President Barack Obama is not letting go of Mitt Romney’s taxes.
And the president’s re-election campaign, with its newest post-convention, post-9/11 attack ad against his Republican rival, is taking his opponent to task for not spelling out how he might pay for his pledge to cut income tax brackets by 20 percent across the board.
Romney has said that he would tighten tax exemptions for high-earners to offset the cost of tax breaks for all, yet hasn’t said how he’d do it. The biggest tax exemptions include the write-off for home mortgage interest payments, employer-paid health insurance and charitable donations and lower tax rates for investment earnings.
The ad cites a Tax Policy Center report that people earning less than $200,000 a year would pay about $2,000 more a year to pay for Romney’s tax plan. It warns that taxpayers could lose support for home mortgages, health care and college tuition. It’s difficult for the Romney campaign to rebut these claims, as it hasn’t spelled out which exemptions he’d cut, and by how much.
Romney has refused to reveal more than two years of personal income tax returns — his 2010 return showing a 13.9 percent tax paid on investment earnings of more than $21 million, his 2011 return to be released when complete. He maintains that, in 10 years of tax returns, he never has paid less than 13 percent in taxes.
Donald Trump’s airplane plays prominently in this ad, as it has in others.
“Mitt Romney, he won’t reveal what’s in his taxes, and he won’t tell you what he’d do to yours,” the narrator of Obama’s new ad says. “How much will you pay? Romney just won’t say.”
The ad, following a hiatus in respect for the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, represents a return to normal campaign programming: The Obama campaign has aired nearly 300,000 TV ads since Romney effectively became the Republican candidate in April, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, which monitors advertising. The firm says 72 percent of Obama’s ads have carried a negative tone. With Romney and allied super-PACs airing another 300,000 ads of their own, 85 and 94 percent have gone negative.