducking the details.
(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune.)