On Sunday, Mitt Romney sat down for his first interview with NBC’s Meet the Press since 2009 (back when he supported a federal healthcare mandate). The Republican nominee for president denied that Americans in the upper tax bracket would get a tax break under his plan. “We’re not going to have high-income people pay less of the tax burden than they pay today,” Romney said, refused to clarify which loopholes he’d close to keep his tax cuts revenue neutral as he’s promised. The former governor of Massachusetts added that the deductions he’d close would primarily affect those with high incomes.
However, even columnist George F. Will has pointed out that Romney’s math just doesn’t work.
“And we know where the big money is: mortgage interest deductions, charitable deductions, taxing as compensation, which it is, employee-provided health insurance, and state and local taxes,” Will said Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week. “All of those, you either hit only the rich, in which case you don’t get much money, or you hit the middle class.”
Romney also raised conservative eyebrows by saying that there are a number of things he likes about ObamaCare.
“I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan,” Romney added. “And even in Massachusetts when I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people.” Considering that ObamaCare closely resembles the reforms he signed as governor, this isn’t wholly surprising. But Republicans including Romney rarely say “like” and “Obamacare” in the same sentence.
Critics have noted that it’s probably impossible to force insurance companies to remove consideration of preexisting conditions without a mandate or drastically raising the cost of insurance. When Romney talks about “pre-existing conditions” he means preventing insurers from dropping those who develop a condition. This does nothing to assist all of the uninsured in obtaining insurance.
As the campaign continues, Mitt Romney is having a harder time explaining himself, with reporters demanding details about his vague plans.
The president joked this weekend that after Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, someone tweeted that Clinton should be given the title “Secretary of Explaining Sh*t.” President Obama repeated the joke replacing “sh*t” with “stuff.”
Maybe Mitt Romney is running for “Secretary of Not Explaining Stuff.”