The president’s campaign is focused on boxing Romney in on his tax plan, a plan that studies have shown to be mathematically impossible. On Thursday in Virginia Beach, President Obama promised “not to limit the deductability of home mortgage interest”:
“I refuse to ask middle class families to give up your deduction for owning a home or raising kids just so we pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.”
And on Friday in Florida, Joe Biden warned senior citizens that Romney’s plan would force them to pay more in taxes on their Social Security:
“If Governor Romney’s plan goes into effect it could mean that every one of you would be paying more taxes on your Social Security. The average senior would have to pay $460 a year more in taxes for their Social Security.”
Talking Points Memo, emphasis mine:
Romney has steadfastly refused to specify any tax credits or deductions he would target in order to pay for his trillions of dollars in tax cuts. But his contradictory promises — to cut taxes on the middle class without raising them on the rich or increasing the deficit — have earned criticism as to whether his proposal is mathematically feasible. Studies have found that it is not — unless middle class incomes are defined downward from the agreed-upon $250,000.
On the Sunday talk shows, the Romney campaign continued to struggle to answer questions about how the tax math would work. On “Fox News Sunday,” vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said “it would take [him] too long to go through all of the math.” On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Romney surrogate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie retorted that Romney has laid out his broad vision but “[h]e’s not an accountant.”
The Obama campaign’s new approach is an attempt to force him to take a stand on whether popular middle-class tax loopholes are at least on the chopping block if he’s elected. There’s no convenient answer for the Republican candidate: taking them off the table would further chip away at the credibility of his plan, while leaving them on the table could alienate middle class homeowners and seniors from his campaign.