In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told host Chris Wallace that “I don’t have the time” to explain how a Romney administration would pay for its new round of tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
When Wallace asked Ryan how much his and Mitt Romney’s tax plan would cost, Ryan repeatedly claimed that “it’s revenue neutral,” while declining to get into specifics.
Wallace eventually told Ryan “But I have to point out, you haven’t given me the math,” to which Ryan responded:
No, but you…well, I don’t have the time. It would take me too long to go through all of the math. But let me say it this way: you can lower tax rates by 20 percent across the board by closing loopholes and still have preferences for the middle class. For things like charitable deductions, for home purchases, for health care. So what we’re saying is, people are going to get lower tax rates.
Video of the exchange is below, via ThinkProgress:
While it may take Ryan too long to go through the math, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution managed to find the time. According to their research, Romney’s plan would have to raise taxes on about 95 percent of Americans in order to achieve revenue neutrality.
This helps to explain Ryan’s reticence. Although both liberal and conservative observers of the Republican presidential campaign have lobbied Romney and Ryan to lay out more specific policy proposals, it turns out that the Republican ticket’s actual plans are a very tough sell to voters.