Mitt Romney’s Great Tax Loophole Scam

I just saw a short segment on CNN about Mitt Romney and all the tax loopholes he’s supposedly going to close to make up for his tax cuts. It was admirably forthright, with nobody really cutting him any slack for his weasel words. Fortune’s Andy Serwer was one of the guests, and the conversation revolved around his interview with Romney that was posted today. Here’s the relevant question:

Specifically what tax loopholes would you close and what exemptions would you eliminate to make the revenue-neutral equation work?

Simpson-Bowles laid out a formula that shows that you can do just as I described. That you can bring down the rates, limit deductions and exemptions for people at the high end, and with additional growth that comes by virtue of the stimulative action you can reach a balanced budget. I will follow a model similar to Simpson-Bowles and work with Congress to identify which of the alternative methods we should apply to reduce deductions, benefits, and exemptions.

Just to be crystal clear here: Everyone knows this is never going to happen, right? If Republicans win in November, they’ll extend the Bush tax cuts and then pass additional cuts of their own. After all, the economy is suffering! We need to put more money in the pockets of the job creators so they can create some jobs.

As for all those loopholes, well, that’s going to need some study, folks. Can’t be going off all half cocked on that kind of thing. And we never said our tax plan would be revenue neutral right away. It’s really revenue neutrality over a ten-year window. That was always the plan. But don’t worry. We’ll get there.

But they never will. Republicans have been in control of the presidency and Congress plenty of times over the past two decades, and they’ve never shown the slightest interest in closing tax loopholes on the rich. They don’t have any interest in doing it this time either. Even their own supporters know this. It’s just smoke and mirrors to distract the press.

Everyone gets that, don’t they?

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.