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2012 campaign

Mitt Romney's Tax Plan: Cuts for Millionaires and a Hike for Just About Everyone Else

Mitt Romney speaks at the University of Warsaw Library in Warsaw, Poland, July 31 2012.

Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

Mitt Romney speaks at the University of Warsaw Library in Warsaw, Poland, July 31 2012.

Under a future President Romney, millionaires would get an $87,000 tax cut, while just about everyone else would see their tax bills go up by around $500 a year.

That’s one conclusion of a new study published by two Washington think tanks, the Brookings Institution and the Tax Policy Center.

Romney promises voters a host of tax cuts but doesn’t answer the looming question of how all these cuts will pay for themselves without increasing the deficit or cutting deeply into tax credits that are cherished by the middle class.

Romney says he would permanently extend the Bush tax cuts. He’d get rid of taxes on long-term capital gains, dividends, and interest income for married couples filing jointly with income under $200,000. And he’d repeal the federal estate tax. Those cuts skew toward helping the wealthy. For the middle class, Romney says he’d reduce most individual income tax rates by 20 percent.

The Brookings and the Tax Policy Center are skeptical that the numbers add up. “Even if tax expenditures are eliminated in a way designed to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible,” says the report, “there would still be a shift in the tax burden of roughly $86 billion from those making over $200,000 to those making less than that.”

Dwoskin is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington. Follow her on Twitter: @lizzadwoskin.

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