National Journal Gets Romney Cap Gains Cut Wrong

On October 10, the National Journal slammed Mitt Romney for "favoring the wealthy" with his capital gains tax cut plan. The plan, NJ claims, won't help middle-income Americans because they "don't have investment income." But, apparently Nat'l Journal didn't bother to look at Romney's actual plan because their assessment is simply wrong.

Reporting on a Romney rally in Ohio, Nat'l Journal claimed that Romney's tax plan is one-sided.

But Romney’s proposal as he described it -- eliminating tax on interest, dividends, and capital gains -- would largely help those living on investment income, which does not include many people in the middle class. The tax break would likely help senior citizens, however, many of whom do live on investment income.

...The wealthy are the major beneficiaries of low taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; many middle-income Americans don’t have investment income.

Apparently Nat'l Journal isn't big on doing its research. The fact is, Romney isn't proposing lowering capital gains taxes on "the rich."

On his website, Romney specifically says that anyone making over $200,000 a year will see their taxes stay the same as they are now, but that anyone making less than that are the ones for whom he'd cut the cap gains tax.

At least since February 21 of this year, Romney has been saying that any taxpayer making $200,000 and less will see their taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest income completely eliminated.

Here are the bullet points on the Romney website:

  • Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates
  • Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains
  • Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains
  • Eliminate the Death Tax
  • Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

(AGI = adjusted gross income, and AMT = alternative minimum tax)

The upshot here is that National Journal specifically said that Romney's cap gains tax cut would help only the rich, but Romney isn't proposing to cut their cap gains tax in the first place.


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