MS. CROWLEY: Governor, let me ask the president something about what you just said. The governor says that he is not going to allow the top 5 percent — I believe is what he said — to have a tax cut, that it will all even out, that what he wants to do is give that tax cut to the middle class. Settled?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, it’s not settled. (Chuckles.) Look, the cost of lowering rates for everybody across the board 20 percent, along with what he also wants to do in terms of eliminating the estate tax, along what he wants to do in terms of corporates changes in the tax code — it costs about $5 trillion. Governor Romney then also wants to spend $2 trillion on additional military programs, even though the military’s not asking for them. That’s $7 trillion. He also wants to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. That’s another trillion dollars. That’s $8 trillion.
Now, what he says is he’s going to make sure that this doesn’t add to the deficit, and he’s going to cut middle-class taxes. But when he’s asked, how are you going to do it, which deductions, which loopholes are you going to close, he can’t tell you. The — the fact that he only has to pay 14 percent on his taxes when a lot of you are paying much higher — you know, he’s already taken that off the board. Capital gains are going to continue to be at a low rate, so we — we’re not going to get money that way. We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics, beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood, in terms of how he pays for that.
Now, Governor Romney was a very successful investor. If somebody came to you, Governor, with a plan that said, here; I want to spend 7 (trillion dollars) or $8 trillion, and then we’re going to pay for it, but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how we’re going to do it, you wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal. And neither should you, the American people, because the math doesn’t add up.
No failure this time
Obama was criticized by many on the left for failing, in the first debate, to challenge Romney’s facts. There was no failure this time around. After Mitt Romney did his usual dance, claiming that his tax cuts will not cost anything because, hey, just trust him, Obama pointed out exactly what it was that Romney was saying, and made clear how ludicrous it is that Romney expects voters to accept his tax plan on faith, because obviously, a politician would never lie about stuff.
Obama also did something very canny here. He didn’t just bring up Mitt’s plan to balance the budget by firing Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. He also reminded voters that yes, Mitt Romney has come out against funding Planned Parenthood.
Romney has made the most of his gains since the first debate among women. This was a subtle shot directly at those gains. Romney often describes balancing budgets at Bain and during the Salt Lake City Olympics (although he did so at the latter by getting a government bailout). Romney never denied, however, that he intended to gut Planned Parenthood’s funding, because even for Mitt, that would be a flip too far to flop.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey
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