Where was the Romney tax cut calculator? I mean, if you have a plan to cut individual marginal tax rates by 20%, your website should have an interactive calculator so a visitor can calculate their individual savings. But if Romney had one, I couldn’t find it.
Indeed, if you do an online search for “romney + tax + cut +calculator” what you find is a tax calculator on Barack Obama’s campaign web site showing you how much Romney would raise your taxes — at least as Team Obama figured it.
I suppose there was no Romney tax calculator because the campaign never made it clear who — if anyone — would get their taxes cut since a) the plan was supposed to be revenue neutral and b) the base broadeners weren’t specified.
Now maybe incomes would have increased as a result of higher economic growth from improved incentives, but as AEI’s Alex Brill and Alan Viard point out, “Work incentives depend on effective marginal tax rates rather than statutory tax rates, and revenue-neutral base broadening leaves the former roughly unchanged.” The more obvious pro-growth part of the Romney plan were the cuts to corporate tax rates and investment taxes.
The decline in marginal tax rates since the 1980s, along with the proliferation of tax breaks, calls out for a new approach to tax reform. Viard has produced an excellent plan for a progressive consumption tax. Another interesting idea is economist Bob Stein’s pro-family, pro-growth tax plan. More on both of them in the days to come.