Romney Says Typical Middle-Class Homes Earn $250,000 A Year
Another day, another out-of-touch statement from Mitt Romney. Speaking today on ABC’s Good Morning America program, Romney said the typical middle-income household in America earned a quarter of a million dollars a year. Wouldn’t it be nice if, for once, we all lived in Romney’s America?
The actual figure is one-fifth of his estimate, the Associated Press reported this week relying on U.S. Census data. The federal agency found median household income—or the midpoint for the nation—is just over $50,000. Back to paying the bills…
“Both presidential candidates are fighting to win over working-class voters,” the AP said, stating the obvious. “President Barack Obama has defined "middle class" as income up to $250,000 a year. Obama wants to extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000. Romney wants to extend the tax cuts for everyone."
The Romney campaign sought to clarify his remarks afterward. You can decide what needs clarifying by reading the ABC account of the interview and appearance with George Stephanopoulos. The exchange starts with Romney saying he hasn’t read an economic study that he cites in his speeches:
“When I pressed Romney on that point, he conceded that he actually hadn’t read the Feldstein report that he and Paul Ryan cite on the campaign trail.
“I haven’t seen his precise study,” he said.
“I said that there are five different studies that point out that we can get to a balanced budget without raising taxes on middle income people. Let me tell you, George, the fundamentals of my tax policy are these. Number one, reduce tax burdens on middle-income people. So no one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers,” he said.
Romney defined middle income as $200,000 to $250,000 a year and less.
“Number two, don’t reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest. The top 5 percent will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today. That’s principle one, principle two. Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs. And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now,” he said."
Wouldn’t it be something if a presidential candidate read the economic reports that he cited in speeches, or knew what American households typically earned while trying to make economic issues the centerpiece of his campaign?
But we should give Romney credit where credit is due. While he has no idea what household economics are like for typical American homes, he is firm and clear-eyed in one department: his refusal to raise taxes on the people who can most afford to pay.