The September 17 BusinessWeek mentioned that the government takes in $1 trillion in income tax revenue, but gives up another $1.1 trillion in tax deductions. That includes:
- $47 billion in charitable giving (I thought that figure would be higher. Disappointing.)
- $89 billion in mortgage interest.
- $118 billion in retirement savings.
- $131 billion in employer-provided health insurance.
Now, Mitt Romney says he wants to cut income tax rates for the wealthy by 20%. That, according to BusinessWeek, accounts for $251 billion in less revenue. Romney says he’ll pay for these tax cuts by closing loopholes. But, says BusinessWeek, the total of all deductions for the wealthy comes to just $165 billion. The specific loopholes he has in mind would come to considerably less than that.
So, Mitt: can you please explain how you’re going to make this work?
Here’s my take. THERE IS NO SOLUTION. We’re just way too deep into debt, too overdrawn in every way. There is no math that will work. And every possible cut will make some group of voters mad, so politicians will prefer doing nothing.
Which explains why both candidates are avoiding specifics.