Economics, Taxes and Spending

Joe Biden miscited our work at the debate last night

Joe Biden in Everglades, Florida

Image Credit: JaxStrong (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

In last night’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Biden said (as best we can decipher) that AEI research supports the assertion that Governor Romney’s tax plan would hike taxes on the middle class.

First, we would note that AEI does not take institutional positions on any policy matters and that the views we have expressed are only our own.

More importantly, Vice President Biden’s assertion is completely incorrect. In fact, we have demonstrated that Governor Romney’s plan can accomplish his stated goal of providing 20% statutory rate reductions for ordinary income while maintaining distributional and revenue neutrality. In plain English, that means that Governor Romney is proposing neither an $86 billion tax hike nor a $5 trillion tax cut, as the Obama-Biden campaign repeatedly asserts.

Read Alex Brill’s American piece for a synthesis of our work.

Transcript from debate:

Now, there’s not enough — the reason why the AEI study, the American Enterprise Institute study, the Tax Policy Center study, the reason they all say it’s going — taxes go up on the middle class, the only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people, cut the health care deduction, middle-class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. That’s why they arrive at it.

28 thoughts on “Joe Biden miscited our work at the debate last night

    • Yet another cut-and-paste. When will you learn how to think for yourself.

      You sourcing Bloomberg is like Stalin sourcing Pravda.

    • Sayeth the man that begins by dismissing arguments from AEI’s Alex Brill, Harvard economists and respected think tanks as being simply “blog posts and op-eds” vs studies (although TPC incorporated data from the same people into the study in question, albeit in a misleading manner), dismisses economic growth as a factor as revenues “didn’t increase under Bush’s cuts in 2001 & 2003.” Really? In between the bust that Bush “inherited” and the housing crash those revenues were *above the norm* – but Barro doesn’t acknowledge that anymore than he acknowledges the multiple recessions and difficulties during Bush’s eight years. Nor did he mention that the economy grew the economy grew 33% faster during Clinton’s term after his ’97 tax cuts than it did after his tax hikes, or that wages reversed at the same time and grew 1.7%.
      But it’s expedient to dismiss all arguments that don’t suit your party line as “rubbish” and cherry pick the data to prove *in theory* that what has historically happened *in fact* can’t be done.

      • Let’s put it this way: I had a math teacher who claimed his subject was better than any other that was being taught: there could only be one answer for any question.

        This is simple math. Not only is Romney cagey about the deductions he wants to eliminate, making his proposition suspect to begin with, but what he HAS floated as trial balloons STILL doesn’t work, and no one can MAKE the numbers work.

        Aside from that, again, what is the benefit of this policy? All you’re doing is shifting money around from one pocket to the other. I fail to see what that does for the economy, and again, if anyone here knows, by all means, enlighten me.

        Kudlow is tweeting his head off that this plan gives people “more take home pay.” It sure does, but when April 15th comes, people are gonna be writing some big-ass checks to Uncle Sam, because they’ll be little put under Line 1.

        • Economics is more than just math, hence the two completely different subjects that are taught in school. I’m going to take the word of professors of economics, such as Thomas Sowell, and institutes such as AEI over the word a single author I’ve never heard of writing an opinion article for Bloomberg’s website.

          • Excuse me, this comes DOWN to simple math. You have a deficit that needs to closed. You can either cut spending, raise taxes, or do the most reasonable thing you zealots won’t consider, do both.

            The numbers DO NOT WORK, and aside from the vagueness of what Romney will do- cut mortgage deductions, eliminate the tax free status of munis (which is bloody stupid) it seems even if you go whole hog, Romney isn’t even close.

            Here’s a report from the bi partisan Joint Committee on Taxation- Romney is full of crap:


        • No, it isn’t remotely akin to “simple math”. It’s macroeconomics, which is more like the balancing act of a mobile hung above a babies crib.

          What is the benefit? The benefit is growth vs stagnation & decline, increasing revenue to expand govt.’s ability to pay off debt without further burdening those who provide the revenue, jobs & household income growth to bolster consumption. The benefit is economic recovery.

        • I had a math teacher who claimed his subject was better than any other that was being taught: there could only be one answer for any question.

