US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivers remarks at a victory rally in Lebanon, Ohio, on October 13, 2012.
For more than a month, Mitt Romney has cited six debunked studies to support his mathematically impossible plan to cut tax rates by 20 percent, while balancing the budget without raising taxes on the middle class. On Sunday, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pressed senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie on the credibility of these six studies, noting that each of them have serious issues:
GILLESPIE: Six different studies have said this is entirely doable.
WALLACE: Those are very questionable. Some of them are blogs, some of them are from AEI, an independent group.
GILLESPIE: These are very credible sources.
WALLACE: One of them is a blog from a guy who was a top adviser for George W. Bush. These are hardly non-partisan studies.
GILLESPIE: Look Chris these AEI and other studies are very credible sources of analysis
Two of the six studies are Wall Street Journal editorials that repeat familiar Republican talking points without crunching any numbers. Wallace pointed out a third study from former Bush adviser Harvey Rosen, which assumes Romney’s plan would generate enough economic growth to pay for the revenue loss, the same tax logic used by George W. Bush. Yet another one of the six studies is a white paperfrom the Romney campaign itself. Even an AEI tax expert suggested Romney’s mathwouldn’t work, saying “he’s going to need to cut rates significantly less than 20 percent if he wants to honor his other goals.”
But there is one study the Romney campaign hasn’t used. The Tax Policy Center found that Romney would need to raise taxes on the middle class even if he closed every single tax loophole for the wealthy. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Economy and an adviser to the 2008 McCain campaign, called that study the “definitive” one on Romney’s plan
Rebecca Leber is a research assistant for the ThinkProgress war room. She graduated from the University of Rochester and holds a B.A. in political science and English with a minor in economics.