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I don't get it. For years, Republicans have relentlessly held that we must cut spending, reduce our annual deficits, and pay down the national debt, or we're in for it: inflation, the dollar collapses, chaos, our children consigned to a horrible future - maybe even "Europe-style socialism."
But for the last 18 months, those same Republicans, led by former Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, have promoted "tax reform" that features an across-the-board 20 percent federal income tax rate cut.
A substantial body of opinion holds that this cut will deprive the federal government of about about $4.5 trillion by 2022. But Romney and Ryan say they will offset the loss by ending certain tax deductions and closing certain loopholes that will generate $4.5 trillion in revenue. In other words, Republican "tax reform" adds up to zero.
The plan doesn't cut spending, lower deficits, reduce the national debt. What's going on?
But then you start wondering which loopholes and deductions are to be cut. Romney/Ryan say that has to be negotiated. No doubt as those negotiations proceed there will be much more money available to protect offshore tax havens than to protect the home mortgage interest deduction.