          Then your math teacher didn’t understand math. I can prove this simply:

          What is the square root of x squared?

          Answer: positive or negative x.

          Nothing is as simple to have one single answer. Only a dogmatist has one answer.

          • Remember this, my boy: the most dangerous barrier to progress is not ignorance, but rather the appearance of knowledge.

          • Looking at your role models (a math teacher who didn’t know math, economists who don’t know economics), a lot of stuff is starting to make sense about yo.

  1. Whether you like AEI’s analysis or not, Biden’s assertion was flat out, 100%, indefensibly, blatantly wrong. Period.

  2. You mean Joe “I always mean what I say”, “the middle-class has been buried the last 4 years” Biden was WRONG? [Shock!] [Gasp!]


    He’s the kind of persona you expect to find drawn on the door of a stall in the men’s room of an Arkansas truck stop.

    The women overwhelmingly bombed him in the CNN poll (by a 20-point margin) that declared Ryan the winner of the “debate.” Biden must have reminded many of those gals of their 12-year old son who has ADD. The Indies also found his bizarre antics very repugnant and they too bit him in the asss. Biden lost two groups actively targeted by incompetent Obama.

    • Hi, as an actual undecided Independent, kindly stop speaking for those you don’t represent. I had some issues with Biden’s performance last night, but not as many as I had with Paul Ryan’s, who seemed to have cottonmouth all night and also seemed extremely nervous, especially as he completely gagged and bombed on Afghanistan and abortion, and basically made himself seem like an overmatched idiot. If anything, I’m now leaning toward Obama or perhaps Gary Johnson, especially as it becomes more and more clear the Romney-Ryan ticket has no real foreign policy plan or even clear differences from what Obama has done and is doing, that changes positions by the hour, and threatens to insert Roman Catholic church doctrine into the personal medical decisions of American citizens of all colors and creeds. I would’ve liked to vote for Romney-Ryan, but frankly they’ve run an incompetent campaign and seem genuinely beholden to the farthest fringes of the extreme political right, to the point that they are flat-out scary to a moderate like myself at this stage of the campaign.

      As to the topic of this post, sure, you can close a bunch of loopholes you refuse to identify to balance out your insane tax cuts for everyone including those who clearly don’t need them, but you cannot do it without taking my home mortgage deduction away or raising my taxes. Can’t be done. I’m a public policy doctorate and a math major, as well as a tax policy nerd…it’s beyond stretching the truth to claim you can balance the budget while raising military expenditure over $100 million a year beyond the peak of the Korean War years AND not raising taxes or causing any economic distress to middle class families. Romney-Ryan has major credibility issues on almost every front, and despite my dissatisfaction with Obama and Biden’s last four years, I recognize the roll the extremists of the Tea Party HoR have played in preventing any legislative progress in a number of critical areas, and I’m frankly disgusted that either party would hold the country hostage for their near-term political benefit. The GOP has sunk to a new low and has precluded my sincere initial desire to support their agenda.

      • Thank you Uncommitted Indendent.

        I don’t want to discuss my political affiliation or my take on the debate. However, I needed to comment because I truly appreciate US citizens who do not blindly follow one party (something I have seen on both sides of the aisle) and who have an open mind.

        In the end, who you vote for is up to you and I can’t fault you either way – especially because you (unlike too many others) are taking time to look at the issues, pay attention to what the candidates are saying, and want what is best for this country. Thank you for taking your civil responsibility seriously!

        • He is another Obama boot-licker.
          The Libya cover-up is bigger than Watergate, but not to him.

          The GOP hasn’t sunk to a new low, the liberals are still getting innocent people killed and morons like that tard will never see it.

          Libya, Fast & Furious, Iraq, Afghanistan, soon to be Israel….. and Obama always looks the other way (as MSM bows back to him).

      • RE: your Roman Catholic doctrine comment, assuming you are talking about abortion, who speaks for the medical decisions of the unborn child, if not organizations like the Catholic Church?

  4. I just listened to Larry Summers this week making the same claim on Romney’s tax plan. I guess your telling me that Larry had it wrong too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>