Romney camp slams tax group analysis as ‘misleading, deceitful’

Mitt Romney's campaign is hitting back at a new Tax Policy Center (TPC) critique of the GOP presidential nominee's latest tax reform proposal, arguing that the report failed to present a full analysis.

Romney's economic policy director Pierce Scranton blasted the report, accusing TPC of presenting its findings in a "misleading and deceitful" way in a blog posted on the campaign's website Wednesday.


On Wednesday, the nonpartisan TPC said that Romney's latest proposal to cap itemized tax deductions at $25,000 would not come close to offsetting his individual tax rate cuts, which total about $4 trillion over 10 years. Such a cap would only raise $1.3 trillion, TPC estimated, not enough to pay for a 20 percent rate cut, ending the Alternative Minimum Tax and estate tax and eliminating capital gains taxes.

The Romney campaign says that the TPC numbers are incomplete because Romney has not yet specified other possible offsets.

“While Gov. Romney has proposed cutting marginal rates across the board by 20 percent and eliminating the AMT, he has only suggested that capping itemized deductions is one option that could be explored, and there are others,” Scranton wrote in the blog post. 

He added that “technical details like this will be worked out with Congress.”

TPC on Tuesday acknowledged that it cannot yet undertake a full tax-reform analysis but wanted to point out the possible revenue offsets available. It found that eliminating all deductions on the individual side would only raise $2 trillion, for example.

Scranton, however, argued that “there are hundreds and hundreds of billions in other tax expenditures that could be used to help offset the rate reductions to ensure the plan meets the goal of not adding to the deficit."

He also blasted TPC for not using dynamic scoring that takes economic growth effects into account.

“Finally, TPC’s non-analysis of Gov. Romney’s tax reform plan does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to refute numerous independent analyses from experts at the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, the Tax Foundation, Princeton, Rice and Harvard that have demonstrated the Romney plan works,” Scranton wrote.

TPC expert Roberton Williams said the Romney campaign was mischaracterizing his original blog post.

"I never said we were analyzing Romney’s tax plan. In fact, I said that, 'Without more specifics, we can’t say how much revenue such limits would actually raise.'" he said, in an email to The Hill.

"Furthermore, it also said exactly what the campaign’s post said (albeit in a different way): the plan needs to find additional sources of revenue to be revenue neutral. The campaign says they have those other ways but don’t specify them," he added.

The Obama campaign and the Romney team have fought hard over the numbers in Romney’s tax reform proposal, with the president calling it a “sketchy deal” during Tuesday’s debate and claiming the math did not add up.

Romney has defended his proposals, arguing that they would not add to the deficit and lost revenue would be covered by eliminating a number of deductions and tax credits.

This story was updated at 12:31 p.m.