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Romney’s tax plan helps millionaires and hurts the middle class

Mitt Romney likes to trumpet his tax plan, saying that it would allow Americans to keep more money in their pockets. In a recent GOP debate ahead of the Florida primary, he said:

“The real question people are going to ask is, who’s going to help the American people at a time when folks are having real tough times? And that’s why I put forward a plan to eliminate the tax on savings for middle-income Americans. Anyone making under $200,000 a year, I would eliminate the tax on interest, dividends and capital gains. People need help to be able to save their money.”

Closer scrutiny of Romney’s actual proposal reveals that it’s very good for the wealthy—and very bad for everyone else. Turning his back on the American middle class at a critical time, Romney would rather reward millionaires like himself with generous tax breaks they don’t need. Meanwhile, taxes for people making less than $40,000 would increase on his watch.

Here’s a point-by-point look at what the Romney plan would do for the wealthiest Americans:

  • The richest 1 percent of American households would get a tax cut worth more than $80,000. Those with income in the top 0.1 percent would get a cut of nearly half a million dollars.

  • Families who make more than $1 million would see their taxes cut by an average of about $145,000, making them 6.9 percent richer and reducing their federal tax rate by more than 15 percent.

  • Romney would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent tax on investment income that goes into effect in 2013—saving himself about $800,000 a year.

And here’s what Romney’s tax plan would do to the middle class and lower-income households:

  • Married couples making between $30,000 and $40,000 would see their taxes increase by $236.

  • Middle class tax provisions from the American Recovery Act would expire—including higher education tax credits and expansion of the earned income tax credit.

Give him this: Mitt Romney himself realizes the weakness of his plan to modestly slash middle class capital gains taxes. “Look, I recognize it’s not a huge tax cut,” he’s said.

Romney also opposes the Buffett Rule, President Obama’s proposal to require millionaires to pay the same tax rates as the wage-earners who work for them. And he refused to support closing the carried interest tax loophole—choosing to allow private-equity managers to pay a lower tax rate than middle-income Americans.

Mitt Romney’s tax plan is undoubtedly good—for millionaires, not the middle class.